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King Crony

Here’s a letter to the Washington Times:

Emily Miller asserts that Donald Trump’s “fame is built upon his success in business, not the empty celebrity and superficial policy advocacy one finds in the actors and musicians who gravitate toward President Obama’s campaign” (“The Trump factor,” Aug. 27).

Would that it were so.  Mr. Trump’s policy stances – such as his infantile (and hypocritical) screeching against American trade with China – are often as empty and superficial as anything ever muttered by Alec Baldwin or Oprah.  Worse, much of Mr. Trump’s “success in business” is built on cronyism – in particular, government’s use of eminent-domain power to bloat Mr. Trump’s bottom line.  Here’s how the Institute for Justice describes a major source of Mr. Trump’s “success”; it’s a description that makes clear that much of Mr. Trump’s wealth is a result of his political connections and not of his entrepreneurial acumen:

“Unlike most developers, Donald Trump doesn’t have to negotiate with a private owner when he wants to buy a piece of property, because a governmental agency – the [New Jersey] Casino Reinvestment Development Authority or CRDA – will get it for him at a fraction of the market value, even if the current owner refuses to sell.”

More accurate than Ms. Miller’s admiring description of Donald Trump as an “entrepreneur” is George Will’s description of him as a “bloviating ignoramus.”

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030

John Stossel was among the first to expose Donald Trump’s covetous cronyism.