Can you believe we might actually have a President Donald Trump? It’s true – Trump is going to be the nominee for the Republicans. To hear the media and professional pollsters tell it, he doesn’t stand a chance against Hillary. Then again, these are the same so called professionals who said he wouldn’t last a week in the primaries. But just who is The Donald and how did actually become rich anyway?
The Really Old Fashioned Way
Many people may not know this but The Donald became rich initially through the really old fashioned way – he inherited it. His dad Freddy Trump built low cost housing and profited substantially from it, eventually leaving our would be president with anywhere from $40-$200 million. Not too shabby of a way to start life off – I know lots of people who would love to be in that position.
Now while that is a decent sum of money, it’s nothing compared to what The Donald is worth today. Today, he is estimated to be worth anything from $2.4 billion to as much as $10 billion.
A lot of that discrepancy has to do with his name though. Contrary to what William Shakespeare would have you believe, names matter.
Make Donald Drumpf Again
I’ve been a fan of Jon Oliver since he started his show a few years ago. I don’t always agree with his politics but he’s pretty funny and definitely entertaining. A few months ago, Oliver ran a whole show dedicated to our favorite reality TV star cum presidential candidate (and no, I don’t mean Kim Kardashian, though it would be interesting if The Donald chose her as his running mate).
Oliver pointed out that Donald’s family name was originally Drumpf and his ancestor changed it to be Trump. Now I’m not going to get into the whole thing about whether the Donald should or shouldn’t be proud of his ancestral family name. Frankly, I think it was hitting a little below the belt for Oliver to make a joke out of it.
That said, one of Trump’s biggest assets and the thing that largely accounts for why so many people have such vastly different ideas of what he’s actually worth is the question of what Trump’s name is worth. Trump puts his name on everything and even licenses his name to all kind of crappy products, like Trump neck ties (made in China by the way – so much for brining manufacturing jobs home).
He’ll See You in Court
As Americans, we love to threaten each other with lawsuits. I myself have threatened to take all kinds of people to court over all kinds of nonsense. The thing is, when you get right down to it, suing someone is a royal pain the neck. You have to actually show up in court and you have to actually have evidence to back up your claims.
For most of us, being ripped off for fifty or a hundred bucks means we might threaten to go to court but in reality, we’re really just saying what Jim Carry says in Liar Liar, to paraphrase, I know I’m screwed and I’m pissed but there’s not a dam* thing I can do about it. The Donald does things differently. He has no problem at all with heading to court and “fighting like hell” to pay less.
I’ve mentioned this before but it’s worth repeating. Lex Luthor’s dad was right about one thing – barring a handful of islands created by some sultans in Dubai, they aren’t make any more land these days. What you see is what we’ve got and The Donald has been very successful at this game. He buys and sells properties constantly and he is good at buying for less and selling for more.
The Modern Way
Finally, Trump of course made an additional fortune by becoming famous for his catchphrase, “you’re fired.” Sure, he was already famous and already worth billions. But it didn’t hurt him any to become even more famous for his popular TV show.
Sure He Could Have Bought Index Funds
I’m going to close this by saying this: I’m not a really big fan of The Donald. For that matter, I don’t much like Hillary or Bernie either. However, I think it’s just plain stupid when far left idiots insist that Donald could have taken his inheritance and still had the same amount of money he has now if he’d just invested in an index fund.
The argument goes that had Donald simply taken the $40 – $200 million he inherited from his dad and invested it without touching it, his fortune would be almost as large, if not larger than it is now. Sure, he could have done that. But then what was he going to live off of?
The thing is, these idiots seem to think that Donald Trump hasn’t spent any money on his living expenses over the past few decades. It would be like saying to the average American, who earns $50,000 per year, if you only invested the whole $50,000 every year for 40 years then you’d be a multi-millionaire. Of course, never mind pesky things like rent and food and whatnot.
Love him or hate him, The Donald knows how to make deals and how to make money. He may not be perfect and he may or may not do a good job as president, but you can’t argue that he hasn’t had his share of successes in life.