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Book Review: Trump’s Sloppy, Illogical ‘Crippled America’ Is A Jumble Of Contradictions

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Book Review: Trump’s Sloppy, Illogical ‘Crippled America’ Is A Jumble Of Contradictions

Book review on Donald Trump’s Crippled America

Given how often Donald Trump reminds us of his incredible accomplishments as a businessman, you might reasonably expect that his new book on “how to make America great again” would include a business plan.

You know, an actual how-to with specific proposals, details, revenue projections, cost estimates, risk analyses, and, especially, how to get the Congress he denigrates to turn his ideas into law.

Instead, all that buyers of Crippled America get for their $25 (retail) is a jumble of contradictions and thoughts that have not yet reached the half-baked stage. The book reads as if it were assembled from a lot of brief voice memos; to call it dictated would be an offense to that verb.

Crippled America is so badly organized, illogical, and filled with made-up facts that one wonders why Trump never said “you’re fired” to any of the 23 people he embarrasses by thanking them for their help stretching his lightweight thoughts to fill 193 small pages — mostly through the canny use of large type.

Slipped in between his endlessly repetitive self-praise are some sound economic ideas. What’s missing is any semblance of understanding how to turn those ideas into law.

In that same vein, Trump also praises the murderous Russian dictator and military aggressor Vladimir Putin, calling him the world’s only effective leader. To paraphrase Mel Brooks, it’s nice to be a dictator and not to have to deal with Congress, the courts, or a constitution.

It has become de rigueur for politicians to denounce government waste. And in doing so, Trump manages to both contradict himself and get his facts wrong.

Trump says, rightly, that we need to spend a lot more on infrastructure. At page 126 he says, “if we are serious about making America great again, this is where we have to start.”

But 32 pages later Trump writes “$9.6 billion could be saved” by ending the Rural Utilities Service program. That’s an infrastructure financing program that benefits about 4,6 million people this year and its fiscal 2015 budget was $7.3 billion, far less than Trump’s figure. The program’s budget authority — what Congress provides from taxpayers — is less than $400 million.

Ask yourself how any competent businessman, much less Trump The Great, could be off by such a large factor.

The book Crippled America is rife with contradictions like this, all of them indicative of the lack of rigorous analysis we could expect from a President Trump, who cites Woody Allen’s 1973 sci-fi parody Sleeper as a source. But then why would his lack of sophistication come as a surprise, given that his self-declared expertise lies in using journalists and other people’s money to get rich and get himself three wives with what he regards as good looks?

Much of the book is devoted to attacking journalists, especially those few Totos of the press who have pulled back the curtain on his Oz-like bluster.

Consider Trump’s writing on page 17 about his embarrassing responses to some smart questions asked by Hugh Hewitt, the studious right-wing radio talk show host. Trump tried to fake his way through, only to establish that he couldn’t distinguish a Qud from a Kurd.

Most Americans would be stumped by Hewitt’s questions. But most Americans are not asking to be made commander in chief. Instead of admitting he was in over his head and promising to do better,
Trump whines in his book that the questions were unfair, a gotcha game of Trivial Pursuit.

You can just imagine Trump in the White House, lost and confused, after Congress, some world leader (like Putin or Angela Merkel), or even the beheading bunch at ISIL refuse to follow Trump’s script. “Not fair!” Trump will complain, impotently.

Conflating issues is a classic Trump strategy. On page 2 he writes about “members of the media who are so lost when it comes to being fair that they have no concept of the difference between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion.’”

Trump goes after Michelle Singletary of the Washington Post, Kyle Smith of the New York Post, and “the odious” Jonah Goldberg of National Review, decrying them as hacks “who are supposed to be reporting the news [but] have no concept of fairness.”

No, they do not report the news. All three write opinion columns. (Well, Goldberg tries.)

Trump does not name a single news reporter, or publication, that erred. He does, however, make it clear that the only stories he finds reliable are those that accept as gospel whatever he says.

Lacking any actual evidence, Trump makes stuff up. Consider his all-upper-case assertion on page 14 about news coverage of his remarks that the Mexican government was sending rapists and murders to the United States.


