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We Cannot All Be Donald Trump

Updated on February 29, 2016

We Cannot All Be Donald Trump

The United States has a fascination with the ultra-rich members of its society that are worth Hundreds of Millions to Billions of dollars. While many of those who are ultra-rich in the United States quietly enjoy their wealth outside of the media spotlight and are little known by the general population, a few flamboyant Millionaires and Billionaires relish the limelight and make their great wealth well known far and wide. The best example of this public chest pounding by the ultra-rich is real estate developer Donald Trump, who even created a television show called “The Apprentice” to boast about his wealth. Despite the fascination with Donald Trump and his wealth, the reality is that we cannot all be Donald Trump.

We Cannot All Be Donald Trump, But We Can Read About His Success

We Cannot All Be Donald Trump: An Economic and Political System Based On Unrealistic Notions

While it is fun for Americans to explore the lifestyles of the ultra-rich like Donald Trump and dream that someday they too can live such a lavish lifestyle, the reality is that for most Americans their dreams of getting rich will remain just dreams. The reality is that we cannot all be Donald Trump. The world literally cannot support a population full of ultra-rich Millionaires and Billionaires like Donald Trump. There just are not enough resources to support such lavish lifestyles for everyone. Besides, what would wealth be worth if everyone had it? The American economic system is designed to have economic winners like Donald Trump and the rest of the population. Whether by birth or by hard work, some are just bound to have tremendous wealth in capitalist economic system, while the majority of the population will live somewhere else on the economic ladder, many struggling on the lower rungs.

It is certainly not a good idea to discourage people from dreaming big and doing whatever they can legally do to improve their economic situation. Donald Trump himself said eloquently on his show “The Apprentice” that if you do not set your goals high, you will never achieve anything. He routinely fires people on “The Apprentice” who volunteer to be fired or take the blame for another competitor’s failures. Donald Trump is right, those who do not set high goals or who are willing to sacrifice themselves will not be big achievers in life. However, the reality is that despite people’s best efforts at achieving economic success in life, most Americans will never get to a comfortable economic position, certainly not a position as comfortable as the ultra-rich that they are so fascinated with. Even in good economic times, over one-half (50%) of all business ventures started in America by entrepreneurs go bankrupt within five years, and tens of millions of Americans cannot find work that allows them to get ahead financially. Most Americans live their lives on a treadmill, just trying to keep up financially; some even living paycheck to paycheck with little or no savings.

Despite this stark economic reality, the American economic and political system is built on the notion that America government and society should do all they can do to accommodate the ultra-rich, be it via lavish tax credits for sports stadiums or comparatively low income tax rates for high end earners. Since the majority of American voters are not ultra-rich, this philosophy of making American government work for the ultra-rich instead of the common person has apparently been internalized by a majority of those down the economic ladder. By holding onto the unrealistic dream that they too will someday be as rich as Donald Trump, many Americans are ignoring reality and supporting an economic and political system that does not serve their best interests.

Different Views of the Ultra-Rich in America and Europe

Americans and Europeans have different views of the ultra-rich and their role in their respective societies, which leads to differences in the way their respective governments are structured to serve their populations. There are historical reasons why Americans and Europeans view the ultra-rich and their role in their respective societies differently.

America was founded and developed by people, many of them from Europe, who came to the new world to escape repressive governments and better their economic situation. Many did find prosperity and wealth in the new world. Events like the 1848-1855 California gold rush reinforced the idea that if you worked hard you could become wealthy in America. This mentality of hard work and individual wealth still permeates American society in the 21st Century, even as many of the early avenues to wealth creation have long since been saturated by others taking advantage of them or have dried up due to reduced natural resources or changes technological and economic conditions. This fixation on making it rich in America leads to a fascination with the ultra-rich in American society and an attitude amongst many in the population that the government should serve the interests of ultra-rich, since many still hold out hope that they too will one day be ultra-rich.

While the ultra-rich still get their way in Europe in many sweetheart deals with their respective governments, they are generally taxed at a much higher rate in Europe than in America, and the proceeds are used to take care of the people down the economic ladder with cradle to grave healthcare benefits and other generous public benefits. This is largely due to the fact that unlike Americans, Europeans live with the reality that most of them will never be ultra-rich like Donald Trump or the Millionaires and Billionaires that live amongst them. Europeans also do not share the same fascination with the ultra-rich that Americans have. Many centuries of class systems in European societies, going back to the Middle Ages, in which the same groups of ultra-rich have ruled countries have left the ordinary Europeans disconnected with the ultra-rich. This disconnection is not necessarily in an adversarial way, but in a manner which limits their feeling of connection with the ultra-rich and their ability to dream of living the ultra-rich lifestyle. With this reality in mind, Europeans expect their governments to serve them, which means the rich have to pay more of the burden for financing social welfare programs that benefit people of all economic backgrounds.

Keeping Wealth In Perspective | Donald Trump and The Masses

Another famous and very public American Billionaire, Warren Buffet, addressed the issue of wealth and American society during the depths of the 2008 financial crisis. Mr. Buffet astutely noted that wealth is quite a relative thing. An example he gave was that despite John Rockefeller’s tremendous wealth in the 19th century, even Rockefeller could not enjoy many of the comforts that ordinary Americans in the 21st century take for granted, such as central heating in a home. There are many quality of life improvements today which are affordable to most Americans that were unavailable to everyone, including the ultra-rich, of past eras. All the money in the world could not buy anyone a phone call 150 years ago, yet now people can communicate via email for free from public libraries or by phone using modestly priced flat rate plans that are within the reach of most Americans.

