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Did Donald Trump Pay to Have His Research Papers Written for Him in College?

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When I lived in New York City in 1972, for a brief time I worked at an unethical company that was in the business of hiring unemployed college grads like me to write student research papers and essays for unethical university students who were well off enough to pay for them. I got paid by the page and I never knew the name of the student whose paper I was writing.

Of course, one could make the case that I was also unethical for writing the papers knowing the students were going to hand them in to their professors as their own work. In my defense, I was broke at the time and needed the money. The company, on the other hand, was in it for the profit and didn't concern itself with moral questions.

By the way, these type of companies are still flourishing today, e.g., papersowl.com, termpapereasy.com, and essayshark,com, to name a few, which proves there will always be down-and-out college grads who need money and do what they need to do to survive. It also proves that business owners have not gotten any more ethical over the years, and neither have students.

And this brings us to Donald Trump, who we all know has been an unethical businessman his entire adult life. But what about the young Donald, the college student? Was he a wide-eyed idealist committed to honesty and the highest academic values? Or was he an unethical student happy to pay to have his papers written for him? And did he also pay to have someone take his exams?

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Let's take a look at what we already know. According to Gwenda Blair, author of the 2001 book, The Trumps, Donald Trump's grades at Fordham, where he first attended college, were not all that terrific. So how was he able to transfer to the prestigious Wharton Business School in Philadelphia that only accepts the crème de la crème? Easy. Blair claims it was because Trump had an interview with an admissions officer who had been a high school classmate of his older brother. Also, the school knew that Trump's father was a multimillionaire, and it never hurts to have the son of a rich businessman as one of its students.

Thus, we know the young Trump was not shy about using family connections to pave the way for him. We also know he was not averse to lying about his academic record. Throughout the years, some members of the media mistakenly reported that Donald Trump graduated first in his class at the Wharton Business School in 1968. Trump, of course, allowed this rumor to spread without ever denying it. He may have even started the rumor. But the truth is, he did not graduate first in his class; in fact, he didn't even graduate with honors, according to The Daily Pennsylvanian, the official school newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition, many people believe that Trump has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business, mainly because Trump always brags about going to Wharton, and he lets everyone assume it. But according to the Associated Press, he only holds a BS degree in economics from the school, not the more prestigious MBA.

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Another lie that Trump has promulgated is that he's "like, really smart" and a "very stable genius." Genius? Really? We've all heard him speak. Has he ever quoted anyone like Adam Smith or John Maynard Keynes? Has he ever said anything the least bit witty or clever or intellectual? Can he even string a few sentences together without using improper grammar? In truth, he has never been the kind of guy who has ever aspired to erudition. According to the late William T. Kelley, one of Trump's former teachers at the University of Pennsylvania: "Donald Trump was the dumbest goddamn student I ever had."

But what about Trump's vaunted "genius" IQ? A couple of publications speculated that it could be as high as 156, but this number has been discounted because schools are bound by privacy laws not to release official student transcripts to the public. So once again, we are asked to take Trump at his word since there is no concrete proof about what his actual IQ is. And what is Donald Trump's word worth these days? Not much. According to the Washington Post, their fact checkers have caught him in over 3,000 lies since he took office as president. Moreover, those who work with him on a daily basis, like his staff, for example, use words like "moron" and "idiot" to describe him. In other words, the more people know Trump, the more they realize just how dumb he is.

So I ask you: Is it a stretch to think that a spoiled, unethical rich kid like Donald Trump paid someone to write his papers or take his exams during his college days? It would certainly explain why as president he doesn't like to read or engage in any intellectual pursuits. It would also explain his insecurity about his own intelligence and why he feels the need to continually reinforce the idea that he's a "genius" when deep down he knows he's only second rate at best.

One more thing. Trump began his political career by claiming Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen and questioned the authenticity of his birth certificate. Psychologists call this type of behavior "projection," that is, when you take your own shortcomings and project them onto someone else. In other words, Trump knew the web of lies he had told about his own academic and business careers over the years and projected them onto Obama. It never even occurred to him that not everyone is as corrupt and deceitful as he is. Eventually, he admitted that Obama actually was a U.S. citizen. But by then it didn't matter. The propaganda bullets had already entered the brains of his devoted followers and they loved Big Donald.

 

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John F. Miglio is the editor of the Online Review of Books & Current Affairs and author of Sunshine Assassins, a futuristic political thriller.

