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Donald Trump: Not Your Ideal Businessman



Donald Trump: Not Your Ideal Businessman

Trump's reputation talks about how dedicated he is to any given project. On the other hand, he's survived all these nightmares.

The Donald and minorities: Justice for all?

It's only right to start here. If we measured a business person only by what did and didn't succeed, we might neglect the actual consequences.

Though his comments while running for office have made them more visible, his past on this topic goes back to the 1970s. Back then, the Justice Department took him and the elder Trump to court over an undercover investigation they conducted. The study concluded with the claim that Trump's rental properties kept blacks and Puerto Ricans away from white features.

Robert LiButti, a friend of mobster John Gotti, was purportedly a buddy of Trump's. New Jersey authorities fined Trump's casino for allegations that he sent away minorities whenever LiButti raised a fuss over their presence.

Donald employed a couple of hundred people who turned out later to be undocumented migrants. Contrast that with his current political stance. These Polish workers had been used to clear the way for the future Trump Tower.

On top of all that, he's engaged in a program that helps wealthy Chinese citizens get into the US. The government issues those visas in exchange for big investments in domestic companies. The Visas helps Trump to attract capital. 

Failures…Well, there have been a lot

Many, many Trump-branded businesses have gone belly-up. This list captures a few:

  • The Trump Network. It sold vitamins based on urinalysis.
  • Trump: The Game (twice)
  • The New Jersey Generals football team. Its league sued the NFL and got three dollars.
  • Trump Entertainment Resorts. After it had requested bankruptcy yet again, Trump denied any association with him except via his name.

All the above scenarios talk something about how dedicated he is to any given project. On the other hand, he's survived all these nightmares.

You lose some, but you win some, too

It's worth noting that, while Trump got a great deal from his father Fred, he exponentially increased it. Fred Trump set out with the reasonable goal of running affordable rental spots in Brooklyn and Queens.

But Donald wanted more. His cajoling convinced his father to let Elizabeth Trump & Son expand into Manhattan.

The Commodore Hotel had become dull in spite of being in a perfect real estate location, right next to Grand Central. Working with Hyatt, he bought and renamed it, and launched the actual beginning of his career.

Trump Tower is iconic, and on its front, no one thinks the name is an embarrassment. Would anyone care to see if calling it the Smith Tower brings in more money? Similarly, Trump International Tower in Chicago looms high both physically and economically. 

Donald Trump: An unlucky friend to have around

Things have not gone quite so well for the people who make his grandiose visions, if not always possible, at least plausible. It is no surprise that one cannot keep a count of the number of creditors Trump had dodged.

He lavished himself with a million-dollar-a-week lifestyle during the construction of the Taj Mahal project, but apparently was indebted to a glass company nearly a million and a half dollars as well. When Marty Rosenburg of that corporation tried to collect along with others of his ilk, Trump got them to settle for less than half of the original bills.

The American Communications Network, through which Trump sold phones, may or may not have been a pyramid scheme, depending on which country you ask. The manufacturer Trump bought from went out of business along with ACN.

Finally Icing on the Cake, there's Trump University, which was unaccredited. It appears to have consisted, more or less, of a lengthy series of lectures, each promising more knowledge to come. The significantly poorer students are currently fighting in court.

The formula for success― kind of

When he sticks to a very particular class of real estate, Donald Trump does exceedingly well and shows a real knack for the industry. You could say the problem is when he assumes this will cross over into generalized business acumen.

Trump always understood what makes the residential buyer or the hotel guest tick. Drawing in tourists for entertainment like the casinos is beyond his ken.

Branding, in his mind, is the solution. He puts in fancy wood paneling in the airline to make it a first-class experience. He creates his own board game. He has offered to waive fees in a certain case if they would name the building after him.

The one place the brand has blossomed is on The Apprentice. No doubt part of that secret is that people aren't being asked to buy something by Trump's celebrity but just partake in the festivities.

That will always be his best product of all. He's always made the most cash from it.

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