Robert Reich, President Bill Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, has become an Internet superstar since his time at the White House. He regularly updates his Facebook page with brilliant posts about the economy, along with this analysis of the current political stories of the day. Reich recently shared an interaction he had with a Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump supporter where Reich left the individual speechless.
I finally found a Trump supporter — this morning when I went to buy coffee. (I noticed a Trump bumper sticker on his car.)
“Hi,” I said. “Noticed your Trump bumper sticker.”
“Yup,” he said, a bit defensively.
“I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I’m curious. Why are you supporting him?”
“I know he’s a little bit much,” said the Trump supporter. “But he’s a successful businessman. And we need a successful businessman as president.”
“How do you know he’s a successful businessman?” I asked.
“Because he’s made a fortune.”
“Has he really?” I asked.
“Of course. Forbes magazine says he’s worth four and a half billion.”
“That doesn’t mean he’s been a success,” I said.
“In my book it does,” said the Trump supporter.
“You know, in 1976, when Trump was just starting his career, he said he was worth about $200 million,” I said. “Most of that was from his father.”
“That just proves my point,” said the Trump supporter. “He turned that $200 million into four and a half billion. Brilliant man.”
“But if he had just put that $200 million into an index fund and reinvested the dividends, he’d be worth twelve billion today,” I said.
The Trump supporter went silent.
“And he got about $850 million in tax subsidies, just in New York alone,” I said.
“He’s not a businessman,” I said. “He’s a con man. “Hope you enjoy your coffee.”
Reich is a professor at the University of Berkeley and his modus operendi is first and foremost to educate, whether in the classroom or otherwise. He is correct to point out Trump’s weaknesses and the true nature of Trump’s business history. Trump received a large amount of money from his father, Fred, after his father’s death. Trump then used that money in a way which was less profitable than if Trump had merely invested every dollar into the stock market.
If more individuals are made aware of Trump’s business history, and that he is not nearly as “successful” as he claims to be, the voting public may turn away from him. However, with just seven weeks left in the election Clinton and Trump are both polling in a near dead heat. The effort by Reich and those like him may be too little too late.
View Reich’s original post below: