Quantcast
Connect with us

Trump is governing the nation like a real-estate developer builds projects — here’s why that’s dangerous: Libertarian columnist

Published

on

On Tuesday, libertarian columnist Megan McArdle posited her theory of what makes Trump tick — a theory that is at once both obvious and dangerous.

“Charging into ceaseless trade wars, casually threatening real wars, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, supporting Brett M. Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court despite an accusation of teenaged sexual assault, all heedless of expert advice or his parlous poll numbers in battleground states … whatever this is, it’s not GOP normal,” wrote McArdle. Indeed, it isn’t anything that resembles conventional political strategy.

What it does resemble, she wrote, is real estate investment.

“The first thing to understand about real estate is that there is no theory of real estate,” said McArdle. “Economists don’t even have an accurate model of how to price land, because the parcels are so small and so many variables — from traffic patterns to aesthetically challenged neighbors — can affect the value. Real estate investors must work each deal individually, and what worked with the last deal may fail with the next. The business doesn’t favor the philosophers, mathematicians and physicists but sharp operators with political connections and an enormous tolerance for risks that can neither be perfectly hedged nor fully controlled.”

Trump, she noted, is all too happy to assume risk, and mountains of debt, because, to use his own words at a campaign rally from 2016, “There’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money.”

Because it’s almost impossible to predict whether a real estate project will succeed, said McArdle, “the real estate business rewards a certain willingness to put everything you have on a long shot; if you can’t cheerfully take risks with horrific potential downsides, you need a different job. The best argument for this approach is that some problems can’t be solved any other way — if developers demanded steady, predictable incomes like the rest of us, most of America would still be farmland.”

ADVERTISEMENT

This is, in short, the way that Trump, who inherited a real estate empire from his father and blew a billion dollars mismanaging it, is used to doing business: ignoring the numbers, betting everything he has on wild guesses (especially when he can do it on other people’s dime), and moving on to the next thing when the current thing fails. This works for his political brand — but it is not a safe way for a president to run a country.

“There’s a reason most of us don’t live like real estate developers, or want to,” said McArdle. “Bankruptcy is a sadly normal fact of life in the real estate business, which is why Trump can tout his extensive experience negotiating with creditors. The cost of gaining wins with big bets is that you never know when you might lose everything.”

“Fans of Trump’s approach should keep that in mind,” McArdle concludes ominously. “And consider that as president of the United States, Donald Trump is now playing with more than just ‘other people’s money’ when he threatens Iran and North Korea, jerks around long-standing European allies and tears up trade deals. American jobs, and maybe American lives, are now also on the table, along with the future of a great nation.”

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH: Here’s the secret to dissecting Trump’s chaotic distractions

Published

on

In an extended examination on MSNBC, host Ari Melber took a hard look at how President Donald Trump creates almost daily distractions for the media and the public to keep the focus off his multiple scandals and to make it look like he is doing something -- when all he is doing is creating controversy for controversy's sake.

Put simply, Melber explained, the president's tweets out some plan he has no intention of implementing, hypes it up for days -- then drops it like it never happened.

Using Trump's aborted attack on Iran as a jumping off point, Melber -- and his panel -- explained that Trump's style of governing is based on "head fakes" and "bluffs."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Chuck Todd’s terrible interview with fabricator-in-chief Trump snapped the tether: From here on out there’s no truth

Published

on

Nothing will ever be the same again. Donald Trump’s unwavering disregard for reality and his acts of violence against the truth are rapidly metastasizing into the marrow of the national debate. I'm not sure we have enough heroes in this country to successfully extricate Trumpism and toss it into the biohazard waste bin of history, along other embarrassments in America's mixed record.

The very fabric of right and wrong in America is disintegrating as one of our two major parties, with some crucial help from Russia, has convinced four out of every 10 voters that verifiable truth is nothing more than a fake news plot against them and their beloved Fifth Avenue Clampetts. As a result, half of the political debate, from the local level on up, is built exclusively on wrongness — on total nonsense, invented by Trump himself along with his propaganda cable network.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Trump considering withdrawal from 68-year-old treaty with Japan: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump has been privately talking about withdrawing from the postwar defense treaty with Japan, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Trump is telling confidants the treaty is unfair to the U.S. because it promises to help if Japan was ever attacked, but doesn't require Japan to come to America's defense, the sources told Bloomberg.

So far, the president hasn't taken any step toward pulling out of the treaty, which was signed in 1951, and administration officials insist that move would be highly unlikely.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

Learn how you can help.
close-link