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 7)
on Oct 16, 2012

Frogboy

Quoting Gammit10, reply 80

All productivity and talent being equal, to me, the mark of a good leader is one who lets his bottom line take a hit before his workers.  If a leader reaps the most when the fields are full, he/she should lose the most when the fields are barren.  Examples like this http://www.dailytech.com/Lenovo+CEO+Gives+His+3+Million+USD+Bonus+to+10000+Employees/article25227.htm are what makes me decide where, and for whom, to work.

Certainly the conditions on the ground at the time help determine the decision tree CEOs have.

As a capitalist pig, I am very much against the government taking the position "at a certain point, you've made enough money." But as a private citizen, I certainly feel that way personally - I work for "free" at Stardock (i.e. I don't take a salary, dividends or disbursements) other than health insurance.  That way, every cent is available for new projects, employee bonuses, new equipment, etc.

But I wouldn't want the government to decide that for me.

I agree that the federal government should not be able to dictate this.  However, I would like to see some entity require as much transparency for the average worker as possible, then allow that entity to publish that information accessible to employees and potential employees.  Being an educated person, I know how to look up my company's  executives' salaries, perks, the company's accounting information, etc.

But when some companies are directly screwing over tens, hundreds, or thousands of workers just to help a few people at the top, then the workers should know this.  At that point, if they wish to stay employed with the company, whatever.  But if they choose to make their complaints heard via resignation, so be it.

on Oct 16, 2012

taltamir
My knowledge of sweden before was limited to its very strong banking system with its secrecy and willingness to act as a tax shelter.

That's Switzerland, but the rest of your analysis is correct. The successful Nordic welfare states are very unique, incredibly hard to replicate because of culture, not as left leaning as you would think, and generally moving rightward not further to the left. I have never seen a credible plan for a country to replicate their model. 

on Oct 16, 2012

taltamir
My knowledge of sweden before was limited to its very strong banking system with its secrecy and willingness to act as a tax shelter.

Which probably means your knowledge of Austria is that it's full of kangaroos.

It's always amusing that there are people out there with strong views about what's wrong with the world whilst having no idea what the world actually is...

on Oct 16, 2012


Which probably means your knowledge of Austria is that it's full of kangaroos.

It's always amusing that there are people out there with strong views about what's wrong with the world whilst having no idea what the world actually is...

 

It's also always amusing when people "out there" feel they have enough time to even form strong views about what's wrong with other people, whilst having no idea who they are, or that "in here" they are both actually the same thing, just grown in different soil.  Personally I've found that it's more productive to be concerned with one's own eduction than considerate of others.

 

The kangaroo bit was funny though.

on Oct 16, 2012

taltamir

Quoting Mistwraithe, reply 86Some interesting arguments. No one seems to have answered Frogboy's question above though about WHY hand outs or striving for at least a modicum of equality is a good idea.

I answered his question, but my answer was different then yours.

Yes. I may have misunderstood but your answer seems to be that wealth redistribution is not required because there is a sufficiently massive amount of wealth that even with major inequality poor people are still better off than they would have been in the past when the world was not nearly as productive/advanced.

That might be true BUT only if the country is generating a large number of jobs of some sort which 'the poor' can do to earn a relatively small income which is still large enough for them to live reasonably. The basic scenario Frogboy is foreseeing suggests that this will only be possible with some sort of deliberate job creation (ie wealth redistribution with another name) because automation will perform an ever increasing number of jobs. Sure there might still be legitimate jobs for 40% of the working population but that isn't going to cut it.

If you don't make sure that there are some sort of jobs available (and you don't give straight handouts, which are a worse solution anyway) then the wealth distribution in this scenario becomes so extreme that those at the bottom have nothing. At that point you have a growing number of people starving and an attempted revolution occurs shortly after.

on Oct 16, 2012

cardinaldirection
Personally I've found that it's more productive to be concerned with one's own eduction than considerate of others.

Yes, but even someone 10,000 miles from the US had to be concerned MORE about Sarah Palin's 'education' than whether or not his own lips moved when he read.  Imagine if that intellectual giant had ended up as the US Pres.

on Oct 16, 2012

taltamir

Quoting Alstein, reply 82If you look at standard economic theories, the net result would be that the US would go down to the global mean, maybe slightly above, but it would be a drastic reduction in our living standards-

Only in the very short term. In the long term it would mean a higher standard of living.

Not RELATIVE quality of life, but absolute. The gap wouldn't be as big between an american and an african but both would be better off (the same way a middle class person today is better off than a king in the middle ages).

And your proposed solution of redistribution merely WORSEN things for the americans because it drives out the top produces... Or forces it to become a prison state to prevent that.


