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OpinionColumnistsMike Vogel

Wisdom for life from Donald Trump and the 1 percent

Donald Trump, the chairman and president of the

Donald Trump, the chairman and president of the Trump Organization, speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Maryland, on Feb. 27, 2015. Trump launched his 2016 presidential campaign in New York City on June 16, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Alex Wong

If we New Yorkers are anything, it's blunt, and most of us have friends who have no problem calling us out when we say something stupid or arrogant. Apparently, many of the superwealthy have no such luck.

"I am the only one who can make America truly great again," ever-humble Donald Trump said last week when he announced his perennial fake run for the Republican presidential nomination.

Among his vows to restore America's glory, Trump promised to fix our economy, which in GOP-speak means we working stiffs tighten our belts while the 1 percenters loosen theirs.

Much of the media played right along with The Donald. "He seems serious this time," blared the online headline in the Detroit Free Press. Seriously? This isn't about free publicity for the Trump brand?

While saving our great nation, Trump also graciously offered to make a pit stop in Hollywood to single-handedly save the "terrible, boring" Oscars next year, by hosting it himself. I'm not making this up.

But if you think such bluster is the exclusive domain of Republicans, think again.

Real estate mogul and former Florida Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Greene made a fortune betting that people would default on their mortgages. He recently told Bloomberg News at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, "America's lifestyle expectations are far too high, and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence."

Greene said that right after flying his wife, children and two nannies to Davos, Switzerland. for the week on a private jet, according to Bloomberg.

Back here on the subway, you say your wages are frozen and fares went up again? Yet you still want to watch cable and eat three meals a day? Selfish! Why don't you listen to Greene, the man who lives in a modest, 35,000-square-foot abode in Palm Beach, Florida, while trying to unload his 12-bedroom, 23-bathroom mansion in Beverly Hills for a mere $195 million?

Don't you feel lucky such privileged jet-setters are so concerned with saving America that they take the time to explain that the best way is for us to think small?

Me neither.

Playwright Mike Vogel blogs at


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