“Trump – The Art Of The Deal” by Donald J.Trump & Tony Schwartz.

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If there is one thing I never really read it is business books, in fact this is the 1st one I’ve ever completed.

The work was recommended to me by my mother who studied economics and is a life-long Trump fan. She had previously read “The Art Of The Deal” many years ago ( it was published in 1987) and bought it again after Trump’s election victory over in the U.S.A.

The work is very easy to read, but not in a dumb or condescending fashion. If you have a curious mind it will keep you occupied into the early morning hours. I finished the book in less than a day. Those who are searching for bigotry will find themselves disappointed as Trump mentions how he likes to hire women since they are so efficient and competent (to paraphrase), among other myth-busting statements. It is also highlighted that part of Trump Tower’s success is that they did not engage in “discrimination” towards potential buyers. Getting hold of an apartment in New York is described as being rather difficult, since you as a person have to be assessed before you’re allowed into “the club.”

The work is off to a strong, but overwhelmingly energetic start, following a typical work-week in Trump’s busy business life. His network is nothing short of impressive and is the first thing that stands out. He lifts up the phone and seem capable of reaching any decision maker in any multi million/billion dollar industry whenever he likes.

What he is depicted as doing comes across as very complex for sure, as he seems to be everywhere and involved with everything at any give time. It certainly sounds like a more cerebral activity than just repeating and focusing on one activity over and over, which is what artists and athletes do.

He displays great “cunning” in his autobiography which would have scored him lots of points with the Vikings or the Greeks. It is nothing short of staggering what one person can accomplish during a lifetime. Donald Trump’s legacy will ring out through the ages I’m sure, after first establishing a business empire, leaving many buildings after himself (in his name), even becoming president of the U.S.A. Movies will be made in due time, probably statues as well.

When talking about his childhood he describes a privileged background in comparison to most. He was groomed for the property business working along his father. It is also mentioned that his grandfather came from Sweden, which instantly made me wonder what Trump’s impression would be if he went over there and saw “Swedish conditions” for himself. A funny story is shared of how Trump built skyscrapers with Lego as a child.

It is of great interest that Trump the adult is depicted as brushing shoulders with the same sort of people who have now all of a sudden thrown him under the bus. My guess is that everybody wanted his money back then and to pose next to a successful, glamorous developer. Trump used to be pop (and still is with his supporters and fans), but was all of a sudden somewhat disowned by an entertainment industry and a media establishment now depicting him as retarded and evil. I’ve previously credited this to him simply being politically conservative.

Questioning the mental capacity of someone who’ve built a business empire, branding him as a “buffoon-reality-show-President,” is nothing short of hilarious. You cannot be an idiot and become successful in the line of work where Trump has made his name. His critics must see him as a threat (he criticises corruption ย within the political establishment in New York in his book), he gets back at his haters (before Twitter-Trump, there was letter-writing-Trump), he was able to get back on his feet after bankruptcy, he has always (by judging from this book) called a spade a spade, he comes across as a real-life monopoly player with an unblemished background after numerous bureaucratic assessments and in addition he is the definition of a capitalist, and I guess that is the issue more than anything else.ย 

More worryingly for his enemies: he is described as engaging in economic “sieges,” certainly adding a militaristic flair to the Trump phenomenon. The business environment is obviously described as competitive and filled with jealousy, so you have that element as well. Maybe there are other businessmen out there who wish they had run for office themselves … there are probably many money-makers out there who wish they were Trump……

In the book he constantly talks about “the market;” it is because of his ability to read “the market” and see “the market,” that he wins. This of course clashes with people from proper old-money, or those who are more elitist in their taste and feel that the “masses” are dull, stupid, uninteresting, you name it. Donald J.Trump is all about understanding what and how to sell. That seldom goes along with arrogance or an outright refusal to “sell out.” He shares his admiration for other people who also cater to whatever “market” that is relevant for the line of work that they are in.

