Friday, January 16, 2009

You might just want to skip this one

I got this in my email from someone I love, not just some random troll. We disagree very strongly on some issues and while I tend to keep my mouth shut on these topics, he is forever sending me closed-minded, one-sided email trash thinking it will prove his point and make me see the error of my ways. What it actually does is irritate the ever loving hell out of me and then forces me to write really boring blog posts like this one.

Summary of the below email - Blah blah blah, right wing stereotypes and rhetoric, blah blah blah, American dream, blah blah blah, everyone on government assistance is a leach, blah blah blah, We're all gonna die if the goverment doesn't do...

Here it is if you want to read it in full. Keeping in mind that if you care enough to read my rant below, knowing what the actual story says might make more sense.
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

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

Meanwhile, my friends went to their 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, some day, I too, will be
able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly

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 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 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.

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

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

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 wi ll 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

Deep Breath! In through the nose, out through the mouth...

I agree with this "Man" 100% to the extent that it is a fictional letter written based on the "American Dream" story of a business owner with the best intentions. I even agree that this size/type of business is incredibly important repairing our country's economy, not the person collecting "Welfare." But what really chaps my ass is that this kind of story simply portrays all the stereotypes that fit solidly into its ideology and furthers its agenda without giving concience thought to the fact that they are in fact stereotypes. Not every business in this nation is a one-man-built-from-nothing business (those should be getting every break we can give them). There are also the Multi-Billion-Dollar-Monsters that give out multi-million-dollar bonuses to bosses who wouldn't know a package of ramen from a hole in the ground - And everywhere inbetween. Not every person who is collecting assistance from the government is a lazy-useless-could-be-doing-more leach on our contries resources. And for the record, the emails that tell the sob story from a liberal perspective using opposite stereotypes make me angry too. I just cannot for the life of me understand how people can think the situation is that simple. Or how they can completely close their eyes to the common sense things each side is saying. Neither end of the spectrum is completely wrong. Neither is completely right though either. We do not live in a black and white world. 1+1=2 on paper but we are dealing with real people. People who live, laugh, cry, and sometimes fall on hard times. We are dealing with people with good intentions. We are dealing with people who are greedy and will steal money from their grandmothers. To make broad statements about the character of all people in a particular circumstance, especially when those assumptions don't hope for the best in someone but instead tear them down and "know" the worst, makes me incredibly sad.
/end rant

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