My research assistant and I both ran checks through Nexis and Google, but could not find a single news clip that supports either of those statements. But to Trump that is of no concern because facts are what he says they are, no matter the empirical evidence.

Similarly, Trump says, “women are flocking to my message… Likewise, Hispanics are climbing on board…”

The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows women flocking to Ben Carson, at least in Iowa, where they favor the retired doctor over Trump 33 percent to 13 percent. Trump’s favorability among Hispanics runs under 30 percent. But be assured that the pollsters, even the ones working for Fox, must be in cahoots against him because he tells us again and again that just about everyone loves Trump, even “the blacks.”

Again and again, Trump claims that various falsehoods have been reported about him without providing any supporting detail or verifiable facts. He writes several times that he doesn’t mind being attacked, that he doesn’t use the press, but that he depends on the press — except when he never does.

Most intriguing is Trump’s assertion at page 145 that profits breed dishonesty:

People sometimes forget that the newspapers and television stations are profit-making businesses – or at least they’re trying to be. If they have to choose between honest reporting and making a profit, which choice do you think they will make?

The reasonable question to ask Trump is whether his lifelong pursuit of profits has had any effect on his choices and his integrity. We already have the answer to that question from his own sworn testimony about how he inflates his personal wealth — and in a finding by a federal judge, after a trial, that he cheated illegal immigrant workers in pursuit of profits.

Making up attacks on journalists will play well with those who don’t actually read the news and harbor all sorts of negative opinions about the press — opinions which are themselves based on the opinions of people who profit from distorting the news, like Goldberg and the team at Murdoch’s Faux News.

Trump writes that his plan to eliminate income taxes for half of households and reduce the top tax rate from 39.6 percent (plus an add-on for very rich investors) to 25 percent will be “revenue neutral.”

That’s not just bad math, its typical Trumponomics, in which sales pitches and wishes are all that matter and cold hard analysis does not exist.

The conservative Tax Foundation has pointed out that in the first decade federal revenues would fall by $12 trillion – more than a third of the currently expected stream of tax dollars. The annual budget deficit, which has come down sharply under President Obama, would soar to record highs. It would probably be much worse than the estimate, since the Tax Foundation’s footnotes show it excluded many factors, in part because of vagaries in the Trump plan.

My own calculations suggest that Trump would have the federal government spend at least $1.50 for each dollar of tax revenue. This year the Obama administration will spend less than three cents more per dollar than taxes bring in. So if you love federal debt, Trump’s your man.

Given Trump’s serial business bankruptcies and government-backed favors that forced others to relinquish some of their wealth to him, as documented from public records in various books including my 1992 book Temples of Chance, his debt repayment record should make taxpayers nervous, even terrified.

That brings up a critical point about his campaign. As with his many business deals he sells the sizzle, not the steak. Any rigorous analysis of Trump’s campaign promises, vague as they are, will show that he would plunge the nation into economic disaster.

On tax policy, Trump takes a lesson from the deceptive playbook used by George W. Bush in the 2000 election. The Bush campaign would not say what its plan was except for a few details designed to appeal to middle-class voters, and its online calculator only worked for incomes up to $100,000.

Trump promises at page 153 to repeal the “death tax,” though no such tax exists. What he intends, but does not say, is to let super rich Americans like himself escape taxes on the increased value of their fortunes, transferring it all free of tax to their heirs. That would shift tax burdens down the income ladder and increase our extreme inequality.

Trump also displays appalling ignorance of corporate taxation, probably because he generally organized his businesses as partnerships, often in which he was both the general partner and the majority limited partner to get the favorable accounting and tax treatment Congress bestows on such arrangements.

“American-owned corporations have as much as $2.5 trillion in cash sitting overseas,” he writes, but will not bring it home “because the tax rate here is much higher than they are paying in other countries.”

First, it’s closer to $5 trillion held offshore by non-financial companies, as my analysis of IRS and Federal Reserve reports showed last year.

Second, in that quoted line Trump entirely misses the reason that money is offshore. By siphoning profits out of the country, multinational companies turn the burden of the corporate income tax into a profit center. By deferring the tax, the companies get a zero interest loan from Uncle Sam, which many of them then invest in Treasury bonds, forcing American taxpayers to pay them to defer their taxes — a system that takes from the many to enrich the multinationals.