He describes how an artist friend of his makes lots of money by simply pouring paint over a canvass, making a mess, selling it as modern art; ย which is a con-trick I’ve come across myself when I was introduced to an Asian female painter with three studios around the world who made her money by pouring paint unto canvasses, and folding and unfolding said canvasses. This was how she made her money, with eager buyers psychoanalyzing the emotional meaning behind her work…..

This “market” obsession is what a lot of “true” (or much better written: TRVE) artists and musicians turn away from in total disgust. If you choose to do proper classical crossover for example, there will be an understanding that this doesn’t hang as high as catering to the niche, elitist, market of “proper classical music.” Crossover acts sell more records, but that doesn’t really matter….

I also posses a certain snobbish flair when it comes to food and art (which I attribute to being European), but this is something that is only good in certain doses. I have myself turned down certain TV offers in the past, because I felt that appearing on such shows would hurt my brand; like it would taint me somehow. Such behaviour cannot be a constant factor though as you’ll never crossover into the mainstream in any sort of way, which I’ve thankfully done by being visible on some of the most mainstream TV-shows in my country of origin, yet even when I said yes to these things, I knew that there was a certain sense of “selling-out,” yet the opportunities seemed too fun and too good to turn down, and I was very right about that. I love doing TV.

I do know that great art a lot of times isn’t supported by “the market” but need “patronage” in order to survive. History proves this to be the case. People who really have “the attitude” though would scoff at “circus-entertainment,” or anything catering to the so-called “masses” such as a U.S. President eating burgers from McDonald’s. Capitalists such as Trump win financially because they seemingly don’t care about the snobs; offering apartments for sale in New York without discrimination, is a very good example, making a reality-show is another not to forget; bothering about the ordeals of so-called “commoners” like Annabel Hill; which paints the picture of a capitalist with a heart. And what can possibly beat strong leadership combined with compassion?

Even the story of Trump trying to kick out tenants who were paying ridiculously low rent as a result of “rent-control,” is an interesting case study, as these individuals who got a bargain and took advantage of the “system,” felt that they were being harassed when Trump’s people tried to run the building in accordance with the low rent they collected. This was seen as an act of harassment by the tenants. To quote Trump:

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the rich, it’s that they have a very low threshold for even the mildest discomfort.”

“It happens to be very easy to vacate a building if, like so many landlords, you don’t mind being a bad guy. When these landlords buy buildings they intend to vacate, they use corporate names that are difficult to trace. Then they hire thugs to come in with sledgehammers and smash up the boiler, rip out the stairways, and create floods by cutting holes in pipes. They import truckloads of junkies, prostitutes, and thieves and move them into vacant apartments to terrorize holdout tenants. That’s what I call harassment.” (This clearly illustrates “people used as weapons.” Which ย  ย  ย can be compared to how migration is handled by some).

The scenario described illustrates once again how a privileged few, convinced other people not as fortunate as themselves, to gang up together to fight a common enemy whose defeat ultimately would have profited the tenants who had the biggest flats the most. Trump’s dislike of wealthy people taking advantage of rent-controlled apartments can also be a reason as to why some people strongly dislike the current President, since people aren’t too keen on separating with their perks. Many celebrities taking advantage of “rent-control” are mentioned within the book….

Trump ends up fantasizing about offering the homeless his vacant apartments in said condominium, so that snobbish New Yorkers can share their living space with the less-fortunate. He backs down from this idea after his lawyers warn that it will become almost impossible to remove rough sleepers to prepare the building for demolition if he first initiates such an endeavour.

