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Old 02-02-2019, 08:20 AM
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Who has more business smarts: Trump or Obama?


Trump is a billionaire real estate mogul. Obama is a former Harvard Professor. Who do you think has more business acumen -- Trump or Obama?
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:23 AM
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What makes you think Trump is in any way notable for success in business?
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:29 AM
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Obama is a former Harvard Professor.
Cite?
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:30 AM
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Trump is a billionaire...
Cite?
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:32 AM
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The one with the positive net worth has more business smarts than the one with negative net worth. Especially since the one with the negative net worth started off as a multimillionaire, while the one with the positive net worth started off middle-classed.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:36 AM
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Who is more intelligent in general? Obama, by miles and miles.

Who has more business acumen? Its hard to say. Trump is only rich because his dad was rich and because Trump has helped the Russians launder money. Obama was never a businessman, but due to his intellect he could probably learn had he chosen that path in life.

I will give Trump credit, he is excellent at marketing. Trump is probably a genius at self promotion. So in that regards (who is better at marketing and self promotion), Trump is superior.

But this is an absurd question.

FWIW, a lot of genuine, self made billionaires who hate Trump have far better business acumen than he does. George Soros, Tom Steyer, Seth Klarman, Marc Cuban, Bloomberg, etc.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:38 AM
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Both Obama and Trump probably have about equal amounts of business acumen. Obama is secure and self-aware enough to realize that so he doesn't go into business much which means he has more business smarts.

Alternatively, impulse control and general intelligence are probably quite useful traits to business and I suppose if we compared the number of bankruptcies between the two, it would bear out that Obama has more business acumen. It might seem surprising to a Morlock but most people spend their entire lives not going through even one bankruptcy.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 02-02-2019 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:15 AM
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I will give Trump credit....
You and the Russians are the only ones. U.S. banks won't give him credit.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:24 AM
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Well, Obamaís net worth has clearly outperformed the stock market over his lifetime. Trump appears to have underperformed the market, though he was born into wealth. But Iím not quite sure that Obamaís wealth is actually business acumen, as opposed to being a part of his celebrity-like status.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:04 AM
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Obama's a lawyer. Lawyers don't do "business", especially not the Trumpian kind.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:28 AM
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I will give Trump credit, he is excellent at marketing. Trump is probably a genius at self promotion. So in that regards (who is better at marketing and self promotion), Trump is superior.
At first blush that sounds right, but is Trump really better at marketing and self promotion than the black man who was elected president of the United States twice?
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:24 AM
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Right now? Obama, hands-down.

Whatever business acumen Trump had, it's doubtful that he still has it. Once he's out of the White House, I bet his 'business empire' will go to shit, because it's always relied on his being able to con and bully people, and being able to skirt the law without getting into trouble over it. That's history now.

Obama, OTOH, is a pretty smart guy, and if he had to go into some sort of business venture, he knows how to hire good people and listen to them, which of course puts him way ahead of Trump.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:30 AM
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Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, not Harvard.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:50 AM
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At first blush that sounds right, but is Trump really better at marketing and self promotion than the black man who was elected president of the United States twice?
I think so, because Trump's success is orwellian.

Obama disappointed a lot of progressives because he governed like a new england republican. Lots of progressives felt we voted for candidate A and got candidate B. He presented himself as a progressive, and he governed like Susan Collins.

Trump on the other hand, his true personality is the exact opposite of the personality his base thinks he has.

His base thinks Trump is a hyper patriotic. extremely intelligent. talented businessman. Amazing dealmaker. Someone who brought dignity to America. Honest and moral.


In reality Trump is a treasonous footstool to any foreign power that bribes or black mails him. He likely has multiple mental illnesses (narcissistic disorder and dementia) combined with a low IQ. His businesses have failed and he is only rich because his dad was rich and the Russians use him to launder money. He is obviously incompetent at deal making (his wall for example, his battles with house democrats). Someone who brought great shame and ridicule on America. Trump is a sociopathic sex fiend who lies thousands of times.

So in that regards I'd wager Trump has the better marketing skills. If Obama convinced his base that he was a white female midget (rather than what he is in reality, a tall black male) then I would give Obama credit as the better marketer. Trump is able to convince his base that up is down, black is white, truth is fiction, etc. If Trump came out and said 'I'm a black woman', then the majority of his base would believe it.

however part of the issue is just who is judging them. I don't think someone like Trump would survive int he democratic party because the base of the democratic party is not racist authoritarians.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:57 AM
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Trump just seems to have unlimited resources, & he was not self made. So he has always operated with the upper hand, IDK how he would handle business not working from a power position. So it is hard to tell, he has a incredible advantage and can force things to his liking, so Trump may flop without that and be very poor. It's appear to be a gambler that can always beat the house at roulette as he has the ability to always double his bet on black when he loses. Eventually the house can't compete. And if he does go down, he just declares bankruptcy and walks away.

