Conventional wisdom often dictates that you shouldn’t “give up your day job.”
Of course “conventional” probably wouldn’t be the first word to come to mind when describing Donald Trump. And I’m not sure anyone could define with any degree of certainty exactly what his day job is. But something obviously isn’t getting the attention it should.
Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, and in true Trump fashion, the real estate mogul claimed the filing wasn’t a setback. That admission of course would likely be disastrous for his ratings.
Trump has been spending a lot of time promoting his favorite enterprise, himself, as part of the reality television show “The Apprentice.” Each week he “fires” someone for not doing a good job of not having a solid business plan.
The question I have is why there isn’t anyone out there who can fire Trump? This is the second time that he’s sought bankruptcy protection for the casino enterprises. And because of the filing, Trump will likely be able to erase $500 million in debt. Somehow that doesn’t seem right.
Trump has said that the casinos are less than 1 percent of his real estate holdings. If it were left up to me, I’d make him sell some of that other 99 percent to pay off his obligations. Allowing Trump to keep his other holdings, while erasing nearly a third of what he owes on the casinos is downright criminal.
He’s the poster-boy for everything that’s wrong about the mega-rich. In his world, there aren’t any consequences for poor decisions or bad actions. He’s part of the entitled elite and he deservers to have his cake and eat it too.
I’m not a big fan of class warfare, but when somebody like Trump repeatedly takes advantage of the system, without suffering in any type of way, it’s tough not to advocate a middle-class revolt. Trump will see his share of the casinos reduced by 20 percent or so after all the bankruptcy details are worked out, but he’ll still get to be chairman and CEO. You would think that they’d at least put somebody in charge that is going to keep an occasional eye on the ship. There has to be somebody else out there who knows how to run a casino. Probably even someone who knows how to do it profitably.
Why the folks who continue to finance Trump’s lifestyle don’t put their collective feet down I don’t know. I’m sure in the world of mega-business all this makes perfect sense, but I’d be willing to wager (not at one of Trump’s casinos of course) that I’m not the only guy on Main Street who thinks it just really doesn’t pass the smell test.
So, until Trump gets fired, I’m boycotting his television show and I’m not going to step foot in any of his casinos. Yeah, like that’s really going to make a difference.
Another thing that doesn’t make sense
The other big business news that I can’t seem to reconcile within the remaining grey matter in my head is Kmart’s $11 billion purchase of Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Now it wasn’t too long ago that Kmart was dealing with its own bankruptcy and restructuring problem. Now the company has $11 billion to buy Sears?
I’m thinking this deal has to be gnawing at the guts of a lot of former stockholders who ended up with worthless pieces of paper when Kmart went belly-up. Of course this is probably just another example of how out of touch we commoners are when it comes to the workings of megalithic corporations.
Then again, it might simply be a sinister plot by the Trump Empire to introduce low-cost retail operations to boost the bottom line at the failing casinos. Nah, that wouldn’t even pass muster on reality television.
Managing Editor Mike Boyd can be reached at 634-3223, ext. 206 or Mike.Boyd@csbj.com.