He also proposes a 15 percent tax rate on business, which for privately held firms would cause enormous economic distortion as owners try to avoid his proposed 20 percent and 25 percent rates on income taken from those firms. Combine his tax rate on business and repeal of the estate tax and you supercharge the fortunes of the already rich by shifting tax burdens on to everyone else, including those trying to work their way to riches.

Like his ultra low-budget campaign, Crippled America is not so much about making America great as it is about selling Trump The Magnificent, so he can get a new and more lucrative job as a television entertainer. He has demonstrated for sure that there is a vast audience of people short on critical thinking skills who just adore his brand of self-aggrandizing blather.

So desperate for praise is Trump that the back cover includes a quote from Robert Redford. Had the author spent two minutes checking the facts, he might have grasped that the acclaimed actor and director was damning him with faint praise.

There is a lesson in the meaning of the Trump candidacy: Ask not what Trump can do for your country, ask what you can do for Trump.

Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again by Donald J. Trump; Simon & Schuster (208 pages, $25)

David Cay Johnston

David Cay Johnston won a 2001 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of taxes in The New York Times. The Washington Monthly calls him “one of America’s most important journalists” and the Portland Oregonian says is work is the equal of the great muckrakers Ida Tarbell, Lincoln Steffens and Upton Sinclair.

At 19 he became a staff writer at the San Jose Mercury and then reported for the Detroit Free Press, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and from 1995 to 2008 The New York Times.

Johnston is in his eighth year teaching the tax, property and regulatory law at Syracuse University College of Law and Whitman School of Management.

He also writes for USA Today, Newsweek and Tax Analysts.

Johnston is the immediate past president of the 5,700-member Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE) and is board president of the nonprofit Investigative Post in Buffalo.

His latest book Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality an anthology he edited. He also wrote a trilogy on hidden aspects of the American economy -- Perfectly Legal, Free Lunch, and The Fine Print – and a casino industry exposé, Temples of Chance.

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  1. bcarreiro November 7, 2015

    He took advantage of the handicap.

  2. Independent1 November 7, 2015

    Why am I not surprised that Donald Trump would write a book that essentially tries to scam readers of his book into believing in and maybe voting for him (those who are not really knowledgeable of the issues like David Cay Johnston); with his half-baked facts and contrived statistics and figures!! Is that not how he has essentially operated all of his life?? In scamming people into investing in many of his half-baked projects – many that were never completed, or which went bankrupt in just a few years???

  3. TiredOfTheHaters November 7, 2015

    How long will we have to be subjected to Uncle Ben’s rice(lies) and “Trump”ed up charges(false ideas)?

    1. joe schmo November 7, 2015

      Probably until 2020:)

      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 8, 2015

        Home boy is still dreaming those bizarre dreams.

    2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 8, 2015

      Uncle Ben’s rice—nice analogy!! That’s a “brand” I avoid like the plague, although the grocery store variety is palatable when one’s in a real hurry.

  4. joe schmo November 7, 2015

    By the way, Trump is right. Mexico is not sending their best or their brightest. His assertions are correct. As are his ideas on infrastructure. He is very organized with regards to business. My father worked for him for a time. He is extremely thorough and gets the job done efficiently. He is perfectly capable of running a nation. He speaks what the American Citizen wants to hear.

    Seems like the odds are against you liberals all over the U.S. Kentucky just voted in another Republican governor. The second in 2 decades. Ohio voted out pot. Texas is getting rid of Planned Parenthood. When you look at the governors, senators and congressman voted in the last 2 years. Makes you think does’t it? That something is seriously wrong with your party.

    TRUMP 2016

    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 8, 2015

      We still patiently await for you to think independently and not be so effusive over the hoopla of Trump, and to stop basking in his dim “glow”. And don’t over-inflate those trivial wins in the states you mention. Those insignificant events hardly indicate a trend, nor presage the golden era of The Right you so fervently await, but, alas, can NEVER occur.

      Y’all be good now, you hear?

    2. The lucky one November 8, 2015

      ” My father worked for him for a time.” Oh I see, that’s another example of you knowing the score because of research. What did he do, follow the Duck around with a shovel?

