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 8)
on Oct 18, 2012

^ pretty much everything DsRaider said.

Also, another result of this is that we can get more... low tech farming is primarily about the production of staple foods like potatoes and corn. I like having berries and hydroponic lettuce and baby carrots and all those other varied foods at reasonably low prices. Good for your health too.

And then there is the biofuel production which requires more efficiency improvements  in farming...

on Nov 04, 2012

Frogboy
The gulf between the rich and the poor is only going to get larger and larger with more automation and globalization.  I'm not sure how that can be helped.

There is a simple way to solve it, tax the rich more.Make sure no one can make millions of dollars and pay 10-15 % in taxes. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/02/business/questions-raised-on-withdrawal-of-congressional-research-services-report-on-tax-rates.html?_r=0

Lower taxes for the wealthy has had no positive effect for the economy. It just consolidates power in the super-wealthy no matter how much Republicans want to hide that fact. 

Accelerated automation will increase the need to redistribute wealth to insure the health and education of all in society. Are they hand-outs? Who cares, it will be necessary to make the most of our society. Capitilism is not an end of itself, it is one means to attempt to make our world as good as possible. When automation exceeds a critical level, and it is accelerating at both an exponential rate and more importantly quality, we will need to invest our societies wealth in to our people. Owning all the robots cannot be allowed to happen. It is not fair, at that point they most certainly did not build that, it is standing on the shoulders of everyone who contributed their labor and everyone who endured the social injustice to get society to that point.

We are fast approaching the point where capitalism will need to be reined far in (I am talking about the proliferation of automation here). Nobody needs car elevators when poor people don't have access to good schools and health care. If you drive a luxury car and begrudge someone food stamps, you need to find empathy for your fellow man. If you think everyone who receives aid will become worthless, you don't think poor people are of the same human spirit you possess. You are fooling yourself, you are not different from them, only your circumstances differ.

on Nov 04, 2012

I won't go so far as to say folks like Brad aren't different.  While you do need to enable folks to take risks (say what you will, the lack of a safety net will make folks risk-averse), you also do need to give an incentive for folks to take those risks.  Not everyone takes the risks of new ideas for the sake of IRL-peen.

 

The problem we've seen in the US is that there's been his attitude that society is meant to benefit capitalism, when it's capitalism that's meant to benefit society.   Capitalism needs to have some controls in place to keep markets efficient - uncontrolled capitalism destroys markets and societies.

 

on Nov 04, 2012

Alstein
I won't go so far as to say folks like Brad aren't different.  While you do need to enable folks to take risks (say what you will, the lack of a safety net will make folks risk-averse), you also do need to give an incentive for folks to take those risks.  Not everyone takes the risks of new ideas for the sake of IRL-peen.

 

There is different in the manner you are talking about, and it gets conflated with a whole other kind of different. The kind of different like where Siegal indulges his Galt fantasies to his employees in the above email. That kind of Ayn Rand inspired ego-nova of the self-perceived ubermensch suggests he sees himself as very different. Lots of people indulge that kind of self-worship. But every last one of them buiit there empires mostly on other's labors and other's ideas, the system just benefits them disproportionately to their productivity. It is something we live with, but let's keep it in perspective. Capitalism is a necessary evil, it is not a religion where CEOs are some kind of pantheon that the laborer should fear and worship.

on Nov 15, 2012

I stopped reading at "timeshare company".

 

quick tip: If all you've ever produced is a "business model" you are not a "wealth creator".

on Nov 16, 2012

There you have it. Neoliberal economy does not mean automatic democracy. In fact, neoliberal economies turn into fascist states, given enough time.

on Nov 16, 2012

Burress

There is different in the manner you are talking about, and it gets conflated with a whole other kind of different. The kind of different like where Siegal indulges his Galt fantasies to his employees in the above email. That kind of Ayn Rand inspired ego-nova of the self-perceived ubermensch suggests he sees himself as very different. Lots of people indulge that kind of self-worship. But every last one of them buiit there empires mostly on other's labors and other's ideas, the system just benefits them disproportionately to their productivity. It is something we live with, but let's keep it in perspective. Capitalism is a necessary evil, it is not a religion where CEOs are some kind of pantheon that the laborer should fear and worship.

I see Ayn Rand thrown around as an insult when it's not really relevant.

Pointing out to employees that if the government confiscates more of your liquid capital you will have less to pay them should fall under the "Duh". And yet, it seems, lots of people fail to understand that.

The #1 difference between rich people and normal people is one produces and the other consumes.  Most people take their money and consume it. They get money and they buy stuff.  By contrast, "rich" people are generally people who take their money and make something with it.  But because people don't understand how that strategy, given time, results in vast VAST wealth differences, they think that those people are somehow cheating or don't "deserve" what they have.  

When I graduated college. I had nothing except some college loans. When I started to make money, I took every cent I had and put it back in my business.  My friends, by contrast, bought cars and electronic gadgets and CDs and video games and so on.  Rinse, repeat for 20 years and you end up with a massive difference. Today I'm worth between 8 and 9 figures.

