Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Published on October 10, 2012 By Draginol In Business

This week, the hard hitting reporters from Gawker bring you:

“The CEO Who Built Himself America’s Largest House Just Threatened to Fire His Employees if Obama’s Elected” [actual headline]

http://gawker.com/5950189/the-ceo-who-built-himself-americas-largest-house-just-threatened-to-fire-his-employees-if-obamas-elected

This bad BAD man also has a LARGE house. What a monster.

[editor’s note: Sure, we could have simply stated that this man sent an email to his employees explaining that if the company’s taxes go up that it will reduce working capital which could result in job cuts but we’re all about the page views]

UPDATE:

Now that everyone has finished writing their hate male to this guy we have the actual email. Unfortunately, it’s long and nuanced so we have taken the liberty of highlighting the parts that should make you very VERY mad.

“Huge mansion. Huge fortune. Profitable company. What could David Siegal have to complain about? Well, the demonization of the 1% by Barack Obama, for one thing. This truly amazing email went out to all Westgate employees yesterday. Bolding is ours.”

Subject: Message from David Siegel
Date:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)
From: [David Siegel]
To: [All employees]

To All My Valued Employees,

As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can't tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn't interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.

However, let me share a few facts that might help you decide what is in your best interest.The current administration and members of the press have perpetuated an environment that casts employers against employees. They want you to believe that we live in a class system where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. They label us the "1%" and imply that we are somehow immune to the challenges that face our country. This could not be further from the truth. Sure, you may have heard about the big home that I'm building. I'm sure many people think that I live a privileged life. However, what you don't see or hear is the true story behind any success that I have achieved.

I started this company over 42 years ago. At that time, I lived in a very modest home. I converted my garage into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. We didn't eat in fancy restaurants or take expensive vacations because every dollar I made went back into this company. I drove an old used car, and often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business — hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. Meanwhile, many of my friends got regular jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a nice income, and they spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into this business —-with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford to buy whatever I wanted. Even to this day, every dime I earn goes back into this company. Over the past four years I have had to stop building my dream house, cut back on all of my expenses, and take my kids out of private schools simply to keep this company strong and to keep you employed.

Just think about this – most of you arrive at work in the morning and leave that afternoon and the rest of your time is yours to do as you please. But not me- there is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have that freedom. I eat, live, and breathe this company every minute of the day, every day of the week. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. I know many of you work hard and do a great job, but I'm the one who has to sign every check, pay every expense, and make sure that this company continues to succeed. Unfortunately, what most people see is the nice house and the lavish lifestyle. What the press certainly does not want you to see, is the true story of the hard work and sacrifices I've made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced to bail out all the people who didn't. The people that overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed 42 years of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the costs of running a business have gotten out of control, and let me tell you why: We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don't pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes. I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes. The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?

Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, that's what happens to me.

Here is what most people don't understand and the press and our Government has chosen to ignore – to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Instead of raising my taxes and depositing that money into the Washington black-hole, let me spend it on growing the company, hire more employees, and generate substantial economic growth. My employees will enjoy the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But that is not what our current Government wants you to believe. They want you to believe that it somehow makes sense to take more from those who create wealth and give it to those who do not, and somehow our economy will improve. They don't want you to know that the "1%", as they like to label us, pay more than 31% of all the taxes in this country. Thomas Jefferson, the author of our great Constitution, once said, "democracy" will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."

Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate business, not kill it. However, the power brokers in Washington believe redistributing wealth is the essential driver of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change they want.

So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn't? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the "1 percenters" are bad, I'm telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the "1%"; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, your boss,

David Siegel

COMING UP NEXT on “THE BAD BAD CEO”

The BAD BAD CEO who went on a VACATION to a FOREIGN COUNTRY while raising insurance premiums on his employees.

Remember readers: Rich, Successful people are BAD people and we will continue to dig deep to show you just how terrible they are. How dare people start their own businesses and believe they have any rights to express their opinions.  We will continue our hard-hitting reporting that we expect will damage those businesses through ill-informed boycotts by making sensational, irrelevant headlines.


Comments (Page 11)
on Nov 22, 2012

My apologies ... I will try to minimize the politik in this subforum then. May I just take a moment to address the points raised in the previous post.

1. Yes, I am aware that the Soviets during his administration thought him a maniac, and almost pre-emptively striked us over it

2. His popularity probably comes from bringing down the Berlin Wall

3. third best in last 50 years was just the aggregate of the (Wikipedia based) data I collected

 

To put the data in context ... (if you will please allow me to do so, that my words in the previous post may become more clear and therefore less potentially inflammatory)

1. In the aggregate I collected, JFK was 11th, LBJ 14th, and Reagan 16th overall.

2. In my personal list (a modification on the aggregate), JFK was 11th, LBJ was 17th, and Reagan was 30th overall.

 

-----> this was out of a list of 42 presidents, ie the very short term ones (that died/got killed within a year) were still included, Grover Cleveland was counted once and not twice, and President Obama was not counted due to him still being in office. For comparison, there have been 43 presidents yet 44 presidencies due to Grover Cleveland serving two non-consecutive terms.

