CEO Rips Bernie Sanders To Shreds In Open Letter

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Rob May is the CEO of Talla, a company he founded last August after leaving Backupify, another company that he founded and was the CEO of. He takes issue with Bernie calling out the millionaires and billionaires of the world and saying they need to pay more taxes. To communicate this, he wrote a well thought out letter in Fortune.

I agree with Bernie Sanders. The economy is rigged. In fact, it’s what my father, who is very conservative, taught me about life. Some find it surprising because the general position of liberals seems to be that conservatives don’t realize, or won’t acknowledge, this rigged economy. But my dad’s advice to me time and time again was that the world was rigged and the only way I could make it was to work harder than the people who were in charge of the rigging.

A few years ago I was walking through Harvard Square when a woman holding flyers for Elizabeth Warren stepped in front of me. She asked if I thought the government should pay off student’s debts. I don’t think the government should, but, then again I never had student loans. No, it wasn’t because I was from a wealthy family. I never had student loans because I worked every semester I was in college, and during some summers, I worked two jobs. I did this because I thought the world was rigged against me.

I missed out on a lot, because I worked so much. I didn’t have the life like many of the college students I’ve hired in the last few years. They study what they love — philosophy, political science, art, regardless of whether or not they have good job prospects. They travel. Mostly they seem to go to Vietnam and Cambodia. They eat out a lot more than I did at their age. They know all the trendy restaurants and hot bars.

When I got out of college, I lived well below my means, saving $25,000 so I could start my first business. That business failed miserably. I ended up losing over $50,000 total. It took three years to pay off the credit card debt I wracked up.

Over the next decade, I started three more businesses. Two of which failed. For one of them, a video yellow pages product I built with a friend in 2007, I used to take my vacation days from my “real” job and go door to door, selling video listings to small businesses. I lost a lot of my own money, as my disposable income never went to travel or luxury goods of any kind. It went to business ideas.

I kept at it because I believe, much like Bernie, that the world was rigged against me. I spent every evening after my day job working on side projects, learning new skills, reading. I didn’t own a TV for a long time and, even to this day, I’ve never seen any of the classic shows people like to discuss: The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Game Of Thrones. I was working while they were on.

When I finally had a company that was successful, the experience of running it was more stressful than you could ever imagine. I had to deal with some really rough things. There was the time when, on the day we were supposed to close our Series C funding round, the lead investor called and said they weren’t going to wire the money. We had six weeks of cash left, and now I had to figure out what to do. There was the time when two of my executives quit within 10 days of each other, making my board and employees all wonder what was going on, and if there was something detrimental going on at the company that I wasn’t telling them.

There was a board meeting where, I took so many rapid fire shots from board members that one of my executives told me afterwards that he would never want to be a CEO and go through something like that. There were things that I can’t write about publicly, but that, if you have ever run a company, you know what I’m talking about. It really sucks to be in charge sometimes.

Despite the strain that entrepreneurship put on my finances, my health, and my personal relationships, I kept at it because I wanted to be successful. And eventually, yes, I became a millionaire. It only took 15 years.

Along the way, I learned a lot. I created over 100 jobs. And in the end I helped build something useful for thousands of companies around the world. But when I hear Bernie speak, I feel like I’m the problem with America. I’m one of those millionaires he mentions who should pay more taxes. I’m the bad guy. I’m the white male who is only successful because everything was handed to me. I don’t deserve the money I made. All the things I sacrificed don’t matter. The additional stress I was under doesn’t matter. The risks I took don’t matter. According to Bernie, the world needs fewer people like me, and more people like the smart Yale student who majors in something useless, travels the world, and then graduates with $100,000 in debt that people like me should pay off via higher taxes.

Yes, the economy is rigged. Any economic structure will favor some at the expense of others. But the wonderful thing about America is that if you are willing to make the right sacrifices, you can achieve whatever you want. Unfortunately, we’ve come to believe that achievement should be easy. Changing that attitude is the first step towards making yourself more successful.

I don’t need to add much more than Rob May already said. Here’s the thing, Bernie is not the right guy for our economy (not sure there’s a current candidate out there who is). Sure, all his ideas sound great in theory: free college, no one will be under poverty line, etc. However, these are just theories, the economic consequences of such actions would be detrimental to our society. That’s not even an opinion, that’s a fact.

