Donald Trump has convinced large swaths of the American public that he is a great businessman who will fix America’s problems by running the government like a business. Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether the government should be run like a business —
— you know what, actually, no. Pause here first and check out these articles from Forbes, The Federalist, the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, and Vox on why government should not be run like a business. If you remain unmoved by the idea that creating and maintaining a healthy body politic can run contrary to business principles, consider this logistical reality from The Economist: “The idea running through Mr Trump’s diplomacy is that relations between states follow the art of the deal. Mr Trump acts as if he can get what he wants from sovereign states by picking fights that he is then willing to settle—at a price, naturally. His mistake is to think that countries are like businesses. In fact, America cannot walk away from China in search of another superpower to deal with over the South China Sea. Doubts that have been sown cannot be uprooted, as if the game had all along been a harmless exercise in price discovery. Alliances that take decades to build can be weakened in months.
Dealings between sovereign states tend towards anarchy—because, ultimately, there is no global government to impose order and no means of coercion but war.”
Okay, where was I. Ah yes, Donald Trump calls himself a great businessman. Let’s investigate that claim, shall we?
It kind of looks like Donald Trump built his business empire by cheating small business owners out of their contracts with him, then burying their protests in years of litigation. Yikes.
Furthermore, he seems to have shown some questionable business instincts throughout the years, to put it mildly. Luckily for him, he was born into enough wealth that he was shielded from his bad decisions.
You can read more about Trump’s business history here, and investigate the 3,500+ lawsuits filed by and against him here. As you read, remember that Trump’s business dealings and debt create significant conflicts of interest as he assumes the presidency. They will continue to do so unless he liquidates his company and places his assets in a blind trust, which he has shown no intention of doing.