Donald Trump likes to tout his wealth and business. In his announcement that he was making a bid for the presidency, he said part of the beauty of being him was, “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.”
He’s absolutely correct, many people call it buying an election. But while Forbes ranks Trump’s wealth at $4billion thanks to television contracts and real estate holdings, how much of Trump’s worth is really from his anti-government rhetoric and business chops? Well…. that’s something else.
In 2012 when Trump decided he was running for the first time, he told Rolling Stone in an interview he was running “for office in a country that’s essentially bankrupt, and it needs a successful businessman.”
Funny he mentions bankruptcy, he’s actually had businesses file for bankruptcy five times (for four different companies) in 1991, 1992, 2004, 2009 and 2011. One year before this statement Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy rounding out the fifth time.
Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump, had amazing business success that funded an inheritance estimated at anywhere between $40 million to $200 million according to The Self Made Myth. But so much of that came from government financing programs.
In 1934, while struggling during the Great Depression, financing from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) allowed Fred Trump to revive his business and begin building a multitude of homes in Brooklyn, selling at $6,000 apiece. Furthermore, throughout World War II, Fred Trump constructed FHA-backed housing for US naval personnel near major shipyards along the East Coast.
Source: The Self Made Myth
“It’s a great thing when you can show that you’ve been successful and that you’ve made a lot of money and that you’ve employed a lot of people,” Donald Trump said. Thanks to the government at least.
The Donald’s first real estate deal was with a lot of help from dear old dad. The elder Trump:
“…bid on a rundown government-owned housing development in Cincinnati and hired his 25-year-old Wharton graduate son to turn it into something habitable. The two succeeded, each Trump’s deserved share of the credit becoming less important with time, and upon the development’s sale enjoyed a million-dollar profit.”
In the end, Donald Trump may have learned a lot and made a lot, but if you were trained to be a real estate tycoon, given huge chunks of money to start it all off, and can rely heavily on the government dime, it’s a heck of an advantage over the average Joe. It it’s easy to succeed in business when you start out already being a success thanks to your old man.
Featured image via video capture.