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Are whining Job Creators just big moochers? Are they patriotic?

To help you answer those questions, take a look at the let's-defenestrate-noblesse-oblige letter (link) that a major Job Creator - the very rich timeshare magnate David Siegel of Westgate Resorts - sent to his employees, excerpts at [1]. He created the letter by editing an even more explicit similar letter from 2008 [2].

1. Would Siegel have been able to become a timeshare magnate in a low-tax, low-regulation wonderland like, say, Somalia? It's extremely unlikely. In fact, he's only been able to build his business because of extensive government spending over decades. Without it:

* his workforce would be less educated;
* he'd have fewer regulatory headaches but he'd also have to worry about those he buys properties from not revealing flaws in those properties;
* he'd have to constantly worry about a company upstream dumping toxic waste into a river that runs past his property;
* without unemployment insurance roving, hungry bands of those he's fired might be at his gate with torches;
* he'd have a worse chance of having his day in court over business disputes;
* he'd stand a greater chance of his city or the ones surrounding him being as unsafe as Detroit;
* he'd stand a greater chance of a revolution converting his $100 million mansion (based on, appropriately enough, Versailles) into the People's Center For Revolutionary Thought;
* and many, many, many more.

Yet, Siegel wants to pay as little as possible for all those hidden benefits he's taken advantage of to get rich. Isn't he a moocher?

We're all familiar with the standard Welfare Queens: lazy layabout moochers who want something for nothing. But, aren't those like Siegel moochers on a much grander scale? They've gotten rich by relying on and taking advantage of all the benefits of modern U.S. society, but they want to pay as little as possible for it.

2. In the letter, Siegel threatens to close up shop and move to "the Caribbean" if he doesn't get his way. The earlier letter writer [2] threatened to "move to another country". Which country Siegel has in mind isn't clear, but it doesn't sound like he'd stay in the U.S. Bearing in mind this might not apply to Siegel, is the idea of moving to another country because you don't like high taxes patriotic? Aren't those who say such things putting a price on U.S. citizenship, and a low one at that? Hundreds of thousands of people have died in America's conflicts here and around the world, yet those in the Tea Parties / fiscal conservative / libertarians sphere are willing to sell up and turn their backs on the U.S. by "going Galt" because of marginal tax rates? Are those who write such letters patriots, or just a bourgeois to nouveau riche version of the actual post-patriotic global elite?

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[1] Full letter at Gawker: peekURL.com/z9SrF9w Note that Siegel admits authorship:

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.

I started this company over 42 years ago. At that time, I lived in a very modest home. I converted my garage into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you. We didn't eat in fancy restaurants or take expensive vacations because every dollar I made went back into this company...

...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?

...Here is what most people don't understand and the press and our Government has chosen to ignore – to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Instead of raising my taxes and depositing that money into the Washington black-hole, let me spend it on growing the company, hire more employees, and generate substantial economic growth.

...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.

[2] Part of the 2008 letter Siegel admits basing his on ( snopes dot com/politics/business/valuedemployees.asp):

...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 anymore.

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...

Other tags: gop

Tue, 10/09/2012 - 20:06 · Importance: 4