    3. oldtack November 8, 2015

      Trump was correct on this point when he stated his opinion of the masses flooding across the Southern border. But, not all of those that cross over into the US from Mexico are Mexican citizens. They are from all parts of Central and South America and probably other places as well. They are not the cream of the crop by any means. Some do flee across the border to escape the oppression of the Drug cartels.and some just to find a better life,but many are what Trump called them, thieves and drug people.

      We definitely need to close that Border. I think there are probably more feasible ways than a tall fence but nevertheless it needs to be closed.

    4. jmprint November 9, 2015

      What makes you think that Mexico is here to send their best. Joe schmuck I’m sure your ancestors weren’t creme of the crop when they landed on our grounds. Everyday there are killings, everyday they are committed by US citizens, so what’s the difference where they come from we are no better.

      1. Danger November 11, 2015

        So because you assert that past immigrants (who came her illegally) were somehow “bad”, that means we should accept rapists and murderers??

        Wow, the stupid of the left just burns!!!

      2. David November 12, 2015

        Excuse me? We are quite a bit better!

  5. charleo1 November 8, 2015

    My God! The Republican nomination process has deteriorated into a battle of the titan flimflammers! Even Ted the Tea Partier is being left in the dust! First, by a certifiable conspiracy spewing, looney tunes, surgeon. And slick talking reality t.v. host. It all makes one long for the relative sanity of a one time “Bedtime For Bonzo,” Star. After Nixon, I guess the thought was, how could we do any worse? Then proceeded to answer their own question with Ronald Reagan. Now after Bush, same question, same answer. Where does all the clown show goof balling end with the outrageous, “Conservatives?”

  6. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 8, 2015

    Trump has written a book? God protect us all from the condition of “Majnun”(Persian term denoting madness”) that constantly holds the extremists on the Right in its vise-like grip.
    But, if Anne Coulter can write books, Trump should be accorded the right to do so also.
    I may peruse it when it comes out in cheap paper towels form.

    In the meantime, happy reading(I think).

    1. plc97477 November 8, 2015

      I am waiting for it to come out in toilet tissue form.

      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth November 8, 2015

        Funny that you should say that—that was my first thought, but I thought I would cut him some slack, give him a “D-“, and upgrade him from toilet paper to paper towel.
        By the way, there’s insider info that the trash(I mean, book) will be in the top-10 of “The Snoozers” Book Review. It’ll be able to both cure insomnia and serve as a toy for one’s pet dog, without having to take pills. Think of that!!!

      2. Jmz Nesky November 10, 2015

        I’d rather see the movie… when it comes out as a flea mart’s half-priced dollar special.

  7. stuart21 November 8, 2015

    “he writes about “members of the media who are so lost when it comes to being fair that they have no concept of the difference between ‘fact’ and ‘opinion.”

    yer shittin’ me.

    Just two weeks ago I saw a woman ask him what he would do about climate change. He responded by asking the audience ‘who believed in climate change?’

    One and a half timid hands go up (yes, it was that kind of audience)

    He then stated ‘see – nobody believes in climate change – it doesn’t exist’

    With him as Prez, at least education will be easier – we can eliminate the word ‘opinion’ from the vocab class –

    1. Danger November 11, 2015

      There is no proof of climate changed caused by humans. Just a bunch of “scientists” who want more grant money and keep claiming the sky is falling.
      First is was cooling, then it warming, now it’s climate change. ROFL!!! Keep tap dancing that narrative!!

  8. greenlantern1 November 8, 2015

    Trump’s TAJ MAHAL paid a $45,000 fine, to Christie’s game commission, because it ran illegal slot machines!
    Trump’s TAJ MAHAL was used, for money-laundering, by terrorists!
    Republican business as usual?

    1. Gillettestevens November 8, 2015

      It worse than that. Trumps Taj Mahal was used as a landing-pad for pterodactyls coming in from the fourth dimension…spread the word.