I’m suspecting that I’ve hit the nail somewhat on its head when it comes to why show-biz people have turned their backs so violently on the current U.S.President. Messy, absent-minded, artsy types seem to have an innate disgust towards suit-wearing money-makers like the ones Trump describes in his book. I wonder if the mentality goes both ways as the world described by someone like Donald J. Trump starkly contrasts any music industry related book. There is a personality contrast (on average) I’m suspecting, which is probably why artists have a tendency of being outspokenly anti-corporate, even if benefitting from major corporations and patronage from such people. This “night and day” contrast with deadline averse, unorganised artists on one side, and a no bullshit, no time to waste, mentality on the opposite spectrum, might illustrate my point.ย Artists would ironically enough be able to relate to business guys struggling to get financing for unique and new ideas, but I guess there is no interest in finding common ground if you as an artist hate and fight “the system,” while business people (might) think of artists as annoying, ungrateful, weirdos, with a strange dress-sense.

There are a great number of artists out there who are openly communist and would cringe at the idea of having their music placed in an ad, for example. Rather than seeing this as a golden opportunity, there would be many who would be opposed to such a thing. Licensing music for use in commercials should be the dream of any musician; I personally do not understand the official anti-business stance of a lot of show-biz characters since you are starting a business anyway the moment that you are selling a service or a product. You can might as well think big and aim high.

The greatest comedy in entertainment is when radical artists are in the receiving end of proper corporate backing and feel clever since they feel like they are fighting the machine from within, using capitalist tools. The capitalists also feel clever since they are making a profit off approved opposition and dissent, getting rich off anti-establishment punks, who actually enrich the very institutions that they criticise… This sort of oddity can to a certain degree be witnessed by anti-gun celebrities who’ve made their names by being gun-wielding action heroes, or #MeToo male feminists in show-biz unmasked as sexual predators.ย A box that Donald J. Trump’s critics have tried their best to place him in. The second that “locker-room” talk from the current President could be used as a tool to remove him from the 2016 election, his critics edited out what they needed and jumped at the opportunity to use it, only to see him win in the end anyway. It is particularly telling that the ace up their sleeve now come in the form of a certain lame storm that passed many, many, years ago.

There is a Russia-link funny enough on pages. 26-27 and on page 364 … This book however was published in 1987 and I’m guessing that Trump travelling to the Soviet Union to scout for potential prospects with his first wife doesn’t count… I’m willing to bet that Trump’s critics haven’t bothered to read his book. They should. Maybe they’ll turn around.

When you read “The Art Of The Deal” you get an insight into those who run the world; in other words: those who know how to handle money, make good business deals and don’t want to waste time on bullshit. Trump even meets with a Cardinal.

Politics and the world of real estate are closely linked and certainly puts into question the myth of property-rights in the Western world. I’ve previously mentioned in my entry: “An Insight Into The State of A European Nation โ€“ Election in Norway/Valg i Norge 2017.,” how easily rights gets compromised when red-tape and bureaucracy infringes on what a person can do with his/her property. It contradicts freedom and liberty to have politicians interfere with how or what ย you build on a piece of land that you’ve purchased, unless there is a concern for buildings of a historical value. If we are to have rights in the Western world, it would be good if these could be respected, if not they are merely a mirage….

Politicians are depicted as fishy weather-wanes in Trump’s book, obsessed with their own vanity, living in fear over any bad publicity since this can cost them votes. They are depicted as largely incompetent and untrustworthy.

I particularly enjoyed reading about “value engineering” and “quality control.” I’ve had a ridiculous amount of different addresses in my short life and know how sneaky landlords can be. They paint over blemishes and pretend like nothing, which is why it is crucial to hire a nosy “inspector” if you ever intended to rent, and especially buy something. More often than not you’ll find “fire traps” and/or “hazardous materials.” I would recommend people to smell the walls of their flats and/or houses, in order to detect any mould that has been painted over or any potential rot. It might make you look crazy, but at least you’ll know if someone is trying to be clever…

My favourite chapter was the one about the rebuilding of the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park.

After reading Donald J. Trump’s book I’m sure that he is thrilled over bureaucrats and feet-dragging within the political establishment that he now finds himself in…

A future President and world-leader can be seen when Trump says: “…I felt there was a bigger issue at stake. I’ve come to believe Ed Koch is so incompetent and destructive to New York that someone has to stand up and say so, publicly.

