No. 836


Do you know how most people who start with virtually nothing get ahead financially in this country? Some time back I received an e-mail that will give you some insights. It begins, “To All My Valued Employees” and comes from a man by the name of Michael A. Crowley, PE.
I cannot verify the accuracy of this story but I can verify the truth of the principles it contains and the reason most of our nation’s wealth winds up in the hands of just a small percentage of our total population. This is the primary reason I wanted to share it with you.
He begins by saying, “Sure, you see my Mercedes outside. You’ve seen my big home at last year’s Christmas party. I’m sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life. However, what you don’t see is the back story. I started this company 12 years ago. At that time I lived in a 300-square-foot studio apartment for that years. My entire living space was converted into an office so I could put 100 percent effort into building a company, which by the way would eventually employ you.
“My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I spent went back into this company. I drove a rusty foreign car with a defective transmission. I didn’t have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business – hard work, discipline, and sacrifice. Meanwhile my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom’s for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the Goodwill store extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70s.” My comment here -- while there are other ways, this is how most Americans get ahead financially, and while we may not want to make the sacrifices, the opportunity sign is still out.
At this point, Michael A. Crowley makes some additional comments, again talking with his employees. “You, of course, only see the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations. You never realize the back story and the sacrifices I’ve made. Now the economy is falling apart and I, the guy who made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail out all the people who didn’t. I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough. I have state taxes, federal taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes and payroll taxes, plus countless others. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then, guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it now occupy most of my time. On Oct. 15, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my ‘stimulus’ check was? Zero!”
Here is what we all need to consider. Who is stimulating the economy? This company owner, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves more than 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business, or the single mother sitting at home pregnant, with her fourth child, waiting for her next welfare check? Now, I will be the first to say there are all kinds of injustices and corporate greed in our nation, but the fact remains, the people with wealth provide jobs. I have never heard of a poor person providing someone else with a job, have you?
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)