  9. Dominick Vila November 8, 2015

    The successful bids for the nomination of the Republican party by candidates like Donald Trump and Dr. Carson highlight how low are expectations have dropped, and how easily it is to persuade so many fellow Americans to support the candidacies of people who are, clearly, unqualified for the most powerful Office in the world. The emphasis on supporting people who are not part of the “establishment” simply means the exclusion of people who are familiar with the nuances of governance, who are not familiar with critical foreign policy matters, and who can’t even explain the tax policies they borrowed from someone else when their claims are challenged. The fact that people like Trump and Carson are close to winning the nomination of the Republican party should give every one of us time to pause and reflect on what is happening. How can a businessman with a questionable record, and a neurosurgeon with bizarre opinions rise to the level they have says more about our society, our values, our expectations, and our sense of responsibility than the idiocy that emanates from the charlatans that can’t help themselves when it comes to demonstrating their ignorance.

    1. David November 8, 2015

      But Hildebeast is so much better!

      1. Insinnergy November 8, 2015

        How cute… you have no actual facts or argument so you resort to name calling. Back to grade 4 with you.

        1. David November 8, 2015

          I call it as it is. She is nothing more than a thief and liar.

          1. Insinnergy November 10, 2015

            No. You misogynistically demonise and denigrate your political opponent. Why?
            Because you’re not smart enough to use your words… and the facts do not support your argument.

          2. David November 10, 2015

            Oh, but the facts DO support my argument. Where would you like to start — theft or lies?

          3. Danger November 11, 2015

            Let’s take the lies!

            Bengazi? She has so many lies going it’s crazy. But then “What difference does it make!!?!?” I’m sure it makes a difference to the men who died and their families.

          4. David November 11, 2015

            So true! Benghazi is only the tip of the iceberg. How about, “Dodging sniper fire in Bosnia”? Will the libtards have the spine to talk about that?

          5. Danger November 11, 2015

            She must be related to Brian Williams. Leftists are always full of lies.

          6. David November 11, 2015

            A conservative gets mad when you tell him a lie.
            A liberal gets mad when you tell him the truth.
            T. Roosevelt

          7. Insinnergy November 11, 2015

            Please provide a link to the evidence of Hillary lying about Benghazi.
            (And don’t bother to raise the “talking points” issue… it’s been done to death and there’s no there there.)

            Please also provide links to the evidence of lying provided by each of the previous 7 investigation panels into Benghazi.

            Please also provide a link to the current Benghazi Commission’s declaration that they have evidence that Hillary lied about Benghazi.

            And please also provide links to actual legal action being taken by any branch of government against Hillary Clinton for lying about Benghazi.

            While you’re failing at finding any of that (Hint: It doesn’t exist), please by all means continue playing with your own sockpuppet “Danger”.
            P.S. That’s ‘playing with yourself’ for the slowbies.

            It appears highly likely from the exchange above that “David” is an astroturfer.

            How interesting.

            I must run a language analysis on posts from the other retarded Fox regurgitators here and see how many sockpuppets “David” has.

            Background for those interested:

          8. David November 12, 2015

            Start with a movie was the cause of the attack–even knowing that Al Queda was the power behind it.

          9. Insinnergy November 11, 2015

            Wow, what a execrable idiot.

            Try this one:

            “There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will be neither a short nor an easy task, but it can be done.”

            President Teddy Roosevelt

            Read more: http://bluenationreview.com/six-liberal-quotes-republican-presidents-will-freak/#ixzz3rEDKibaK

          10. Insinnergy November 11, 2015

            I would like to start with evidence.
            I know that’s absurd for you fact-free Republican knuckle-draggers… but humour me.

  10. John Irby November 8, 2015

    Sloppy, illogical, a jumble of contradictions??? I’m sorry to hear that. That’s exactly what America’s huge moron majority is looking for in a president. That means Bernie or Hillary will have to get a frontal lobotomy or a serious case of alzheimer’s to compete with that kind of assault. Lots of luck on that.

  11. David November 8, 2015

    whatever happened to that Alaskan woman, now there was a candidate, of course she went rogue on us, which according to my dictionary means she was a liar. but still what else do we have?

    1. stuart21 November 10, 2015

      Should be up for parole soon.

      Gabby weren’t so lucky.

  12. Danger November 11, 2015

    Wow you really hate Trump.

