Letter to My Employees State, National, International, posted by _, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 12:47 pm
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, some day, I too, will be able to afford these 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 5 pm, 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 for.
Yes, business ownership has it's 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 for 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 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 will have changed its landscape forever. Our newly elected president has not even been challenged in two years – your job loss is just the tip of the iceburg – you will see that you are going to lose much, much more in the next few years. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about ...
Posted by A tax payer, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Mar 2, 2009 at 1:51 pm
To those who say "what a joke" and "...his employees aren't so valuable..." -- YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT!
To Name Withheld - please forward your letter to your congressman, senator, local newspapers, etc. Your letter puts into words how so many of us feel right now. What incentive do we have left to work so hard, to take the big risks and sacrifices that benefit the economy??
Posted by true true, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm
I employ 21 extraordinary people in my company. Half of them have been in my company for over 12 years. Like "Name Withheld" I will also be forced to let go some of my employees if any new taxes are imposed on me or my business. The alternative is for me to outsource 18 of those 21 positions to other countries to makeup for any increase in taxes and keep my business profitable. Any new taxes will be the straw that break all of our backs.
Posted by Trickle Down didn't work, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 4:16 pm
No one is going to deny that our economy is in sad shape. Our government is left with 2 approaches to trying to make it better: Taxing and Spending to stimulate buying vs Lowering Taxes for the wealthy/businesses (AKA "trickle-down") - or some combination of those two. Now we're in a situation where we are hemorrhaging jobs in the public sector as well as the private sector (i.e. 100 + in our own school district, but multiply that by every district in the state, contractors in publics works projects, police...). Every job lost is a consumer who doesn't have the money to buy the products your business sells (unless you sell what economists call "inferior goods" like Salvation Army or Wal-Mart). We've just ended an era of tax cuts for the wealthy (and judging by your Mercedes and expensive house you are one of them) and it hasn't made things more stable or better. Maybe by paying a few more taxes in the short run, you can help keep a middle class going. Without a middle class with disposable income, there will be a glut of unsold products and that will lead to MORE layoffs. Either way, you're getting hit in the pocketbook, and I sympathize with that. I think the misconception is that people who voted for Obama just looove to tax the entrepreneurs. We're not socialists. We don't like taxes any more than the Republicans liked the bailouts of banks (which I see as the socialization of losses). It's an ugly situation that has led to the choice between two imperfect remedies.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 4:23 pm
I like the phrase "trickle-down" because it is an acknowledgment that it is an inefficient system. If it were an efficient method, it wouldn't be prefixed by the word "trickle" but something like the word "gush".
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm
It would be fun to be a fly on the wall listening in the room while the group of ideologues composed this "letter". It used to be we only got these forwarded as emails, now the PW posts have become the new forum.
Posted by mac, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:23 pm
It's unfortunate that some of you find it a joke or even that it should have been 'exluded' by PW. The point is missed by each of you. Take a minute to consider the reality of the letter. Real or conspired to reflect one's business environment and decisions, it speaks too true of the makings (or lack thereof) of the stimilus package.
The stimulus is the joke. Don't you get that? It is also a joke that we are not helping businesses that succeed and manage to stay in the black.
I'm glad PW posted this letter and glad the maker took the time to try to open some eyes. Apparently, there are a good number still of the ilk who walk through life without looking past their blinders.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm
That's the point. We considered the "reality of the letter". It's NOT. It's message, you can debate ad infinitum. But the letter itself is propaganda disguised and if someone real wrote it. Therefore it is a lie.
IN REFERENCE TO THE "TO ALL MY VALUED EMPLOYEES" LETTER CURRENTLY CIRCULATING THE INTERNET:
THIS LETTER WAS FORWARDED TO MICHAEL CROWLEY BY A COLLEAGUE. WHILE THE LETTER MAY INDEED BE AUTHENTIC, HE WAS NOT THE AUTHOR AND HE DOES NOT KNOW THE IDENTITY OF THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR. MR. CROWLEY'S CONTACT INFORMATION WAS MOVED INTO THE BODY OF THE MESSAGE MAKING IT APPEAR THAT HE WAS THE AUTHOR OF THE LETTER. IF YOU CHOOSE TO FORWARD THIS MESSAGE, PLEASE REMOVE ANY CONTACT INFORMATION BEFORE DOING SO.