Paul Tax-and-Spend-and-then-Spend-Some-More Krugman even criticized Bernie Sanders’ economic plan. That’s how you know it’s bad. The only thing that’ll be feeling the burn is our economy with him as president.

[via Fortune]

Image via YouTube

    1. General_Magnolia124

      “Boris” if you don’t like our US Market take your commie ass back to mother Russia.

      8 years ago at 1:57 pm
  1. JackDawson

    Unfortunately working your way through college toady to avoid student loans simply isn’t plausible. Don’t bite my head off, I’m not saying the government should pay off student loans or give everyone free college. FASTA already provides for less fortunate college prospects, and there are other government funded programs that do the same. But for the most part, the average student has 3 options to go to college. Student loans, scholarships, or being fortunate enough to have parents who can pay for it. Many people are a mix of those three, parents who could pay some, a little scholarship money here but not a full ride, and a fair chunk of loans.

    It is a problem that colleges are more expensive now than they were for our parents and the price of tuition has inflated at a higher rate than other costs of living, be it a car, a mortgage, or just a gallon of milk. That stems mostly not from evil capitalism, but from the insane and unnecessary amounts of administrative positions that are seen in your average college today. Student activities director? Director of religious life? These positions didn’t exist 30 years ago, the duties of them were carried out by the students, maybe with some help from the professors. These administrators (who I my school I can never fucking track down when I need to) are being paid upwards of 75 k a year to do the same job students use to do in their free time. Multiple people being paid very large, benefited salaries, to apparently work about 20 hour weeks doing a job a 19-year-old attending full-time classes could do. That is the largest culprit in criminally high college costs.

    8 years ago at 12:59 pm
    1. Strong F. Kennedy

      I have a friend who is currently in law school. His parents are dirt poor. He took on staggering amounts of debt, but with good money management and sound economic advice he is able to live a comfortable (not extravagant) life with a plan to pay off every dime.

      The problem is kids who go into 100,000 dollars in debt to get a fucking English or philosophy degree. At that point it’s just not worth it and you become a burden to everybody

      8 years ago at 1:37 pm
      1. Strong F. Kennedy

        And for the record I fully acknowledge that I am one of those burdens

        8 years ago at 1:37 pm
      2. Gunther13

        I agree, but I don’t want anyone to read this and misunderstand that law school is a good investment. It usually isn’t.

        8 years ago at 2:19 pm
      3. Icecats29

        Or like my idiot cousins and get a degree in dancing while accumulating about $70,000 in student debt. Then graduate and find out that they can’t get a good job with that joke of a degree.

        8 years ago at 5:42 pm
      4. Bing Bong

        For fucks sake. It is free. If you’re going to college at least major in something like economics where the alternative would have been $1.50 in late charges at the library.

        8 years ago at 6:38 pm
      5. Edwin Epps TFM

        I can understand studying something like history, political science, or English. But dancing, da fuck?

        8 years ago at 6:35 pm
      6. Natty light

        The road more traveled apparently. One of my oldest friends now travels the world and most likely choreographed your school’s dance team dances. He and I started college at the same time and he stopped after one year so he could pursue that dream.

        8 years ago at 1:22 am
      7. PeerPressureChair

        I know kids with very good law degrees who would burn their degree to get rid of their debt. Bernie isn’t wrong that the price of education is too high.

        8 years ago at 12:40 am
    2. ThePatternIsFull

      This makes me recall that quote from House of Cards: “I’m just a white trash boy from a white trash town that nobody would stop to piss on. But I made something of myself.”

