Throughout the election season, Trump supporters declared that as a successful businessman he would run the country like a business in order to bring back jobs and fix all the things that were wrong with America. The sad fact is Trump isn’t the archetypal small-town businessman who looks after his workers. Instead, he is the archetypal ruthless corporate business owner with a no-holds-barred attitude who is willing to do anything in order to close the deal. What does that mean? That means shady business arrangements and backroom deals. It also explains his bully mentality, his narcissism and explosive temper, his racist and misogynistic tendencies and his irrational rants on Twitter.
Speaking of narcissistic businessmen with a short fuse, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick this week was forced to apologize and admit that he had to “grow up” after a video surfaced showing him swearing and screaming at an Uber driver who complained of his loss of wages due to the company lowering its fares. The exchange between the CEO and one of his employees (or, I’m sorry, an independent contractor with barely any benefits1) provided a vivid example of the growing rift between workers and executives, mostly seen with the growing discrepancy between what executives make and what workers get paid.2
Uber, the pioneer of the new kind of economy called the sharing economy, is valued at over $60 billion3. With a recent string of bad publicity news4 this video should serve as a wake-up call to Kalanick and everybody else who is invested in this company that the unfair treatment of its employees is not going to go unnoticed.
The incident should also serve as a wake-up call to people who think successful heads of corporations make good presidents. A president shouldn’t show such disdain for his people like this CEO did for his worker.
Trump has filed for bankruptcy six times5 and has laid people off like any shrewd businessman would do. Should that business approach be the right way to run America?
We are well into the 21st Century but it seems that a significant number of our citizens have had enough of egalitarianism and tolerance. A vote for Trump was a protest vote, and although a lot of people don’t like Trump as a person, they still support him because of what he represents: An outsider willing to take risks and shake things up in Washington. They are tired of seeing foreign-looking and foreign-sounding people in their field of view of their daily lives. They want a wall to separate us from Mexico. These people like him because he is doing what he said he was going to do, but he is filling his Cabinet with corporate executives which will lead, if it hasn’t already, to conflicts of interest6. He and many others in his Cabinet have vested interests overseas which put our national security at risk. All of these things don’t matter, however, to the die-hard conservatives.