The Hill Runs Sovern Op-Ed

The Hill has published Professor Jeff Sovern’s op-ed, What Can We Learn from Trump University’s Sales Scripts. Here is an excerpt:

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Jeff Sovern


[I]f you listen to how Trump responds to questions, you may see parallels to the script’s instructions for answering questions about Trump University’s success rate:

“If you went to Harvard or Berkeley and asked them the success rate of their graduates, how do you think they would answer that? Their answer is the same as ours. We give every student the knowledge and tools to go out there and be successful. . . . every graduate doesn’t make the same amount of money. . . . Their number one problem is procrastination and excuses. So the success rate is based off of one variable – YOU! . . . . Average people get to a defining moment in life and think about it until it is too late. You didn’t make all these decisions to be here this weekend to be average. So come on, let’s get you a Mentor . . . .”

Never mind that information about the outcomes of many schools, including Harvard and Berkeley, is available on the web. Sales staff who followed the script did not even begin to answer the consumer’s question. But they may have managed to make listeners feel better about themselves by putting down the unidentified others—those average people!–who procrastinate and make excuses. Predatory lender scripts show a similar pattern of refusal to answer questions and redirection.

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