      8 years ago at 2:00 pm
    3. 1_Rugey_Jentelman

      And the sad fact remains that this is only one critical issue plaguing student debt. Virtually every university feels the need to become and control every business linked to college students. Just adding to that tuition bill. The food service industry, who here was force into a meal plan to eat shitty food? As if you’d forget to eat. Dorms? Let the market control cost and quality. The lowest meal plan / dorm option on my campus costs about $1250/mo per person (4 per Unit). Non-university apartment options are a significant drive, not walkable. Student Activities Director, perfect mention above. How fucking useless, yer he collects a paycheck and a few hundred $$$ per student added to that bill under “student activities fee.” Now, let’s add on amenities. My school paid for an arcade, uproots and replants trees/bushes every year, and there’s plenty of that bullshit you can find everywhere. And every school’s favorite game, destroy and rebuild. Why are students paying to level and construct buildings?
      Universities shell out millions for each of these, all funded by students, yet none have any relationship to education. Most can exist on their own as an independent business with prices set by competition.
      And this doesn’t even touch plenty of bullshit paid for at the expense of students. The insane cost of books. Asinine “editions” of the same books. Awful testing agencies (suck my cock, Pearson). And the loan agencies themselves. My first month’s payment is nearly $6k. I can’t find that much to pull out of my ass and just hand over. They will not negotiate; I “have no options available for this account.”
      PS. NCAA, sports programs, fun topic.

      8 years ago at 3:19 pm
      1. Sand_Hill_Alum

        your school sounds eerily like mine. is this by chance the University of Alabama?

        8 years ago at 4:09 pm
      2. 1_Rugey_Jentelman

        Nope. I’d even say our institutions are polar opposite. But bullshit smells the same everywhere.

        8 years ago at 4:43 pm
      3. Presidente

        Thats why student loans shouldn’t be handed out like free candy. They should be more selective in who will actually leverage that debt successfully (like any other loan)

        8 years ago at 5:07 pm
      4. JackDawson

        I sort of agree but that is very difficult to measure and predict with a 17 year old.

        8 years ago at 5:34 pm
      5. 1_Rugey_Jentelman

        Eh, that’s still just a small stitch to a very large problem. Besides, it’s no better than Bernie’s or Hillary’s idea. It does nothing to address the spending by UNIVERSITIES. Granted, yours at least addresses one issue – students paying, who and how many (also indirectly shortening university funds). Those other two bird brains found a way to recreate this problem on a larger cycle.

        8 years ago at 6:13 pm
      6. JackDawson

        My school makes students live in the dorms until their junior year. They say ” higher academic performance by in dorm students is the reason.” Yet as classes are ending each semester the students with the last finals slot have 30 minutes to get out of the dorms after the last final or they will be fined. So you have students worrying about making sure their dorms are cleaned up and they have every last sock instead of STUDYING FOR THEIR FINAL OR FINISHING UP THAT FINAL PAPAER. So living in the dorms, at least in that instance, is actually a detriment to your academic performance. All of this enforced by unnecessary Residential Life employees making at or near 6 figures. That above circumstance happend to me my freshman year. I spent the 3 hours leading up to my final cleaning up my dorm instead of studying, and I got a D on the final and a C. class. I asked res life for an extension on my check out so I could study more and pointed out how the state of that living in the dorms was supposed to be better for my academic performance. They said “they aren’t responsible for my grades, I am.”

        8 years ago at 5:48 pm
      7. Reality

        Res life people are notoriously terrible. My closest friend (an atheist) was up for a major academic honor at our school and we happened to go to a ‘Methodist’ school. Like it was founded my Methodists and their are optional church services at a chapel, as well as several religious groups. Its BYU or something. The leader off Residential Life, led a petition along with the Catholic group at my school, for my friend to not get the award because of his religious beliefs or lack thereof.

        8 years ago at 5:58 pm
      8. dunkleman

        Yea and I hate the part when the college holds a gun to your head and says, “you have no choice, you must go to college”. I love how everyone treats college like its a God given right to everyone. Sorry but it’s not. It’s a good just like any other thing you buy. If an apple was $2000, made me sick, and doesn’t even taste good, I wouldn’t buy it.

        8 years ago at 8:06 pm
      9. johnnyblueballs69

        If you’re saying college isn’t for everyone and America needs to lose this “everyone deserves a free college education” mentality, then I think everyone here agrees with you. But the people that are college material shouldn’t be paying a ludicrous tuition to renovate every fucking campus building once a year and all that other stupid shit on the basis of “well nobody forced you to go to college.”

        8 years ago at 9:16 pm
    4. CommonSenseUSA

      ^ This 100%. Gov Scott Walker passing Wisconsins education reform was fantastic because it removed tenure from a lot of public schooling- meaning professors more or less have to teach you the subject of the class you’re taking vs hearing about what they personally think about Bernie Sanders or they can (more easily) be fired.

