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Posts Tagged ‘DAVID SIEGEL’

THIS IS YOUR BOSS: VOTE LIKE I SAY – PART FOUR (END)

In Business, Politics, Social commentary on October 22, 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 they call 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.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

This adds a whole new meaning to the phrase: “If I don’t get my way, I’ll just take my football–I mean, company–and go home.”

Of course, he wouldn’t DREAM of telling his employees who to vote for–he just makes a blatant threat that if they support the re-election of Barack Obama, he will close down the company and throw them into the street.

That’s why the United States desperately needs–and deserves–an Employers Responsibility Act to legally require employers to behave responsibly toward their employees and job-seekers. Only then will “employers” and “responsibility” truly be linked.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

That’s right–who are you going to believe: Your own experience–or what Siegel is telling you?

SIEGEL:

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

COMMENTARY:

Again: Siegel wouldn’t DREAM of telling his employees who to vote for. But, just to make sure they get the message he’s sending them, he signs off as: “Your Boss.”

For thousands of years, otherwise highly intelligent men and women believed that kings ruled by divine right. That kings

  • held absolute power
  • levied extortionate taxes and
  • sent countless millions of men off to war

–all because God wanted it that way.

That lunacy was dealt a deadly blow in 1776 when American Revolutionaries threw off the despotic rule of King George III of England.

Today, millions of Americans remain imprisoned by an equally outrageous and dangerous theory: The Theory of the Divine Right of Employers.

Americans did not win their freedom from Great Britain–-and its enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of kings”-–by begging for their rights.

And Americans will not win their freedom from their corporate masters–-and the equally enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of employers”-–by begging for the right to work and support themselves and their families.

And they will most certainly never win such freedom by supporting right-wing political candidates whose first and only allegiance is to the corporate interests who bankroll their campaigns.

Americans can choose to reject those lies–and demand that employers behave like patriots instead of predators.

The solution can be summed up in three words: Employers Responsibility Act (ERA).

If passed by Congress and vigorously enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and Labor, an ERA would ensure

  • full-time
  • permanent and
  • productive employment

for millions of capable, job-seeking Americans.

And it would achieve this without raising taxes or creating controversial government “make work” programs.

Such legislation would legally require employers to demonstrate as much initiative for hiring as job-seekers are now expected to show in searching for work.

Among its provisions:

The seeking of “economic incentives” by companies in return for moving to or remaining in cities/states would be strictly forbiddenEmployers who make such overtures would be prosecuted for attempted bribery or extortion:

  1. Bribery, if they offered to move to a city/state in return for “economic incentives,” or
  2. Extortion, if they threatened to move their companies from a city/state if they did not receive such “economic incentives.”

Under an Employers Responsibility Act, CEOs who tell their employees, “Vote as I say–or else,” would find a new home from which to conduct business: A prison cell.

THIS IS YOUR BOSS: VOTE LIKE I SAY – PART THREE (OF FOUR)

In Business, Politics, Social commentary on October 19, 2012 at 12:21 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 they call 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.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

On the contrary, the Federal income tax rate has never been lower for corporations. The United States’ corporate tax rate was at its highest, 52.8%, in 1968 and 1969.

Today it varies from 15% to 35%. And the wealthy have continued to prosper even more through the infamous “Bush tax cuts,” which cut the tax rate of the top 1% of American taxpayers by about 25%.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

In its June 8, 2011 cover-story on “What U.S. Economic Recovery? Five Destructive Myths,” Time magazine warned that profit-seeking corporations can’t be relied on to ”make it all better.”

Wrote Rana Foroohar, Time‘s assistant managing editor in charge of economics and business:

“There is a fundamental disconnect between the fortunes of American companies, which are doing quite well, and American workers, most of whom are earning a lower hourly wage now than they did during the recession.

“The thing is, companies make plenty of money; they just don’t spend it on workers here.

“There may be $2 trillion sitting on the balance sheets of American corporations globally, but firms show no signs of wanting to spend it in order to hire workers at home.”

In short: Giving even greater tax breaks to mega-corporations–the standard Republican mantra–has not persuaded them to stop “outsourcing” jobs.

Nor has it convinced them to start hiring Americans.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

“The Republicans have pulled off a major (some would say cynical) miracle,” writes Time’s Rana Foroohar.

They have convinced “the majority of Americans that the way to jump-start the economy is to slash taxes on the wealthy and on cash-hoarding corporations while cutting benefits for millions of Americans.

“It’s fun-house math that can’t work. We’ll need both tax increases and sensible entitlement cuts to get back on track.”

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

“The man who builds a factory,” said President Calvin Coolidge, “builds a temple. “And the man who works there, worships there.”

Most corporate CEOs still believe this–and Siegel is clearly one of them. But there is no reason for the rest of us to embrace this self-defeating philosophy.

THIS IS YOUR BOSS: VOTE LIKE I SAY – PART TWO (OF FOUR)

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.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

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%.

SIEGEL:

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.

COMMENTARY:

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.

SIEGEL:

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

COMMENTARY:

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?

THIS IS YOUR BOSS: VOTE LIKE I SAY – PART ONE (OF FOUR)

In Business, Politics, Social commentary on October 17, 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.

With his wife, Jackie, he’s building the biggest home in the U.S., a 90,000-square-foot Florida palace they call Versailles.

“King David” Siegel relaxes atop his throne

But he isn’t so busy that he can’t take 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.

Subject: Message from David Siegel

Date: Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)

From: [David Siegel]

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.

COMMENTARY:

Of course America has a class system–we, as a nation, simply refuse to acknowledge it. Of course, under this system, the rich do get richer and the poor do get poorer.

Unearned income–such as from investments–isn’t taxed, while earned income–which comes from actually working–is. 

Neither the press nor the administration has to “cast employers against employees”–the tax system alone does that.

And according to the top 1% richest Americans:

  • It’s only “class warfare” when those who aren’t well-off demand a bigger slice of the pie.
  • It isn’t “class warfare” when those who, like Siegel, can afford to build a 90,000-square-foot palace while the vast majority of their fellow citizens are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
  • And it’s not “class warfare” when that privileged 1% demand even more–even when this comes from those far less fortunate than themselves.

SIEGEL:

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.

David Siegel’s “big home” version of “Versailles”

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.

COMMENTARY:

What a tragedy! He had to stop building his dream house and even take his ultra-privileged kids out of private school!

Horrors! They actually had to rub elbows with children whose parents can’t afford a 90,000-square-foot palace that masquerades as a house.

Millions of Americans have sent their children to public schools–and continue to do so. Millions of them have lived–and continue to live–highly productive lives. 

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