Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

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castlewp's picture
castlewp
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Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

This is a must read!!

http://www.rense.com/general84/letter.htm

[Ed. note:  This letter was originally circulated on the internet
in an anonymous form, and only later began to be attributed to a Mr.
M. Crowley.  To protect Mr. Crowley's interests, we must note that Crowley & Associates of Wake Forest, North Carolina
did not in fact write this letter.
This website has received the following message from Michael Crowley:

From: Michael A.
Crowley, PE 
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009
9:10 AM
Subject:

In reference to the “To all my valued employees”
letter currently circulating the internet:

This letter was forwarded to me by a colleague.  While
the letter may indeed be authentic, I was not the author and I do not know the
identity of the original author.  I forwarded it to the “John McCain
Joe the Plumbers” email group prior to the election.  Someone moved
my contact information into the body of the message making it appear that I was
the author of the letter.  I would appreciate your removing my contact
information prior to forwarding this message.

Michael A. Crowley, PE ]

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Yeah, it hits pretty hard. Let us remember this quote:

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take from those who would work and give to those who would not." --- Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

castlewp wrote:

This is a must read!!

http://www.rense.com/general84/letter.htm

castlewp,

I have tried to locate the source of this letter without success - including visiting snopes.com, urbanlegends.com, googling the company, the principals, etc.

The only valid thing I can locate is that the company does indeed exist. Beyond that, all I can find are various copies of this letter floating around in various forums without attribution.

My personal opinion is that this letter is phony.

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castlewp
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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers
I haven't looked this up yet but this was at the closing of the letter.   Regardless, the message rings true.
Michael A. Crowley,
PE Crowley, Crisp & Associates, Inc.
Professional Engineers 1
906 South Main Street, Suite 122
Wake Forest, NC 27587
 
919.562.8860 x22   
919.562.8872 Fax
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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

castlewp wrote:

I haven't looked this up yet but this was at the closing of the letter.   Regardless, the message rings true.
Michael A. Crowley,
PE Crowley, Crisp & Associates, Inc.
Professional Engineers 1
906 South Main Street, Suite 122
Wake Forest, NC 27587
 
919.562.8860 x22   
919.562.8872 Fax

castlewp,

My concern here is that this message is being passed around the web as if it were fact. Just because the name of a real person at a real company (http://www.crowley-crisp.com/Principals/tabid/55/Default.aspx) is attached to the letter doesn't make the letter itself real. There have been many instances (many found on snopes.com) where emails and letters have been falsely attributed to a celebrity but the facts proved otherwise.

It would be permissible to state that "I don't know if this letter is true or not, but I agree with what it expresses." However, your subject line states that this is a "Real Letter" which you cannot prove.

If you are able to prove the validity of this letter, I will happily rescind my accusation. Until such time, I stand by my statement.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

It should be noted that this letter was almost certainly not written by the real Michael Crowley, PE.

Firstly, the letter says that the company was started "12 years ago."  The real Mr. Crowley ought to know that, according to his own wesbite, the company was incorporated in 2001.

Secondly, the letter states, "[a]t that time, I lived in a 300 sq.ft. studio apartment for 3 years.  My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you."

Of course, the real Mr. Crowley also should know, that according to his own professional summary, he went into business for himself the year before incorporating with other associates, and prior to that had held executive-level positions "with several engineering firms in North Carolina and Maine."

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

jrf29 wrote:

It should be noted that this letter was almost certainly not written by the real Michael Crowley, PE.

Firstly, the letter says that the company was started "12 years ago."  The real Mr. Crowley ought to know that, according to his own wesbite, the company was incorporated in 2001.

Secondly, the letter states, "[a]t that time, I lived in a 300 sq.ft. studio apartment for 3 years.  My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you."

Of course, the real Mr. Crowley also should know, that according to his own professional summary, he went into business for himself the year before incorporating with other associates, and prior to that had held executive-level positions "with several engineering firms in North Carolina and Maine."

Well spotted, jrf29! Would that mine eyes were as sharp as yours!

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Forgive me guys, but I don't see why anyone should care whether or not the letter was legitimately from the "real" Mr. Crowley.

