From his casinos to the campaign, Trump’s fame and fortune were built on the backs of those he would call losers
By Rex Nutting
Jimmy Kimmel reads a satirical book, “Winners Aren’t Losers,” to Donald Trump.
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — To hear Donald Trump tell it, the world consists of two kinds of people: winners and losers.
Winners are strong, losers are weak. Winners are rich, energetic, smart and beautiful. Losers are poor, tired, dumb and ugly.
In his mind, Trump is a winner, of course, and his opponents are all losers. America was once a winner, but now it’s a loser. Don’t worry, though: America can be a winner again if Trump is elected president. China and Mexico and ISIS are winners now, but they will be big losers once he’s in office.
‘In life, you have fighters and nonfighters. You have winners and losers. I am both a fighter and a winner.’
But what Trump won’t tell us is that he owes everything he has — his fame and his fortune — to losers.
Consider Trump’s business career. Almost all of his businesses were built on the backs of losers of one sort or the other.
The best example of that would be Trump’s casinos, which literally owed their existence to losers, otherwise known as gamblers. The business model of a casino relies on losers willingly coming in the door to hand over their money to you.
Make it exciting and entertaining enough, and losers will gladly pay for the experience of feeling like a winner for a few moments. That is the secret to Trump’s success.
How can a casino operator get losers to hand over money? By promising them that they’ll be winners!
Most gamblers are too smart to really think they’re going to win big jackpots, however, so casinos have other ways to make losers feel like winners while they are gambling: amazing architecture and interior design, bright lights, great food, peppy music, beautiful waitresses, a big show, a constant jolt of adrenaline.
Make it exciting and entertaining enough, and losers will gladly pay for the experience of feeling like a winner for a few moments. That is the secret to Trump’s success (even though he failed miserably as a casino operator).
Mitt Romney called Donald Trump a “phony” and “fraud” in a scathing speech on Thursday as the 2012 Republican presidential nominee attempted to blunt the momentum of the billionaire businessman. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday has the highlights in today’s Campaign Fight Club.
What about his real estate businesses? Surely commercial real estate isn’t based on fleecing losers, but on offering a valuable, mutually beneficial service? That may be, but look at how Trump actually made money on real estate: by ripping off taxpayers (also known as losers).
Trump started his career as just another small-time chump from the Outer Boroughs, but he became a big shot in New York real estate by currying favor with public officials (for instance, Abe Beame, who was mayor of New York in the 1970s) to give him special favors, such as government financing, tax abatements, and special permits and licenses. It was Trump’s political connections as much as his development acumen that won him those early projects that built the foundation of his empire.
This is what the art of the deal really means: Knowing how to pressure and flatter politicians, and get the taxpayers to take on the risk.
It took more than taxpaying losers to make Trump a real estate star, however. He also needed bankers to lend him money he would never repay. He brags about the four corporate bankruptcies his companies have gone through: “I don’t think it’s a failure; it’s a success.” In other words, bankers who were stupid enough to lend him money are losers.
To be successful in real estate, Trump also needed to exploit workers, like the hundreds of undocumented construction workers from Poland who worked on the Trump Tower. The American construction union that he cheated by hiring the undocumented workers sued Trump’s company and won.
Trump is still counting on Eastern European losers to work at his properties rather than hiring natural-born losers from the United States, according to an investigation by The New York Times. By importing Romanians to work in the kitchens of his members-only Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., Trump kept his costs low and kept more American losers on the unemployment rolls.
The same pattern runs through his other businesses, such as the failed Trump University, which turned all of its students into losers. Trump has slapped his name on all manner of buildings, products and services, because he knows his name is magical to losers who think if they buy a Trump Steak or fly on the Trump Shuttle that a little of the old Trump success will rub off on them.
The whole appeal of his reality TV show, “The Apprentice,” was watching him crush the souls of losers by yelling at them: “You’re fired!”
His presidential campaign similarly is built on losers. His strongest support comes from those — out of everybody in the whole world — who’ve lost the most from the globalization of the economy: poorly educated, middle-aged, middle-class white Americans.
With every primary he wins, Trump is helping people who usually feel like losers to feel like winners. They love the fact that all the “winners” in America — especially the political, economic and cultural elites — hate Donald Trump!
Voting for Trump for president is a way for the losers to finally say what they cannot say in their real lives to everyone who seems to be thriving at their expense. To the bosses, to the Chinese, to the Muslims, to the women, to the minorities, to the blacks, to the Mexicans, to the bankers, to the politicians, to the experts, to the reporters: “You’re fired!”
No wonder Trump loves “the poorly educated”and the rest of the losers! They’ve made him what he is today.
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