A Sad Day in America

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  • Now what the hell kind of memo is this to get from the boss?

    In a low-blow attempt to exploit people’s fears about being able to hang onto their jobs in this struggling economy, it seems a few corporate moguls have taken it upon themselves to not only tell their employees what time to come to work, or when to take a lunch break, but who to vote for.

    And it’s not President Obama.

    David A. Siegel, the 77-year-old chief executive of Westgate Resorts and a backer of Republican candidate Mitt Romney, wrote a letter to his 7,000 employees telling them that if Obama is re-elected, a lot of them could find themselves out of work.

    “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,” he wrote.

    Then, in an especially condescending touch, he told Bloomberg News that his note wasn’t intended to be threatening as much as it was intended to be motherly.

    “…I’ve always looked out for their best interests,” Siegel said. “We’re like a family. They’re like my children, and I’m the Jewish mother telling them to eat their spinach and vote for Romney.”

    Seriously, Dave? Your children?

    Forget, for a minute, that Siegel views a bunch of full-grown people as kids who don’t know any better, and have to be told when to go beddy-bye.

    What’s worse is that here’s a wealthy guy, a guy who’s building the biggest house in the U.S., and who is in no danger of being homeless or hungry if he has to pay more taxes, yet he insinuates that he’s going to fire vulnerable workers if the election doesn’t go his way.

    There’s something quite immoral about that. Yet Siegel isn’t alone.

    Because of the Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, corporate bosses can now legally behave as corporate parents by, at least figuratively, threatening employees with punishment if they don’t vote as they’re told.

    Georgia-Pacific, a paper and pulp company owned by the Obama-hating Koch Brothers, sent information packets to employees telling them how to vote.

    According to the New York Times, Dave Robertson, the president of Koch Industries, sent the packets and letters this month to more than 30,000 workers at the company, attacking government regulations and featuring a flier listing – beginning with Romney – all the candidates it recommends.

    Travis McKinney, a forklift operator at Georgia-Pacific in Portland, Ore., says he now won’t wear his Obama pin to work because of the mailer.

    Then there’s Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG Software Solutions in Naples, Fla., who told his employees in an e-mail that if they “fail to make the right choice on November 6th…I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”

    That’s not advice. That’s chastisement.

    Now obviously, there’s no real way for an employer to know how their workers voted. In fact, it’s a great chance that such overbearing behavior could backfire – and cause more workers to vote for Obama.

    Still, it’s disturbing.

    It’s disturbing because, among other things, it reveals the depths of the hatred that white corporate masters have against this black president, as well as the layers of condescension against the working stiffs they employ.

    I mean, Siegel called his employees his children, but he might as well had called them his slaves.

    It’s also chilling when corporate employers gin up fear and anxiety in workers over an outcome they can’t control by telling them their jobs are on the line if Obama wins.

    That can’t be good for productivity.

    It’s a sad day in America – and scary to think that the ascendancy of a black president who, for all intents and purposes, hasn’t been an enemy to Wall Street – would lead to this kind of craziness. If corporate bosses believe they can get away with insinuating that workers will lose their jobs if their guy doesn’t win the presidency, then what’s next?

    Will they threaten their jobs if they wear a color they don’t like? Or drive a car they don’t like?

    It’s one thing for corporate bosses to control their workers' salaries and benefits. But it’s quite another for them to try to control their voice on Election Day.

    I just hope the workers aren’t fearful enough to let them get away with that.
     

    Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist who is based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her at tonyaajw@twitter. Or visit her webpage and blog, “Tonyaa’s Take,” at www.tonyaajweathersbee.com.
     

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    30 thoughts on “A Sad Day in America

    1. Who said the rich are poorer? The nation’s top corporations, including the oil companies, Apple, Visa, Comcast, Micorsoft and Ford posted record profits last year, George Lucas just sold his studios for 4.5 billion dollars. If you have any financial interests in these companies, you are doing substantially better today than four years ago, and that includes middle class people smart enough to invest in these companies.