The letter offers strikingly candid insight that might help those who feel inclined to cry out that "the government should bail out the people next" to see the real picture. I assume that's why it was posted here.

I think the author of this letter makes several excellent points, and don't much care myself whether or not he is or isn't the "real" Mr. Crowley.

Erik

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

The real Mr. Crowley might care, however.

Arthur

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

I agree with Erik. Finding truth and verifying facts is important and it still is here. But let's not miss the major points of the letter. Let's not fail to realize what a great reflection this letter is of the reality many small business owners face. In some ways, the more I hear that the government is going to support small business, the more I know that fascism is more deeply entrenched than ever before.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

I didn't even have to read the letter to have serious doubts regarding its authenticity. The website is after all Jeff Rense's. A man, who if you listen to talk for, say, twenty minutes on a specific topic you might consider very intelligent and agree with but whose site is stuffed with garbage to the point, I would argue, of intentional obfuscation. Agitprop at its finest.

But I agree with the notion that even a fictional letter can shed much light on any given situation. I mean who really cares if "Shakespeare" wrote Hamlet. It does nothing to change the quality of the work or its insights into human nature.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Oh pity the poor business owner/millionaire and how he is suffering just like the common man and its all due to teenage moms on welfare. Give me a break! This is just another distraction to keep our mind off the real problem (95% of the nations wealth in 1% of the people's hands) and or divide and conquer the masses tactic.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

He wasn't blaming welfare mothers. He was making a point in regards to who stimulates the economy more.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

ErikTownsend wrote:

Forgive me guys, but I don't see why anyone should care whether or not the letter was legitimately from the "real" Mr. Crowley.

The letter offers strikingly candid insight that might help those who feel inclined to cry out that "the government should bail out the people next" to see the real picture. I assume that's why it was posted here.

I think the author of this letter makes several excellent points, and don't much care myself whether or not he is or isn't the "real" Mr. Crowley.

Erik

Erik,

I'm surprised that you, of all people, would not care that a thread on this site was started with the subject "Real Letter....". One of the important aspects of this site to me, and I presume many others, is that it is a place for reasoned factual discourse about serious issues affecting our country and, ultimately, the world.

In trying to trace the source of this letter (I haven't found any), I came across a couple of other web sites where there was the typical "ranting and raving" going on about the contents of this missive. It is not something I would like to see occur on this site, yet I'm already seeing a little bit beginning in this thread.

Opinions are certainly welcome if they are stated as being just that. Purported facts must be backed up by valid links to the source. To me, starting a thread with the words "Real ..." (when it isn't) is misleading and is not what I consider acceptable on this site.

Not to mention which, how would you like it if some piece of fiction was spreading across the web that not only was incorrectly attributed to you but that was also stating things that were exactly the opposite of what you believe. But now it's spread all over the web without your permission. I suspect Mr. Crowley won't be too thrilled when he finds out his name has been posted to a piece of fiction.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Sam,

Look, I totally understand your take on making sure the authenticity of any post.  I also truly apologize that I cut and pasted the headline and letter from another site without verifying if it were original or not.

I however was looking at the message of the letter without regard to it being an actual letter from Mr. Crowley which short of calling him wouldn't be able to prove.

I think we may be watering the wrong plant and not looking at the true intent of why I posted this.  

In the future, I will make sure I preface any post that I can't authenticate with an editorial footnote.

Now, can we get on with the real issues? 

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments here, Sam.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Whether the story is real or not, agreement with the author's stance boils down to whether one agrees with the "Trickle-Down" theory of economics.   

First of all, if a business-owner has only 14 employees, most of whom are probably receiving average engineering salaries, and he is paying $288k grand a quarter in taxes, odds are he's doing just fine financially.  Especially if he states that he can pick up and retire at any time.

Second of all, the free market will determine what political and taxation systems are sustainable or not.  If washington is crippling businesses with taxes worse than taxes imposed on businesses in other countries, businesses will set up in other countries.  However, small businesses, which might serve a local demographic in a particular community, might not have the same mobility to where they can just pick up and move to another country.  This tug-of-war needs some political attention, not a gripe to one's own employees.

