Monday, January 19, 2009

I got a letter today...

I got the following letter today, entitled "inauguration '09" in an email from someone who I never would have though would buy into the BS therein. Upon reading it, I began to get infuriated. So I vented, below, in green. If I am off-base, or mis-guided in my reply, please let me know. I welcome all comments, as always.

"To All My Valued Employees,
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.
However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests.
First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last years Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.
However, what you don't see is the back story.
I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.
My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. 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, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. 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 a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.
So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am, mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5pm, I don't. 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 the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden - the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations ... you never realize the back story and the sacrifices I've made.
Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have 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 a decade of my life for.
Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds.
Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:
I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.
The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.
The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree, which is why your job is in jeopardy.
Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? Or, do you defibrillate his heart? Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.
So where am I going with all this?
It's quite simple.
If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I fire you. I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, will be my citizenship.
So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about.
Your boss "
and my reply
"political hurricane that swept through this country, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever."
No no, Cheney steamrolled the Constitution as he considered himself EXEMPT from it. By wire tapping, and torturing, and degrading America's united standing with the world, an unprecedented event that happened September 12th 2001, W's administration has more blood on it's hands than Al Qaeda does. More US service men and women have died, at the hands of enthusiastic jihadists, than were killed on 9-11. Jihadists encouraged and recruited by W and Cheney and Addington and Woo and Haynes and Rumsfeld, and their ilk.
The myopic author of the "
To All My Valued Employees, " letter assumes he's the only one who has worked hard, or hard enough to be successful. Bullshit. It's a combination of luck, genes, timing, AND hard work. MANY others worked as hard or harder, sacrificing and giving it their all, but then a sickness got them or a family member, and BAM, they could not realize their dream as he did. MANY others worked their asses off, and then got downsized by a Neutron Jack, or another corporate titan who "enhanced" the stock price and then shipped their job inefficiently overseas. MANY others didn't work hard at all and were handed everything by their daddy or their fraternity or golfing buddy, and they are sitting in the same spot as the hard working myopic business owning martyr below.
This kind of bull shit is what keeps Hannity's ratings high enough to continue his show. This malarkey feeds AM hate radio, and inspires O'Reilly in his fabricated "culture war". This kind of delusional rhetoric inspires inarticulate morons like "Joe the fake plumber" far beyond the 15 minutes of fame they are not entitled to.
I get these kinds of emails from my relatives and used to from Greenville Co-workers from time to time. When I see bullshit, I call bullshit. I do not think Obama is perfect, but I did vote for him. For the first time in my life, I actually backed a winner.
Instead of detracting and being negative and making threats about what will happen, the moment taxes are raised, it would be better to try and work together to dig us out of the hole that this service based (not manufacturing based) economy has buried us more than neck deep.
Very best regards,


  1. You're not off-base at all, my friend. This is extortion, plain and simple. If I felt like being disingenuous, I'd even call it terrorism...but we're better than that. In fact, I feel sorry for the author. Delusions of grandeur, pettiness, and self-righteousness all point to a larger mental illness. This guy needs help. Fortunately, in a few years, we may have the type of universal health coverage that will allow him to get that help without bankrupting him. After all, if he shuts down the business, he too will be without health insurance.

    As George Dubya said shortly after the Supreme Court installed him in office, get over it. You lost. Your ideas drove this country to the brink of disaster. Your President started two wars, wrecked the economy, tortured people, spied on subverted innocent Americans, and did everything wrong short of screwing an intern on the Oval Office rug that Clinton liked so much. Get over lost, and America is about to change. You can either be a part of that process, or you can whine and take your toys home. We'll be better off either way.

  2. THis kind of self-righteous crap (by the writer of the letter) makes me ill. Like any business owner did all by themselves. The author of the letter sounds like he's providing everyone a privilege of working for him. Get over yourself. While it is true that the business owner takes the greatest risks so should reap the greatest rewards, they do not do it alone and they NEED good employees. Does anyone hear Bill Gates complaining about his taxes? No--he donates a lot of his fortune to help the less fortunate the world over. I hate to break it to the author of the letter, but CORPORATE welfare (in its various forms) is a large region we are in this financial mess.

  3. Tell the letter writer to quit whining. Geez. What a dufus.


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