    As a person who works with data every day of my life, you miss key questions which is exactly why your op-ed article is complete and utter $hit.

    Your first question should be to compare where he got his numbers instead of assuming yours are correct. Maybe he used forecast numbers? Maybe they were over budget on other numbers?

    But of course, rather than check to find the data discrepancy, best to just attack the man you hate.

    1. davidcayjohnston November 11, 2015

      What a bizarre conclusion to draw, person who hides behind the nom d’Internet “Danger.”

      I don’t hate Trump — or anyone else. How sad that rather than deal in facts you make baseless accusations and resort to foul language rather than civil debate. Almost as sad is your not knowing an op-ed from what this was, a clearly labeled book review

      You don’t say which numbers you are referring to. In his book Trump gives no source for his figures. His book has no index, no footnotes and very few attributions. In a book review the convention is to judge the book on what the author wrote, not what the author could have written, but did not.

      1. Danger November 11, 2015

        A book review masquerading as an op-ed you mean.

        And it is clear by your entire “review” that you hate him and if you disagree then you are quite simply a liar.
        Did you happen to forget your “21 questions for Trump”? It is more than clear where you stand politically Davey boy.

        But, let’s get to those pesky facts. You saw his numbers and cited only one possible number as the answer and then declared his number wrong. If this was a real review, from an unbiased and educated person, the author would have noted that there could be several different ways for Trump to get to his number.

        But no, your interest is only in bashing Trump.

        1. davidcayjohnston November 11, 2015

          Now I do wonder who cowers behind this nom d’Internet, making wild accusations and getting simple facts wrong.

          As for the wages info, I explicitly note that this data is not dispositive and instead I rely on data signed under penalty of perjury comparing persons in the same position in similar size enterprises:

          **To be sure, some people deny that bias is the reason women make less than men. They say that many women choose lower-paying occupations like coffee-shop waitress, where the hourly minimum wage has been fixed since 1993 at just $2.13 an hour plus tips.

          Others say that pay is low because women often leave the work force temporarily to care for children, so their pay necessarily falls behind.

          But such arguments don’t add up, especially when reviewing head-to-head comparisons of people with the same job duties in the nonprofit world….

          Men in the top job earned more than women in every one of the nine GuideStar size categories and outnumbered women in the larger organizations.

          For groups with budgets of less than $1 million, the gender pay gap shrank from 2003 to 2013. For the smallest organizations, it narrowed from a 15-percent male premium to just 6 percent.

          At the largest organizations, those spending $50 million or more, the gender gap dropped from 27 percent to 18 percent.

          But for organizations between $1 million and $10 million, the pay gap grew by more than a third…

          The whole piece is here: http://bit.ly/1PUU0Ry

          If you can show any actual error it will be corrected promptly and forthrightly.

          1. Danger November 12, 2015

            Why is “who I am” so important to you? Shouldn’t it only be the ideas I present?

            Your statement here…..

            “Gender discrimination is a problem in every part of the economy. Men averaged $41,005 in wages in 2012, while women averaged $30,289, my latest analysis of Social Security data shows. That means for each dollar women earned, men made $1.33.”

            Does nothing to normalize the data, other than your matching up “head to head” comparisons. On what basis did you do this head to head matchup? What work did you cite for these numbers? What did they control for?

            Without checking ANY of these, all you are doing from your quote above and in your article, is repeating an oft-debunked myth with no effort to normalize the data beyond what you directly see. Was there any effort at all there to control for hours worked? Time spent at the office? Prior experience and qualifications? Accomplishments?

            A solid study was done 7 years ago to review if there actually was a pay gap, with information which you may find surprising. Hopefully you use this newfound knowledge to stop spreading the gender wage-gap myth.


            As for this……
            “As for the wages info, I explicitly note that this data is not dispositive and instead I rely on data signed under penalty of perjury comparing persons in the same position in similar size enterprises”

            Point to me where you say this in your article? Because it certainly appears to me that you just cite numbers with no references and make no statements about it’s accuracy all while pounding the table as if such numbers are fact.