-----> It should be noted that the validity of 'presidential rankings' is certainly a debatable one, and the validity of this particular set of data is certainly not set in stone.

on Nov 22, 2012

To 'end' this political side-slip ....when the World's most powerful [read - dangerous] person makes jokes such as that one.... perhaps one can excuse the UTTER STUPIDITY being due to his altzheimer's.....but that in itself is a damn good reason why he should be at the bottom of any list.

Now, back to "BUSINESS" ....

on Nov 22, 2012

back to business indeed

 

Frogboy

dont take away investment capital. Profits = investment capital

 

Investment capital is certainly a good thing. Investment capital is one part of the complex system that results in economic growth.

Two problems with this theory though (of profits = investment capital = prosperity/growth)

 

1. Let us assume that infinite investment capital is infinitely good, especially if it is in the hands of those who do not need to ‘consume’ it on silly needs like food or healthcare, but instead are able to AFFORD to reinvest it.

Can you tell me that Profits will always be re-invested? What if a majority of the profits end up as executive bonuses? Will we then assume that such executives will freely angel invest back into a company of some sort?

This model of profits = reinvestment has worked in the past for a number of reasons. We weren’t getting ready to hit a wall in the ‘limits of growth’ http://www.amazon.com/Limits-Growth-The-30-Year-Update/dp/193149858X ,* and there were social and religious incentives to not accumulate wealth. In today’s culture, there is nothing taboo about amassing wealth without reinvesting it or providing jobs … it is simply “your” money to do with as you please, even if it depletes the rest of the economy. (If I hear correctly, Frogboy is an exception to this rule, perfectly willing to invest extra capital of his own into his company.)

 

2. Now, however, not only is accumulation of wealth no longer taboo, but our current economy is in a state of OVER INVESTMENT and TOO LITTLE DEMAND. Why is there no demand? Part of it may be due to uncertainty, but a large part of it is because of the working class wage freezes in effect since the 80s. 30 years of a shrinking middle class will see a steady decline of consumers. Or, well, it would, but thanks to our policies in the 90s, this was largely hidden thanks to the real estate bubble. We finally see the results of our actions in 2007/2008 when economic productivity we thought was there due to lies we told ourselves simply ceased to exist. But it never really existed to begin with, so it just ceased pretending to exist. Instead of seeing a steady decline in consumer power we see a sharp drop in both purchasing power and jobs, after the temporary fixes finally wore off.

Reaganomics only even theoretically works during periods of low investment and high demand. Today not only do we have the opposite, but we keep throwing money at executives, and the super-rich, thinking that they will continue to reinvest EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO MARKET FOR IT.

There is a name for the people that provide money and jobs when the economy is doing poorly in order to increase growth and prosperity for the private sector, by allowing consumers to have more purchasing power. They are called the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Ever heard of public works projects? The Hoover Dam perhaps? FDR’s the NEW DEAL? Today in Germany, if a company can’t afford to pay say more than 30 hours a week for all of its employees, guess what happens? Do they lay off a few people? No. Do they shorten the hours? No, the workers still work 40+ hour weeks. Here is what happens … the workers come in and do their 40 hours, the company pays them 30 hours’ worth and the government pays them 10 hours worth. During times of prosperity the company sees higher taxes on net profits to account for the bad times when the government will need to bail out the WORKERS. Executives have trust funds and large bank accounts. They do not need to be bailed out. They do not increase the productivity of a nation. They do not ‘consume’ the products and services of companies … at least not to a significant enough degree to matter in most cases. Instead, during hard times the government pays what the companies cannot, so that the working class can STAY SKILLED at their jobs, STAY EMPLOYED, and KEEP PURCHASING power.

I bet their workers get national pay raises at or just above inflation too, to keep that economic prosperity going.

 

*The limits of growth is an interesting discussion, and in some ways completely separate/parallel to the discussion of workers vs. Executives (taxes, bailouts, and overall business decisions).

While not particularly important when considering specific economic litigation, the overall limits on growth can be important in seeing the big picture. Essentially, what the findings show is that unless growth becomes more regulated/steady state, and not just regulated but regulated WELL (we all know how bad poor regulation can be), we will see some severe economic crashes starting around 2030. Like over a billion people dying of starvation over the period of a decade bad.

on Nov 22, 2012

There's too much there to respond to, Tas. At least on Thanksgiving.

Infinite investment capital isn't a good thing just like infinite consumption funding isn't a good thing.

The market creates a balance between the two on its own.  

We'll have to agree to disagree on whether wage growth has a meaningful effect on economic activity.

on Nov 23, 2012

 

I think that perhaps each State's economic circumstances are a bit different. I wonder if increased states rights, and the freedom for different states to pursue different economic systems, could be a step in the right direction?

on Nov 23, 2012

Tasunke
 

I think that perhaps each State's economic circumstances are a bit different. I wonder if increased states rights, and the freedom for different states to pursue different economic systems, could be a step in the right direction?


