Marco Cáceres di Iorio

Wealth Does Not Preclude Corruption

There is clever argument in favor of Donald Trump that goes something like this: He is so wealthy that at least he cannot be bought by special interests. Hmm, really? First of all, it’s not entirely clear how wealthy this guy is. We do not know how leveraged he is. From what I’ve been able to tell after casually following him for more than three decades now is that his finances are in disarray.

Six bankruptcies, dozens of failed businesses, countless lawsuits against him (including several for business fraud), questionable business practices in general, at least one year in which he filed for losses of just under $1 billion, endless audits by the IRS, secretive tax returns, etc.

Plus, it is clear that the wealth that Trump assigns himself is more boasting and wishful thinking than anything else. It appears that the 14 seasons in which he starred on the reality TV show The Apprentice may have warped his perception of reality. He says he’s worth $10 billion. But Bloomberg and Forbes estimate his wealth at less than half that amount. They do not count the value of the Trump “brand.”

Any legitimate financial expert (or Finance 101 student) knows you do not include what you think your name could be worth when figuring out your net worth. That’s just silly business.

And besides, most of that wealth is tied up in property, so Trump’s liquid assets are not so impressive. I think anyone whose finances are as “shady” as his is subject to being influenced or even “bought.” Bottom line: We don’t know to whom Donald Trump is beholden. Imagine if he’s still in debt to the mob following his disastrous venture into the New Jersey casino industry? (By the way, what idiot fails in the casino business. I mean, doesn’t the house always win?)

Of course, this is speculation on my part. But it is reasonable speculation, given that it is well known that the mob pretty much runs the casino industry in Jersey.

This goes to the heart of one of my many concerns about this individual. When you lack integrity and character, you open yourself up to all kinds of things that can potentially weaken you as a leader. Just look at what is happening to his campaign now that all these accusations are surfacing regarding his behavior toward women and his obscene, filthy language. Whether or not any or all of it is true is beside the point.

The point is that Trump and his campaign are currently out of control and taking a nose dive. They are at war with their own party. That alone says it all. And it is entirely their doing. There is no discipline, no order, and so there’s every reason to believe this is the way it would be throughout four years of a Trump presidency. A president has a hard time implementing policies under the best of circumstances. Under chaotic circumstances, a president has no chance of implementing his or her policies.

You can have all these wonderful ideas and policies, but if you cannot “implement” any of them, then what good is all the braggadocio? And to implement, you have to get along with people. Someone who habitually insults and denigrates just about everyone probably isn’t likely to be a good implementer. Unless, of course, they’re a Third World dictator.

But honestly, in such a scenario, whether or not Trump can be bought by special interests is rather irrelevant. Complete chaos is the bigger concern. I have seen this kind of situation repeated over and over again in Third World countries with leaders with similar sociopathic personalities. It can happen in the US too.

Still, the idea that Trump cannot be bought, frankly, boggles the mind. A person without integrity or sound character can always be bought. The only question in doubt is the price.

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