I was inspired to write this article after I saw Trump looking directly at the sun while an exasperated staffer yelled, “Don’t look!” Get out your sad trombone, because here are:
1 The USFL
Years before Vince McMahon started the XFL, the USFL was an off-season alternative to the NFL from 1983-85. They were reasonably successful, but when Trump bought a team in 1984, he was spoiling for a fight with the NFL. He sued the NFL for being a monopoly, and a jury sided in his favor. The jury decided on a judgement of $1, expecting the judge to adjust it to a more appropriate number. The judge tripled the amount to $3, and the USFL never played another game.
2 Bonwit Teller
Bonwit Teller opened in 1929 in New York City as a luxury department store. The store went through changes in ownership and redecorations in the 50 years that followed, but the relief panels on top of the façade of the entrance, depicting nearly naked women barely covered with scarves, were never removed. Donald Trump promised he would give the Metropolitan Museum of Art these panels when he bought the building in 1980 to build Trump Tower. Trump quibbled over the $500,000 he estimated it would take to save these priceless pieces of NY history, and decided the best course of action was to jackhammer them into dust.
3 Trump Winery
The Trump Winery in Virginia is the largest winery on the East Coast. Well, kind of. It has 200 acres of vines, known in the trade as “acres under vines,” which makes it the largest in area in that specific measurement. It produces 36,000 cases of wine, which is a distant fourth in Virginia alone to the Williamsburg Winery and Chateau Morrisette, which both produce 60,000 cases per year, and Bourboursville Winery, which makes 37,000 per year. Other wineries in North Carolina can produce up to 390,000 cases per year.
4 Trump Magazine
Trump World Magazine, or Trump Magazine, as it was later rebranded, wrote a number of Trump-related puff pieces from 2002-2006, essentially telling people with more money than taste where they could waste their money. Trump received a licensing fee of $120,000 per issue; receptionist Carey Purcell $25,000 per year. When the company started hemorrhaging money and her paycheck bounced, Purcell was paid with a fistful of hundred dollar bills in a brown paper bag, and when she gave her two-weeks’ notice, she was fired on the spot and they cut her medical benefits. She had stage 3 cancer at the time.
5 He Doesn’t Understand How Mining Works
August 22, 2017, his speech in Phoenix caught headlines with his rambling about neo-Nazis, so most people missed him saying that Pennsylvania coal mine was about to open, “where they’re going to take out clean coal — meaning, they’re taking out coal. They’re going to clean it.” Now, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn’t mean that they’re going to take blocks of coal and soak them in water and scrape the dirt off the outside like they were potatoes. I’m sure he’s referring to a new method of treating coal that removes carbon and pollutants before burning it for fuel. Presumably, this remainder can be dropped into a Mr. Fusion and used to power a DeLorean, because it’s total fantasy. (Side note: the coal mine in question is being used to mine metal for China, not coal for U.S. consumption.)
6 His Entire Fucking Life
In 1988, Trump was worth $3 billion, according to himself, or $1 billion, according to Forbes Magazine. Either way, had he invested that money in index funds and done nothing with his real estate, he would be worth $13 billion now, compared to the $8 billion he claims to be worth now. For comparisons sake, that same year, Warren Buffet got a great deal buying stocks in Coca-Cola, which at the time was scrambling to recover from releasing and quickly pulling New Coke. Buffet now owns a 9% stake in Coca-Cola, which is worth $16.2 billion. Buffet made $560 million last year alone from Coca Cola dividends, which is twice what Trump made in 13 years hosting The Apprentice.
7 The Trump Board Game
The Trump Board Game is a financial accumulation game, similar to Monopoly. You can bring yourself back from being eliminated if you play…The Trump Ca--what? Oh. You can bring yourself back after being eliminated if you play…. The Donald Card!