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6 people are discussing this page, with 18 comments  Post Comment


John F. Miglio

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Did you ever write a research paper for someone, or pay to have one written for you?

Submitted on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:38:46 PM

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Rob Kall

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Comment by Rob Kall:

And regarding Trump's IQ-- he's clearly bought doctors. Why not extend a reasonable assumption that he or his father bought psychologists who faked his IQ results too?

Submitted on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:40:03 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Reply to Rob Kall:   New Content

Trump is such a fraud. Krugman nailed the truth and the irony about this charlatan and liar, when Trump went after SNAP recipients: "Here we have a man who inherited great wealth, then built a business career largely around duping the gullible -- whether they were naïve investors in his business ventures left holding the bag when those ventures went bankrupt, or students who wasted time and money on worthless degrees from Trump University. Yet he's determined to snatch food from the mouths of the truly desperate, because he's sure that somehow or other they're getting away with something, having it too easy."

Submitted on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 2:48:43 PM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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Reply to Susan Lee Schwartz:   New Content

Trump can't snatch food from the mouths of the poor without a supine congress. The entire government is rotten to the core.

Submitted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 9:34:30 PM

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don curry

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This one statement sums up the total silliness of your mental processes.

"In my defense, I was broke at the time and needed the money. The company, on the other hand, was in it for the profit and didn't concern itself with moral questions."

You say you did it because you needed the money, and then differentiate yourself because the company was in it for the profit. Couldn't you also say you were in it for the money, and the company needed the profit.

You could, in fact, say that you and the company if given the opportunity, without any action other than poignant sighing over the "moral questions", would have accepted payment from Trump to write his papers. One hand washes the other.

That same moral numbness, that you confessed to, is revealed again in the relationship of the title to the content. Nowhere in there is a scintilla of evidence supporting the title.

It is an exhibition of your confessed moral turpitude and your virtue signaling arrogance that, at least, allowed a string of dull-witted sycophants to vent their spleen, also without reference to the lack of any data in your article.

Submitted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 3:29:54 PM

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John F. Miglio

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Reply to don curry:   New Content

It doesn't surprise me that a Trump supporter like you can't distinguish the difference between acting unethically because you're in need and acting unethically for profit. For example, let's say you lost your house and all your belongings and money in a hurricane and you and your children were starving to death. You have no friends or family nearby and you enter a grocery store and plead for some food for your kids. The owner tells you to get lost. You leave the store and realize that if your youngest child does not get food soon, she will starve to death. After expending every other possibility without results, you decide to go back to the store. You know it is wrong to steal, but you have no choice: let your child die or steal some food so that she can survive. What do you do?

Remember, in this hypothetical situation you only have two choices. Do you act as a moral relativist and say that the act of stealing is mitigated by the greater good of saving your child? Or do you act as a moral absolutist and allow your child to die? Like the school-- whose owner had a choice to invest in another business-- the owner of the grocery store could have given up the food but chose not to.

Regarding the title of my essay, it is a question, not a statement. And I think I made a pretty good case for supporting my premise.

In reference to your last paragraph, I think it's nice that you're trying to sound educated and literate. It would be even nicer, however, if your choice of words were used properly and didn't scream of awkwardness. But kudos to you for trying! It's more than your fearless leader does.

Submitted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 6:10:20 PM

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don curry

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Reply to John F. Miglio:   New Content

Lord, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that unemployed grad students had it that rough in New York.

SO, the store owner is like the University that could have chosen to give you money so you didn't have to cheat them?

Or is it like the company that was so heartless...did you ask them not to make you dishonest to feed your child and they refused, and hired you for what they needed, instead of paying you for what you needed.

I see why you are a socialist, people just don't care enough for you, like you said, you have to steal.

I was proud of "moral turpitude" but I did have to look it up, but I find daily use for "a string of dull-witted sycophants."

Since the title of the essay was a question,and you say the question need not be addressed in the essay. Okay, I apologize, i thought there was supposed to be a point.

How's your daughter or is she just a syllogism, or hyperbole or something?

