As far as Donald Trump is concerned, the thing that makes him better than you, me, and especially the other Republican candidates he’s running against, is his business skills. In his mind, he’s a self-made economic genius who has expertly navigated the treacherous waters of free market capitalism and come out on top. His supporters, when not railing against immigrants, frequently point to his success in business as a reason for supporting his presidency. “Now here is a man who could get this country thriving. Just look at what he did for himself,” they reason. There’s just one problem: Trump started off with a massive inheritance from his dad, and a new in-depth analysis of his financial holdings reveal that if he would have just put his money in the stock market and done nothing he would be far more wealthy than he is.
Put simply, the only thing Trump has “done” in his lifetime is lose money by trying to make more.
Put even more simply– Trump is no business guru. He’s just a rich kid playing at one.
Writing for the National Journal, S.V. Dáte gave an amazing run down of Trump’s lackluster finances. All things considered (Note: In particular, his starting wealth given to him by his father), Trump is a economic loser.
Had the celebrity businessman and Republican presidential candidate invested his eventual share of his father’s real-estate company into a mutual fund of S&P 500 stocks in 1974, it would be worth nearly $3 billion today, thanks to the market’s performance over the past four decades. If he’d invested the $200 million that Forbes magazine determined he was worth in 1982 into that index fund, it would have grown to more than $8 billion today.
Even the smaller figure exceeds the lower range of his possible net worth as reported to the Federal Election Commission, while the larger number exceeds by billions recent estimates of Trump’s worth by financial publications. And it would have come without the high-drama, roller-coaster career that has included four corporate bankruptcies.
By comparison, Trump is worth between $3 billion and $4 billion these days – just half of what he could be worth.
As Dáte noted, Trump has also had a great deal of avoidable drama. Unlike the steady gains he would have received from a simple investment portfolio, Trump has burned several businesses he’s owned to the ground through idiotic decision-making. In fact, Trump’s business empire currently holds the record for most amount of corporate bankruptcies by a major company. In the last 30 years, nobody has destroyed his or her own companies quite like Trump. Nobody has been bailed out by taxpayers like Trump has either.
Yet rather than be ashamed, Trump – in predictable fashion – brags about exploiting the system to help protect his personal fortune. He cites his bankruptcies as further proof that he’s a clever guy who knows how to pull a fast one on the United States government. The reality that the “government” means everyone living in America who pays taxes doesn’t seem to wipe that smug look of satisfaction off his face. His supporters don’t seem to mind.
Sadly, taxpayers could have saved money and Trump could have made more money had he just been told to stay as far away from his inheritance as possible. This is precisely what happens when a trust fund baby gets his hands on a fortune and suddenly comes down with amnesia about how he got it. Trump’s father, on the other hand, did actually build up the empire that Trump now controls. Trump has been standing on the shoulders of giants his whole life and bragging about how tall he is.
Trump is a racist, sexist asshole – and he’s not even exceptional at the one thing he wants desperately to be good at. How sad is that?
Feature image via Wikipedia