He’s the brash, rich, red-faced Republican who has been dominating headlines now for what seems like time eternity. But how did the politician with the funny haircut rise to be in a position to dominate global news because of his 2016 presidential election ambitions?
Trump is, primarily, a businessman. And not just any businessman, he’s a billionaire businessman — who is worth around $5 billion — making money from his real estate ventures and many other business interests and investments.
Graduating from university in the late 60s, Trump said that he was worth around $200,000 (worth much more at the time), which he used at the age of 22 to venture into the world of show business — but that failed. That’s when he decided to join his father’s family business in real estate. This is where he has made most of his worth.
His first major development was that of the Penn Central Transportation Company building, and then he added the Taj Mahal Casino to his lot. He has also claimed to have bought stocks a variety of big companies such as: Bank of America, Citigroup, Caterpillar Inc., Intel, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble.
And then of course, Trump owns golf courses, private jets, you name it, Donald Trump owns it, and invests in it.
Trump did claim that his worth was more than $10 billion; but Forbes disputed this for a number of reasons and went on to list his net worth as $4.5 billion. Whichever way we look at it, he’s worth a bomb, and that’s a impressive bomb — despite the man having a reputation for being a first-class wally.
He once unashamedly said: ‘Part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich. So if I need $600 million, I can put $600 million myself. That's a huge advantage. I must tell you, that's a huge advantage over the other candidates.’
Who says money doesn’t buy power? Well, pretty much no one these days. It could be argued that money is exactly what gave Trump his box to stand on to show the world precisely what it doesn’t need as its most powerful man. Being rich is one thing; head honcho of the world-order is another.
A question people should be asking themselves, also, is why Trump has released his financial information but not his tax returns. Does he have something to hide? We’d be naive to think that any billionaire got to that status for paying all their taxes as clearly as a regular working person does.
But cynicism aside, a little-talked about section of Trump’s resume, is that of his acting career (ok, ‘acting’ is a strong word). But he has done bit-parts in over a dozen films, and has been nominated twice for an Emmy Award. No shit. This was for his appearances as a — you guessed it — caricatured version of Trump. What else. Hard to imagine him doing any character acting.
In the 21st Century America probably could do without such a brash ego-maniac such as Trump, who among banning abortions and stopping Muslims from entering the country, may not even be clean in paying enough into the system that he wants to run.
‘You know the funny thing, I don't get along with rich people. I get along with the middle class and the poor people better than I get along with the rich people.’
That, right there, could be seen as the wealthy man’s appeal that so far has seen hi presidential campaign succeed more than many thought possible. Rich people have a tendency to defy odds.