American sociologists have found that people typically think that the quality of life is getting worse during their lifetime, when in reality by many measures quality of life improves over time. This distorted view of reality shared by many Americans is not so different from their distorted view that someday they too can be ultra-rich like Donald Trump. The reality is we cannot all be like Donald Trump, so perhaps it is time to stop holding onto that false belief, make the best of the cards we are dealt in life, and be thankful for all that we have.

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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 14 months ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Ha ha this post was written at the beginning of this year, who ever thought that he would be the next president of the USA!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 14 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      John...enjoyed your hub as always. This is especially entertaining. I'll have to admit though that I'm not actually fascinated nor the least bit eager to delve into the lives or lifestyles of the wealthy. At least not the general populations of wealthy individuals or the ones whose faces we're quite familiar with....the Bill Gates, Warren Buffets, Elan Musks & Carlos heck with them.

      I do however have several friends and family members who can safely be referred to as quite wealthy. I have a secret for you. All of these folks I'm familiar with and love are just as normal & average as ....hate to use an old phrase....."blueberry pie."

      I'm totally serious. No airs, no haughtiness, no elitism whatsoever. They're right down to earth, fun to be with and modest to a fault. I realize not all of the super celebrities or those whose families have been mega wealthy for generations....are quite so real, but who cares?

      Donald, I'm not crazy about but he did come in very handy during our recent elections....he was the perfect show-stopper to keep out the poison!....Actually, DT finally did something really worthwhile. Other than that, I can take him or leave him...I'm surely not a devoted fan. I used him and it worked just fine! LOL

      Once again, I enjoyed your hub, John. Peace, Paula

    • Alternative Prime profile image

      Alternative Prime 20 months ago from > California

      Most of us will NEVER be wealthy as "Drumpf" Trump has become due to the FACT that most of us Hard Working Human Beings were not Fortunate enough to have INHERITED a FORTUNE from our Fathers and or Parents as he has, nor are we Complete FRAUDs as he is ~

      It doesn't take a proverbial "Business Genius" to understand the FACT that if you invest a FORTUNE which you've Inherited, in NEW York Real Estate, odds are you will end Up with an even BIGGER Fortune as a direct result ~ He does have a few bux but he's not nearly as wealthy as he claims when to subtract his DEBT ~ As a matter of FACT, he has already become the "Corrupt Politician" that he has accused everyone else of, due to the FACT that he now needs to TAKE DONATIONs from BIG Money Donors because he does NOT have the CASH to Finance a continuance of his DOOMED Campaign ~ FYI ~ He wasn't exactly "SELF-Financing" to begin with, just one more inaccurate "Line of Deception" from this Swindler ~ So now, he's relegated to being just another "Bought & Paid for" Politician ~

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 20 months ago from Yorktown NY

      The title of your hub is absolutely true. That is the basis for capitalism and why it works better than any other economic system. If everyone can be Trump, you will end up with socialism or worse Communism which have been proven to be a failure. The reason this system works though not perfect is the risk and rewards that comes from capitalism philosophy. People will work harder and smarter when the incentive is there. No one wants to work just for the common good. Trump like it or not is a product of that system. In recent events, what gave capitalism a bad name is the crony capitalism that have distorted the system. Some rich people have figured out how to rig the system by insuring profits at the expense of the public. The whole financial crisis and the bailout was a product of that distortion. The fix is to eliminate their influence and revert back to free enterprises without government intervention.

    • profile image

      Sanxuary 3 years ago

      Who would want to be him. Without his money he would not even be a conversation. If he did not own a media corporation he would never be on television. If I met him on the street I would walk right past him and I would not even care to know who he is.

    • yuris profile image

      yuris 5 years ago

      Got on this hub after watching a video on Youtube's homepage about Trump offering $5M for charity if Obama shows birth certificate and other basic documents proving his credentials.

      I don't want to analyze the situation but I remember watching some series of 'The Apprentice'. It seems that nowadays almost every type of advertisement looks positive.

    • mailxpress profile image

      Michelle Cesare 5 years ago from New York

      I found your Hub generally interesting. I believe Mark Burnett created the Apprentice and Donald Trump was hired to host the show and be the show.

    • MonetteforJack profile image

      MonetteforJack 6 years ago from Tuckerton, NJ

      Jeez ... who wants to be like him? I want to be rich but not his type of rich.

      There's a difference between fascination and obsession; most agree that the ultra-rich you described are fascinating and could be an inspiration to achieve dreams. These fascinating ultra-rich are also held as example of WHAT NOT TO BE and WHAT MISTAKES TO AVOID. I see that fascination as just plain fascination. In my opinion, any honest and down-to-earth American knows about what is real, what goals are achievable on short, medium and long range plans; and if or could there be any possibility of really being rich.

    • profile image

      Texasbeta 6 years ago

      Trmup makes his money by buying companies and then not paying their bills. He defines irresponsible. You are right, most of us will not be Trump, becuause he puts more focus on his earnings than he does integrity. Most of us would rather be able to look at ourselves in the mirror than sell our souls for a dollar. Trump embodies the "crap" that manipulates the system with no regard for anything or anyone, as long as he gets his. He is a very sad soul.

    • mortimerjackson profile image

      mortimerjackson 6 years ago from California

      Donald Trump was not exactly a self-made man. He grew up rich, squandered his money, and in desperation made it back by selling his name.

      To me, Donald Trump is the poster child of the large wealthy population in America. He's a man who lacks talent, yet makes more than us peons ever will.