Donald Trump thinks he is a mafia boss, a don. Like in the Godfather. Why would he think that? Well, there is the obvious – he works, acts, lives like a Mafia boss…crooked and everything. Who knows what crimes he has committed? The guy is a very stable, stupid Corleone wannabe.
But, to be fair, he grew up in a mafia-dominated industry (Construction)and a mafia infused community. He’knew’ gangsters who were, in his own words, some really nice people. You know, like the white supremacists in Charlotteville?
The mafia had a big influence in NYC. I know. I was there.
Long story made short: In the late 80’s I was invited to do a proforma for the Rouse Group, a large real estate developer in New York. That invitation included a trip to NYC, a lot of fancy restaurants and a presentation to the board. I could easily do the revenue side of the proforma and I THOUGHT I could do a reasonable approximation of the capital expenditure side but I was not so sure about the operating proforma…you know…local cost of living, taxes and such…
When I presented the revenue projections, they were suitably impressed and I scored ‘points’…but when I ‘guestimated’ the capital costs, they were more than skeptical and the operating proforma was immediately rejected.
“Mr. Cox. Your construction estimates seem low and your running costs ARE DEFINITELY low!”
“Well, I used Canadian figures which I understood to be on the high side. What did I miss?”
And the meeting wrapped up quickly.
One of the guys walked out with me. “Dave, you did not include 20% for miscellaneous. The board doesn’t like that.”
“I was taught that the miscellaneous category was the space for fools who did NOT do their homework. I did my homework. I know the cost of janitorial services, pizza delivery and what people are tipped. I do not NEED a miscellaneous category.”
“Sorry. You don’t get it. Miscellaneous is what we call the ‘mafia tax’. Doing business in New York cost an extra 20%….mostly…but DEFINITELY in operating expenses. They ‘lean on ya’ doing construction but they lean a lot heavier once you are up and running. Call it the protection racket, corruption, whatever…doing business in New York has a miscellaneous expense and most savvy developers budget 20%. You did not.”
That was the 80’s. Trump was still learning the ‘game’ back then. He then played in that ‘game. And then….? Then he started to refer to himself as ‘the Donald’. At the time I was somewhat confused. Why would anyone nickname themselves ‘the Donald’? Seemed like a weird thing to do. I always wanted be nicknamed ‘the Flash’ or maybe “the Phantom” or even “Mad-dog”….but, despite writing ‘The Flash’ on my slippers in felt pen, nothing ever really stuck. People called me ‘Dave’.
I never wanted to be called ‘the Dave’.
But Trump went for ‘the Donald.’ And now I know why. ‘The Donald’ is his version of ‘the Don’. He thinks he is a mafia boss.
Why would he even THINK that way…?