 Lastly, the author, by divulging his "bringing-himself-up-by-his-bootstraps" story, is indirectly showing everyone that he feels entitled to be compensated in some way for his hard work.  The ability to work hard in a skilled profession, have the freedom to start your own business, and to own a mercedes, among others, is a luxury many americans take for granted.  Just my $.02.         

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

castlewp wrote:

Sam,

Look, I totally understand your take on making sure the authenticity of any post.  I also truly apologize that I cut and pasted the headline and letter from another site without verifying if it were original or not.

I however was looking at the message of the letter without regard to it being an actual letter from Mr. Crowley which short of calling him wouldn't be able to prove.

I think we may be watering the wrong plant and not looking at the true intent of why I posted this.  

In the future, I will make sure I preface any post that I can't authenticate with an editorial footnote.

Now, can we get on with the real issues? 

castlewp,

Apology accepted. I've made my own goofs on this site for which I have also apologized. Guess none of us is perfect, eh? Wink

Now, can we get on with the real issues?

I would like to do that. However, after reading through the letter a second time, I wonder what "real issues" you are referring to. It is obvious to me that the letter is very political. I started to address some of those politically charged comments, but realized that this would be in contradiction to what we are supposed to be discussing on this web site - and politics is not it.

The only other thing I get out of this letter is that it's supposed to be about a frustrated employer who feels he is being taxed and regulated to death. If he had stopped there, I would have been somewhat sympathetic. However, when he then lashes out and says,

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.

then he loses me. Apparently he's willing to jettison 14 (perhaps very hard working honest) employees without regard to their lives - as if they were so much useless material to be discarded when he no longer can use them. Hmmm - nice guy.

Bottom line, I personally don't find that this piece of fiction has contributed anything useful to the conversation. It seems to be written with the intent to inflame the average reader - not to engender reasoned, logical discourse regarding the over taxation and regulation that is prevalent in this country.

Keep in mind, as I've said in a different thread, not all regulation is bad. As someone who works in the medical industry, I can attest that too many companies left to their own, unregulated, devices, wind up injuring or killing patients. If anyone is interested in me backing this up, please let me know and I will be glad to locate the specific information and post it in this thread.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

I think the authors point is that he is angry about what we're angry about.  Government interfering with his life, levying unjust taxes and ignoring the Constitution. 

He blames the culprits regarding the mess in this country today, the voters.  The responsible parties for the entire mess we currently have in this country is not the Republican nor the Democratic party, it's the voter in this country who keep electing these #$%$$ to office in the first place.  

 

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

castlewp wrote:

I think the authors point is that he is angry about what we're angry about.  Government interfering with his life, levying unjust taxes and ignoring the Constitution. 

He blames the culprits regarding the mess in this country today, the voters.  The responsible parties for the entire mess we currently have in this country is not the Republican nor the Democratic party, it's the voter in this country who keep electing these #$%$$ to office in the first place.  

Like anything, there are two sides to every story. Are you old enough to remember Pogo saying, "We have met the enemy and he is us."?

What a lot of people refuse to recognize is that this country cannot run on wishful thinking. Talk to the average person and ask them what they expect their government to provide to them. You'll hear: safe bridges, safe roads, safe hospitals, safe cars, protection from crooks, protection from our enemies, safe jobs, safe food, safe housing, safe clothing,  safe medical care - the list goes on and on. Then ask them who is going to pay for all of this and be prepared for some blank stares.

How you get safe jobs, safe food, safe housing, safe clothing, safe medical care is through taxes and regulation.

Without taxes, none of this would ever get done - after all, the money has to come from somewhere, right?

Without regulation, it would be a much more hazardous world out there. Do we have too much regulation? In some cases it is taken to an extreme and I would be the first to agree we could probably do without a lot of regulations currently on the books. BUT - we still need regulations in order to create a reasonably safe environment for our citizens.

You say the voters are the "culprits regarding the mess in this country today". Hmmm - who are the voters? You and me. The author of the letter, and presumably you, are mad because the government is not being run by the people you think should be running it. Does it occur to you that while upwards of 43 million people (who voted for McCain) are also upset, upwards of 50 million (or more) other people are pleased with the choice of Obama. A few million even wanted to see Ron Paul running this country. Who is right? If "it's the voter in this country who keep electing these #$%$$ to office in the first place.", then I guess that's what majority rule is all about and we will all have to live with the consequences.

