Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Praise for Trump

For Donald Trump, calling someone a loser is not merely an insult, and calling someone a winner is not merely a compliment. His world is ‘those who take’ and ‘those who are taken.’ His win is someone's loss.

This is obvious in most of Trump’s books.

Of course, trying to make sense of Trump’s books is a fool’s errand. They contradict each other frequently, and often contradict themselves — like Trump.

No one can deny: Trump praises Trump!

Trump loves Putin because in Putin's world, you can lose your LIFE.

Trump and Putin -- peanut butter and jelly.

Trump believes in the world is a fundamental zero-sum game. Life is dealmaking, and dealmaking is about crushing your enemies.

Anybody who is not on board with Trump/Putin is a loser.

"You hear lots of people say that a great deal is when both sides win," he writes in Think Big and Kick Ass, co-authored with Bill Zanker. "That is a bunch of crap. In a great deal you win — not the other side. You crush the opponent and come away with something better for yourself." To "crush the other side and take the benefits," he declares, is "better than sex — and I love sex."

Trump came up in New York real estate. In Manhattan real estate, wealth is not created by offering new products that make consumers’ lives better. There is only so much land, and strict building regulations and permitting. You make money through skirting regulations and getting the rights to build on a valuable parcel, while other people don’t.

It’s an area of business characterized by economists as "rent-seeking." A "rent," in economic terms, is income received not because you’re creating something of value but because you control something that’s scarce due to policy decisions. The classical example is literal rent. Money you receive because you own a parcel of land doesn’t come to you because you’re producing a valuable good; it comes because the current system of property rights gives you a right to charge people rent to occupy a small part of that spot.

And here is a secret: Trump is not Manhattan, Trump is Brooklyn!

As a landlord, Donald Trump has made his living through maximizing rents. He does not create wealth; he takes it from others. And he has taken it upon himself not just to make money from real estate but to tell the world that his limited experience in real estate shows he knows how the world works.

Trump lays out a vision of the world based on his own limited business world, one that mistakes the absolute worst, most dysfunctional parts of the American economy for bad rent.

Well, Donald, you CAN be too greedy -- but NOT too stupid.

So go praise yourself, mr. trumpster in the dumpster. Few others will.

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