Let me walk you guys through it because it's pretty straight forward:

Step #1: Go to this site: http://www.daveramsey.com/article/investing-calculator/lifeandmoney_investing/#/entry_form 

Step #2: Start at 20 (like I did). Do something that generates say $50,000.  Live on $25k, invest the other $25k in your company.

Step #3: Each year, for 20 years, put $25,000 back in your business and let's assume, on average, it makes a 25% profit (i.e. a decent successful start-up). 

At 40 you have $17 MILLION.

The most important years are those early years.  The jackasses on BF or QT3 who crap on me will occasionally put up a GIF of my house or my cars or whatever but what they ignore is that I didn't have of that for the first 15 or so years.  I lived in an apartment and then a small house for a good chunk of that time because I was investing everything back in my business. Sure, I *could* have bought lots of cool stuff. But I didn't. I chose to reinvest rather than consume during those years. 

on Nov 16, 2012

We had something similar here in California, before Proposition 30 (a tax to fund schools) was passed, some colleges emailed out information saying that if it wasn't passed and the planned budget cuts went into affect, tuition would rise and teachers would have to be let go, or if it was passed then tuition could be lowered back to what it was last year. It's a straightforward heads up on what could happen, but some people got all up in arms about that being a violation of the education system's political neutrality.

on Nov 16, 2012

"The jackasses on BF or QT3 who crap on me"

I really don't get why this happens. A lot of what you say I disagree with, but I can always see where you're coming from.

 

 

on Nov 17, 2012

The poor don't produce?  In that case why do they work?

 

Quite honestly, though I didn't start a business, I did the same thing you did in my 20's- I put every cent into saving/bringing down debt, and I didn't have much.  (I'm not the sort who should run a business, I understand that, I don't have the mentality)

 

I don't think anyone's saying that you shouldn't be rewarded.  You deserve what you have earned for your work.  However, society needs its share also, to keep the country running, and to keep the system working.  A system that doesn't divide its wealth enough well, you get Egypt.

 

You don't like it, but taxes and entitlements are a combination of investing in society (much like how you invested instead of spent- tax cuts are the CD's, gadgets, and games of government) and the grease needed to keep folks who aren't the high earners invested in society.

 

Folks compare the current era to the Gilded Age of the 1880's-1910's.   There were two politicians who understood this perfectly: Otto Von Bismarck and Teddy Roosevelt.  Both those countries made that bargain in order to stop communism, and both countries made the right decision.

 

on Nov 17, 2012

Alstein
The poor don't produce?  In that case why do they work? 

The poor don't work, they get a government check every month.

The middle class are the ones who work.

You don't like it, but taxes and entitlements are a combination of investing in society (much like how you invested instead of spent- tax cuts are the CD's, gadgets, and games of government) and the grease needed to keep folks who aren't the high earners invested in society.

Everyone gets it, some people just disagree with you. Mostly because they realize how wrong you are.

Funding free education is "investing" in "society". Funding scientific research is "investing" in "society". Financing top of the line manufacturing facilities to produce goods is "investing" in "society". Giving someone a check to not work is not investing in anything, its just burning money which was stolen from someone who actually produced something.

And as it turns out, the pinheads in government are very poor at choosing reliable investments (see Celindra funding and crappy overpriced schools)

on Nov 17, 2012

taltamir
The poor don't work, they get a government check every month.

Not sure exactly what new level of crap that has attained.

The poor are poor because when they work they aren't paid as well as that 'middle class' of yours.

One thing I have learnt in 40 years of working.....your poor clients are the ones who pay you.  The rich ones are rich because they will avoid paying if at all possible.

on Nov 17, 2012

Not sure exactly what new level of crap that has attained.

The poor are poor because when they work they aren't paid as well as that 'middle class' of yours.

We are specifically talking the USA. where anyone with a job is middle class. They have a roof over their head, a TV, own a car, eat well, etc...

This economic crisis already made it so many people willing and able to work can not find a job (putting them in the poor category)

The exception would be if they have excessive spending eating them up... for example if they are going to college. Many college students have a job but live in abject poverty because college expenses eat them up.

There are plenty of working poor around the world, devastated economies do that. Sadly enough, the USA economy will reach such a state relatively soon. Money loses its value, prices sky rocket, salaries are slashed as businesses make less money and there are fewer jobs with more people looking for one...

One thing I have learnt in 40 years of working.....your poor clients are the ones who pay you.  The rich ones are rich because they will avoid paying if at all possible.

People get rich by being sent to prison for theft?

on Nov 18, 2012

The folks working at Wal-Mart for near minimum wage and taking massive amounts of abuse from management- they're not middle class at all.  No idea where some of you guys are getting the idea that any job is middle-class.

 

Nearly every service job out there is lower-class these days, and those are the jobs that are being created.   This has been happening since the 90's, and is the "fault" of globalization, not any particular politician.

 

 

on Nov 18, 2012

@Alstein

I'm not sure if understood my point.  I wasn't talking about poor people. I was illustrating the difference between the rich and everyone else.  Everyone else takes their earnings and consumes it. It's not a moral judgement. It's just a fact. Most people spend nearly everything they earn.

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