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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Maynard: Five Lessons From The NY Times Investigation Of Trump's Family Fortune

Baltimore Sun op-ed:  Trump's Family Wealth: A Case Study in How to Work the System, by Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. (Louisville):

By any reasonable metric the New York Times special investigation into the Trump family’s dynastic wealth accumulation is a “YUGE DEAL.” Yes, a substantial part of the revelations undercut the Trumpian self-made myth. That in itself is newsworthy and important, but it is not the reason I could not stop reading this story at 1 in the morning. (I’m from New York, so I’ve been clued into Trump exaggerations for decades.) The investigation is much more important as an approachable case study of how wealth is built in the United States and a reality check on the myth of the self-made individual. ...

[H]ere are five lessons on wealth that the Trump family can teach every American:

  1. Make friends with politicians and lobby hard. ...
  2. Use said government handouts to your advantage. ...
  3. Hire a small army of skilled professionals to keep and grow your wealth. ...
  4. Get wealth into the hands of your children early. ...
  5. Use limited IRS funding to your advantage. ...

For those who care about wealth inequality the value of these lessons cannot be overstated. As a nation, we cannot hope to solve issues of entrenched inequality without a proper diagnosis. Hopefully, this in-depth investigation of the Trump family will allow Americans to start rethinking the hard work and perseverance myth we’ve been sold for generations.

Update:  The Hill op-ed:  Trump’s Taxes and You: Five Questions Answered, by Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. (Louisville)

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2018/10/maynard-five-lessons-from-the-ny-times-investigation-of-trumps-family-fortune.html

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Comments

Quote: Hopefully, this in-depth investigation of the Trump family will allow Americans to start rethinking the hard work and perseverance myth we’ve been sold for generations.

Hard work and perseverance do work—and indeed Trump himself is hard-working. A common occurrence doesn't become a "myth" because some people start richer than others or because some people become rich while others, who work just as hard, don't.

That said, if the news media in this country takes this "myth" attitude, seriously, then it needs to incorporate that into its policy. It needs to treat reporters and editors who work hard no differently from those who don't. They don't want to promote that "myth" do they?

Posted by: Michael W. Perry | Oct 8, 2018 12:41:38 PM

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