It would be great to be born rich. Obviously, the money would be great. But let’s forget about that. You’d still be rich — or at least well off. That’s because of all of the investment and employment opportunities you would have. You would be connected — networked! That’s what it is all about. There is a wonderful quote in (for the third time today) Nicole Aschoff’s excellent, The New Prophets of Capital, “Going to State University and stalking potential employers on LinkedIn is not equivalent to going to Harvard and having a CEO for an uncle.” Right!
But let’s not limit this. If you were born here in the United States — the child of a couple of people who represent generations here, you have some advantages too. At least you have advantages over people who swim the Rio Grande and somehow survive their way through the desert. You would generally have an uncle who can at least put in a good word for you even at a crummy company. So it is better to be an American than an immigrant. Or it would be if all else were equal.
Of course, all else is not equal. Let’s face it: if you risked death swimming the Rio Grande and hiking through the desert, you are probably made of better stuff than the natural born American. And this is why immigrants are often hugely successful in this country. One of the great myths of America is that we are a nation of immigrants! And we are — in a technical sense. Even the slaves who were brought here against their will represent the ones who survived. Their descendants come from people who lived through lifetimes of torture. If there is such a thing as American exceptionalism, it is that.
But most Americans hate immigrants. I even have a friend who seems to think that he — knowing only English — is at a disadvantage for jobs compared to people who speak pretty much exclusively Spanish. It’s all kind of a whine, anyway, as he’s naturally good at languages and could pick up Spanish if he really wanted. But the main thing is that while knowing Spanish in California is certainly helpful, if you could only pick a single language to know, English is by far the best choice.
My point in bringing all this up is that I’m mostly for an open boarder. And I certainly think that the people who have risked death to get here just so they could work in the grey economy should be given green cards immediately. These are the most American people in the world! They are more American than anyone I know who was born here. They are certainly more American than Donald Trump.
Here’s a fun fact. I just wrote an article, Donald Trump Is Rich Because He Was Born Rich. That puts the best gloss of Trump that you can. There are a number of people who think that Trump’s actual wealth is only about a quarter of a billion dollars. That’s a lot, of course. But he inherited $50 million in 1974. Adjusting just for the rate of inflation, this represents — Wait for it! — a quarter billion dollars!
Trump is certainly very American — in the worst sense of the term: privileged, arrogant, and creepy. But when I say the people who risk death to get here are the ultimate Americans, I’m talking about in the good way — the way that does make America better.
Yes, the Donald Trump Piñata is a real thing. Get ’em while they last!