Sunday, June 23, 2024

Billionaire LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman slams business leaders who support Trump: ‘A reliable legal system is not a given’

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The billionaire cofounder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, slammed business leaders who support former President Donald Trump, arguing that a 2024 win for the Republican would actually be bad for the economy.

Hoffman, who cofounded LinkedIn in 2002, wrote an op-ed in The Economist last week criticizing his fellow executives for their “myopia” in backing Donald Trump’s run for presidency.

He argues that a “robust legal system” is critical for American business to prosper because it keeps things in check. Courts of law and impartial juries are necessary to “enforce contracts and punish fraud.”

“But a robust, reliable legal system is not a given,” Hoffman wrote. “It is a necessity we can ill afford to live without. We trade it away at our peril.”

“Which makes it all the more lamentable that a growing number of America’s corporate and financial leaders are opening their wallets for Donald Trump,” he added.

Hoffman argues that, if elected this November, Trump — who was convicted of 34 felonies for falsifying business records to cover up an alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels — could upend the entire legal system that the American economy and American businesses rely on.

So why would business leaders ever support someone who could lead to their downfall? Hoffman has a few explanations. Some are merely kidding themselves that Trump can be “normal and controlled.”

Others, Hoffman argues, believe Joe Biden would be even more dangerous to American business than Trump would. Although that position, he says, is misguided because the stock market, oil and gas production, employment, and GDP growth have hit record highs during Biden’s presidency.

Some business leaders believe, Hoffman argues, that a Trump presidency would skyrocket them to the top of a new oligarchy, while others simply fear retaliation if they don’t pledge themselves to Trump.

But what many business leaders really want, Hoffman argues, is lower taxes and fewer regulations — even at the expense of an impartial judicial system and democracy itself.

There’s a growing number of business leaders who publicly support Trump. Pershing Square Capital Management CEO Bill Ackman is reportedly leaning toward voting for Trump this November, as is billionaire Nelson Peltz.

Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman and venture capitalist Douglas Leone have already endorsed Trump, while over a dozen other billionaires have pumped money into Trump’s campaign.

Elon Musk has not publicly endorsed Trump but has defended him on X, and said he’s unlikely to vote for Biden.

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