It’s quite hard to avoid reading about Donald Trump at the moment, whether it’s his debate antics or if it’s his sexual assault scandal. The leaked NBC footage provided an insight into who the Donald really is, but what is his business history like?
He grew up in Queens, New York, and then studied Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. After university, he started working for his father’s company. He famously stated he started his empire with “a small loan of a million dollars from his father”. From there he went on to expand his empire from real estate, to golf courses, ice rinks and even bottled water. Interestingly, The Economist says that his business has grown at a below average rate. He hasn’t been able to achieve this success without controversy along the way, however.
A great source of controversy in the presidential election has been the fact that Trump hasn’t released his tax receipts. He claims it would complicate the IRS audit that is underway. Whilst it isn’t necessary for a presidential candidate to release their tax returns, many people have seen this as a sign that Donald Trump evades tax. In fact, he recently confirmed that he does use tax loopholes. Trump declared a $916 million loss in 1995 and because of tax laws, has been able to pay reduced taxes since then. He hasn’t, however, provided more detail about which year he paid reduced taxes. He justifies this by saying that many other wealthy people do this, including donors to the Democrats party.
Over the years there have been many questionable things that have happened in Trump’s business. For example, as part of the construction of Trump Tower, the hiring of non-unionised Polish workers. A demolition contractor that Donald Trump hired employed non-unionised workers to save money. They were paid low wages, and worked long hours. By being non-unionised, money was saved by not having to pay union fees. Despite Donald Trump having to settle in a law case, he pleaded that he had no knowledge of who was being hired.
Furthermore, there are questions regarding Donald Trump’s relation with the mob. He has been known to work alongside people who have connections with the mob. However, any involvement with the mob is unclear. He also claims that he’s “the cleanest guy there is”, so why would we suspect anything?
By Andrew Purdy