Because life is one cruel joke after another, Linda McMahon, former president and CEO of the WWE, has been named to head up President-elect Donald Trump’s Small Business Administration.
It is hard to think of any person whose life work has been more inimical to workers, and indeed to small businesses, than McMahon. WWE has made untold profits from using labor loopholes to classify its employees as “independent contractors,” denying them overtime despite grueling travel schedules and health care despite the physical toll taken by the job. WWE has made aggressive use of industry tax credits designed to create jobs even as it laid off workers, and smothered even the slightest unionization efforts. Her company has obtained a de facto monopoly in the pro wrestling business through a ruthless campaign of crushing, suing, and pricing out competitors, many of them actual small businesses. This is no less insulting than if Trump had picked someone from the Wal-Mart board.
So what makes her qualified for this job? It probably isn’t all the money she’s made peddling racism and misogyny, or her proximity to very real drug and domestic-violence scandals. What might not hurt is the fact that Linda donated $6 million to a super PAC funding Trump’s presidential campaign, and that she and husband Vince—longtime allies of Trump whose business dealings with him go back to the 1980s—have given $5 million to the Trump Foundation, making them the single largest outside donors.
McMahon stepped down from the WWE to make two unsuccessful Senate runs, but the McMahon family—mostly Vince—still controls 56 percent of WWE.