I think what it comes down to is this. Ideally, each of us would like to run our own lives without any interference at all from anyone (especially government entities), but we want things magically taken care of for us like roads, parks, hospitals, etc.

The reality is that we as a people created our government structure for a reason. Like it or not, it is what it is. I've never seen anyone seriously suggest we switch to a different form of government even though there are plenty of examples around the world.

Bottom line, the author of the letter is ranting without offering any reasonable solutions - that doesn't do any of us any good.

I better cut this off now or it will be too long to read. I hope you understand the points I'm trying to make.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Sam, you make good points.  I don't disagree with you that we need regulations and taxes, but...  in the end it really doesn't matter. 

George Carlin says it better than I.  Oh, I did verify that this was him :-)

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

 

Good old George, He always had an eye for entertaining thoughts. People who laughed were just living on borrowed time.

Now I am inclined to use Mahatma Gandhi quote “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

The letter is almost satirical in content. But still only a person who would care would write with such passion, and be so informative to his work force about his personal life. Some how I dont think this letter is real.

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

When interested in the facts, I check them out.  Along with several hundred others, I received this email.

Cat

In reference to the “To all my
valued employees” letter currently circulating the
internet:

This letter was forwarded to me by a
colleague.  While the letter may indeed be authentic, I was not the author and I
do not know the identity of the original author.  I forwarded it to the “John
McCain Joe the Plumbers” email group prior to the election.  Someone moved my
contact information into the body of the message making it appear that I was the
author of the letter.  I would appreciate your removing my contact information
prior to forwarding this message.

 

Michael A. Crowley,
PE

 


 

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Cat233 -

You beat me to the punch. I emailed Crowley's company and got the same reply. Clearly we were not the first to draw this to his attention!

Now my next question is, why is your name cat but your avatar is a dog? Smile

Arthur

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Re: Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

Arthur... LOL... To confuse you...Tongue out  I

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Real Letter From A CEO to His Employers

To Michael and the others in similar position:

While I was reading the (your) email that was forwarded to me, I wanted to say how true (even though I realize now that it was fabricated). The fact is - I did just what the letter described in the end. Even though we were not as fortunate to be able to support all of our employees until the end, I have moved to South America now where every day is paradise, the cost of living is less than 1/3 of the USA and we live very comfortably. I do not miss the corporate grinder, and the lawyers and swindlers calling daily trying to squeeze an honest business with their "legal" extortion schemes. There is not one day that I have looked back. I am also seeing or hearing every day of more and more business owners (even Bill Gates, etc.) who see the writing on the wall of a sinking ship and are cashing out (under the pretense of "retirement") while they still have value. I also watch the dollar decline daily in the world market and thank the Lord that I got out when I had a better exchange rate. If you have similar feelings, do NOT hesitate (even though I am very loyal to my country) as remember history - every world empire has lasted approximately 300 years and I am sorry to say that it may be our time. Should you have questions I will try to assist as I am able if you care to write.

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The letter may be fictional but the point is dead-on!

This class warfare being fostered by a desperate Obama administration and being supported by an established elite who know corrupted socialism, not true free market economics, is their ticket to securing their wealth and increasing it monopolistically through crony capitalism.

Everyone should read Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED and better familiarize with the true words, intent and warnings of our founding fathers. Our current politicians are absolutely wiping their a**** with the constitution.

If enough people would sincerely educate themselves about what is truly taking place in the US perhaps we'd have a chance at truly meaningful and positive change. At present, we're not even close so that's why individuals and small communities/groups need to do their best to prepare and protect themselves from the age of turmoil ahead and spread the word as best they can.

JG  

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the fake Michael Crowley letter

The fake Crowley letter was forwarded to me today 12/10/2012 to make the case for less taxes. Below is my response to my sender to

the fictional letter before I learned of its real nature:

I beg your pardon, but I think that is the stupidest thing I have read in a long
time. It is as close as one can get to violating election laws as I can imagine. It is
in essence the epitome of what I think the Right is about; if you don't get your way,
go out an bully someone, anyone into giving you what you want. Like most bullies, he
is a coward and a quitter.

