Thursday, October 11, 2012

Just Cuz You're Rich Don't Mean You're Good at Business

This post illustrates why I think David Frum has useful things to say to this country. He writes about a rich CEO who promised lay-offs if Obama is elected, the kind of stupid promise, like moving to Canada, no one would make if it were ever intended to be kept.  "Vote for Romney...or this kitty gets it."


Frum, though, doesn't just dismiss the guy, a time-share magnate named David Siegel, but asks why he's so angry.

One possible answer:  Siegel is just not very bright.

Frum explains:
 Think of it: In his letter Siegel celebrates his own work ethic and denounces those who work only 40 hours a week. "I eat, live, and breathe this company every minute of the day, every day of the week. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour." Siegel obviously believes this to be a commendable attitude. Apparently he believes that America would be a better place if more of us worked without rest, more of us worked through weekend. And maybe he's right. But I'll tell you one thing about such an America: It wouldn't have any time-share magnates.
An astute observation, which I hate to say is in short supply in most right-leaning commentary. Frum expands:
Think of David Siegel's market. It's not the 1%. I doubt you'll find a single time-share buyer anywhere from Dupont Circle to Chevy Chase. He is the Wal-Mart of the vacation industry, the Hyundai, the Applebees. His top concern ought to be seeing as much disposable income as possible flowing into the hands of the $65,000 a year family. An economic future that continues to shift wealth from the middle to the top is good news for the Four Seasons hotel chain, for builders of vacation homes in Aspen, for the fractional jet industry. But it's death to time-shares - and yet there is Siegel fulminating against his very own customers.
Yes, not very bright. But kind of a thing nowadays, innit?

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