March 6, 2009

And This One…

…arrived in my inbox a couple of days ago, one I thought I’d share.

A letter from the Boss 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, someday, 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 bailout 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 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’ll fire you and your coworkers. 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….

Signed, THE BOSS

A Big Hat Tip to B.J.S.

by @ 12:24 pm. Filed under Punished For Success, Taxes
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13 Responses to “And This One…”

  1. BB-Idaho Says:

    Hope the ‘Boss’ has a good time at the beach..maybe run into Bernie Madoff and do a little snorkling?

  2. The Gray Monk Says:

    I’ve had this one as well, I think it sums up perfectly the dilemma for all of us who try to work for ourselves or run our own businesses. Everything is pitched the loudest voices these days, usually the Trade Unions and the “Socialist Collectivists”.

    You back home yet?

  3. Seth Says:

    BB –

    Am I to deduce that you believe the boss should stay the course and allow himself tto continue to be raped by unfair and ever-increasing federal taxation so that his employees can remain employed?

    Even so, how do you equate the boss with Madoff? (scratches head)

    Gray Monk –

    Everything is pitched the loudest voices these days, usually the Trade Unions and the ‚ÄúSocialist Collectivists”

    Mostly the “do as I say, not as I do” hypocrites who are somehow not affected by, or simply don’t believe that what applies to others applies to them as well. Coincidentally, they all seem to hang around on the port side of the political equation.

    They apparently do all they can to cultivate an “us vs. them” relationship between the public and private sectors.

    I’m still not home, but I’m hoping this changes shortly, so I can get on with my life. :-(

  4. BB-Idaho Says:

    No..Boss may do whatever. Having seen private industry from every which way…I just don’t have any sympathy..that’s all. :)

  5. Jeff Says:

    Glad my boss does not think like that!

  6. Seth Says:

    BB –

    Depending a lot upon how said boss treats his/her employees is how I base my own sympathies.

    That is, I have always been generous with people who have worked for me, generally moreso than any other person on the paying end is concerned, and I believe that those helping one make ones money are entitled to considerably more than any minimum wage. The cheapskates can go to hell, as far as I’m concerned.

    However, I also don’t believe that the government should penalize someone who’s busted their (insert appropriate word) to build a business, the primary purpose of which is attaining the trappings of success, for succeeding. The politicians do this because, as they’ve proven time and again, they can’t be trusted to manage the taxpayers’ money with any sort of responsibility.

    If I were the boss in the above post, I would be thinking along the same lines, though when I did close the business, I’d make sure my employees received a nice sized chunk of severance pay and I wouldn’t hesitate to do this under-the-table.

    Jeff –

    Your boss probably makes enough money and has probably amassed enough that he can weather slow times vs aggressive taxation better than the guy in the post. :-)

  7. Seth Says:

    Then there’s this, speaking of government interference (only a smidgeon pertinent herein), but {hat tip, James Taranto}

    Giving one reason for the increase in kidnapings thusly:

    In January, Honduran President Manuel Zelaya increased the minimum wage 60 percent, raising monthly wages from US$ 181 to $289. As a result, an estimated 15,000 people have been laid off in urban areas.This number is expected to steadily increase as businesses cannot afford the new mandatory wages. Remittances from Hondurans in the U.S. have also decreased throughout 2008.

    What would we do without government interference?

  8. Shoprat Says:

    Sounds almost like one of Ayn Rand’s good, but overly long, books.

  9. Seth Says:

    Shoprat –

    It do, kinda’ sorta’, don’t it?

    Still, it tends to elucidate, without compunction, the Boss’ dilemma, leaving nothing out. :-)

  10. BB-Idaho Says:

    Even libs like Ayn. My favorite Randism:
    “When I die, I hope to go to Heaven, whatever the Hell that is.” heh

  11. Seth Says:

    BB –


  12. The Gray Monk Says:

    As the Australians rapidly discovered some time ago - minimum wages look good on paper but have some strange knock ons. Including hiring the neighbour’s teenager to clear your gutters for the bushfire season just becomes too damned expensive - so you don’t. And then you have the fires they’ve just had in Victoria.

    A living wage is a necessity, but the moment you make it a “right” or a “compulsory” minimum, it tends to drive costs up and generally results in the dumping out of a lot of those on the lkower end of the scale simply because the employer can’t afford the higher rate without putting prices up and reducing his turnover, which reduces his profitablity and so on. If you are operating on minimal margins anyway in order to generate business in a highly competitive environment, you simply cannot afford to increase overheads. I have, as an unpaid Director of a small limited company, just closed one part of the business - 11 people out of work. Why? Simple costs have exceeded sales by a very large margin turning a profitable operation overall into a loss making one. In order to save the profitable parts, we had no option but to close the section that was hemorraghing money and a large part of that was down to increases in “minimum wages” which affect the whole of the wage bill and not just the lower end. Increases at the bottom have to be given all the way up the tree in order to maintain fair differentials in accordance with responsibility.

    Seth, I hope you get the ticket home soon, it sounds like you’re needed back at the ranch!

  13. Seth Says:

    Gray Monk –

    This is part of a concept that liberals simply cannot grasp; market forces.

    They don’t, and probably, unfortunately, never will understand that every action begets a compensatory reaction. This Utopian mindset of theirs has done exponentially more damage than it has good, yet they’ll continue to ignore the damage they do while patting themselves on the back for what they consider a “job well done”.

    In the case of downsizing brought on by government mandated wage increases, they’ll blame the employer, who is merely trying to make ends meet, rather than the governmental micromanagement that forced them to slim down the payroll.

    Thanks, my friend, I look forward to getting things back to normal, hopefully soon. :-)