February 13, 2017

If President Trump makes unfit profit on his hotels, so might those who are in the business of opposing him.

Sir, Edward Luce’s “America’s monetiser-in-chief” of February 13, could easily end up being used by all those who by email and other means, ask us to give money to them so that they fight Trump on our behalf.

Currently too many are reminded of Irving Berlin’s song “Anything You Can Do” from the “Annie Get Your Gun” musical. The days open up with a: “Some say they can fight Trump, but I can do that better, I can fight Trump, better than all”, which is then followed by an ever increasing number of voices belting out their, “No you can't. Yes, I can. No, you can't. Yes, I can. No, you can't. Yes, I can, Yes, I can!”

Luce writes: “Even where Mr Trump has the highest motives, he will fail the Caesar’s wife test”. In what world does Luce think we are living? Do not failed Caesar’s wife tests surround us everywhere? Is political profiteering really so much different from business profiteering? Surely if Trump is caught in an act of extending an overt invitation to be corrupted, I am sure that the consequences for him and for the corrupter, will be much more severe than for all those politicians who daily mingle with their dedicated lobbyist.

Sir, I am not condoning any possible Trump shenanigans, and I will protest it as much as you, or even more than you, if and when any real evidence is presented. But, meanwhile, there is a vital need for staying focused on realities and not being distracted by anti-Trump populists or anti-Trump profiteers. 

First, as a Venezuelan still living the “Chavez” era, what Luce describes when preaching for the choir, means nothing in terms of eroding the popularity of a populist. Quite often the opposite happens.

Second, there are too many infinitely more important and urgent issues at hand. Just think of all those robots that compete with us humans for jobs without being burden with payroll taxes and similar handicaps. Just think of those regulatory gnomes distorting as they see fit, with their risk weighted capital requirements, the allocation of bank credit to the real economy.

Third, Trump represents a new wind in Washington, so let’s try to use it as much as we can. For instance the proposal by the Climate Leadership Council of imposing a carbon tax, which revenues would go directly to the citizens, is the best win-win possibility I have seen in many years. If that would be its price, I would gladly look the other way, if those horrendous anti America and anti economic plans of Trump Hotels to quintuple its outlets in America become reality.

PS. Hotel building needs financing, and bankers and investors, must consider the after 4 or 8 years profitability of the hotels.

PS. I have just received an email where someone indicates that after a review they have found that I have yet to donate the minimum $3 to fight Trump, and that I must hurry up. I wonder if someone keeps a list of the 10 largest anti-Trump-movement's profiteers?