Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is just a random email but I found it very interesting.

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. (I know some of you will stop here, but please keep reading)

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest.

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 year's 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 Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill 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 would be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 A. M., mentally check in at about noon, and then leave at 5 P. M., 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 October 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 for 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 and shock 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.

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 change its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about....

Signed,
Your boss

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who are not. - Thomas Jefferson

Thoughts? Leave some comments!

8 comments:

grizaham said...

Lets just all make t - shirts and be festival rats... no taxes, good music and great food.. And eventually seek asylum in Canada when all hell breaks lose here..

Julie said...

I would love to read this, but the sheer length of it prevents me from being able to focus! Ha!

What I Know said...

It's all about the food chain. From poverty to luxury...and can we, as civilized humans, just leave the bottom rung citizens to fend for themselves? I think we should in a lot of ways...I think we give away too much to undeserving, non-contributing citizens that have become accustomed to a handout and believe they are entitled to it. And we have allowed this to happen, we have created this monster. If someone has a solution, I would love to hear it.

AndreaLeigh said...

wow... this is a serious email from your actual boss? or a random forward? i don't know what to think about that.

Courtney said...

Good email. I'm in agreement with the "boss" in this email. And Thomas Jefferson there at the end...big time agreement.

Cary said...

I believe this hits the nail on the head! It puts all the current events in proper perspective!

Lori C. said...

Having a business in Beatrice, AL (and for those of you unfamiliar with the town - I would aproximate that 85% of the town is on food stamps, welfare, medicaid AND WIC) I can total relate to this guy. We struggle to find employees that WANT to work. They would rather sit home and draw their unemployment and live on the food stamps and free insurance that mine and your tax dollars provide. I would say 70% of these upstanding individuals are more than capable of working but would rather sit home and get a handout from the government. While they sit home drinking and popping out more kids so the government will give them more food stamps and additional tax refund money for these children - my husband is busting his ass to provide for his family. And what to we get for this hardwork you might ask? Payroll taxes, property taxes, sales tax, use tax (need I go on)? Oh - our wonderful government is going to tax the hardworking individuals to a point where we lock the doors to our business, throw our hands up in the air and say to hell with it. Let's live like the people who the government is trying to help because it sure isn't us.

REBECCA & CLAY KELTON said...

I wish every member of our congress could take a couple minutes and read this. Good stuff. It spells out exactly why at times I want to pull out my hair and let out blood curdling screams.

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