Trump's net worth plummets 92 spots on Forbes
Donald John Trump, or the Infamous DJT, has long considered wealth to be the hallmark of a successful person. When selecting his cabinet appointees, he was particular about picking someone rich: "I love all people -- rich or poor -- but in those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person. Does that make sense?"
Trump ran on his fortune and his brand, on numerous occasions proclaiming that he is, indeed, very very rich. He's a very wealthy person. Big dollars, big deals. To Donald Trump, capitalism is strictly a proving ground where the inept become poor, and the capable become rich. If only it were so easy.
But by The Donald's own standards, his business and brand is now taking. In Forbes' list of America's richest people, he has plummeted a staggering 92 slots, losing $600 million this year, and dropping his official personal fortune to $3.1 billion.
Trump is now the 248th richest person in the world, tied with 27 year old Evan Spiegel, the founder of Snapchat. Last year he was at 156th, which today, is a 4-way tie at 4.4 billion dollars each. How the mighty have fallen.
Forbes explained: "A tough New York real estate market, a costly lawsuit and an expensive presidential campaign all contributed to the declining fortune of the 45th president."
Forbes followed up on its pessimistic attitude toward the New York real estate market:
"The biggest hit was to Trump's real estate portfolio, which is weighted heavily toward New York City. Values of several Manhattan properties, particularly those on or near Fifth Avenue, have dropped, shaving nearly $400 million off his fortune. Some of his golf properties, including ones in Miami, Ireland and Scotland, have also declined in value, as some would-be guests stayed away, apparently offended by the president's politics and bombast."
It seems that collecting rent on expensive buildings can't pay off forever. For that is exactly how Donald Trump built his fortune: he rented property to extremely rich individuals. He was part of a class of people who don't make money directly through labor, but rather, through renting out what they already own. This class is called rentiers.
It's also highly likely that Trump's children, particularly his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, are just not the business moguls that their father is. With each generation, the original spark of competence grows thinner and thinner, until it breaks. Inherited wealth is not inherited will - it is only circumstance.
In order to make the Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, you must have at least $2 billion. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos war for the top spot at $89 billion and $81.5 billion respectively.
In 2016, the richest Americans compiled together had a staggering $2.4 trillion. But this year alone, that number rose to $2.7 trillion. As the U.S. economy heads for this totally lop-sided tower, concentrating all gains at the top, and socializing all losses among the taxpayers at the bottom, what will become of our precarious world? Will we bail out banks ad infinitum, until exhaustion or collapse?
The Dow Jones, soaring over 22,000 points, does not reflect the condition of the U.S. economy at large. When the top gain, the 'trickle-down' is absolutely minuscule over decades, if it happens at all. What now?