The Secret to the American Dream
This is a story about how I made it to the big times and live the American Dream. Well to tell you the truth, I already pocketed millions a year before this, but that’s beside the point.
What was my plan you ask? It’s simple, I went into the Teddy Bear business. How many children go to bed without a stuffed bear by their side? The demand will be through the roof, and just think of the service I’ll be doing for society. I just needed a few things to get started.
First I needed capital to get my business off the ground; a loan so I can build a factory, sewing machines and other equipment, a steady supply of cotton for stuffing, and of course employees.
So I went down to the bank and told them what I wanted to do. Actually I went to several banks, well to be honest, every bank in town. Those people had no idea what they were talking about, telling me that I needed a business plan and even then, the Teddy Bear market isn’t very lucrative, so they’re not willing to risk loaning me any money.
Not to worry though! I have great political connections to help me out. I’ve got a friend who is in congress that crafted some legislation which sets up a federal loan subsidy program for me so long as I cut them and their congressional friends in on the deal by either offering them lucrative positions at the company once they’re out of politics, insider information on stocks, or contribute to their re-election campaigns. Some people are so picky!
Now I’ve got those banks who weren’t willing to give me a loan in the first place to set me up with a fantastic loan at a low interest rate subsidized by the federal government, and the best thing about it is if I default on the loan, the federal program will cover the losses to the bank. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, not to mention that the bank is getting a zero percent interest loan from the Federal Reserve in order to loan that money to me. The extra money just created and added to the economy by the Federal Reserve will cause some inflation, but by the time it catches up I’ll have already made my money so it won’t matter.
With my loan in hand I went searching for a suitable place to build my factory. I found this great piece of land, it’s just right for what I need, but there’s just one problem though; there’s some people living there and they refuse to sell their land. What’s up with these people standing in the way of economic progress? Don’t they know how much better off they’ll be if they’d just go along with my plan?
Luckily I knew someone who was on the local city council and he got me a deal so that the city used eminent domain to get these people out of my way, and the city also paid for half of the construction costs of my factory to boot. Not to mention they exempted me from property taxes for 10 years.
Buying the equipment for the factory was easy. The state has a business development slush fund so I got a grant that payed for all of the equipment. Next was finding a farmer to supply me with cotton. Luckily I was able to get a great deal here. Instead of buying the cotton from local farmers, at the time a lot of family farms went under so I was able to scoop up a lot of the local ones on the cheap. Now I produce my own cotton and thanks to the federal and state agriculture subsidy programs, they essentially pay me to grow the cotton.
Hiring employees was the toughest part. For every employee I have to pay a lot of taxes to employ them, so in order to offset the losses, I just gave them all lower starting pay. Some of them complain about needing to work more hours because the cost of living is going up, but since it’s mandatory that I pay them time and a half for any amount of time spent working over 40 hours, it’s easier to just bring in temp workers every now and then. To save even more money I don’t bother air conditioning the factory either. If I could get a subsidy to do it I would, but hey we can’t always have everything right?
Besides, my office feels great with my indoor temperature control system and 92 inch flat screen tv’s on every wall, not to mention state of the art modern architecture and the $100,000 fountain outside my window, which was a steal since my sister get’s a subsidy for the fountains she designs.
Things were a little rough the first couple of years. Other companies were undercutting my prices and selling their product so cheap that it was starting to get a bit hard to pay the mortgage on my condos in Hawaii and the Bahamas. I figured out real quick that I needed an updated strategy to deal with the issue so I paid some media outlets to run stories about the quality of the bears being suspect and that regulation was needed to ensure consumer safety. The public outcry was sufficient enough to get enough votes to pass the bill my lobbyists crafted, imposing all sorts of new costly regulations.
I knew that these regulations would cut into my bottom-line initially, but in the long run I would make even more money by forcing my competitors to go under due to their inability to cope with the new regulations. All I had to do was wait them out and they’d come crashing down. The resulting layoffs from the industry put me in a prime position to pick up some great talent at extremely cheap prices. However I discovered that I had more problems than just my local competitors. Foreign producers were moving in on my turf.
I still kept in contact with the media outlets that helped me out the first time, so I payed them again, this time to run stories about foreign products being produced by slave labor and how they were killing jobs here. There was another successful public outcry that this time resulted in tariffs being placed on imported Teddy Bears. After this, business was great, revenues were up, and best of all me and the other executives got to party all the time and take our families on vacation, all of which we got to write off as business expenses. You gotta love the tax code in this country, it’s setup just right for people like me.
It was during this time that we really started to expand the business, building factories, hiring more workers, increasing output, and diversifying our holdings. It was boom times for sure and we were living it up. However, the day did come when the economy went bust and we were way overextended. Luckily we got a zero percent interest business loan from the government that really saved us, so while some of our competitors went under, we were able to tread water until the market came back, and of course we took over the market share of those who did go under.
It’s going on 10 years now and the property tax exemption is about to expire. We’re thinking about trying to move to another state and possibly getting the local governments there to pay for most of our new construction costs, but I really think we’re going to be better off just uprooting and moving the company overseas. I’ll just use my private jet to get me back and forth.
Now they’re talking about legalizing hemp too, which would really hurt my cotton growing operations. I guess I just need to give my old media buddies a call.
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