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm
I read this Email about 2 months ago when a friend forwarded it to me. I can't believe that anyone thinks this is joke. Everything in it is true. Govt. creates no value. Govt employees work less and are paid more(including fringe benefits) than the private sector. We are on the fast track to disaster with no one creating value and everyone being on the public dole. Inflation will skyrocket and meaningful jobs will plummet. While the whole nation is in danger California is leading the charge to bankruptcy.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2009 at 2:28 pm
So indeed the letter is another chain email like so many before it. Many of you are admitting you saw it before. Like I said, it is a lie, most likely authored by the usual Republican attack machine committee. But people will believe what they want to believe. Then, they will continue to circulate a lie.
Let's all take notice of how this was presented in this thread as if it came from a real person. How misleading!!!!! And so many of you fell for it! Yes, it is joke, and the joke is on you.
Posted by Really?!?!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2009 at 3:21 pm
You're really going to pin the job losses on Obama?!?! Frank is right, people really do believe what they want to believe...
Also, I love that Concerned implies that teachers, firefighters, police officers are higher paid than people in the private sector but create no value. So many rebuttals to that, but the conversation would create no value.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm
Oh, by the way, I just googled
"some rumblings around the office about the future of this company" and the number of hits is tremendous! At least ten pages of this word sequence! Wow!
Fictitious propaganda filling the PW blog!
Oh, by the way, the evaporation of wealth is the result of 14 years of a Republican dominated Congress and the 20 out of the last 24 years of Republican presidents. Throw Alan Greenspan in the mix. How disingenuous to attribute the evaporation of our wealth to anything else, let alone Obama's 40 or so days in office!
Here is an article from the Wall St. Journal which points the finger squarely at Obama. Are you now going to refute WSJ as well?
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* REVIEW & OUTLOOK
* MARCH 3, 2009, 12:06 A.M. ET
The Obama Economy
As the Dow keeps dropping, the President is running out of people to blame.
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As 2009 opened, three weeks before Barack Obama took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 9034 on January 2, its highest level since the autumn panic. Yesterday the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The dismaying message here is that President Obama's policies have become part of the economy's problem.
Americans have welcomed the Obama era in the same spirit of hope the President campaigned on. But after five weeks in office, it's become clear that Mr. Obama's policies are slowing, if not stopping, what would otherwise be the normal process of economic recovery. From punishing business to squandering scarce national public resources, Team Obama is creating more uncertainty and less confidence -- and thus a longer period of recession or subpar growth.
[Review & Outlook]
The Democrats who now run Washington don't want to hear this, because they benefit from blaming all bad economic news on President Bush. And Mr. Obama has inherited an unusual recession deepened by credit problems, both of which will take time to climb out of. But it's also true that the economy has fallen far enough, and long enough, that much of the excess that led to recession is being worked off. Already 15 months old, the current recession will soon match the average length -- and average job loss -- of the last three postwar downturns. What goes down will come up -- unless destructive policies interfere with the sources of potential recovery.
And those sources have been forming for some time. The price of oil and other commodities have fallen by two-thirds since their 2008 summer peak, which has the effect of a major tax cut. The world is awash in liquidity, thanks to monetary ease by the Federal Reserve and other central banks. Monetary policy operates with a lag, but last year's easing will eventually stir economic activity.
Housing prices have fallen 27% from their Case-Shiller peak, or some two-thirds of the way back to their historical trend. While still high, credit spreads are far from their peaks during the panic, and corporate borrowers are again able to tap the credit markets. As equities were signaling with their late 2008 rally and January top, growth should under normal circumstances begin to appear in the second half of this year.
So what has happened in the last two months? The economy has received no great new outside shock. Exchange rates and other prices have been stable, and there are no security crises of note. The reality of a sharp recession has been known and built into stock prices since last year's fourth quarter.
What is new is the unveiling of Mr. Obama's agenda and his approach to governance. Every new President has a finite stock of capital -- financial and political -- to deploy, and amid recession Mr. Obama has more than most. But one negative revelation has been the way he has chosen to spend his scarce resources on income transfers rather than growth promotion. Most of his "stimulus" spending was devoted to social programs, rather than public works, and nearly all of the tax cuts were devoted to income maintenance rather than to improving incentives to work or invest.
His Treasury has been making a similar mistake with its financial bailout plans. The banking system needs to work through its losses, and one necessary use of public capital is to assist in burning down those bad assets as fast as possible. Yet most of Team Obama's ministrations so far have gone toward triage and life support, rather than repair and recovery.