It wouldn't because you'd have a race to the bottom.  We already have some symptoms of that as is.

 

 

on Nov 23, 2012

Alstein

Quoting Tasunke, reply 156 

I think that perhaps each State's economic circumstances are a bit different. I wonder if increased states rights, and the freedom for different states to pursue different economic systems, could be a step in the right direction?


It wouldn't because you'd have a race to the bottom.  We already have some symptoms of that as is.

 

 

Illinois is already racing to get there first. Everything here seems to be an offshoot of 1930's Gangland Chicago. They took organized crime out of that city.....and spread it all over the state.

 

on Nov 24, 2012

Race to the Bottom ... haven't heard that phrase before, but I am aware of its occurrence at least among the foreign countries that host American production facilities (primarily of Africa and Asia).

on Nov 24, 2012

It also applies as businesses try to move their stuff from high-wage Northern states to low-wage Southern states if they're big enough.

 

 

 

on Nov 24, 2012

Alstein
It also applies as businesses try to move their stuff from high-wage union Northern states to low-wage non-union Southern states if they're big enough.

 

 

 

on Nov 25, 2012

Alstein
It also applies as businesses try to move their stuff from high-wage Northern states to low-wage Southern states if they're big enough.

 

Yea, it's something that I think will get more common as time goes on. We all compete against a global economy now.

on Nov 25, 2012

True.  The results of this will be that the rich will benefit from factor pricing, while the other classes effectively lack that option.  

 

This will have very nasty societal impacts- either the poor will win politically and enact disastrously populist policies, or we'll have a true stifling and violent unrest. 

 

on Nov 25, 2012

there is a difference between a company who can only successfully operate if they use foreign labor and a company who is already well off just trying to cut costs. I also believe there is a difference between companies who create jobs that are beneficial to their employees overseas and those who create draconian sweatshops that would never be legal in the home country.

I believe the "pawn all costs on the consumer" has defeated every possible fine, tax increase or regulation. For instance, when minimum wage was 5.75/hr (USD) and became 7.25/hr, what really happened is companies pawned that cost on customers and people who make 10 dollars an hour saw wage devaluing. They went from making about 5 respectable dollars an hour above minimum wage - to making only 2,75 above minimum wage.  This caused those who could have had the opportunity to "move up" to stay glued down. There was a good intention but the result was harmful. The reason of the wage increase was to promote a form of redistribution that demands employees to be fairly compensated however the result was corporations declaring this an "externalized" form of "damage" and refused to "eat a loss". The problem is that the wealth of a company has no responsibility to its community, or the locality. The only interest being growth, it is hard to blame them for going all out. The problem is not growth or profit - the problem is that there is no universal maxim to force corporations by concept to be "resources" to produce wealth for investors, laborers and communities. Instead they are viewed as people who use humans as resources to produce wealth for only a small portion.


The market never has fixed itself and never will - the theory at work is never let the criminal write the law. The solution is less about regulation - we should not "cut down" from the top.  Instead, we need to grow a large number of middle class into the top margin - this would spread the wealth of the top percentage by inclusion, and rather than damage the upper class, it will add to it.  Yes, there would be less money per person in the top bracket but there would be more people in it.  Redistribution is an ugly word and for good reason - Wages are a form of redistribution. A company gains wealth and pays the employees. So are taxes. Spending money by consumers "redistributes" money from one corporation to another, the consumer a traveling vehicle with money as the passenger.

 

I wish i could propose a solution but i have instead defined the battleground, the way employees are seen in the culture as liabilities and not beneficiaries. If corporations are people, then it would serve that an independent panel should have power of attorney. This would mean that a corporation is "As a person, not allowed to self destruct, or intentionally allow itself to be deceived and use the best of its resources to act in its self interest". This would allow some damaging and destructive behaviors to be regulated.  After all, courts already have laws about mentally sane and rational people, and third party representation for a self destructive individual or one who is destructive to others. That is, an insane and self-damaging person may not just freely use resources toward its endgame.

on Nov 26, 2012

Alstein
True.  The results of this will be that the rich will benefit from factor pricing, while the other classes effectively lack that option.  

 

This will have very nasty societal impacts- either the poor will win politically and enact disastrously populist policies, or we'll have a true stifling and violent unrest. 

 

i don't think those are the only options. It's not income inequality that we should fear, it is having a large number of idle citizenry. Humans want to have meaning to their lives. And if given no alternatives, they will find destructive options.

on Nov 26, 2012

Idle citizenry would find meaning outside of employment, if they didn't need employment to survive.    You'd see more folks try to start their own business if there's a lack of options for employment.  (this has happened)

 

Maybe some folks would go destructive- this is an experiment that hasn't happened outside of the Roman Empire.

 

I think we're both fearing the same thing here, but attributing the cause to different reasons- it's possible we might both be right.  There's evidence to suggest I may be wrong in recent property crime statistics, though I suspect it's for a different reason (our massive incarceration rate)

 

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