Framing the Dialogue

Business Speaks…FINALLY!

It has been beyond comprehension to me that business men and women have not really spoken out about the direction of our country and the climate in which they have to navigate to do business. They have been so un-Galt-like that it frankly had me frightened. There have been those like Steve Wynn and the bombastic Donald Trump who have been outspoken, but most have been silent. Some have begun to speak and their knowledge of the economy should carry weight and many have been darlings of the lame-stream media so they’ll have some coverage, at least initially until the media “discovers” (i.e. told by the White House) that they are really crackpots.

Here of some of my recent favorites:

Jack Welch: Former CEO of General Electric which is now so cozy with Team Obama and China that it is sad to see the decline of such a great company. Last week when the Labor Dept. put out their fantasy jobs numbers Mr. Welch tweeted “Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything…can’t debate so change the numbers.” Needless to say that Mr. Welch was roundly criticized about his comments. The funny thing, there are two actually, is that they’ve been fudging the numbers since Obama’s been in office. They come out with a report then adjust it a week later when it won’t make the news. The second thing is that guys like Jack Welch don’t back down. These guys are Type A’s an that’s why they become CEOs. It’s funny that the Huffington Post suggested that he is thin-skinned. They must have mistaken him for BHO. This from Mr. Welch’s Wall Street Journal OpEd in response:

“Imagine a country where challenging the ruling authorities—questioning, say, a piece of data released by central headquarters—would result in mobs of administration sympathizers claiming you should feel “embarrassed” and labeling you a fool, or worse. Soviet Russia perhaps? Communist China? Nope, that would be the United States right now, when a person (like me, for instance) suggests that a certain government datum (like the September unemployment rate of 7.8%) doesn’t make sense. Unfortunately for those who would like me to pipe down, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) last week is downright implausible. And that’s why I made a stink about it.”

 “The good news is that the current debate has resulted in people giving the whole issue of unemployment data more thought. Moreover, it led to some of the campaign’s biggest supporters admitting that the number merited a closer look—and even expressing skepticism. The New York Times in a Sunday editorial, for instance, acknowledged the 7.8% figure is “partly due to a statistical fluke.”

“The coming election is too important to be decided on a number. Especially when that number seems so wrong.”

Steve Wynn: I placed Mr. Wynn as a True American Hero over two years ago because of his outspoken and reasoned dialogue about the direction of our country under the Obama White House. Mr. Wynn (Wynn Resorts) continues to speak his mind and share his views about doing business today in America:

 “”I’ll be damned if I want to have him lecture me about small business and jobs. I’m a job creator. Guys like me are job creators and we don’t like having a bulls-eye painted on our back…I’m afraid of the president. I have no idea what goofy idea, what crazy, anti-business program this administration will come up. I have no idea. And I have to tell you Jon that every business guy I know in the country is frightened of Barack Obama and the way he thinks.”

David Siegel: Mr. Siegel is the founder and CEO of Westgate Resorts. The following are some excerpts from an email that he sent to all of his employees about the state of his business and their potential future employment:

Subject: Message from David Siegel

Date:Mon, 08 Oct 2012 13:58:05 -0400 (EDT)

From: [David Siegel]

To: [All employees]

 To All My Valued Employees,

As most of you know our company, Westgate Resorts, has continued to succeed in spite of a very dismal economy. There is no question that the economy has changed for the worse and we have not seen any improvement over the past four years. In spite of all of the challenges we have faced, the good news is this: The economy doesn’t currently pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is another 4 years of the same Presidential administration. Of course, as your employer, I can’t tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn’t interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best. […]

Now, the economy is falling apart and people like me who made all the right decisions and invested in themselves are being forced 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 42 years of my life for. Yes, business ownership has its benefits, but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the costs of running a business have gotten out of control, and let me tell you why: We are being taxed to death and the government thinks we don’t pay enough. We pay state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, payroll taxes, workers compensation taxes and unemployment taxes. I even have to hire an entire department to manage all these taxes. The question I have is this: Who is really stimulating the economy? Is it the Government that wants to take money from those who have earned it and give it to those who have not, or is it people like me who built a company out of his garage and directly employs over 7000 people and hosts over 3 million people per year with a great vacation?

Obviously, our present government believes that taking my money is the right economic stimulus for this country. The fact is, if I deducted 50% of your paycheck you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here. I mean, why should you? Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, that’s what happens to me. […]

Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate business, not kill it. However, the power brokers in Washington believe redistributing wealth is the essential driver of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change they want.

So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. While the media wants to tell you to believe the “1 percenters” are bad, I’m telling you they are not. They create most of the jobs. If you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the “1%”; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country.

You see, I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed, and with it, so will your opportunities. If that happens, you can find me in the Caribbean sitting on the beach, under a palm tree, retired, and with no employees to worry about.

Signed, your boss,

David Siegel

 

Darden Restaurants: If you are fond of Red Lobster, The Olive Garden, or Long Horn Steakhouse you may want to pay attention.

 “Darden Restaurants…is experimenting with limiting hours of some employees to avoid health care requirements introduced in the Affordable Care Act [Obamacare]. The pilot project is only occurring at a “select number” of restaurants, the Orlando Sentinel said, while the restaurant company determines whether it is a viable option. Under a provision of Obama Care that will take effect in 2014, all large companies must offer health care to employees who work 30 hours or more per week. Darden is the world’s largest casual dining company and has about 185,000 employees, the Sentinel said. If widely implemented, according to observers, the plan to limit worker hours could result in less-skilled workers and a higher turnover.”

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