Nowhere can this President-in-the-making be sensed clearer than in the “What’s Next” section of the work: “ But what I admire most are people who put themselves directly on the line. I’ve never been terribly interested in why people give, because their motivation is rarely what it seems to be, and it’s almost never pure altruism. To me, what matters is the doing, and giving time is far more valuable than giving money. In my life, there are two things I’ve found I’m very good at: overcoming obstacles and motivating good people to do their best work. One of the challenges ahead is how to use those skills as successfully in the service of others as I’ve done, up to now, on my own behalf.

Conclusion: Donald J. Trump comes across as a very likeable guy, sharp, not someone you could easily fool, interested in the whereabouts of real people and what actually happens in the real-world. He comes across as someone critical of a political establishment only interested in enriching itself, and at odds with New York snobbery. He comes across as a successful “man-of-the-people,” in love with everything HUGE and beautiful. Those looking for anything Hitleresque will find themselves disappointed. Read this book whether you like President Trump or not.

More relating to the Trump administration & the US Presidency:

Warriors & Citizens โ€“ American Views of Our Military edited by Kori Schake & Jim Mattis.

Link to An Interview With The White House Chief of Staff.

Amusing Articles From The Political Correctness Police โ€ฆ

โ€œDecision Pointsโ€ by George W. Bush.

A Crash Course In Politics. (What It Is And What It Is Not).

4 Things I really like and agree with from “The Art Of The Deal”

  1. It doesn’t matter if you own something a 100% if what you own is worthless.
  2. It doesn’t matter if you have a stellar product if no one ever hears about it.
  3. There are lots of people out there with unfulfilled potential because they were never put in a setting where they could properly bloom.
  4. ย Leading a meritocratic operation will get out the best in people.

Selected Quotes from “The Art Of The Deal”

” … politicians don’t care too much about what things cost. It’s not their money.”

“You can’t ย be imaginative or entrepreneurial if you’ve got too much structure.”

“… if you’re right, you’ve got to take a stand, or people will walk all over you.”

“The way I see it, critics get to say what they want to about my work, so why shouldn’t I be able to say what I want about theirs?” – after writing a letter to a critic who ” …was knocking a design he hadn’t even looked at yet.”

“That experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut, no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you’re generally better off sticking with what you know. And the third is that sometimes your best investments are the ones you don’t make.”

“The worst things you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it.”

“It pays to trust your instincts.”

“The state official who cross-examined Hefner said afterward that several commissioners hadn’t liked Hefner’s demeanour and style on the witness stand.” On why some get licenses from the bureaucracy and why some don’t.

“There is nothing to compare with family if they happen to be competent, because you can trust family in a way you can never trust anyone else.”

“To this day not many people or companies are willing to go through the nightmare of licensing in New Jersey, which gives Nevada a big advantage in attracting new investors.”

Trump on the business of Sport: ” Porter bluntly outlined a multipart plan for declaring total war on our league, by employing numerous anti-competitive strategies. His two-and-a-half-hour presentation was divided into sections such as “Offensive Strategies,” “Guerrilla Warfare,” and “The Art of War – China 500 B.C.”

Trump on politicians: ” It’s fortunate for those city officials that they chose to go into city government rather than business. The deal they were suggesting was far worse for the city than the one I’d originally offered. I wasn’t about to fight them at my ย own expense.”

“…raise the possibility of bad press, even in an obscure publication, and most politicians will jump.”

“It irritates me that critics, who’ve neither designed nor built anything themselves, are given carte blanche to express their views in the pages of major publications, whereas the targets of their criticism are almost never offered space to respond.”

Trump on celebrity buyers of his apartments: ” Obviously, we were a natural choice for people connected with show business, in the sense that we’d created something very glamorous.”

“The truth is that we never hired anyone to do public relations, and every star who bought an apartment – Johnny Carson, Steven Spielberg, Paul Anka, Liberace – and many others – came to us.”

 

 

 

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