Author Topic: The Trump Organiztion  (Read 4491 times)

Mynnion

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The Trump Organiztion
« on: September 14, 2016, 01:40:48 PM »
Newsweek released an article today that looks at the Trump financial empire and asks the question is it possible for him to ethically act as president with all of his international business ties.  Critics have attacked Clinton on her Wall Street and insider ties.  Should international monetary ties be equally condemned?  Is there a way that Trump can distance himself from the Trump Organization while President?

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

DJQuag

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 02:36:25 PM »
That's a very good point. It would take a person of immense moral and ethical fibre not to make decisions that benefit themselves in that position, never mind a man like Trump.

TheDrake

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 02:44:36 PM »
My view on this is that there are checks and balances built into the system. A president has power, but not unilateral power in most cases. Trump might like to create a bailout that would rescue one of his businesses, or partners, but he can't do that without Congress on board as well. He could certainly be an advocate, but I think we already see with Obama that just being president isn't a guarantee that you can get what you want.

It's hard to imagine what kind of politician you could be if you didn't have ties to businesses, charitable organizations, alumni, or interest groups. I don't see an inherently greater conflict being aligned with industry than aligned with labor unions or NGOs.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 03:01:10 PM »
I think there's a difference between domestic and foreign entanglements. There are far fewer checks on the President's authority over foreign policy. They can do a lot more without needing to cooperate with Congress or State or local governments. What happens if Erdogan threatens to confiscate Trump properties in Turkey unless Trump declares all Kurdish groups to be terrorists?

Fenring

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 03:05:15 PM »
There is also the issue of someone engaging in illegal business activities, who now has effective control over law enforcement.

AI Wessex

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2016, 05:31:17 PM »
My view on this is that there are checks and balances built into the system. A president has power, but not unilateral power in most cases. Trump might like to create a bailout that would rescue one of his businesses, or partners, but he can't do that without Congress on board as well. He could certainly be an advocate, but I think we already see with Obama that just being president isn't a guarantee that you can get what you want.

It's hard to imagine what kind of politician you could be if you didn't have ties to businesses, charitable organizations, alumni, or interest groups. I don't see an inherently greater conflict being aligned with industry than aligned with labor unions or NGOs.
The point you're not addressing is what he would or could do out of the sight of Congress or even his Administration.  A phone call, a tip, a suggestion or a reference can all be given quietly.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 09:00:40 PM »
Last I heard, the insider trading laws do not cover the politicians in office. Which includes the Congress Critters.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 09:04:35 PM »
Newsweek released an article today that looks at the Trump financial empire and asks the question is it possible for him to ethically act as president with all of his international business ties.  Critics have attacked Clinton on her Wall Street and insider ties.  Should international monetary ties be equally condemned?  Is there a way that Trump can distance himself from the Trump Organization while President?

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/09/23/donald-trump-foreign-business-deals-national-security-498081.html

This is a big part of the reason I concluded early on that Trump isn't running to win, he's running for the Publicity. He wants to lose. He probably didn't expect to get the nomination, but once the stars aligned and made that happen, he found himself in a position where he can't back out without a whole slew of other problems cropping up.

So he has to play the game, but he's going to try to throw it in every way he can, without being so blatant about it that no sane person could deny that is exactly what he's doing. As long as he gives reason enough for people to doubt that's what he's doing, he's safe enough in court.

Redskullvw

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 08:34:21 AM »
The funny thing about Presidential power is that much of its power is based on precedent and not actual law. The President for example can choose to hire or fire any of his cabinet members. But, he has to have Congressional consent to actually instal his cabinet members. The President has final authority on the military disposition of Federal forces. But his authority to act without Congressional imprimatur or authority is limited drastically since the Gulf of Tonkin. His use of Executive Orders applies only to the Executive Department meaning the scope of authority is not only non binding to most of the United States government but also can be absolved by direct act of either the Judicial or Legislative branches and ends at the time of the President's leave of office.

