There's lots of fact checking of the debate out there, but there's two facts in particular for which I want to give credit to Trump.
Here's the first:
Clinton: ... Or maybe he doesn't want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he's paid nothing in federal taxes...
Trump: That makes me smart.
Here's the second:
Clinton: ...In fact, Donald was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said, back in 2006, "Gee, I hope it does collapse, because then I can go in and buy some and make some money." Well, it did collapse.
TRUMP: That's called business, by the way.
I simply want to point out that these points by Trump aren't really wrong. Let's give Trump some credit for hitting on facts here.
The problem is that what's "smart" and what's good "business," are, of course, relative to a certain kind of capitalist viewpoint. You aren't going to get rich by spending a bunch of money on solving other people's problems. Or, if you are rich, you aren't going to stay rich by spending a bunch of money solving other people's problems.
A much easier way to get or stay rich is by exploiting other people's problems for your own gain.
Trump's telling the truth in both of these retorts. In his world, the goal is not to pay taxes as if you cared about the grander society more than your own money (and, of course, your taxes are not necessarily making the society grander, but that's a different topic). The goal is to avoid taxes. The taunt "Trump isn't paying taxes" is going to have no purchase on him precisely because that is his goal. That's the goal of lots of capitalists. They aren't really ashamed of it.
Moreover, by and large, there's more money in exploiting suffering than there is in responding to suffering by finding ways to eliminate or diminish it.
I'm not saying anything new here. Trump said it last night. Lots of people have pointed it out previously, and, will have to point it out again.
I suppose what I bring is more of a question: Given these sorts of points, why do people who aren't engaged in business think business ideas and business people are going to be useful to solve problems in other fields?
For example, why think business people have solutions to political problems? Political problems are not about maximizing profit. Or, at least, they shouldn't be. Political problems are about diminishing or eliminating suffering. Or, really, they should be. I'm a dreamer. Hopefully, I'm not the only one.
And, of course, in the world of academics, we certainly are not interested in maximizing profits. We are interested in things like education and serving the community. So why in the world would we want people whose primary goal is maximizing profits to come tell us how to run a university?
So, for once, let's give Trump some credit for getting a couple of facts right.