    2. Who said the rich are poorer? The nation’s top corporations, including the oil companies, Apple, Visa, Comcast, Micorsoft and Ford posted record profits last year, George Lucas just sold his studios for 4.5 billion dollars. If you have any financial interests in these companies, you are doing substantially better today than four years ago, and that includes middle class people smart enough to invest in these companies.

    3. Its funny that about 76% of Americans claim some form of Christianity. So the question is who has dominion man or the economy? Why such silence ? Ya the truth shall set ye free.

    4. Sometimes you have to give up what you LOVE in order to make a clear statement about what is right. Nothing is worth owning that this obnoxiuos AIRhead has a prt in.

    5. This man and his wife failed in articulation which can also be said about the article. In reality, under ObamaCare, companies that have 50 or more employess must provide health care or pay a $2000.00 fine per employee and most companies who have been denied waivers now have to choose between reducing their full-time staff to 49 people and offering the remaining employees part-time positions. The companies that reduce the full time employees can then double that number with all of the workers being part-time. This will on the one hand add more workers to the economy, but, it will devastate the work-force which can barely make ends meet with full time employment. In addition, there are no cameras in the voting booth and a person can vote for whoever they want to if they choose to exercise their right to vote, but we must at sometime beging to honestly look at what is going on and stop denegrating comments based on race.

    6. Hope this becomes a wake up call to his employees and other employees who are content with working for someone like that. I own a couple of his time shares but I’m not selling it. because I enjoy having it. We have to be careful not to “through out the baby with the bath water”. If I was one of his employees I would continue to work for him and save the money or allowance he gives me until I have enough of his money saved to become independant and start my own business or pay for a better education and offer my skills to his competition. The best revenge is success and it’s even better when your opposition pays for it..

    7. We need to create our own businesses and get those employees who are being intimated about their civil right to vote! How awful and evil!

      ALL of those people who own a timeshare at the Westgate Resort in Orlando, need to sale and let go of their timeshares. Let do that ! Let’s help him downsize!!!!!!!!

    8. Wow this is so beyond sad and a bunch of mess just another way to put us back in chains. And control people lik,e they cant make there own choices.
      This would make run to the poles and vote asap without a second thought this should be against the law. And people that say there not going to vote. should want to that much and more.

    9. WOW!! What a Crock of Crap from this Super Rich Boss!! If I was an employee of his – I would NOT Vote for Romney & Vote for Obama & just take my chances. IF I was let go – then I would file IMMEDIATELY for Unemployment & stay on it for as long as Possible to PROVE A POINT!!!!!!
      GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    10. WOW!! What a Crock of Crap from this Super Rich Boss!! If I was an employee of his – I would NOT Vote for Romney & Vote for Obama & just take my chances. IF I was let go – then I would file IMMEDIATELY for Unemployment & stay on it for as long as Possible to PROVE A POINT!!!!!!
      GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    11. It’s one thing for them (owners) to advice, ask, or tell them whom to vote for (even though I feel they shouldn’t tell them anything with regards to the right to vote) but for them (the employees) to actually follow the advice is sad and scary (the shackles are no longer there).

    12. Looked it up and I was surprised by his desperate actions. I just typed in your quote and had several sites to select from.”How low can Romney go?” Thanks for sharing.

    13. I hope no one is surprised by this. Look this up on the internet.

      On June 6, 2012, “In Conference Call, Romney Urged Businesses To Tell Their Employees How to Vote.”

      And apparently they are doing it.

    14. If you employ 50 or more individuals, shame on you for not providing insurance for your employees. If the healthcare cost is too high, then offer incentives to employees. Employers know how to offer a lower salary in order to make concessions for this benefit. New employees generally will accept a lower salary for good healthcare coverage. There are too many individuals without healthcare coverage. These are the individuals that are driving up the cost of healthcare because they can’t afford regular check ups and tests. Now, they’re only getting treatment during an emergency. Going to the emergency is high for someone that has insurance. Since they can’t turn anyone away, who do you think is paying for this? Do you think they can afford to pay the bill if they can’t afford to purchase insurance? There is also a population that is extremely underserved in the Mental Health community. I don’t care if you’re a republican or democrat, if you’re not making a six-figure income or better, you shouldn’t be fighting Obamacare because you’re just one or two paychecks from needing to utilize it. If you need a reason to vote against PRESIDENT Obama, make it legit and stop this nonsense.