But then again it is possible that Trump is really good at it, but given his advantage he is not hesitant to use it, but would do just fine without it.



As for Obama, I don't know.

Last edited by kanicbird; 02-02-2019 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:53 PM
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It's an apples and oranges comparison. Obama never went after the kind of business dealing Trump did so you can't compare their records. It's like asking which of them is a better scholar.

On the other hand, I think you can compare their level of success in their chosen fields. Obama went into academics and became a university professor; I would define that as a successful career prior to his entering politics. Trump went into business and there's a lot of evidence he didn't do well. He needed several large bailouts from his family and declared bankruptcy six times.
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Old 02-02-2019, 12:57 PM
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Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, not Harvard.
To be precise he's a professor who graduated from Harvard. So you could arguably call him a Harvard professor in the same way you could call somebody a Harvard lawyer or a Harvard doctor. But I agree it's misleading to describe him as a Harvard professor.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:10 PM
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Trump's "business" is fraud and money laundering, so a child running a legitimate lemonade stand has better business smarts than Trump.

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Old 02-02-2019, 01:52 PM
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You and the Russians are the only ones. U.S. banks won't give him credit.
Neither will Deutsche Bank, according to this morning's NYT news feed. And it was one of the very last.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:53 PM
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My question is, why does it matter in the slightest? It's not a skill presidents actually need, despite what the corporate right wing wants to sell you as a belief.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:23 PM
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Trump just seems to have unlimited resources, & he was not self made. So he has always operated with the upper hand, IDK how he would handle business not working from a power position.
We are seeing how that plays out now with him and Pelosi. He expected to be able to just shove her around, and is confused as to what to do when he couldn't.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:52 PM
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What do business smarts have to do with being president? It's like asking who's a better golf player - utterly irrelevant to their actual job.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:02 PM
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I think it's clear that Trump is by far the superior businessman.

I think it's also clear that that has nothing to do with being a good president.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:09 PM
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What do business smarts have to do with being president? It's like asking who's a better golf player - utterly irrelevant to their actual job.
This what kills me about people who voter for Trump because "He's not a politician"!

That's like saying "Meet our new head coach! This guy knows NOTHING about baseball - still giggles when we talk strikes and balls"
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:17 PM
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. . . (Trump) has always relied on his being able to con and bully people, and being able to skirt the law without getting into trouble over it.

That's history now. . . .
Maybe the skirting, and possibly even the bullying, but the conning? He'll be even stronger - huge numbers of people will still buy his BS. And they'll give him even more credence by the very fact of his presidency.

(Unless he's in jail, of course, in which case he'd be in isolation. Protective isolation.)

Last edited by KarlGauss; 02-02-2019 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:38 PM
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This what kills me about people who voter for Trump because "He's not a politician"!

That's like saying "Meet our new head coach! This guy knows NOTHING about baseball - still giggles when we talk strikes and balls"
Yeah, but we are going to get a new stadium, and our rival team is going to pay for it!
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:09 PM
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Well, Obamaís net worth has clearly outperformed the stock market over his lifetime. Trump appears to have underperformed the market, though he was born into wealth. But Iím not quite sure that Obamaís wealth is actually business acumen, as opposed to being a part of his celebrity-like status.
Obama's net worth has nothing to do with any business acumen. It is a result of him receiving large sums of money for speeches or books about himself. We won't even go into the legitimacy of it. It's enough to note the money was not legitimately earned as a result of any skill. His financial legacy is based entirely on his celebrity status.

He's never worked in the business world and his academic career was as a senior lecturer and not a tenured professor. His resume as an adult consists almost entirely of jobs he was voted into and not earned through any skill.
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Old 02-02-2019, 04:14 PM
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He's never worked in the business world ...
He never worked full time in the private sector, to be precise. So it's not a fair comparison.

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Old 02-02-2019, 04:38 PM
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Trump is only rich because his dad was rich and because Trump has helped the Russians launder money.
Give Trump his due. He is rich because his dad was rich AND...