Look at his whining about his life. Who does he think his is? I had paper routes when I was in grade school, I worked weekends and in the summer on farms and in a grocery store in high school, worked as a longshoreman
and in the Alaska salmon industry to put myself through college and through law school with help from my ex-wife (studying consistently to 1:00 or 2:00AM  for 3 years during school.) I employed people for 20 years (only 1 at a time,) paid my taxes and payroll taxes and didn't complain about how hard my life was, nor did I threaten my employee with going AWOL when my taxes went up or customers did not pay their bills. There is a word for the kind of guy the writer would be; it refers to an orifice.

From what I read lower taxes do not automatically lead to increased employment or vice versa.

Let the fake writer go, actually kick him out and take his citizenship too, so he cannot vote, he is not a good example of a dedicated, patriotic American. Sure he worked hard to get his company going (from what he says himself and we do not know the entire back story which may be filled by evidence of a golden spoon, friends in high places, etc.,) but he benefited from the U.S. taxpayer paid for infrastructure, government agencies. He made his money, so he has the opportunity to say "I'm going to take my toys (money) and go away". We used to call that spoiled and selfish. And it is greedy when he threatens to kill jobs and take food out of the mouths of 12 people and their families. 

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Questioning The Authorship

I think it is because a lot of people say things like, "if he were a real veteran" when a veteran writes something antithetical to what veterans are supposed to stand for. Or bring some other ad hominem attacks or question the authorship of an otherwise moving story or letter or testimonial that advances a cause they do not agree with.

Poet

Erik T. wrote:

Forgive me guys, but I don't see why anyone should care whether or not the letter was legitimately from the "real" Mr. Crowley.

The letter offers strikingly candid insight that might help those who feel inclined to cry out that "the government should bail out the people next" to see the real picture. I assume that's why it was posted here.

I think the author of this letter makes several excellent points, and don't much care myself whether or not he is or isn't the "real" Mr. Crowley.

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Real Letter...

Fact Check: The following (dated 10/5/11) is Michael Crowley’s real letter. It was sent to former employees after he had to let everyone go last year (2011.)

Snopes and Google gave me this, although it is how I found PeakProsperity as well because of the refernce to the original.  If you search, you'll find Mr. Crowley’s ‘retraction’.  Actually the original letter was indeed received by Mr. Crowley and he simply forwarded it to the McCain campaign, so it’s not exactly a retraction, perhaps more of a reaction.

When he was bombarded by calls and emails (his phone number and actual company name are in the original letter) he wrote his own. Not that this wasn't a good story, but it sounded a little fishy, even with the ‘credentials’ posted on it. Regardless, for a couple years now it has been circulated and re-circulated so it has indeed struck a nerve.

To Jaax above; obviously you have completely missed the message and intent of the original letter, regardless of who wrote it.  Or you're a troll.  Methinks anyone who posts in 15pt bold and bullies while calling another a bully protests too much.

So now, in the words of Paul Harvey, for the rest of the story:

October 5, 2011

To All My Former Valued Employees:
You are the best of the best.

It took me years to attract a talented group of engineers like you and build this company into what it was. Like other small businesses that have struggled through this economic plague, we were forced to trim our workforce. Now it’s just me. I hope you are all well and I sincerely miss the good days when we were working together.

My goal as an employer was to give you a great place to work, a good salary, benefits, and good projects to work on that would challenge you intellectually. I think we accomplished this. We built a very comfortable office with a full kitchen where we would take turns cooking on Fridays, we went deep sea fishing twice a year, the company treated employees and wives or girlfriends to dinner once a month, and we all even went on a cruise together one year. Some business owners would not have done most of these things, but my goal was to have the best employees and to provide a great place to work. And, it paid off well. Together we were a great company, we were profitable, and I thank you for your efforts.

When the economy started to decline I held on to you guys. I probably held on for too long, but finding great employees was difficult. Back in 2008 we kept saying things would get better "after the election". Ironically, we are saying the same thing in 2011 because the country is no better off now than we were then. In fact, things have gotten worse. I know where each of you has landed, and I am happy that you are all well.