          2. davidcayjohnston November 12, 2015

            You should read the linked article which, as I wrote, makes clear the simple male/female data is not enough and then examines pay for people with the same job in similar sized organizations — a study which has been done annually for 15 years and in which I cite some comparisons about pay differential trendlines. It is also data submitted under penalty of perjury, making it highly reliable.

          3. Danger November 12, 2015

            I read the article, but there is no link to any study showing how this “comparison” was done, and what was or was not controlled for.

            Will this study be forthcoming?

            I did supply you with one which negates your arguments and those of the article you cite which seems to be missing this phantom study you mention….

          4. davidcayjohnston November 12, 2015

            You are correct that the link I embedded in my Chronicle of Philanthropy column has been deleted. You can get the basics of the report and arrange access to the full report (and all 14 previous reports) at this link:


          5. Danger November 12, 2015

            2015 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report at a Glance

            What: Analyses of compensation paid by 105,406 exempt organizations in FY 2013

            Who should purchase: Exempt organizations researching compensation, consultants advising nonprofits on compensation, regulators examining compensation, researchers studying nonprofit compensation

            Why: To research reasonable compensation

            How: Aggregates and parses compensation data reported on IRS Forms 990 and 990-EZ for 154,765 positions in FY 2013

            How much: Starting at $374

            The “How” shows that they are only measuring compensation, but not controlling for anything whatsoever. Whereas the study I provided is an actual statistical analysis controlling for numerous variables.

            In short, you are citing a flat average of apples and oranges, whereas the study I provided actually shows the reality when you control for important impactful items regarding pay.

          6. davidcayjohnston November 12, 2015

            Using same position and similar size organizations and actual data reported with a jurat, not sampling, with a very large base (105,406 tax returns) is to you not worthy. Well, opinions vary.

            The Consad study using much older sampling data is highly detailed, but I could pick holes in it all day long for data not considered and the ways in which data is and is not collected, though I am sure the regression analysis accurately reflects what was examined.

            The disparities in the Guidestar reports are large. The data also show that as enterprise size increases the ratio of males in the top job rises until men overwhelmingly dominate at the $50 million and up annual level and are bad significantly more. Unless you think there is a shortage of qualified women to run nonprofits then you need to explain away such broad differences.

            Dismiss that if you wish. And all of this has zip to do with my review of Trump’s book.

          7. Danger November 12, 2015

            1. 2009 data is hardly “much older”.
            2. It is EXACTLY those details in the data which matter. Or do you really think a CEO with less experience and who works less hours should be paid the same as one with more experience and who works more hours?
            3. You could pick holes, so get started. I picked holes in yours. Trying to push a social agenda based only on a broad brush with no analysis is not only dangerous, it is morally and logically wrong. But that is exactly what you are doing.
            4. Why would I need to dismiss broad differences when you have not established why you THINK that there should be equivalent representation of gender in those positions? In other words, if more women are choosing family over career, or if fewer women are choosing the appropriate degrees, on what basis do you believe they should have equal numbers at the top spots?

            And yes, this has everything to do with your review of “numbers” in Trump’s book because you have demonstrated your failure to apply basic critical thinking skills and analysis for determining cause and effect. You turn broad based data into a Social Justice Warrior weapon but cannot back up the data when pressed with important questions which are determining factors for what happens in real life.

            With the approach you use and the lack of analysis on the right metrics one may as well say that the NBA is racist for not having enough white players which should equally represent the demographics of the US population base.

          8. Danger November 13, 2015

            You said: “Using same position and similar size organizations and actual data reported with a jurat, not sampling, with a very large base (105,406 tax returns) is to you not worthy.”

            No response from you to my latest reply so I guess that the above is your argument and you are done discussing. Basically you believe that when measuring salary there is no need to control for hours worked, experience or accomplishments achieved while in the position, but that only one metric matters, gender.

            Therefore your argument is that as long as you have the same “title”, then performance level and hours worked are irrelevant to pay. I wager you won’t be running any business ventures in the near or distant future.

          9. davidcayjohnston November 13, 2015

            If you think the top job running a $50m and up nonprofit is less than full time you are not being serious. Ditto those at even the $5 million spending level. I’m married to the CEO of a nonprofit that is exceptionally successful by every measure (impact, influence, finances, growth, efficiency, etc.), especially given the market where the enterprise she leads operates.

