My Coffee with a Trump Supporter

by Robert Reich

I finally found a Trump supporter – this morning when I went to buy coffee. (I noticed a Trump bumper sticker on his car.)

“Hi,” I said. “Noticed your Trump bumper sticker.”

“Yup,” he said, a bit defensively.

“I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I’m curious. Why are you supporting him?”

“I know he’s a little bit much,” said the Trump supporter. “But he’s a successful businessman. And we need a successful businessman as president.”

“How do you know he’s a successful businessman?” I asked.

“Because he’s made a fortune.”

“Has he really?” I asked.

“Of course. Forbes magazine says he’s worth four and a half billion.”

“That doesn’t mean he’s been a success,” I said.

“In my book it does,” said the Trump supporter.

“You know, in 1976, when Trump was just starting his career, he said he was worth about $200 million,” I said. “Most of that was from his father.”

“That just proves my point,” said the Trump supporter. “He turned that $200 million into four and a half billion. Brilliant man.“

“But if he had just put that $200 million into an index fund and reinvested the dividends, he’d be worth twelve billion today,” I said.

The Trump supporter went silent.

“And he got about $850 million in tax subsidies, just in New York alone,” I said.

More silence.

“He’s not a businessman,” I said. “He’s a con man. “Hope you enjoy your coffee.”

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Robert Reich
Robert Reich is the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers “Aftershock" and “The Work of Nations." His latest, "Beyond Outrage," is now out in paperback. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. His new film, "Inequality for All," is now available on Netflix, iTunes, DVD, and On Demand.

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