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TCTI: Too Crazy To Ignore

Dave Ross

A love letter from the boss

David Siegel, age 77, founded and runs Westgate Resorts. It's a very successful timeshare company in Orlando. He recently sent a letter to all of his employees warning them about what he will do if Barack Obama is re-elected:

"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 his company. I can no longer support a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work and provide jobs will be destroyed."

And yet, even as Mr. Siegel is agonizing over the economic climate, he and his wife are now building their dream home, which they described in a documentary.

"I said, 'Well I'd like to have a bowling alley' and he says, 'I want a health spa.' And then I said 'we need maid's quarters'. I forgot how many kitchens, ten kitchens," said Jackie Siegel.

"Two tennis courts, one will be a stadium court," said Siegel.

"So by the time we both got what we wanted, now it's 90,000 square feet," said Jackie.

The house is actually a replica of the French Palace of Versailles on 380 acres.

He knows this looks bad, but in his letter, he points out that he didn't start out rich; he started his business in his garage, worked weekends, lived modestly, drove an old used car, never ate in fancy restaurants, never took a vacation, and put every dollar into his business.

He forbade himself from living a life of luxury, so he's tired of a system that punishes the workaholic entrepreneur. And he's right. I admire workaholics like him.

I would just note one thing: being that he's in the luxury resort business - if everybody was a workaholic and avoided fancy restaurants and never took a vacation, David Siegel probably wouldn't be living in Versailles.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FMTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

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