AIG yesterday received its fourth "rescue," including $70 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program cash, without any clear business direction. (See here.) Citigroup's restructuring last week added not a dollar of new capital, and also no clear direction. Perhaps the imminent Treasury "stress tests" will clear the decks, but until they do the banks are all living in fear of becoming the next AIG. All of this squanders public money that could better go toward burning down bank debt.
The market has notably plunged since Mr. Obama introduced his budget last week, and that should be no surprise. The document was a declaration of hostility toward capitalists across the economy. Health-care stocks have dived on fears of new government mandates and price controls. Private lenders to students have been told they're no longer wanted. Anyone who uses carbon energy has been warned to expect a huge tax increase from cap and trade. And every risk-taker and investor now knows that another tax increase will slam the economy in 2011, unless Mr. Obama lets Speaker Nancy Pelosi impose one even earlier.
Meanwhile, Congress demands more bank lending even as it assails lenders and threatens to let judges rewrite mortgage contracts. The powers in Congress -- unrebuked by Mr. Obama -- are ridiculing and punishing the very capitalists who are essential to a sustainable recovery. The result has been a capital strike, and the return of the fear from last year that we could face a far deeper downturn. This is no way to nurture a wounded economy back to health.
Listening to Mr. Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, on the weekend, we couldn't help but wonder if they appreciate any of this. They seem preoccupied with going to the barricades against Republicans who wield little power, or picking a fight with Rush Limbaugh, as if this is the kind of economic leadership Americans want.
Perhaps they're reading the polls and figure they have two or three years before voters stop blaming Republicans and Mr. Bush for the economy. Even if that's right in the long run, in the meantime their assault on business and investors is delaying a recovery and ensuring that the expansion will be weaker than it should be when it finally does arrive.
"In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government’s actions were so egregious and so unprecedented that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.
But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the investigation."
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2009 at 8:15 pm
When Rupert Murdoch (the guy who owns Fox News) took over the Wall Street Journal, it ceased to be a credible source for me. I also don't get my news from Rolling Stone Magazine or SF Gate on the liberal side.
Posted by Huh, a resident of Livermore, on Mar 4, 2009 at 11:59 am
Ha HA This is so funny. Reading the comments about whether we should give B Hussein Obama a chance and to see if his plan will work.
His plan is already working. His plan isn't a remedy for the economy, his plan is to destroy the economy as it has existed. He's a socialist, he doesn't believe in capitalism. He wants everyone to be dependent on the government.
When he gets the majority of the voting population to be dependent on the government, he will assure his "sustainability". that is until the producers stop producing and there is nothing aavailable to tax.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm
Huh wrote: "Again, you fail to discern the difference between principle and the flightly flailings to retain power by politicos."
You see, one _has_ to laugh at it. You're attempting to excuse the actions of certain politicos who have been at the forefront of preaching their principles to us all. No one gets off so easily. We don't excuse Obama in such a way.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Mar 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm
Let me clarify my thinking. These politicos go around preaching to everyone about the merits of their particular ideology and they try to operate upon those principles instead of working on practical solutions. When those principles start to fail them because reality doesn't work like that, they backtrack. They're like salesmen trying to sell everyone the latest fad. They deserve a rubbing. Sure, that'll go for Obama too, once time shows his principles failing. But that's how politics works. I think no one who works by "practicalism" could ever get the kind of political power the idea salesmen obtain.
Posted by Huh, a resident of Livermore, on Mar 4, 2009 at 4:22 pm
I was never attempting to excuse their actions. I was blaming them, calling them losers and giving the reason why.
But none of them ever were the forefront of conservative or right wing principles.
I've seen examples of both side using portions of the tactic. But no one has seen it raised to the level of our present Obfuscator-in-Chief. He follows the playbook to a T. You would need a book of translation, from LeftSpeak to English, just to interpret his intentions.
There are no excuses made for Obama because he's never examined and criticized, at least in mainstream media
Posted by Larry Haney, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 18, 2010 at 9:35 am
There are some good points here. My brother in law works at a Toyota dealership as a mechanic in Winter Park, Florida. The dealership he works for is part of SET or Southeastern Toyota. He said that they owner of SET and his family come in from the Cayman Islands once a week for meetings and then immediately go back out. They do this in order to avoid paying taxes in the US.