Quote:
I will give Trump credit, he is excellent at marketing. Trump is probably a genius at self promotion.
Trump is not rich from Russian payoffs and kickbacks. He is rich from selling himself. As you say he is not necessarily a stellar businessman - his list of failed enterprises is longer than Kristaps Porzingis. But it appears he has managed to keep his financial machine afloat through force of personality and a lot of precarious ball juggling.

He may not be a billionaire, but he'll die very wealthy because he is a shark and because P.T. Barnum was an astute observer of the human condition.

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Obama disappointed a lot of progressives because he governed like a new england republican. Lots of progressives felt we voted for candidate A and got candidate B. He presented himself as a progressive, and he governed like Susan Collins.
Actually, no. Far as I can tell Obama presented himself like a "New England Republican" but progressives hopefully assumed, with virtually no evidence, he was one of theirs. But he never was from the left-wing of the party. I'm perpetually perplexed by progressives that were disappointed with Obama's attempt to govern as a MOR consensus-builder, when he never promised to be anything but that.

It's the same sort of perplexed( but not nearly to the same degree )I get when certain conservatives accuse Obama of being a "socialist." They obviously have never met a genuine socialist or they would never make that kind of frankly idiotic mistake. Obama was as blandly straight-down-the-line, albeit from a DP perspective, as we're ever likely to see in the Presidency.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 02-02-2019 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:01 PM
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Quoth Magiver:

Obama's net worth has nothing to do with any business acumen. It is a result of him receiving large sums of money for speeches or books about himself. We won't even go into the legitimacy of it. It's enough to note the money was not legitimately earned as a result of any skill. His financial legacy is based entirely on his celebrity status.
And his celebrity status is a result of being President, which in turn is a result of his skills. This is as opposed to Trump who is President as a result of his celebrity status, and whose celebrity status is a result of the wealth he inherited.
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Old 02-02-2019, 05:02 PM
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Considering that Trump has never actually run a business, I think even *I* have more business smarts than him. Obama knows what's legal, and constitutional, so I'd rather work for him.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:51 PM
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Considering that Trump has never actually run a business, I think even *I* have more business smarts than him. Obama knows what's legal, and constitutional, so I'd rather work for him.
If you have more business smarts than Trump you should have a higher net worth. I don't think you do but prove me wrong.

The same goes for Obama. He should be able to turn that 40 million he's worth into billions of dollars. Because he's smarter than Trump it should be easy.

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Old 02-02-2019, 08:56 PM
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If you have more business smarts than Trump you should have a higher net worth. I don't think you do but prove me wrong.

The same goes for Obama. He should be able to turn that 40 million he's worth into billions of dollars. Because he's smarter than Trump it should be easy.
Or he could consider 40 million to be enough and would rather make the world a better place than sacrifice his humanity running up the "score".
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:33 PM
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If you have more business smarts than Trump you should have a higher net worth. I don't think you do but prove me wrong.

The same goes for Obama. He should be able to turn that 40 million he's worth into billions of dollars. Because he's smarter than Trump it should be easy.
Obama started from nothing to become worth 40 million.

Trump started from a 400 million inheritance and is now 'maybe' a billionaire, and a good deal of his wealth comes from money laundering after declaring bankruptcy and his businesses failing multiple times.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:50 PM
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He never worked full time in the private sector, to be precise. So it's not a fair comparison.
Obama was a partner in a law firm. So he has worked in the private sector.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:55 PM
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Trump's "business" is fraud and money laundering, so a child running a legitimate lemonade stand has better business smarts than Trump.
That's debatable. There's a difference between business smarts and business ethics. Somebody who's making millions via shady practices may have a lot of business smarts even if they lack business ethics. People like Lucky Luciano and Pablo Escobar had plenty of business smarts.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:03 PM
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If you have more business smarts than Trump you should have a higher net worth. I don't think you do but prove me wrong.
There's also the factor that I don't have a father who can hand me four hundred million dollars. That's not insignificant.