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 4:12:59 AM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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Reply to don curry:   New Content

Wait a second, I'm a socialist! If, by socialism you mean a system in which everyone tithes according to their means and the tithings are used for the common good (as agreed by those tithing). You know, like schools, fire depts, municipal services, healthcare and old age support, etc. Like Scandinavia. A socialist democracy can exist with capitalism, but not well will vulture capitalism.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 5:10:51 PM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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Reply to John F. Miglio:   New Content

I have to quit coming to this site! I am forced to defend a person (Trump) I despise. But here goes: there is some evidence to suggest that Trump is dyslexic. If so, it would certainly explain his resistance to reading. But that doesn't necessarily mean he is unintelligent. (I have a dyslexic brother who can do complex math in his head but can't write a bit of it on paper.)

And regarding your philosophical question, there are many shades of gray in the world of morals, and you could say that letting a child die of hunger is a worse crime than stealing. I once had an argument about this with some anti-immigration people at a town hall meeting. I asked them how they would see the situation if there were no jobs in the US but they would be able to provide for their families by illegally crossing into Canada. You should have seen the deer-in-the-headlights looks I received.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 5:22:28 PM

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Reply to John F. Miglio:   New Content

Two more points about your scenario: (1) that's why social services exist - so people don't have to resort to stealing from each other in a disaster, and (2) how would the store owner have reacted if you offered to help him do something (unload a truck, stock shelves?) in return for food? We all must be cognizant of working toward win-win outcomes. Forget winner-loser/zero sum situations. Nothing good results from them - at least in the long term.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 5:43:43 PM

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Reply to don curry:   New Content

I have to agree with you. We all make choices, and Mr. Miglio chose to write salable papers. (I'm not judging. On the morality spectrum, it is a pretty minor infraction.). However, if a person chooses to act in a way they know is morally wrong, that transgression shouldn't be compounded with another, i. e., trying to justify it. Mr. Miglio did not HAVE to produce research papers; he could have gotten janitorial work, or restaurant work, etc. There must be plenty of both in NYC. In my opinion, he should just admit (to himself) his small transgression, and move on.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 5:35:19 PM

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Who the f##k cares? I bet a huge number of college students do this. That's how those businesses stay in business. Maybe he's a lousy tipper, too! So what!!!

Submitted on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 9:31:58 PM

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don curry

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Reply to Kristine Hoggatt:   New Content

I don't know if your addressing my comment.

I also don't f**king care. My point was that he claimed to be on higher moral ground than the company he worked for.

I also said he was silly, which means neither you nor I give (as you so aptly put) a f**k.

IS HE A LOUSY TIPPER?

This is a question, not a statement. And I think I made a pretty good case for supporting my premise. Since now I know a premise doesn't have to be a statement, so it doesn't need support. So there!

And I don't give a f*****k about that either.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 4:27:51 AM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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Reply to don curry:   New Content

Don, sorry! I meant who cares if Trump paid for research papers. Why is that an oh, so bad stain on his record? Trump is a disaster, but I don't give a rat's ankle if he hired body doubles to take his college exams. (I'm sure that's how Dubya must have gotten through school, too).

What irritates me so much is this mindless blind hatred of Trump to the degree that everything negative is blown into a giant hullabaloo. What's next? Everyone's hair on fire after finding out Trump didn't return his library books?

There are way bigger issues on which to focus!

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 5:01:21 PM

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don curry

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Reply to Kristine Hoggatt:   New Content

Oh. I enjoyed your who the f**k cares. It gave me a chance to be a blowhard in another dimension. the IS HE A LOUSY TIPPER? comment was a comment on the silly headline. It turns out that was your point as well.

I can't help it, I just love to argue. And, I just love writing f**k.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 6:11:34 PM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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Reply to don curry:   New Content

LOL! Sometimes the F-bomb is the only word strong enough to convey a certain level of exasperation!

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 6:18:46 PM

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Reply to Kristine Hoggatt:   New Content

Try using the P-nuke for greater effect, as in "Oh, Wood Pecker you!"

A firework from Shanghai with the power of a cap-pistol report, named the 'Wood Pecker', would receive more notice than the once powerful F-bomb.

I hope this helps.

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 8:37:36 PM

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Kristine Hoggatt

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Reply to Kenneth Johnson:   New Content

Thanks! I'll make a note of it. I try to avoid profanity as much as possible, but every once in a while...

It is truly getting under my skin that people are so eager to diss Trump over such trivial stuff. I would be willing to bet that a majority of wealthy kids have paid for academic papers at one time or other. Why can't we stick to what is happening to US policy now, not what some rich frat boy did fifty years ago?

Submitted on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at 9:45:20 PM

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