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 14)
on Jan 07, 2013

taltamir

Quoting Glazunov1, reply 186Quoting Solam, reply 185bosses should be able to do what they want with their business. It's up to the consumer to buy or to boycott that company.

Does that mean that if your boss wants to put you in an unsafe environment with locked emergency doors, the only recourse should be consumers voting by walking to another company?


You are making strawman. An employee's body is not the property of a business and as such your "example" has no relation to the argument at hand. Furthermore, even in the given hypothetical the EMPLOYEES will REFUSE to work in such an environment. You outright exclude it as an option (by saying "only recourse") while Solam's statement does not exclude such a thing. 

And before you try, criminal activities such as selling drugs or a theft ring would also be a strawman; those things are already illegal to do.

 

It's a legit question, Taltamir, because the comment by Solam was both all-embracing and a longstanding, recognizable position.  Had it been put as:

 

"Bosses should be constrained by laws regarding employee rights, but there are limits, and these limits are XYZ.  If the employer goes over these, the best bet for consumers is to boycott the company."

 

Then my question would have been ridiculous in context.  But that's not what Solam wrote, or appears to have meant.  "Do what they want with their business" is absolutely flat, final, and clear.  The origins of his/her position date back to the 16th century Low Countries: an employer can do literally anything agreed to (including flogging, and imprisonment) as long as the conditions of labor are pre-established by signed contract.  My question, "Does that mean that if your boss wants to put you in an unsafe environment with locked emergency doors, the only recourse should be consumers voting by walking to another company?" is a sound response to this old position: in modern times, where a consumer, retail-based approach to supply has taken over from a mix of arcadian "grow it yourself" homesteads, community exchanges of goods between neighbors, direct craft purchases and very minor long distance purchases, is the only appropriate solution Solam finds when one is appalled at a company's work standards, to walk to another retail outlet?  And I would have continued, had he/she responded, if not, what other solutions are available given this laissez-faire approach?  Not a putdown, in other words.  A desire to find out what recourse such a person believes exist in modern times in lieu of government controls, for an example of appalling employee conditions, that might truly influence employers.

 

As for employees refusing to work in such an environment, it's been shown--perhaps best in the mortuary figures for mid-19th century Edinburgh--that people given the choice between literal starvation (not "Oh, I'm hungry," but the real thing, watching their families die) and working in a subset environment where the average life expectancy is 28, will choose the latter.  It is an illusion of choice, in effect.  There are many places where this particular situation still survives, just as there are many where other conditions prevail.  If a society lacks low-level jobs, the economy is stagnant and both food and shelter are in very short supply, it's amazing how little you need to offer to get someone to work for you.  That isn't a statement of ethical judgment, or a namby-pamby appeal for sympathy.  It's simply a matter of fact.  Choice exists for some, but by no means for all. 

on Jan 07, 2013


The NHL lockout is a classic case of successful organized labor, as far as I'm concerned.   The owners were being punks, and the laborers stood up to them.  Good for them.   If the owners AND laborers are not happy, nobody wins.   We saw that.   We've got too many owners carrying the attitude of, "no, it doesn't matter whether you are happy or not.   The only thing matters is if I am happy."   Not true.   If the laborers are investing their lives in the business, then they are part of your business, whether you like it or not--and if you don't like it, you are free to run the entire business singlehandedly at any time.   What is the owners' power play conversion rate, by the way?   How many goals have they scored?   The players negotiated their way into revenue sharing and being a part of the business, and that is the way it should be.   The owners felt only the owners were entitled to revenue share, and that's why there was a lockout.  And resultingly nobody won.

on Jan 07, 2013

Glazunov1
It's a legit question, Taltamir, because the comment by Solam was both all-embracing and a longstanding, recognizable position.

It wasn't all embracing (unlike YOUR statement "the only recourse is customers" which was due to using the word only), it did not imply that business owners OWN their employees bodies (or property for example retirement funds... this just reminded me of enron), or that employees COULDN'T do what THEY wanted in ADDITION to the owner and customers each doing what they wanted.

