Trump has been seen as a brilliant and successful businessman for years now, but is that really the truth?
On the edge of my town, there is a group of vacant buildings that had once been the home of a fairly successful business. There are no “for sale” signs – at least none that anyone pays attention to – since the closing of that business is well-known in its industry and beyond. There might be problems with selling the property, but it won’t be for any reason other than the current owner over-estimating the value of them.
That was the failed businessman’s problem all along – he overestimated his own value and competence.
Like many businesses out there (probably more than people realize), that business was successful for many years in spite of the owner. Small problems would inevitably occur when the “boss” would step into the day-to-day work of his employees, and just about everyone knew it. The business would have record high sales when the “boss” was off on vacation, and would plummet when he would stick his nose into negotiations too much. Just a quick glance at the balance sheets would show when the “boss” was involved in the sales – profit margins were far lower when he was at the table personally.
Inevitably, the truly competent employees who were keeping the company afloat moved on because they tired of the “boss” making their jobs more difficult, and the business went into an irrecoverable tailspin into insolvency.
As for the “boss”, rumor has it that he’s left the area for warmer climes, and will undoubtedly scrounge together enough to live comfortably in the sun for the rest of his days. Sadly, that also means he probably won’t face the fact that his own stupidity was the sole cause of the loss of his business.
For the past several months, I’ve watched the media dig for dirt on Trump (or desperately try to sweep it under the rug.) That means there are precious few people out there who are really keeping tabs on the “business of government” on a daily basis. This administration may become the first in my lifetime that will require a thorough investigation and post-mortem on the scale of the Nixon administration – not necessarily because of foul play, but because of a near total lack of a real-time record in the press – mainstream or otherwise. What else should we expect from a president who releases official statements in 140-character bits?
But, before digging through what isn’t making the headlines because of the side show that the White House has become, I want to see Trump’s tax returns.
I want them, because I can’t have what would be far more useful – his business records in general.
While they weren’t as obvious as they were in the ledgers, the signs of a failing business that was being kept afloat by competent employees could be seen in the tax returns of the failed businessman from the edge of my town.
I don’t care how much Trump paid in taxes. I don’t even care how much money he claimed he made.
I want to see if there are the tell-tale signs of the typical “stupid boss” who is being kept in business by an army of competent workers in those forms.
Yes, I know there are many people out there who will be quick to tell me that Trump is a business genius, but I’ve heard it – hundreds of times. The reality of it is that there is no way for anyone to prove his competency as a businessman, at least not in the realm of public knowledge. Like it or not, this is America, land of the free, and somewhat unfettered capitalism. This is the country where any idiot can make a fortune. Doubt that? Start paying attention to the “infomercials” after two in the morning.
The bottom line is that being successful in business does not necessarily prove that one is intelligent. Owning a successful business also doesn’t prove that one is a competent businessman. (See most of the celebrities who have hired people to run cottage industries with their names written all over them.) All it takes is hiring the right people to do the work. Trump didn’t start from zero, so he was perfectly able to hire the right people from the start.
And no one knows for sure whether or not that is exactly what he did.
What we do know is that we’re faced with a man who repeatedly is changing his mind, making mistakes, and (usually) failing miserably at damage control.
The revolving door at the White House is yet another sign of a businessman who hires the right people to do the work, since he doesn’t know what needs to be done. People in the management consulting business will probably attest to this one. Sorry, but the staffing decisions have looked like a list that was suggested to Trump at the beginning. As each one has been fired, it’s either because they personally didn’t work out, or Trump started shifting to another “staffing” adviser (both?).
As for why I generally question the man’s intelligence – in business or government – there is Twitter. Yes, I know this has been a catch-all for anyone who wants to suggest that Trump isn’t smart, but there’s a reason for that, and it’s not unintelligible tweets in the wee hours of the morning. Even the coherent tweets are lacking in substance and intelligence most of the time. There are also the speeches. Anything that isn’t scripted is campaign style – low on information, and high on emotion. Scripted speeches are obvious cold-reads that were not written by him. I’m still wondering why no one has started talking about the return of the “Teleprompter Of The United States.” And I’ve been kind, because I haven’t gotten into the fact that there are people in just about every facet of government who are trying to distance themselves from Trump. (Do not try to say that this is for any reason other than what it is – they are trying to keep the public from thinking that they had anything to do with the “stupid” and “hateful” things Trump has been saying and tweeting.)
But, all of this public information isn’t enough to prove my hypothesis, that Donald Trump was (is) the figure head of his company, and sincerely didn’t do much to build his business other than choose the right people to do the work. So, can we please have the tax returns? In case anyone is wondering, no the IRS doesn’t really care, in spite of the ongoing investigation. They’d probably come out and say that, if more people were asking for the returns, instead of being mesmerized by the side show at 1600.