Timeshare magnate David Siegel recently sent a letter to his 7,000 Westgate Resorts employees telling them that if Obama is elected, he will have to fire some of them. Apparently, the munificent Siegel would have no choice but to lay off his workers while he continues construction on his own $100 million home.
Did I just step in a big steaming pile of hypocritical megalomania or was that you?
Here are some of Siegel's quotes from a recent interview with Businessweek:
"The United States is like a big company, and we need a CEO to run it."
Since Siegel clearly knows what a company is, I must assume that he doesn't know what an America is. See, America is not "like a company," it is actually more "like" a democratic nation of over 300 million people. Most people didn't have to interview to get this gig. And many of us get a vote.
A company is an oligarchy wherein a board of directors, not a citizen body of voters, elects a CEO. In a country like America, people vote for those who run it (theoretically.) This is a distinction that a 3rd grader is capable of making, and yet the sentiment that America should be run like a company has become a conservative mantra that many people are falling victim to.
"If only businessmen voted in the election, Romney would win 99 to 1.."
True, and if only businessmen voted, it would be the year 1753 and we would still have slaves. There's your bumper sticker for the Romney-Ryan campaign. Ship it!
"We businessmen are so tired of being vilified when we create all the jobs and pay most of the taxes."
Wait, you create all the jobs? Well, I guess a thank you is in order for that. So thank you. I totally should've told you that earlier. My bad.
But why then, Almighty Job Creator, will you suddenly stop this magnanimous act of creating all the jobs if the presidential race doesn't go your way? Will Obama's policies really force you, and thousands of other wealthy conservatives, to fire employees, thus creating all of the unemployment? Or is this just a deliberate gambit that will allow you to then you blame that president for a high unemployment rate?
I see what you did there, Mr. Siegel. And when do you finish construction on that second movie theater based on the Paris Opera House for your home? Just curious. (PS, Nobody is vilifying people because they're businessmen... it's because they're oblivious money mongers who lack something called a social conscience. If you ever need a hug, just call me.)
This whole thing exposes a disturbing ideological rift in our society. We are looking at a nation torn between those who think American should be run like a business and those who think America should be run like a democratic entity. (Or we're looking at a wealthy minority attempting to cement control over our country's social and financial policies. It's one of those...)
Because you know what? If America is a company... it's a shitty one. If America is a company, it's one where over 50 million people do not have health insurance. You workers want benefits? Bend over so my shoe can benefit your ass.
If America is a company, it's one where wage growth for 99 percent of its employees sits at its lowest point since 1929, and oh, wasn't that a great year for the yeoman flapper and his Unsharpened Pencil & Bruised Apples Superstore!
If America is a company, it's one that can't seem to get jobs for over 12 million of its employees. If you work at a company that can't even employ you... that's a sign that you're working at one shitty company.
People who think USA, Inc. is the only way to go need to be sent away to the card table in the corner of the room where they can throw mashed potatoes at each other and make grand declarations about being the King of Peas. America is not a shitty company. We are a great country of citizens who work for a living and vote on representatives who will be beholden to the people in terms of how our tax dollars are spent on government investments like national defense, literacy programs, highways, police departments, fire departments, public schools, public universities, health care programs, and protection from workplace intimidation. We pay taxes for some of these things. We have a sense of morality for the others.
But beware, according to David Siegel, if Obama gets elected, we're going to be paying a lot more in taxes and our benevolent job creators will have no choice but to become the unemployment creators... because they're going to need their extra pennies to put the finishing touches on that 20,000-bottle wine cellar.