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.
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 isa . 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 mylife.
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 studio 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 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 stores for clothing that didn’t look
like it was birthed in the 70’s. My friends refinanced their mortgages
and lived a life of luxury. I 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 the luxuries my friends supposedly had.
So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9 am, mentally check
in at about noon, and then leave at , I don’t. There is no “off”
button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and have a
weekend all to yourself. I do not have that 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 one- year-old special-needs child. You, of course, only
see the fruits of that labor — the nice house, the Mercedes, the
vacations… you never realize the Back Story and the sacrifices I’ve
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
Yes, business ownership has its 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. 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.
. Workers Compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on
taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and 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.
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 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 wouldn’t work here. And 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 government suddenly
mandated 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 hiring more employees and generating 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.
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, steam-rolled the Constitution, and changed its landscape
forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired
with no employees to worry about.
Got the above “letter”
in my e-mail recently.
What do you think?