Unfortunately, the regulatory climate in this country simply isn’t conducive to anyone starting or growing a business. That means I won’t be hiring you back, or anyone like you, anytime soon. Simply stated, business hates uncertainty. The regulatory climate in this country and the attitude of our lawmakers breeds uncertainty. I have no idea what hiring an employee is going to cost me in taxes and medical insurance. I have no idea what my personal tax situation is going to be. The banking system has crawled into its shell in fear of additional regulations. They aren’t lending any money to anyone — despite the money — our tax dollars — that the government gave them. There is just too much uncertainty, and there is absolutely no incentive for guys like me to try to break out and grow. That is precisely the wrong attitude that we should have in times like these when unemployment is so high. I employed 15 people a few years ago. A drop in the bucket? Maybe. But I had 15 great employees that earned good wages. A couple of you got married, bought a house, and started a family during the time you worked for me. Certainly that helped the economy. If hundreds or thousands of small business across the country had enough confidence to hire and expand, think of the immediate and beneficial effect that would have on you, me, and the country.

I started my first company 17 years ago. I worked from home, and my wife supported us, took care of the family, and paid off my student loans while I worked on the business. Any small business owner will tell you that it takes hard work and dedication to make a company succeed. This one was no different. My office was in my house, making working long nights and weekends the norm. We seldom went on vacations because with me out of town the company stopped operating. I didn’t leave the office for fear of missing a phone call. When we made enough money to get cell phones we were able to "relax" as the office was now extended to the car, or wherever I happened to be. Days were spent in meetings while evenings were spent drafting, doing design work, and scrambling to meet the next days’ deadlines.

Any small business owner will tell you that you never leave work. They are right. Everything depended on my ability to produce. You never leave your work "at the office". Employees have the luxury of walking away at 5:00, but the owner is still working late into the night, and then stays awake at night worrying about the next day. Family life suffers. Sometimes your health suffers, but you can’t afford to be sick. One day, God willing, you get successful enough to add employees. My first employee worked in my house. That worked for a little while but you just can’t have employees working in the same small house that you and your family live in. Luckily we were able to rent a small office and move out of the house. That simple move changed a lot of things. Suddenly you go from just doing the work to being a property manager, office manager, and payroll manager, along with all of the other tasks you were already doing. Those long nights you put in working from home are now a long lost luxury since you are now putting in long nights away from home.

Why do we do this? Because someday it will all pay off, or so we keep telling ourselves. My finest moments were hiring a staff of good engineers like you. I felt a sense of accomplishment when I was responsible for the livelihood of 10 engineers, being able to offer up to 15 of us a good salary, good benefits, and being able to give bonus checks at the end of a banner month or year. It felt good to be able to share what I had built with you guys, and to see genuine appreciation in your faces and in the way you worked hard every day.

So what went wrong? For my part, I should have let you go years earlier than I did. If I had, I might have made it through the storm a little better. I’ve already told you why that wasn’t possible for me. My worst day was when I had to invite you into the conference room to tell you that your employment with me was over.

The government says we are in this mess because Americans went on a spending spree they couldn’t afford. People bought houses they shouldn’t have and brokers packaged up all the risky loans into cool and lucrative new investment vehicles. If you listen to the government, what went wrong is totally our fault.

I think they, being the politicians, forget that it was government programs that encouraged people to get into homes they couldn’t afford. It was government ignorance of many publicly stated warnings against mortgage backed securities that allowed these vehicles flourish. I guess if you consider that it was us that elected these guys then they are right: it’s our fault.

In 2008 this country needed the best President in history. The country needed leadership. We bought "hope and change" believing that the new administration would bring an end to politics as we knew it and focus on America to bring the economy out of the worst decline in recent history. What we got was more of the same. It amazes me that the administration blames the other party for not being able to get any legislation passed when that same administration had control of the House and Senate for two years and still couldn’t get anything passed. We need leadership. The needs of the country demand it. We have people out of work, a government bent on spending its way out of a financial crisis it helped to create, we are fighting 3 wars around the globe, and we have a group of lawmakers seemingly more intent on smearing the opposition than solving problems.

