The "Morning Joe" panel reacts to a March 1990 article in Playboy magazine, which the New York Times this week called "a remarkably prophetic document."
How do you feel about Japan’s economic pre-eminence?
Japan gets almost seventy percent of its oil from the Persian Gulf, relies on ships led back home by our destroyers, battleships, helicopters, frog men. Then the Japanese sail home, where they give the oil to fuel their factories so that they can knock the hell out of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford. Their openly screwing us is a disgrace. Why aren't they paying us? The Japanese cajole us, they bow to us, they tell us how great we are and then they pick our pockets. We're losing hundreds of billions of dollars a year while they laugh at our stupidity. The Japanese have their great scientists making cars and VCRs and we have our great scientists making missiles so we can defend Japan. Why aren't we being reimbursed for our costs? The Japanese double- screw the U.S., a real trick: First they take all our money with their consumer goods, then they put it back in buying all of Manhattan. So either way, we lose.
You're opposed to Japanese buying real estate in the U.S.?
I have great respect for the Japanese people and list many of them as great friends. But, hey, if you want to open up a business in Japan, good luck. It's virtually impossible. But the Japanese can buy our buildings, our Wall Street firms, and there's virtually no.thing to stop them. In fact, bidding on a building in New York is an act of futility, because the Japanese will pay more than it's worth just to screw us. They want to own Manhattan. Of course, I shouldn't even be complaining about it, because I'm one of the big beneficiaries of it. If I ever wanted to sell any of my properties, I'd have a field day. But it's an embarrassment! I give great credit to the Japanese and their leaders, because they have made our leaders look totally second rate.
A group of Japanese visitors to New York was recently asked if there were anything in the U.S. they would like to buy. The answer: towels.
That's fair trade: They'll take the towels and we'll buy their cars. It doesn’t sound like a good deal to me. They have totally outsmarted the American politician; they have no respect for us, because they're getting a free ride. Of course, it's not just the Japanese or the Europeans- the Saudis, the Kuwaitis walk all over us.
The Arabs also spend plenty of money in your casinos, don't they?
They lose a million, two million at the tables and they're so happy because they had such a great weekend. If you lost a million dollars, you'd be sick for the rest of your life, maybe. They write me letters telling me what a wonderful time they had.
You have taken out full-page ads in several major newspapers that not only concern U.S. foreign trade but call for the death penalty, too. Why?
Because I hate seeing this country go to hell. We're laughed at by the rest of the world. In order to bring law and order back into our cities, we need the death penalty and authority given back to the police. I got fifteen thousand positive letters on the death-penalty ad. I got ten negative or slightly negative ones.