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The same goes for Obama. He should be able to turn that 40 million he's worth into billions of dollars. Because he's smarter than Trump it should be easy.
Maybe he could. But as several of us have noted, Obama never set out to become a billionaire.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:15 PM
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That's debatable. There's a difference between business smarts and business ethics. Somebody who's making millions via shady practices may have a lot of business smarts even if they lack business ethics. People like Lucky Luciano and Pablo Escobar had plenty of business smarts.
I agree. The difference is they ran criminal enterprises that actually took business acumen. It takes no business smarts to be a fraud. Maybe the money laundering part of his business could be put to his credit for business smarts. I don't think so because it isn't as if his money laundering schemes aren't particularly clever, and mainly revolve around people using him. If he weren't rich to begin with he'd never have been able to do it. People used him as a screen for their criminal activities, so his case all it really requires is to be rich and willing to lie. Trump would be richer if he'd just invested in index funds, so there's very little evidence that he's particularly good at generating wealth.

http://fortune.com/2015/08/20/donald-trump-index-funds/

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Old 02-02-2019, 10:47 PM
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Maybe he could. But as several of us have noted, Obama never set out to become a billionaire.
Ah, altruism. I guess when you can cover your grocery bill with a $400,000 speech there really isn't any need to work.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:49 PM
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Obama was a partner in a law firm. So he has worked in the private sector.
what law firm was that?
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:57 PM
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what law firm was that?
Wiki
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In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2007
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:06 PM
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Ah, altruism. I guess when you can cover your grocery bill with a $400,000 speech there really isn't any need to work.
What altruism? Obama has been quite successful in his life and he's got a good amount of money. It's ridiculous to argue that he's a failure because he's only a millionaire instead being a billionaire. But that does seem to be the argument you're trying to make.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:25 PM
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What altruism? Obama has been quite successful in his life and he's got a good amount of money. It's ridiculous to argue that he's a failure because he's only a millionaire instead being a billionaire. But that does seem to be the argument you're trying to make.
It's odd that you would think he's a failure. All I said was that his money was made through speaking fees. He doesn't have to work for it. He gets more that a years wages from a single speech. A pretty sweet deal but it doesn't involve any business skills.
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:34 PM
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It's odd that you would think he's a failure. All I said was that his money was made through speaking fees. He doesn't have to work for it. He gets more that a years wages from a single speech. A pretty sweet deal but it doesn't involve any business skills.
Like having multiple failed businesses one of which was a FUCKING CASINO
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Old 02-02-2019, 11:37 PM
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I asked for a cite that he was ever a partner in a law firm. He wasn't. He argued a total of 1 case before a judge. If you read the article his purpose for being an associate was to learn about politics.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:34 AM
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Like having multiple failed businesses one of which was a FUCKING CASINO
failures are part of the success process. Trump has a lifetime of successes and has a positive net worth that greatly exceeds Obamaís.

But we can look at Obamaís business failures with a little effort. He invested $535 million in a company called Solyndra. It was a company that one of his major campaign organizers invested in (George Kaiser). It went bankrupt in a year. People donít credit Obama with this business failure because he used tax payer money. It was only 13 times his current net worth down the drain. No big deal. Itís not like he would give out favors because someone generated $250,000 toward his campaign.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:22 AM
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It's odd that you would think he's a failure.
This one's even worse than your last argument. By all means, keep it going.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:26 AM
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He invested $535 million in a company called Solyndra.
If this were true, I'd be impressed that Obama had half a billion dollars to invest. I wouldn't have guessed that he was ever that wealthy.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:41 AM
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Trump is a billionaire real estate mogul. Obama is a former Harvard Professor. Who do you think has more business acumen -- Trump or Obama?
Why is this an important (or even an interesting) question? Please respond. This is not a threadshit; it’s an honest inquiry.

ETA: And as sauce for the gander, I will anticipate a query on why I’m asking. It’s because I would like to know if we’re going to be discussing the issue of whether the government should be run as if it were a business.

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Old 02-03-2019, 02:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
But we can look at Obama’s business failures with a little effort. He invested $535 million in a company called Solyndra. It was a company that one of his major campaign organizers invested in (George Kaiser). It went bankrupt in a year. People don’t credit Obama with this business failure because he used tax payer money. It was only 13 times his current net worth down the drain. No big deal. It’s not like he would give out favors because someone generated $250,000 toward his campaign.
People also don't credit him with this business failure because Solyndra was one of the many companies involved in the program - a program designed to find promising but untested green energy solutions - and the program as a whole turned a profit. This is a bit like looking at a hedge fund that was overall profitable and complaining that one of the investments it made didn't pan out. When you invest, you expect a certain degree of loss.

Except even that's unfair, because a hedge fund typically doesn't have the secondary goal of supporting emerging and unsure technology. The point of the program was, in large part, to support "out-there" ideas. If the program had broken even, it would have been above-budget, because it was never expected to be profitable. Taken a whole, though, the program was a massive success - instead of the up to 10 billion dollars in losses Congress had planned for, the program ended up turning a profit.

Did you not know any of this?

Last edited by Budget Player Cadet; 02-03-2019 at 02:25 AM.
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