Since the 2008 election we have spent trillions of dollars fighting wars, billions of dollars in failed stimulus efforts, and put legislation into place that has scared the business community from expanding or hiring additional staff. Where is this money coming from? The Republican leadership is criticized for asking that same simple question, and then demonized for simply asking the government to match additional spending with cuts elsewhere. Small business owners understand budgets, being frugal, and controlled spending. We know that we can’t spend more than we make. The result is called bankruptcy. Why can’t the government understand this? What is so wrong with expecting the Government to spend within its means? What is wrong with demanding that the government clean up the wasteful spending that is both inherent and chronic in Washington?

I have always said that if every American had to write a check on April 15th to pay their taxes, this country would have a drastically different tax code. Instead of actually writing a check, most Americans have taxes withdrawn at every paycheck and they simply lose track, or get immune to the deduction. The biggest joke is the "refund". Wow! Bonus money in April. Can people really be that immune to what they are actually paying that they are tricked into thinking they are getting something free? I can assure you that I have never received a “refund” from the government.

I am one of the 50% of Americans that actually pay taxes. You heard that right: 50% of Americans don’t even pay taxes. As a small business owner, tax season is generally a bloodbath. It is amazing what I have paid in taxes. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that every American should pay for the privilege of living here and should share the cost of running this government. But when you actually see the amount you pay, you really start to wonder what you received in benefit for the money you paid. Did I get any benefit at all from the stimulus package that I contributed to? Absolutely not. Am I going to benefit from Obamacare, which will eventually cost me a pile of money if I ever intend to hire employees again? Absolutely not. Do I get even a fraction of that money back in government services? No way. Since I am not a user of (or eligible for) government programs where I could get free stuff, I am simply forced to pay for others that are. A more fair way to would be for the government to charge for the services you use. That will never happen. But what is so wrong with a flat rate tax code? Everyone pays the same rate regardless of what you use. While the imbalance will still be there between those addicted to government handouts and those of us that aren’t, at least all Americans would pay something and everyone would have the same obligation.

The current focus on taxing the rich really cracks me up. Who defines rich? The current administration keeps sliding that number around. One day its people who earn $1 million per year, the next it falls to $250,000, and I’ve even heard numbers as low as $100,000. Some 70% of tax revenues in this country come from the top 20% of wage earners. So the current administration wants them to pay more? Wants them to "pay their fair share"? Are we to now believe that they aren’t paying a fair share of the burden? That’s crazy. It’s these people that have struggled like I have to build a good life and a good company. We’ve put in our time and we actually share the rewards with our employees and through the taxes we already pay. How about the other 50% that pays nothing? Should the top wage earners — and job creators — continue to pay for those who have managed to pay nothing?

So what went wrong? We bought hope and change and got despair and continued partisan bickering. We wanted leadership and we got none. We wanted a savior but we didn’t get one. So what went wrong? We did, and we had better get it right in 2012. The country simply can’t survive another 4 years of incredible spending and lack of leadership.

So what can we do? Vote, and pray. We need to vote for lawmakers that will stand up for the ideals that will bring this country back to the place of prominence it once was. America has lost the moral high ground, its place of prominence technically, and the strength of a thriving economy. We need to vote for lawmakers that will solve our problems today, and not pass them along to our children and grandchildren in the form of astronomical debts. We need a government that will live within its means just as we are expected to live within ours. We need a President that will rise above politics to lead different groups of interests to a solution that is best for the country. Most of all we need to unite as Americans and demand that our government fix the mess they have helped to create.

And then, we should pray. I am a Christian and I believe that Jesus Christ died on a cross to take the punishment for sin so that we wouldn’t have to. Because of sin, we couldn’t enter Heaven unless a sacrifice was made on our behalf, and Jesus made that sacrifice for us. The Bible tells us that in order to get to Heaven we must believe. And we must pray. We must pray that God helps us through these hard times and that this great country can be great once again. Whatever your faith, whatever your beliefs, we must pray.

Sincerely,

Michael A. Crowley, PE
Crowley & Associates, Inc.
Professional Engineers
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1844
What Went Wrong?

(Note: I took the time to reply. But again, please note that the original letter is not real and the purported author did state that he did not write it.)

What Went Wrong?

Two major wars. We're still spending on those two wars. We will be spending on them for the next several decades.

How do we know? The peak of Vietnam War spending was 3 decades after the last American soldiers pulled out. Some 45% of all 1991 Persian Gulf War veterans will applied for long-term disability benefits, and 88% will get it. This is from a war that lasted about 7 MONTHS.

