Rational Thinking and Employment

This letter (real or created I'm not sure and it doesn't matter) has been circulating around the web and in case you have not seen it I thought I would share it here as it pretty much sums up why Entrepreneurs deserve respect and if you are working for a company, particularly a small company, you should consider these words thoughtfully:


To All of 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.
That being said, 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 year’s 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, to 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 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 that freedom. I
eat, sleep 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 –– and 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 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 by the fourth
father waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels
the latter is the economic stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted (or stole) 50 percent 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 percent of their hard work?

Well, I agree, and that 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.

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

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, 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.

Your Boss


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