Saying customers and owners should do what they want does not imply enslavement of third parties beyond customer and business owner to prevent them from doing what they wanted. With the exception of the government whom it is explicitly referring too.

Nor does the intent imply (as anyone with a brain can realize) that slapping the word "business" on something should grant immunity to existing laws (theft, slavery, drugs, etc). Although that one is actually a possible (but not plausible) interpretation of the words being spoken (and ironically as things stand it does protect against some laws in some circumstances because the BUSINESS is punished via fines rather then the perpetrator being punished; this is something I believe should be changed)

The argument is against specific business targeting laws.

But that's not what Solam wrote, or appears to have meant

I argue that there is no possible way to interpret his words in such a manner...

Its not even a malicious slander where you take his words out of context to mean something nobody is arguing... its a case where you are insisting words mean something that they could never be interpreted as. This is why I said it was lazy... there are plenty of less vicious strawmen you could have concocted that would have at least stayed withing the realm of the language he used. But then they would be less vicious and we can't have that.

The origins of his/her position date back to the 16th century Low Countries: an employer can do literally anything agreed to (including flogging, and imprisonment) as long as the conditions of labor are pre-established by signed contract.

Bullshit and slander. You could make such ridiculous claims for anything. Heck, if we had neither class, nor brains, nor ability to hold an adult conversation we would retort with the fact that NAZI literally means nationalist socialist party because that is the level of that argument you just made.

Where this belief actually comes from is NOT an inherent view of serfs and slaves where the "master" can do what he want. But a strong belief in freedom and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-aggression_principle and willing exchange.

The employer can do what he wants, the customers do what they want, the employees do what they want. Each one not initiating violence and coercion, each one willingly engaging in exchanges.

Speaking of employees physically punishing their contracted employees. This happens today in glorious people's republics... Apple (electronics seller) factories in china are notorious for that.

on Jan 07, 2013


I had a Chinese boss once who didn't want to pay my expense report.   You want to talk about illegal....   But in China apparently that is perfectly legal.   Basically you have to file your expenses his way, kiss his a$$ and stay on his good side until you get your money back.   Apparently also they see nothing wrong with discriminating against white people.   He had a few things happen to him that...um...helped him realize that in the U.S. we have this pesky thing called the law.   You file expenses the IRS' way, and if you don't pay there are extensive fines waiting for you, and you get to reimburse my attorneys' fees as well.   If that's a problem, don't do business in the U.S..   He got removed from his management position.

Apparently in China it is tacitly legal to not pay employees as agreed to, either.   I think officially it is against the law, but the police get bribed.   You can be made to agree to be paid monthly, and at the end of the month if you piss them off, you don't get paid for that month.  Or worse:  they can put a mob hit on you if you cause any trouble.

on Jan 07, 2013

tetleytea

I had a Chinese boss once who didn't want to pay my expense report.   You want to talk about illegal....   But in China apparently that is perfectly legal.   Basically you have to file your expenses his way, kiss his a$$ and stay on his good side until you get your money back.   Apparently also they see nothing wrong with discriminating against white people.   He had a few things happen to him that...um...helped him realize that in the U.S. we have this pesky thing called the law.   You file expenses the IRS' way, and if you don't pay there are extensive fines waiting for you, and you get to reimburse my attorneys' fees as well.   If that's a problem, don't do business in the U.S..   He got removed from his management position.

Apparently in China it is tacitly legal to not pay employees as agreed to, either.   I think officially it is against the law, but the police get bribed.   You can be made to agree to be paid monthly, and at the end of the month if you piss them off, you don't get paid for that month.  Or worse:  they can put a mob hit on you if you cause any trouble.

The wonders of a peoples republic utopia with an all powerful central government without limits on its power.

Lets shred the constitution so we can be just like them.

Although nowadays china allows people to speak out against local government corruption to justify consolidation of power in the righteous centralized government.

