On Incentives

"Never penalize those who work for us for mistakes or reward them for being right about markets. It will go to their heads, is counterproductive and, in any event, material compensation will not correlate with their ability to predict the future next time."

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Writings & Speeches

Questions for Donald Trump, 2016


  1. If you were advising, say, China, India, Brazil or Mexico, what would you recommend they should do to offset your trade proposals?  Stated another way, how do you think they are likely to respond?
  2. Would you consider taxing American companies who move manufacturing plants from, say, Michigan or Ohio to Alabama or Louisiana in order to achieve lower labor costs?
  3. Who would end up paying the cost of tariffs imposed on imports into the U.S. – say, on cars made by GM or Ford in Canada or Apple iPhones assembled in China?
  4. You have often said, “that’s business.”  If you were the CEO of, say, Boeing and you wanted to sell hundreds of planes to China but the Chinese, as a condition, insisted that the plants making these planes be located in China – what would you do?
  5. If low wages, often as low as a dollar an hour in Asia, are one of the causes of manufacturers bringing plants overseas in order to be competitive, do you think it might be reasonable to lower our minimum wage and, if so, to what level?
  6. You have said that China is manipulating the value of its currency.  What do you think should be the proper exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Chinese currency?


  1. If Roe vs. Wade were reversed and abortion were made criminal in a particular state, would you favor punishing women who self-aborted in that state?
  2. It has been widely reported in public media that you or businesses you control have sued or been sued in court 3,500 times.  If that figure is incorrect, what is the correct figure and generally what have the lawsuits been about?
  3. You have said many times that your bankruptcies and taxes are consistent with what the tax code permits, and that uniquely you have the knowledge and expertise to identify and change those provisions.  Precisely, what provisions of the tax code would you change to close off what you have used.
  4. What would you do about FICA?