02 June 2009

Message from the Boss

From: the BOSS
To: All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office about the future ofthis company, and more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy haschanged for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good newsis this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threatenyour job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help youdecide what is in your best interests.
First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers againstemployees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is aBack Story. This Back Story is often neglected and overshadowed by what yousee and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen mybig home at last year's Christmas party. I'm sure all these flashy iconsof 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 300square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment wasconverted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building acompany, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spentwent back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with adefective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayedhome on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In factI was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made amodest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy carsand lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead ofhitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trollingthrough the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't looklike it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages andlived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, andmy life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, willbe able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 A.M., mentally checkin 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 aweekend 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. Thereis no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attachedto my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only seethe 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 rightdecisions 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 sameluxuries that I earned and sacrificed a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I've paid issteep and not without wounds.

Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, isstarting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell youwhy:

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 ontaxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guesswhat? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates andregulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of mytime. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 forquarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus"check was? Zero. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, theguy who has provided 14 people with good paying jobs and serves over 2,200000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or, the single mothersitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfarecheck? Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus ofthis country.

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck, you'dquit 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, whichis why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economyyou need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly governmentmandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes, guess what? Instead ofdepositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spentit, hired more employees and generated substantial economic growth. Myemployees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form ofpromotions and better salaries. But you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don'tdefibrillate 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 ofAmerica and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not killit. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of Americaare the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could befurther 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 beswift and simple. I'll fire you. I'll fire your co-workers. You can thenplead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your childs future. Frankly, it isn't my problem anymore.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, andretire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes theproductive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and toprovide 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; itwill be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through thiscountry, steamrolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscapeforever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, andwith no employees to worry about....


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