Quoting Alstein, reply 82My argument is that handouts aren't necessarily a good thing, but they may be a necessary thing

And this argument is simply wrong as I have repeatedly pointed out. Prison states, relocation of producers, etc etc.


Massive wealth inequality is always one of the first steps towards a national decline: This has been true from Rome to Constantinople to Versailles to Berlin to modern times.

Your examples are simply not true.

The only way "wealth inequality" could possibly relate to national decline is by being used as ammunition by demagogues extolling wealth redistribution programs.

The term wealth inequality in of itself is stupid as I have repeatedly pointed out, dollar differences and quality of life are not the same. And furthermore, there are various CAUSES of said gaps. Cronyism absolutely causes national decline and cronyism also causes great "wealth inequality"... By using the term "wealth inequality" you lump together the cronies who HARM the nation and the economy and the PRODUCERS who HELP the nation and the economy.

Then as a result those who brandish about the term "wealth inequality" start putting in place programs to ensure fairness and equality which drive out or stamp out the producers while vastly increasing the amount of cronyism.

 

You're right in the long term it would mean a higher standard of living.  That said, there's a long way to go to the bottom, and I don't think the American people would stomach 100-200 years of mostly decline.  (this is assuming little technological advancement, and reasonable political openness over the next 200 years, huge assumptions)

 

You're right that dollar difference and quality of life are not the same- however, they are correlated, and the correlation is obvious.  That said, I don't remember the exact study, but declining marginal utility of money kicks in at around $50,000 for an average family in an average living area in the US.  (it would be higher in NY and lower in the South for obvious reasons)

 

To answer Mistwraithe's question: Since money over a certain value has declining marginal utility , and there is an easily assumed correlation between wealth and utility (happiness) of an individual/family, redistribution can be proven to have a positive net  social benefit to society.  There is also a negative social benefit in inefficiency (which is the other side of the argument).   The things I have read economically (admittedly I'm a weatherman with a ton of econ classes, I've had a bit of a weird career/schooling path), have stated that the Laffer curve (which is the foundation of supply-side economics) only tends to really kick in when marginal tax rates exceed 70%.  I'm not sure I buy that number, but I do believe it is higher than what the effective tax rates are today for many businesses.  (though as Brad states, businesses can evade taxes easily, especially the larger ones, and companies can do tax rate shopping- look at Beloved Valve's European office being just a post office box in a Luxembourg tax haven).

 

Economic policy is not an easy thing, especially when the players have different motivations than the planners.

 

Note: by wealth distibution I don't mean Leninist-style communism, stuff like Medicare/Social Security- that is effectively wealth redistribution.  Many other government programs are effectively that as well, to the point where many folks who get benefits from the government don't believe they actually are getting benefits- which causes some folks to vote against their class interest (religion is the other factor in this).

 

 

I do think overall, cronyism in large public multinational private industry > cronyism in government these days.  When you have companies like Time Warner Cable openly admit it's easier to buy influence to cut down innovation over actually innovating, there's a problem.  (See the North Carolina ban on municipal broadband, something I rail about repeatedly- what Google is doing in Kansas City would be illegal in Raleigh, largely due to AT&T, Time Warner Cable and the Tea Party Groups)

 

 

on Oct 16, 2012


Yes, but even someone 10,000 miles from the US had to be concerned MORE about Sarah Palin's 'education' than whether or not his own lips moved when he read.  Imagine if that intellectual giant had ended up as the US Pres.

 

The US president has been nothing but an acting figurehead since Reagan.  The world might actually be a better place if people would stop wasting so much time absorbed in all the media surrounding somebody else's supposed attempt to embetter it.  Sarah Palin is merely a product of this same powerful indoctrination (education) system as those that vote both for and against her.

on Oct 16, 2012

I just wanted to say that this thread was great. There were many amazing posts in here, especially from Brad and Alstein. I am still young and studying all of the political philosophies. (Reading a lot of Rothbard and some anarchist treatsies at the moment, not that I really agree with it.) Jaffo made some hilarious posts, my favorite being about deck chairs and an ice berg. 

on Oct 16, 2012

cardinaldirection
The US president has been nothing but an acting figurehead since Reagan.

And Reagan was famous for a grand total of 3 things... being a B-grade actor.... taking Nanny naps for his altzheimers....and being recorded making jokes about nuking Russia....

Sarah Palin has never been a product of any education system...

on Oct 16, 2012

Alstein


Economic policy is not an easy thing, especially when the players have different motivations than the planners.
 

If you take away one thing from this thread, that should be it. 

Governments trying to get private corporations to do business a certain way is like herding cats. As an example (small scale anyways), there's a smelting company up here that used to dump tons of pollutants into the river. They didn't change their practices until they were threatened with lawsuits when scientists were able to link the pollutants with very high numbers of colitis, celiac and chron's disease cases in a very small town downstream. The smelters didn't care about environmental legislation or the health of local residents, they just cared about the fact it was more expensive to upgrade their plant than just to dump the waste (they have since upgraded their plant so that the smelter produces "95% less pollution").

on Oct 17, 2012

Which probably means your knowledge of Austria is that it's full of kangaroos.

