The 2016 election campaign is certainly a billionaire’s playground when it comes to “establishment candidates” like Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush who cater to mega-donors and use their money to try to rally party bases.
According to Criminal Profilers, societal populations tend to include a 5% content of natural-born sociopaths.
It's patently clear that Trump is a narcissist and a natural-born predator. That's why it falls onto society, at large, to design AND ENFORCE airtight rules that obstruct predators from doing what they do best.
How many of the billionaires on the Forbes' list include those who used borrow money to purchase assets, companies, and housing projects for far less than they were worth? And how many of these individuals also worked to diminish the value of those entities they intended to purchase in order to rob people of jobs and assets, while obtaining important entities "on the cheap"? That type of behavior should be against the law; but since law has lapsed to encourage predators, it's that same 5% who have climbed to the top of the financial pyramid and from there used their fiscal clout to purchase "law makers," mass media pundits, and even judges. That way, what they want, do, and intend becomes "lawful."
This is what I am responding to:
"He continues to argue that the Atlantic City bankruptcies weren’t his fault, but attributable to the casino environment of that moment. Though there is some truth to that, he glosses over his method of creating new companies to purchase the bankrupt ones, after shedding their debts, and his convenient exit timing from management posts to shed blame."
In personality, Trump is a lot like the boy king/ruler of North Korea. On personality tests, if each answered honestly, it would be impossible to discern one from the other. Although Donald likes to sex it up with gorgeous women more.
The article does a decent accounting of Trump's opaque financial history, but it misses one glaring area of bankruptcy: What has he used his embarrassment of riches to do in easing the lives of the poor?
I still remember when the Kennedy clan appeared on Oprah's show many moons ago. She asked why, given their family's wealth, so many went into public service. The answer was the St. Thomas admonition: To the one to whom much is given, much will be expected."
When Trump "crosses over" and meets up with the Light, that presence will force his own Shadow to be that much unbearable to face. He will be required to answer for what he did with his embarrassment of riches. And since it mostly was used to build temples and monuments to himself, he will be tasked with paying off his own massive debt to humanity... across future lifetimes.
Some people claim that America gets the leaders it deserves; if either Trump or HRC become POTUS in 2016, I would have to say their statement is definitely correct !
As a former stockbroker that actually worked on Wall Street (until I found out how the brokerage business really worked...hint: the clients interests weren't the primary goal of the firms), I can say that everyone knew that The Donald would have been nothing without his dad Fred. Not only that, but a sure way for your client (or yourself) to lose ALL of their investment was to invest in anything with Donald Trumps name on it.
He himself always came out ok, but his investors were always toast. Self promoting egomaniac.
Having worked on Wall Street, Prins knows where all the bodies are buried.
If you compare how much Donald inherited from Fred with Donald's current net worth, Donald's return on his investments has been worse than if he had put the inheritance in a moderate risk index mutual fund.
I would not criticize Trump if he would just come out and admit that his theatrical talents far exceed his financial talents.
I agree with that!
Carl Icahn, the hedge fund manager and Trump's choice, is worth about 21 billion. In a world run by Mammon, people like them would be the most experienced in acquiring the devil's dung.
It is a sad thing that the world has been reduced to dealing in shit. But I can see where people would vote for them in desperation, praying for more shit from consummate bullshitters.
On financial matters and related analysis, you are a credit to the forum.
Reading through Nomi Prins' article and the links, I couldn't help thinking of something Noam Chomsky had said about the history of our 'leaders'. Though more than a few represented some of the worst examples seen anywhere, as Trump demonstrates, nevertheless, we as a country have been strangely fortunate in that they were crooks and not idealogues. One may suspect it's a combination of vices that accounts for their behavior. But through a strange machination, the allure of greed, self-centeredness and what have you, a filtering process takes place. It can leave us with horrible crooks but acts as a buffer against the Hitler(s).
Now there's a challenge for Trump's PR people. He's saving you from another Hitler...by being a Hitler lite. A Trump campaign slogan: “He was one of those unknowns...that we didn't know we didn't know...then we knew we didn't know...and which we now know that we know.” Which translates into: “Go Bernie.”
In answer to the last couple of questions in this article, I think we can discern a possible answer in Trump's recent tax policy statement in which he eliminates inheritance taxes, what the Repub's call "death taxes" which in fact only affect a very tiny minority of families at the very top of the food chain, including Trump's I guess--Since inheritance was how Trump got his start and looking ahead to his demise (yes, even Trump is mortal!) this definitely looks like self-interest parading as policy.
mmm... It's an illusion that the bad guys like the Hitlers, Stalins and Maos are entirely the cause of horrors. It is the ability to cultivate unthinking followers that allows the evil to materialise on a grand scale. I often think the West is slipping in that direction - albeit via a much more sophisticated and opaque process. Just look at the GOP. A moderate would have no chance and the Dems do nothing other than struggle to catch up. Is Bernie just the inevitable quiet voice of sanity about to be shut up? Obviously I hope my suspicions are unfounded...
He would fit right in with the other sociopaths running the govt. Normal people don't want to control the lives of others so govt. attracts these monsters and is the perfect cover for their selfish, heartless machinations.
True. In the particular nexus that represents an insufferable merger between lovers of mammon and followers of Mars rules, it pretty much takes a sociopath to command THAT ship of failed state.
I agree with you that his interest in the estate tax is probably self-serving. As far as the tax itself though, I really am of two minds.
On the one hand, I don't believe in dynasties, whether they are political or wealth based...and the estate tax definitely helps distributing wealth from wealthy families. That is also why perpetuity trusts are not allowed.
On the other hand, in the past the bar was set low enough to ensnare regular families, and the law made no distinction between liquid and illiquid assets. For example, until just a few years ago the cut off was 600k for an individual or a married couple unless something called an A-B trust was set up. (then the limit was 1.2 million) . I know this sounds like a lot, but hear me out.
Lets say you are a farm family in central Illinois, farming 300 acres of corn. Based on average yield, and after expenses, you could expect to make about 40-60 thousand a year to support your family. Land in that area goes for around 6000 dollars an acre...so your land is worth around 1.8 million. Add in your house, your machinery, and maybe a small retirement account and you might have an estate of 2.2 million. When the surviving spouse dies, and assuming they never heard of the trust, 1.6 million would be subject to an immediate tax of 55% or around 850 thousand dollars...due in cash within 9 months.
Of course, the only way to raise this is to sell all or part of the farm...probably all of it as it would be basically a fire sale, everyone would know it, and you wouldn't receive full value. Family farm is now gone. Same thing for a small business, or ranchland that has valuable mineral rights under it that you had no intention of mining. Since corporations don't die, the corporate farms or ranches are protected from this outcome.
So, I have no problem with an estate tax, as long as the bar is set high enough, and is flexible enough to take this sort of thing into account. Just my opinion. Thanks for your post.
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"Absent any sense of irony, he has blamed Chinese currency manipulation for making him set up shop in China and claims China is “killing us.” This, though the Chinese stock markets have recently been hammered, the Yuan is weakening, and the country’s growth is slowing, hardly signs of an imminent threat."
I admire Nomi Prins, but this puzzles me a bit. A weaker Yuan only makes offshoring that much more attractive, so she seems to contradict herself. I do agree with her that American companies are responsible for deciding to take advantage of this, primarily by bribing Congress not to set up protections however. As Paul Craig Roberts points out, a real solution is a production location based value added tax that removes the advantage of adding value offshore, and such protective measures have been defeated by big business controlling Washington. So yes, I see her main point, but these sentences are still unclear, even if her main point is not ...