Ergo, these two wars will cost us several trillion dollars more than we have already spent. I already know of two young veterans who are in good health, never saw combat, who have applied for disability benefits.

Major tax cuts that weren't accompanied by reduced spending. But instead by ballooning spending and borrowing. We will be paying for it later.

Partisan polarization on both sides. It only stops when they have to pass something important like NDAA or some patriotic resolution. Otherwise, it continues. Sometimes they even argue over a few hundred million dollars of spending when the real problem is trillions. All it takes is 41 or 42 Senators to threaten a filibuster. All it takes is ONE senator to place a hold on an appointment or a bill. Like the one that recently was released to allow for medical payments to those who may be afflicted by toxic contamination around Camp LeJeune.

Budget proposals from both parties that don't cut military spending at all. The military-industrial complex is THE real power. That is why Paul Ryan budget didn't even cut military spending.

Bipartisan bailouts and bipartisan lack of prosecution of Wall Street fraud. (Unless it's small fry like Madoff or Peregrine.) This lack of action destroys confidence in the system. This allows zombie banks to continue their foreclosures. During the Savings & Loan Crisis, thousands of bankers were prosecuted, hundreds went to jail. Confidence in the system was restored. Now, nothing happens. Who gets the Goldman Sachs donations? Both Obama and Romney.

Banks were deliberately hiding information from investors in mortgage-backed securities - investors including pension funds, Fannie and Freddie, sovereign funds, etc. Top executives of Clayton Holdings testified that, when they were hired by the banks to do due diligence on mortgages, some 28% of all loans reviewed didn't even meet the banks' own underwriting standards. The banks often waived the standards on the loans anyway, and didn't pass that information on to investors - who would either have backed out, or demanded additional discounts - nor to rating agencies - who wouldn't have given AAA ratings to the highest tranches of those mortgage-backed securities otherwise. (Clayton Holdings even offered to share information with the ratings agencies, but the agencies themselves declined, knowing what would happen if they actually accepted the information.) But of course, that didn't stop the banks from using information that the loan applications were deeply flawed, from demanding deep discounts from the mortgage loan originators.

And nowadays we hear about high-frequency trading algorithms, flash crashes, COMEX and LIBOR manipulation, etc.

Regulatory capture. USDA/FDA allows "natural" arsenic to be fed to poultry. Also allows cattle bone meal to be fed to poultry. And allows poultry manure to be fed to cattle. And products derived from slaughtered cattle are fed calves. Private companies aren't allowed to sell raw milk or voluntarily test their own cattle for bovine spongiform encephalitis to prove their meat is safe. Requirements to label whether a product contains genetically modified organisms are struck down by legislators or in the courts. The FDA allows pharmaceutical companies to do their own testing and self-report. And if a drug company is caught offering doctors kickbacks for prescribing certain drugs, the company isn't punished by law from being allowed to sell drugs to Medicare. Instead, a shell companie takes on the "guilt" and is then punished, while the original company continues on with but a minor financial slap on the wrist. Sounds familiar? Wall Street banks and large corporations get that, too. And of course, corporations are people, but how come when they commit a crime, they aren't locked up for years or executed? (Except small corporations.) Revolving door, anyone? The Congressman who wrote the Medicare Part D bill that prevents Medicare from negotiating bulk discounts that could save 30% to 58% on drug costs... left politics to head the pharmaceutical industry lobbying organization.

Offshoring. Nuff said. America has no labor advantage when it comes to unskilled and low-skilled labor that can be performed elsewhere. In the past 15 years, it has already moved into jobs that can be done by college-educated workers, like engineering, programming, design, R&D, etc. We have millions unemployed and more are arriving daily.

Demographics. The Baby Boomers are now moving out of their peak earning years and hunkering down and moving into retirement mode, earning less and spending less. These people will want to downsize their homes to cash out and sell their stocks for living expenses...

Not To Mention... This list could go on and on and on... And I haven't even mentioned the 3E's economy of debt, energy depletion, and environmental degradation.

We are hitting the end stage. There is nothing either contender for the office of President can do to stop it.

Poet

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