I’ve been thinking about a statement being made by Trump, that he wants people in his cabinet who have made a fortune. It made me think of a man I knew in CA named Gene Feldman. Gene was the VP of the company I worked for and had made his fortune from the ground up. He began life at the bottom and through education and hard work became very wealthy.
About once every other month Gene would take whoever wanted to go to a local restaurant for beer and finger food. We’d all sit there as equals and do what people do, talk sports, jobs, family, etc. The “as equals” thing was at his request. For a couple of hours he wanted to be one of the crew and not the boss. He wanted us to know each other as people and not as boss/worker. We all knew and accepted that when the evening was over Gene became, Mr. Feldman again.
On several occasions I got to talk privately with Gene and on one occasion he asked me what I wanted in life. I must have expressed some insecurity or doubt because I remember him telling me that he wasn’t concerned about me because he knew I was going to make it. He then turned my attention to the fellows who worked in the warehouse and told me those were the people he worried about. Most likely life wouldn’t be as kind to them as it would to me.
My point is that being wealthy and financially successful isn’t by default a bad thing. The problem is having assurances that the person appointed to a major position is a Gene Feldman. Someone who knows where we came from, where we are, and is genuinely concerned for the common person’s interest.
Looking at the wealthy people Trump is appointing to his cabinet doesn’t give me those assurances. For example, the man nominated for Secretary of Labor is opposed to minimum wages, expanded overtime eligibility, paid sick leave, and the Affordable Care Act. He would be the person responsible for protecting the rights of workers while he, shows little affinity for those very rights.
Like others being nominated by Trump his qualifications seem to be more about how much he donated to the Trump campaign and not a feel for what the job is.
Where in the world are you, Gene Feldman.