What Presidents do have is soft power for the most part, not hard power. Reality is that he has little direct and for that matter directable power. For example, President Obama and the executive order to implement the Dream Act which was ultimately declared illegal by the Judicial branch. Harsh reality is that a President can act unilaterally on policy scopes of action, but it is ultimately ephemeral in nature due to loss of political power and constraints applied by the other branches of government.

The concern of lack of statesman concern for actions in office is legitimate. We have had several instances of elected officials governing in a manner that reveals quid pro quo basis. Examples include governors like Heuy Long or president's like FDR. Do existing relationships with political actors and groups color what a President does? Likely the answer is yes. I'd go so far to say that it has probably been a factor since Washington was in office and set the precedent that the Chief Executive does not preside over the Senate while in session- which he incidentally left with the comment that he would not bestow the dignity of the office upon a rabble of horse traders.

Clinton's entanglement and its scope has been brought to light by the DNC leaks, the Guciffer2 leaks, and Wikileaks. In plain text anyone can directly read for themselves the facts of her public acts. It honestly is a pay for play situation. If you are wondering if Clinton is going to continue acting on a pay for play basis, her confirmed and now documented history predicts that she will.

But, all is not clear sailing for Trump either. When you admit on a debate stage that you have indeed directly participated in pay for play on a debate stage, it would be very hard to deny that you haven't done exactly what Clinton has been doing. The only difference between them is that Clinton was taking money for access and Trump was paying for access. I'm not sure which is worse.

Both of them have world wide reach. Both of them have pre existing entanglements. The Clinton NGO is massively suspect in terms of its functions and results. Trump's world wide real estate and intellectual properties being liscensed and monetized is equally suspect.

The valid concern is whether either can rise to statesmanship in the Office of the President of the United States. Fundamentally, Trump has the edge only because he has been on the outside of political power and has been paying for access as a cost of doing business. And he has frankly and publicly admitted to doing so. Clinton however continues to deny being a participant despite the now publicly available facts to the contrary.

Maybe a better concern would be to consider who is or is not a liar?

AI Wessex

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2016, 09:32:13 AM »
Quote
The only difference between them is that Clinton was taking money for access and Trump was paying for access. I'm not sure which is worse.
A nice trope, but I would like hard evidence that the access people had to Clinton produced actual results.

Quote
The valid concern is whether either can rise to statesmanship in the Office of the President of the United States. Fundamentally, Trump has the edge only because he has been on the outside of political power and has been paying for access as a cost of doing business. And he has frankly and publicly admitted to doing so. Clinton however continues to deny being a participant despite the now publicly available facts to the contrary.

Maybe a better concern would be to consider who is or is not a liar.
Someone running for office lied?! <Gasp!>.  What I don't like about the way you score the candidates is that it looks like a race where both started at the same time from the same place and are running the same course.  There is no equivalency between Clinton's 40+ years of public service and Trump's 40+ years as a businessman.  The nearest thing I can see to an equivalency is that they're both about the same age.  Otherwise, there is hardly even any basis for comparison. 

You're an historian; is there any precedent for candidate Trump?  Do you think he is qualified (temperament, knowledge, commitment to law) to serve as President?  Try answering those questions without using the word "Clinton".

Redskullvw

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2016, 11:34:50 AM »
As far as your first comment, read the leaks and believe the leaks to be factual or do not believe them.

As for your second, I'm thinking along the lines of the Industrialists during the Gilded Age through the early stages of the Progressive Movement had multiple candidates much like Clinton and Trump. What is notable about that period in time is the essentially useless and unnotable Presidents we had at that time period. It began improving with Teddy Rosevelt and ended with the combo of Wison and WWI.

Wilson was by today's standards a patrician towards the general population but also a technocratic President who did attempt to rule by enlightened application of social engineering and political professionalism. Honestly much of what he tried failed domestically and internationally but, he fits the early model of what modern expectations of Presidents should be.

