Archive for October 18th, 2012|Daily archive page


In Business, Politics, Social commentary on October 18, 2012 at 12:00 am

David Siegel is the founder and chief executive of Westgate Resorts, the largest privately owned time-share company in the world.

And he’s building the biggest home in the U.S., a 90,000-square-foot Florida palace he calls Versailles.

Recently he took time off to tell his 7,000 employees how to vote. And to threaten them with dismissal if his Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, loses the election.

On October 8, he sent out the following memo.  To which I offer commentary where required.


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.


According to The Corrupt Society, by the late and distinguished British historian Robert Payne:

“Power and wealth are the main sources of corruption.

“The rich, simply by being rich, are infected with corruption.

“Their overwhelming desire is to grow richer, but they can do this only at the expense of those who are poorer than themselves.

“Their interests conflict with those of the overall society. They live sheltered from the constant anxieties of the poor, and thus cannot understand them. Nor do they try to.

“Inevitably they come to fear and distrust the poor, and, just as inevitably, their fear and distrust are translated into legislation that protects them against the poor.”

But Payne foresaw an even greater danger from the rich and powerful than their mere isolation from the rest of society:

“The mere presence of the rich is corrupting.

“Their habits, their moral codes, their delight in conspicuous consumption are permanent affronts to the rest of humanity.

“Vast inequalities of wealth are intolerable in any decent society.”

Writing in 1975, Payne noted that a third of the private wealth was possessed by less than 5% of the population–while about a fifth of the populace lived at the poverty level.

“The tendency is toward greater and greater concentrations of wealth in private hands.

“Unless this accumulation is checked by law or by violent social change, about two-thirds of the national wealth will be in the hands of 5% of the population in the year 2000.”

At the same time, more than half the population would be below or near the starvation level.

“These estimates portend disaster,” warned Payne.

Payne has proven to be an uncanny prophet.

On November 1, 2011, Forbes magazine reported that, in 2007, the richest 1% of the American population owned 34.6% of the country’s total wealth, and the next 19% owned 50.5%.

Thus, the top 20% of Americans owned 85% of the country’s wealth and the bottom 80% of the population owned 15%.


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.


Mitt Romney gave this speech on May 17–the infamous “47%” rant against those who don’t comprise the privileged 1%.  Among its most memorable lines:

“All right, there are 47%…who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that’s an entitlement….

“And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Put more concisely: “I’ve got mine–so screw you, Jack.”

Of course, Romney said this when he didn’t know a camera was rolling. He wanted money from his wealthy donors–and votes from the “99%” he and his fellow one-percenters so despise.

Siegel gives this rant in public because he’s not seeking to win votes from the “lower orders.”  He just wants to tyrannize his employees.


Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds.


Oh, no, pity the poor rich guy.  How many of his “friends” worked at jobs that barely paid enough for them to live from paycheck to paycheck?

%d bloggers like this: