David Siegel, the time-share mogul profiled in the acclaimed documentary “The Queen of Versailles,” recently sent an email to his employees saying they would likely be fired if they help re-elect President Barack Obama, according to Gawker.
“The Queen of Versailles” followed Siegel and his wife, Jackie, as they watched a spiraling economy endanger his business and shut down construction of their 90,000 square-foot home, the largest ever built in America. Far from making the Siegels look like villains, however, the film presented them in a surprisingly sympathetic light.
The recent email, which Siegel reworked from an old chain letter, might have changed that portrait a little. It's a wealthy employer's plea for understanding and sympathy from his employees, combined with a crystal-clear message that their jobs will be in jeopardy depending on whom they vote for. Siegel has softened some of the original letter's language: “I will fire you” has been changed to “I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company.”
Here are portions of the email, which appeared on Gawker:
“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... 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...
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... Even to this day, every dime I earn goes back into this company. Over the past four years I have had to stop building my dream house, cut back on all of my expenses, and take my kids out of private schools simply to keep this company strong and to keep you employed.
Just think about this – most of you arrive at work in the morning and leave that afternoon and the rest of your time is yours to do as you please. But not me -- 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.
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.
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.
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?
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,