            I co-founded a successful business that is still doing nicely and that we could easily grow into a multi-million enterprise except I have more important and interesting work to do. A number of wealthy business owners have sought, and seek, my advice on solving their management problems. I have been the person in charge of setting the pay for the top position at enterprises in which I helped restore financial stability through strong management, sound financial controls and solid revenue streams.

            My articles on management prompted Jack Welch to give up his retirement perks (value about $70 million); prompted the firing of the worldwide head of E&Y; the adoption of numerous laws and regulations by Congress, state legislatures and regulatory agencies; major changes in mismanagement of huge government agencies (and some that resisted acting on what I showed until things got much more serious, like being placed under the aegis of a federal judge).

            In addition to teaching graduate business students for seven years (my latest class was filled minutes after enrollment opened, but as always I accomodate more students ) I have a wall of awards and honors from business schools from across the country.

            So your assumptions are just that — and as with most assumptions are wrong.

            Your posts indicate you are very interested in reinforcing that which you believe to be true, or wish to be true, and in rejecting any indications that are not just to the contrary, but do not neatly fit your existing views. Its a natural human tendency, but one that does not enlighten. So try to keep this in mind: even on the same set of facts opinions vary auto their significance and meaning, which is why we have many voices in the marketplace of ideas. I have found that crucial to my well-documented success as an adviser, author, businessman, consultant, investor, journalist and lecturer.

            Now on to new work.

          10. Danger November 13, 2015

            You don’t need to validate yourself to me with all of your “accomplishments”. Unless you need those to feel less inadequate due to your weak arguments?

            Your strawman argument of “not full time” is a full dodge of my statement regarding hours worked (different argument than the “full-time” strawman you erected), experience and results.

            So again, your argument is that all should be paid equally regardless of those key factors. Seems extremely weak, especially since you cited the “average pay” gap myth in your original argument.

            With this shoddy homework you have done, it’s not wonder your hatred for Trump fizzles when it comes to actual homework and data.

          11. davidcayjohnston November 13, 2015

            You think executives get paid by the hour? ROTFLMAO.

            Not wasting any more time with your ridiculous arguments. You would do well to delve into the robust literature on executive compensation, including my prize-winning work the issues, none of which has anything to do with hours worked but in which you will read about judgement, strategy, vision and execution.

          12. Danger November 13, 2015

            Way to erect another strawman.

            If you think hours worked are not a direct contribution to success (regardless of the level you hold in an organization) than that is exactly why you fail at simple reasoning skills.
            The reality stands, segmenting pay rate on just gender is sheer stupidity, and yet you base an entire article on this premise, without controlling for experience, hours put in or success rate.
            Of course you are going to run away like a coward now, your argument is too flimsy for anything else, and citing your “price winning” work does nothing to make your argument more sound.

          13. davidcayjohnston November 13, 2015

            Let’s see, I personally hunted down a stone cold killer and got an innocent man freed from prison; I ran into a burning building once and towards them two other times; I exposed spies by name; I have been rough dup by black radicals, Teamsters, Longshoremen; I’ve spent long periods of time with a mob hitman (whom I even had in my home, my 7th child on his knee while I made us coffee)…. so, yes. it must be that I am disengaging because of cowardice. Again ROTFLMAO. You write from assumptions, not facts.

            The reason is that you have no interest in dialogue or learning, only in clinging to what you wish to be true, screening out anything that suggests what you think may not be so.

            I am rare among journalists in engaging readers. But your notions, such as they are “Danger,” are not worth my time.

          14. Danger November 13, 2015

            You can cite all of your “historical credentials” as much as you want. None of it matters as long as I point out the flaws in your basic argument.

            But please, tell us more about how experience, hours worked and ability have nothing to do with CEO pay (or any other job for that matter), and that gender is the only variable worth mentioning.

            Perhaps someday you will learn that your simplistic comic-book view of the world is what brings you to such awfully incorrect conclusions.

  13. JD December 30, 2015

    Too bad, this review was very interesting but I had to finally cease reading after your second attack on Goldberg. (I’m no fan of his writing or views, but you lost integrity by going after him.)

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