Trump grifting update

The constant of Trump’s business career has been to stiff investors, lenders, customers, suppliers, taxpayers, and partners at every opportunity: bankruptcies (a fancy name for not paying your debts), the piano seller, Trump U. students…the list is endless. If you invest with Donald, you do it for his profit and not yours.

Now he has embarked on a political career, and the pattern is already repeating itself, in two ways. Voted for him because he would trash climate stabilization? because he would put Hilary in jail? because he would torture terrorism suspects “worse than waterboarding”? In a roomful of New York Times reporters, on the record, we learn “You already voted? OK, you’ll get none of those things, suckers!” And it’s not even Thanksgiving.

One one point of fundamental principle, however, the Donald is firm: the point of his new job is his personal enrichment. He is going to hold on to his businesses, and he is going to use his position to make more money.  Blind trust…what are you, some kind of moron?

The 3 AM phone call goes like this:

Mr. President, I need a large shipload of tanks and artillery to put my uppity neighbor in its place…what’s that? you say the neighbor is a peaceable country where the US has large investments? and you’re worried about the conflict spreading?…Mr. President, the other thing I wanted to talk to you about is the bill in our parliament nationalizing your hotel/casino complex. No, of course we don’t pay compensation when we protect our national interest!  As I told Jared yesterday, I would really hate to have to sign that bill if it passes, and we also have the permanent tax and labor law exemption for the hotel drafted…I know, the royal suite you provide us is nice, but about those armaments…don’t forget the spare parts, and extra ammunition.

Author: Michael O'Hare

Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, Michael O'Hare was raised in New York City and trained at Harvard as an architect and structural engineer. Diverted from an honest career designing buildings by the offer of a job in which he could think about anything he wanted to and spend his time with very smart and curious young people, he fell among economists and such like, and continues to benefit from their generosity with on-the-job social science training. He has followed the process and principles of design into "nonphysical environments" such as production processes in organizations, regulation, and information management and published a variety of research in environmental policy, government policy towards the arts, and management, with special interests in energy, facility siting, information and perceptions in public choice and work environments, and policy design. His current research is focused on transportation biofuels and their effects on global land use, food security, and international trade; regulatory policy in the face of scientific uncertainty; and, after a three-decade hiatus, on NIMBY conflicts afflicting high speed rail right-of-way and nuclear waste disposal sites. He is also a regular writer on pedagogy, especially teaching in professional education, and co-edited the "Curriculum and Case Notes" section of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. Between faculty appointments at the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, he was director of policy analysis at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He has had visiting appointments at Università Bocconi in Milan and the National University of Singapore and teaches regularly in the Goldman School's executive (mid-career) programs. At GSPP, O'Hare has taught a studio course in Program and Policy Design, Arts and Cultural Policy, Public Management, the pedagogy course for graduate student instructors, Quantitative Methods, Environmental Policy, and the introduction to public policy for its undergraduate minor, which he supervises. Generally, he considers himself the school's resident expert in any subject in which there is no such thing as real expertise (a recent project concerned the governance and design of California county fairs), but is secure in the distinction of being the only faculty member with a metal lathe in his basement and a 4×5 Ebony view camera. At the moment, he would rather be making something with his hands than writing this blurb.

3 thoughts on “Trump grifting update”

  1. I have been assuming that the Emoluments clause of the Constitution will apply to foreign diplomats staying at his hotel in DC down the street from the White House (unless they are allowed to stay free of charge). But I am no scholar of these things. Input from a scholar would be most welcome.

    1. I'm assuming that no one will have standing to file suit against him under the Emoluments Clause.

  2. LOL. Substitute "your biggest corporate donor" for "you" in that 3 AM conversation and you could be talking about any president. It's generally a lot easier to sacrifice your own self interest than that of your loyal supporters if you are so inclined.

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