    15. If you employ 50 or more individuals, shame on you for not providing insurance for your employees. If the healthcare cost is too high, then offer incentives to employees. Employers know how to offer a lower salary in order to make concessions for this benefit. New employees generally will accept a lower salary for good healthcare coverage. There are too many individuals without healthcare coverage. These are the individuals that are driving up the cost of healthcare because they can’t afford regular check ups and tests. Now, they’re only getting treatment during an emergency. Going to the emergency is high for someone that has insurance. Since they can’t turn anyone away, who do you think is paying for this? Do you think they can afford to pay the bill if they can’t afford to purchase insurance? There is also a population that is extremely underserved in the Mental Health community. I don’t care if you’re a republican or democrat, if you’re not making a six-figure income or better, you shouldn’t be fighting Obamacare because you’re just one or two paychecks from needing to utilize it. If you need a reason to vote against PRESIDENT Obama, make it legit and stop this nonsense.

    16. This is ONE REASON why we as black people have to help each other. How is that right for thes people to tell someone who to VOTE for. Its obvious who they are voting for. I believe in the WORD of GOD, and I also believe in REAPING WHAT YOU SOW. The evil people who HATE President Obama that bad are going to see tough, rough, bad, and sad times right before their eyes. You just can’t sow bad seeds and think you’re going to reap a good harvest. Not if God have anything to do with it. When GOD says THAT’S IT, He means THAT’s IT… We didn’t have this much HATRED with the former Presidents. And we all know why the President is being treated unfairly!!!

    17. Men, women and children DIED, to give the right to vote to everyone. It is a sacred trust. We should not be intimidated, harassed or bullied like the days of old, under the guise of “Mothering”. I’m not an expert on the law, not even a novice, but these employees should file a harassment suit, a hostile work environment claim and clean this rascal out. Then start their own business or come together and take over his with his own money. God Bless America, we will overcome.

    18. Please,please People,don’t let this racist ,self absorbing fool keep you from the polls and voting for OUR President,who’s to say if Rommney wins,that you will still have a job.Don’t let what our ancestors did for us be all for nothing.GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    19. 42 million The number of people who identified as black either alone or in combination with one or more other races, in the 2010 Census. They made up 13.6 percent of the total U.S. population. $ 4.00 out of my check a week x 4 weeks = $ 16.00 x 12= $ 192.00 now $ 192.00 x half all the African Americans 20 million equals 3,840,000,000.00 is that right and that’s only half the Blacks for one year. Dam we can fix our own schools. We don’t need them time has past to cut the umbilical cord. Dam

    20. This type of bullying makes me very angry. I pray that people are not that fearful and ignorant in the foolishness. This makes me very upset. It is slavery and hatred in 2012. It does not matter if President Obama has been successful during his term which is sad. This just goes to show that people are willing to sacrifice success if hatred is part of the equation. Please people go out and vote for Obama. I do not want to experience slavery the way our ancestors did. Thank you.

    21. From the churchhouse to the boss to the whitehouse in one way or another people are still trying to intimidate others because of the love of money! But it is the norm in todays society…the pimps in the pulpits bully the ‘zombies’ into thinking they can BUY a blessing—the boss on the job bully you to think and act the way he wants you to because you have to eat, pay rent and buy food and those in the whitehouse that want to continue the ‘traditional’ politics want to fool you into thinking they really give a damn about you while all the time trying to keep all the money to themselves and their good ole boys…….man what a society of FAKE AND PHONIES!!!!!!! and if the US don t take hold we too will become submissive to the same ‘slave’ mentality that we fought so hard to get rid of!!!!

    22. This man is a Dictator , Un -American ,and He Reminds us of Facist Regimes like in Nigeria my native country . That is why I left Nigeria because of facist bullies like Mr Siegel. This man is a human rights violator ,and should be charged for bullying desperate people.
      Mr. Siegel is Jewish and should know that his actions are the same as those of Nazi Germany did when they brutally exterminated 6 Million Jews. Shame on Mr. Siegel

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