A Letter to All Employees Around the World

A friend sent me this letter which he says is genuine and was written by an Australian Business man to his employees.

As a small-business man for 25 years myself, I can empathise with him. I decided many years ago to stop taking on employees and find capable peJohn Galt stopped the Motor of the Worldople with the skills I needed and who believed in themselves enough to work for themselves.

It is a fair exchange of their skills and time for my money. It has worked well for many years. I have five contractors and have never had to  let one go. All have shown incredible loyal and support for me and my clients.

I don’t believe I owe them a living and they don’t expect it either. Mutual respect and being properly and promptly rewarded for work done benefits us all.

The business man who wrote this letter is making a point governments around the world who want to redistribute wealth should note. Those productive people with capital (not corporate thieves) also use their knowledge and skill to build their businesses. It’s not just about money, the mind is involved too. If they are to put their money and mind at risk building new business they need to be rewarded.

Governments may tax their wealth but they don’t seem to understand they cannot make productive people use their minds to build businesses just to employ people who believe it is their right to be employed.

The only right is the right to freely seek employment and offer services in return for equitable payment.

“Free” Democratic Governments eventually realise these truths and stop trying to tax productive people out of the risk premium for their capital. Until then we can expect poor returns for our investments as private capital goes into hibernation and productive people stop using their minds to taking business risks.

Here is the letter in full. I am trying to locate the source to acknowledge it. But it is so important that it be read by as many people as possible I thought I’d post it anyway.

To all of my employees
There have been some rumblings around the office about the future of this company and more specifically, your job.  As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges.
However, the good news is this.  The economy doesn’t pose a threat to your job.  What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country. Let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interests. Firstly, whilst it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that for every business owner there is a back story.  This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear.  Sure, you see me park my European car outside.  You’ve seen my overseas holiday snaps at last year’s Christmas party.  I’m sure all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealised thoughts about my life. However, what you don’t see is the back story.
I  started this company 19 years ago.  At that time, I lived in a three bedroom Villa house for three years.  My entire living area was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.
My diet consisted of baked beans, stew and soup because every dollar I spent went back into this company.  I drove a rusty Holden Torana with a wonky transmission.  I didn’t have time to go out with my mates.  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 forty hours a week and made a modest $50,000 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 David Jones for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount stores extracting any clothing item that didn’t look like it was birthed in the 70’s.  My friend’s re-financed their mortgages and lived a life of luxury.  I, however, did not.  I put my time, my money and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9-00am, mentally check in at about noon and then leave at 5-00pm, I don’t. 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.  I eat and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest.  There is no weekend.  There is no happy hour.
Every day this business is attached to my hip like a one year old special-needs child.  You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden the nice house, the cars, the vacations… you never realise 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.  The people that overspent their pay suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed two decades of my life for.
Yes, business ownership has its benefits but the price I’ve paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:
I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don’t pay enough.I have state taxes.  Federal taxes.  Property taxes.  Sales taxes.  Payroll taxes.  Workers Compensation insurance.  Public Liability insurance.  Taxes on taxes.  I have to hire an accountant 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 October 15th, I wrote a cheque to the Australian Taxation Office for $28,000 for taxes.  You know what my “stimulus” cheque was?  Zero. Zip. Zilch.
The question I have is this!  Who is stimulating the economy?  Me, the guy who has provided my employees with good paying jobs and serves over eighty thousand customers per year with a flourishing business?  Or, the single mother sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare cheque?  Obviously, government feels the latter is the economic stimulus of this country. The fact is, if I deducted (or better description: stole)50% of your pay you’d quit and you wouldn’t work here.  I mean, why  should you? That’s nuts.  Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work?  Well, I agree which is why your job is in jeopardy. Here is what many of you don’t understand … to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy.  Had the government suddenly mandated to me that I didn’t need to pay taxes, guess what?  Instead of depositing that $28,000 into the Canberra black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees and generated substantial economic growth.  My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries.
But you can forget it now.
When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don’t defibrillate and shock his thumb thinking that will bring him back to life, do you?  Or, do you defibrillate his heart?  Business is at the heart of Australia and always has been.  To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it.  But the power brokers in Canberra believe the poor of Australia are the essential drivers of the Australian economic engine.  Nothing could be further from the truth and this is the type of change you can keep.So where am I going with all this? It’s quite simple.
If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple.  I fire you.  I fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your 4WD and your child’s future.  Frankly, it isn’t my problem any more.
Then, I will close this company down, move to another country and retire.  You see, I’m done.  I’m done with a country that penalises the productive and gives to the unproductive.  My motivation to work and to provide jobs will be destroyed.
So, if you lose your job, it won’t be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of politicians who swept through this country and changed its financial landscape forever.  If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, with no employees to worry about….
Graham Goddard.

It reminds me of the book “Atlas Shrugged” written by Ayn Rand. It was the second most influential book after the Bible in a survey by the Library of Congress.

It’s all about a man called John Galt who said he would stop the motor of the world- and did. Read a mini-version of John Galt’s Speech and see what you think.

2 Responses to “A Letter to All Employees Around the World”

  1. I certainly did find the letter interesting and I can , in part, relate well to the story. The problem I personally find with the letter that Graham Goddard wrote is that it appears that he has a grudge against his employees and, the Government that tax us all.

    Whilst, I have had, and will continue to have disappointments with some employees of my company, I’ve found that most are dedicated individuals that value their role in my business. Its the employees that make or break your business and I’ve learned over the years to value and respect them , no matter how menial or important their position. Happy cows do make better milk, so my role in the business is to create an environment where co-workers are valued and appreciated and feel that they are important. This is not as easy to achieve as people generally tend to take a negative and cynical approach to many things and be ability to criticise seems to be a natural talent we all possess, in varying degrees.

    When hard times hit us, Its the employee that loses his job first in order to maintain the companies viability. Graham Goddard, the Author, I’m sure will not give up his Luxury imported vehicle or lifestyle to save anyone’s job, he’ll be happy to unload employees onto the government so we all pick up the tab while he piss’s off overseas to avoid paying tax.

    As a business owner myself, I to dislike paying taxes and feel some of it is unjust. However, Australia is still one of the best countries in the world to live in and the lifestyle and political climate is very good in comparison to other countries. That’s why so many people from other parts of the world try to immigrate legally and otherwise to our country. Australia is indeed, one of the few remaining frontiers that allows people like Graham and myself the opportunity to create something with hard work ,sacrifice and perseverance, with the knowledge that if we lost it all on a business gamble that’s gone wrong, the government would still be there to provide basic level of income to feed and house us, with taxes , which we all contribute towards.

  2. admin says:


    Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed response.

    After posting the letter I tried to chase down the reference from my friend. He advised me the letter had been passed on to him. My suspicions were aroused so I did some research and so did my friend. he said,

    The ‘letter’ was from a friend. Original source is unknown.

    Looked on the internet…

    US version

    So whilst I do agree with much of the sentiment in the letter it appears NOT to be genuine.
    I also believe the main thrust of the letter was at governments for taxing business and for directing the stimulus at consumers rather than assist businesses to retain employees. (I don’t agree with either).

    The letter appears to be a hoax so I apologise for wasting your time. I should have checked and verified the source.

    David Bates

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