DsRaider
That's Switzerland

Ok that is hilarious. How did I do that?

You're right in the long term it would mean a higher standard of living.  That said, there's a long way to go to the bottom, and I don't think the American people would stomach 100-200 years of mostly decline.  (this is assuming little technological advancement, and reasonable political openness over the next 200 years, huge assumptions)

Did it take 100-200 years for the displacement of farmers thanks to the invention of tractors and the combine harvester to become beneficial to society?

Governments trying to get private corporations to do business a certain way is like herding cats. As an example (small scale anyways), there's a smelting company up here that used to dump tons of pollutants into the river. They didn't change their practices until they were threatened with lawsuits when scientists were able to link the pollutants with very high numbers of colitis, celiac and chron's disease cases in a very small town downstream. The smelters didn't care about environmental legislation or the health of local residents, they just cared about the fact it was more expensive to upgrade their plant than just to dump the waste (they have since upgraded their plant so that the smelter produces "95% less pollution").

How long until they are shut down because its cheaper to manufacture this in china?

The biggest problem with environmental regulation comes from the fact it is always done on a local scale and can ONLY work if done on a global scale.

A single nation can do global environmental regulation by imposing limitations on imports (extra tariffs and independent testing can be arranged). But that is very difficult thing to juggle and also has problems with derivative products (ex: more expensive steel from local OR foreign sources means more expensive cars, and buildings, and everything that uses those, etc)

Personally I am pro environmental regulation... as long as it is reasonable (the EPA today is not reasonable and is out to destroy business not protect the environment) and as long as it is not exporting pollution (aka, tariffs on products... and tariffs on derived products)

on Oct 18, 2012

Ah, guys, I'm pretty sure Romney is telling everyone to vote for him.

on Oct 18, 2012

Mistwraithe
That might be true BUT only if the country is generating a large number of jobs of some sort which 'the poor' can do to earn a relatively small income which is still large enough for them to live reasonably. The basic scenario Frogboy is foreseeing suggests that this will only be possible with some sort of deliberate job creation (ie wealth redistribution with another name) because automation will perform an ever increasing number of jobs. Sure there might still be legitimate jobs for 40% of the working population but that isn't going to cut it.

Robots/Tractors are stealing all our jobs!  

It's funny how this is so misunderstood and sensationalized in the media. Try and look at it this way, mechanization doesn't replace workers it increases their productivity. Imagine if you will a village with 10 farmers, and one of them invents shovels. This allows him to increase productivity and do the work that 2 farmers used to do. Soon everyone is using shovels to farm, and they produce twice the amount of food. However while everyone enjoys eating a little more their small village doesn't need that much food, thus some food goes unsold and prices drop. Now a few farmers choose new professions, say a farm tool repair man and a herbalist. Before there was not enough food in the village for the economy to support these jobs but now it can because each individual farmer that is left is making more and has more disposable income. Thus the village is much better off with shovels because now they not only have more food for cheaper but a dedicated tool repairman and herbalist. 

Robotics works exactly the same. We are nowhere near the point where robots will completely replace workers. Instead we will replace labourers with robot repairmen, inspectors, engineers, and etc. Like shovels this will lead to a overall decrease in the total amount of workers in that one sector but a huge rise in productivity and the wage of the workers that remain, the new robot repairmen will make more then labourers. This will lead them to have more disposable income and create openings in the economy for new jobs it couldn't support before. Of course there is in the short run increased unemployment because former labourers have to be retrained to do new jobs but the economy will adjust. This is exactly what happened during the industrial revolution when tractors replaced farm hands. Hence why economists are always referring to a shift to a service based economy. 

This is also one of the many reasons wealth distribution is so poisonous. By taking money from productive sectors of the economy and redistributing to unproductive ones it distorts the market and encourages inefficiency. The answer is not to subsidize labourers because this will result in more people becoming labourers in a economy that doesn't want or need them. Worse you are subsidizing them by taxing the efficient jobs in the economy that actually make enough to support themselves and fully contribute to the rest of society, and this decreases the amount of people who want these jobs. The idea that significant amounts of tax revenue come from the super rich is a pipe dream. Even Obama admits that his "fair" tax rates is nothing but symbolic, and not an actual attempt to balance the books. The same way that the middle class drives the economy they also contribute the most to taxes. By redistributing wealth we distort and slow the shift to the new economy, and reduced unemployment, while putting a huge drain on the government coffers and taxpayers. 

Meta
Views
» 74052
Comments
» 207
Category
Sponsored Links