Also that example was extremely tame. See http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/08/09/woman-sent-to-labor-camp-in-china-s-latest-abuse-outrage.html

on Jan 07, 2013

[quote who="taltamir" reply="199" id="3305151"]

Nor does the intent imply (as anyone with a brain can realize)...

 

That's it, guy.  I'll discuss almost anything calmly with anybody, in the hopes of learning something that adds to what I know or contradicts what I believed erroneously, but as soon as you start resorting to verbal abuse, you can listen alone to the sound of your own voice.  And I don't care if there are people who do this thinking insults make them right.  It only shows they have no reasonable points to argue.

 

End of discussion.  With you.

 

 

on Jan 07, 2013


Quoting Glazunov1, reply 185


Quoting Solam,
reply 185
bosses should be able to do what they want with their business. It's up to the consumer to buy or to boycott that company.


 

Does that mean that if your boss wants to put you in an unsafe environment with locked emergency doors, the only recourse should be consumers voting by walking to another company?

 

Because this has happened, repeatedly.  Just curious about your take on this.


Customers don't get to have a say in how a Company is run.  If they don't like it they can walk.

Trades Practises, Unions and other 'regulatory' bodies [depending where you are and what country, profession, etc] DO get to have a say.

Legislation may tell a business owner what he can or cannot do...but such an entity is not 'the customer'....

 

What about customers who stay away from a business because a product is produced in a way they don't care for?  Or when you write here of how a company is run, do you mean only internal employer-employee relations?  Because I can think  of situations where companies have lost significant business because of bad service, or because of offering a product that offends consumers, which then altered the way they conducted business.  Would this constitute feedback that indirectly affects how a company is run?

 

Whether I mistook Solam's position on this or not, I'd still like to hear from someone who has a laissez faire approach to employers that could be stated as Solam did: "Bosses should be able to do what they want with their own businesses."  Adam Smith himself played the Higher Moral Authority card on businesses in the Theory of Moral Sentiments, but if that's set aside, as some people do, to what extent are any other factors available to respond to employer practices that are deemed harmful to employees?  Or are there any available?  I'm not looking for an argument, but to understand this point of view in the modern world. 

on Jan 07, 2013

Glazunov1
taltamir
Nor does the intent imply (as anyone with a brain can realize)...

That's it, guy.  I'll discuss almost anything calmly with anybody, in the hopes of learning something that adds to what I know or contradicts what I believed erroneously, but as soon as you start resorting to verbal abuse, you can listen alone to the sound of your own voice.  And I don't care if there are people who do this thinking insults make them right.  It only shows they have no reasonable points to argue.

End of discussion.  With you.

Reading comprehension. I wasn't saying you have no brain, I was saying you DO realize that (because you have a brain) and then CHOOSING to make up a vicious slanderous Strawman because you lack in character and morality and sacrifice those on the alter of your ideology.

What I think of the mental capacity of those who wallow in your ideology I have thus far refrained from stating due to at least TRYING to uplift this argument into the realm of proper adult discourse.

Throwing a hissy fit about such "horrible abuse" as that is funny when it comes from the guy who has been keeping this discussion from being a mature and friendly conversation with statements such as:

The origins of his/her position date back to the 16th century Low Countries: an employer can do literally anything agreed to (including flogging, and imprisonment) as long as the conditions of labor are pre-established by signed contract.

on Jan 07, 2013

Looks like the site's  quoting is a bit screwed ...

on Jan 07, 2013

Looks like the site's  quoting is a bit screwed ...

 

I've been complaining off and on about that for the last year.

 

Search is kind of a mess, too.

on Jan 07, 2013

Glazunov1
complaining off and on about that for the last year.

Thzat'll be because it's on and off working...as it's refixed...and refixed...

on Jan 07, 2013


Quoting Glazunov1, reply 205complaining off and on about that for the last year.

Thzat'll be because it's on and off working...as it's refixed...and refixed... 

 

This leads me ask: what's the fixed version supposed to be like?  Because all I seem to get is the funny, everything running together, hard to distinguish between posters unfixed version.

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