Honestly we have two crap candidates to pick from.

TheDeamon

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 02:11:34 PM »
Teddy was an accident, they made him V.P. to make him politically irrelevant. An anarchist with a gun changed that situation a few years later. And that scenario was one some of the political machine bosses were afraid of, rather than eager for.

rightleft22

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 03:13:07 PM »
I'm not sure Trump realizes that if elected he would be expected/required to step down as chairman and president of the Trump Organization

I'm pretty sure he will not enjoy being president but hasn't thought about it much other then getting to say look at me I'm a winner, who's laughing now....

TheDrake

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2016, 10:25:45 AM »
When it comes to true corruption, does it matter whether you have ties to your own businesses, or if you just get bribed by other people with businesses? It think the reason we are having this conversation more often during this election cycle has little to do with how tight the ties are, and a lot to do with how few people trust either one of these candidates to act morally and with integrity.


NobleHunter

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2016, 11:07:14 AM »
I think the difference is having known ties to an organization makes it absurdly simple to attempt to influence the person. For example, if one wanted to bribe Obama, it would difficult to find a pretext to give him a sufficiently large sum of money (assuming campaign donations don't count as bribery). If they had their own business, there's no end of ways to offer bribes disguised as plausible business transactions. They could even be plausible business transactions.

Fenring

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2016, 12:43:24 PM »
I think the difference is having known ties to an organization makes it absurdly simple to attempt to influence the person. For example, if one wanted to bribe Obama, it would difficult to find a pretext to give him a sufficiently large sum of money (assuming campaign donations don't count as bribery). If they had their own business, there's no end of ways to offer bribes disguised as plausible business transactions. They could even be plausible business transactions.

You don't think it's pathetically easy to privately tell someone like Obama he will enjoy membership of various boards, 'speaking fees', and other such benefits if he accepts X policy? Actual ownership of a company is trivial in this sense; it's actually a disadvantage because everyone will be watching that with a magnifying glass. It's the business and financial interests that are unseen that are the most dangerous.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2016, 01:10:02 PM »
There's an immediacy problem. Promises for later, indirect reward don't have the same punch as immediate compensation. Nor is there anyway for the official in question to be sure they'd actually get paid. They can't exactly sue for breach of contract or whatever. Then they have to stay bought, which is a larger violation of integrity than nudging a single decision. Even if they're willing to sell out, an arrangement that's necessarily long term (since they can't collect until after they leave office) means there's a substantial opportunity cost in accepting any but the last offer. 

Fenring

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2016, 04:09:47 PM »
You make some good points, NH, but there is indeed an assurance of payment for extra-legal agreements. It boils down to mutual blackmail assurance, where each party knows things about the other that would sink them if exposed. In the case of a politician accepting an extra-legal bribe to be paid in the future, the politician would have to be sufficiently powerful to bring down the party in question who would double cross them after the fact. This probably wouldn't be possible for low-level government officials or maybe even your average Congressman, but for people high up in intelligence circles, the white house, well-connected in 'society' (meaning in the groups that matter), and especially the President - I imagine one would not cross such people without disastrous consequences. Such things likely would even involve bodies being found in the river, so generally I don't think it's much a risk to make an off-the-books deal like that as a VIP.

NobleHunter

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Re: The Trump Organiztion
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2016, 04:28:17 PM »
Bodies in the river sounds like it requires a lot more corruption than just taking bribes. Which isn't to say its impossible but it's also very high-risk. The whole point of democracy is that it keeps politics from becoming a blood-sport. Win or die is a terrible way to do politics.

And dead CEOs would attract attention. Not to mention an automated email to wikileaks would be a great insurance policy. MAD is not just for WMDs.

Which isn't to say there might be a broader understanding with an entire industry (say, finance or defense) to encourage a generally favourable attitude. But that's not the same thing as direct bribery.