Trump Is Unfathomably Ignorant

May 7, 2016

in Economics,Politics

Brainless TrumpTrump, despite his braggadocio, is not a successful businessman. He has mastered the media. That is not the same. He is simply a showman whose taste runs to the gaudy and whose social skills are more appropriate to the sandbox.

Denizens of Wall Street estimate that his personal wealth would have been just as high had he invested his inheritance in the stock market. That, of course, is taking The Donald’s word for his net worth. There is a reason he refuses to release his tax returns. Many guess that he falls a bit short of being a billionaire, far below $4.5 billion or $10 billion or whatever. Take your pick.

There has been failure after failure. When was the last time you flew on Trump Airlines? Have you eaten any Trump Steaks lately? Have you ever washed one of those steaks down with Trump Vodka? Do you read Trump Magazine in your spare moments? I would recommend ignoring that ad for Trump University. Sorry, but it’s too late to refinance with Trump Mortgage.

Now that The Donald has entered the political arena, you might wish to pay close attention to his childish behavior, his advisers, his positions on issues (you will have to act quickly here, as they change faster than Clark Kent sheds his mufti).

His latest pronouncement tells us how he intends to deal with the national debt. Your savings are in jeopardy. People seem to think that our largest creditor is China. At $2 trillion they are small potatoes. Likewise, the Saudis. But of that $19 trillion of debt, who is the largest? You are. $12.8 trillion of that debt is owed to your Social Security nest egg.

RetirementSo, what is The Donald’s plan for your retirement? He intends to pretend that the government of the United States is the same as a corporation. His longstanding relationship with bankruptcy courts leads him to want to take this nation into bankruptcy, renegotiate the debt and let all of the creditors take a haircut.

China may not feel kindly about such a strategy. Their economy is struggling. Ninety percent of Saudi Arabia’s income comes from oil exports. Selling barrels at the present price of $30-40 each is far from the usual $100 per barrel. Cutting their revenue by more than half has them selling 5% of Aramco and putting out their palms for a $10 billion loan.

Our 2nd and 3rd largest creditors would not be happy if they thought Trump could actually get away with such insanity. His announcement would have put stock markets around the world into immediate spirals. But, they all realize The Donald is unfathomably ignorant of domestic and international finance and government in general. However, such idiotic pronouncements do provide an indication of just how potentially dangerous his childish perspectives could be.

As an aside, you should be aware that a few congressmen have been honest enough to admit that Congress will not replace those Social Security funds. Trump is not the only dangerous con man we need to worry about.

Business Model

Mr. Trump claims to be a super-competent businessman. The fact that he’s not isn’t the point. We constantly hear someone promising to operate government on business principles. Those proposing such an inanity are telling you that they are unfathomably ignorant of government.

Sane people want the government to be relatively permanent and stable. Businesses average five years before becoming history. Government is not a business. It certainly isn’t, or shouldn’t be, show business.

If a business builds an office building or a warehouse, it becomes an asset of that company. If the government builds an office building or a warehouse or a highway or a bridge, it is an expense. There is little profit for the government in maintaining a police force or filling in potholes or sending in disaster relief or providing public parks. The government’s role is to serve, not make a profit.

The Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) took over a county jail, promising to save the county money. How? By running it more efficiently. By running it like a business. It didn’t quite work out that way. Sure, they fired the entire staff and replaced them with minimum wage workers without benefits. The county had provided livable wages and benefits. That wasn’t efficiency. That was greed.

They were paid per prisoner, per day. The county had a policy that allowed those who worked at picking up trash along the streets and highways or tending the farm to earn 3 days credit for every day they worked. The county was a nicer looking place to live and the jail saved money feeding the prisoners. The CCA put a stop to that. Remember, they were paid per prisoner, per day. If the prisoners served fewer days, CCA made less money.

This money-saving deal ended up costing the county more, the former staff their careers and the prisoners were not fed as well or provided adequate medical services. One lady suffering from an ectopic pregnancy died because they refused to pay for an ambulance. Others died of other causes. The county failed in its responsibility to the citizenry. Operating a jail is the responsibility of government, not business.

Competent or incompetent, intelligent or unfathomably ignorant, ignore anyone touting business experience as a qualification for public office. A résumé containing such a claim makes as much sense as a credential as a plumber being the best qualification for the position of astronaut.

One last matter. I mentioned advisers above. When Trump becomes the official nominee of the GOP he will be given a top-level security briefing. His campaign manager has close ties to Vladimir Putin. Have you ever known The Donald to control his mouth?

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