      8 years ago at 3:31 pm
    5. dunkleman

      True, but you didn’t address the root issue. Colleges may be charging a reciculously high tuition and be expanding their faculty’s positions and salaries like crazy, yet this makes perfect sense when you apply basic economic principles. Supply and Demand. So many people are under the impression that you need to go to college in order to be successful, and that no other avenue will work in this country. This increases demand for college education. Now, if you see what the effect of a raising demand has on colleges, it INCREASES the price of that good (college education) and INCREASES the quantity supplied (number of schools, size of faculty). Econ 101

      8 years ago at 7:44 pm
      1. PeerPressureChair

        You couldn’t be more wrong friend. Another econ major who applies Chapter 1 supply and demand rules as an explanation for every facet of life. Next you’re gonna use a big word like “non-elastic” to describe the basic “good” that is a MASSIVELY complex education system

        8 years ago at 12:49 am
      2. Bing Bong

        I’m not an Economics major and might be dumb, but I’m pretty sure as demand goes up price is supposed to go down..

        8 years ago at 7:16 am
      3. Frat Kaminsky

        It’s incredibly obvious you’re not an Econ major. I’d actually like to hear how that makes sense to your brain.

        8 years ago at 8:36 am
      4. Bing Bong

        I was thinking about only the law of demand; the higher the price of a good, the less it will be demanded. I wasn’t taking in other factors like an idiot.

        8 years ago at 10:28 am
    6. BroHandsome

      Not to call you out, but I’m a personal example of why you’re wrong and here’s why there are more than three main options. My parents didn’t pay for a dime of my college degree (and before someone says it’s a community college, I graduated from an SEC school), I graduated with zero student loans, and successfully purchases my first house at the end of my junior year. There is a fourth, and by no means “fun” option; it’s called bust your ass. I started a lawn mowing business before high school, I worked and saved all through high school, I worked a minimum of a full time job all through college (for fucks sake I had a paper route in college), and I worked two, and once, three jobs in the summer. I also served two positions on Exec and vp of my fraternity. Im beyond tired of people saying it’s not attainable. It’s completely doable, people just won’t put in the fucking sacrifice to do it anymore. If you want it bad enough, go fucking get it.. that was and still is the beauty of America. I really hope this isn’t taken as me being pompous, I just hate to see people give up because it’s “too hard”. Give yourself the gift of hard work, it’s something to look back on and be proud of.

      8 years ago at 8:49 pm
      1. Jingles

        You (I’m assuming) didn’t buy a house. You put your name on a mortgage. That is different. I’m not against mortgages or car payments, I just get annoyed when people say, “that is my car.” Not to be a douche, but until you’ve paid it off in full? that thing belongs to the bank. And we’re all impressed you were able to pay for college in full in full. That lawn business must have been profitable as hell.

        8 years ago at 9:19 pm
      2. Sigma Alpha Egg sandwich

        If your lawn mowing business was so successful that you were able to pay 100,000 of student loans and buy a house why did you go to college?

        8 years ago at 11:21 pm
    7. cscheitl

      There’s also the issue that since government back student loans with low interest rates have allowed universities to ramp up their prices because by their logic everyone will pay back their student loans. There are a lot of parallels to the mortgage collapse in 2008. Read Mark Cubans thoughts on the student loan bubble.

      8 years ago at 11:46 am
    1. Ole R.E Lee

      I’m willing to bet that the price of college wasn’t as steep as it is today but also I feel like he wasn’t some dope who decided to go to an out of state school and waste his in state opportunities like many people who graduate with serious debt do.

      8 years ago at 8:03 pm
  2. brorak flowbama

    Get this political bullshit out of here, we don’t give a fuck about your politics crab man

    8 years ago at 1:09 pm
    1. anon6473892034

      you’re right, no politics, person with the account named “brorak flowbama”

      8 years ago at 1:17 pm
  3. Don_Frat

    Hit the nail on its head when he talked of Achievements. If you you don’t work towards an achievement then its not a fucking achievement, its a damn participation trophy.

    8 years ago at 1:35 pm
  4. Eric Stratton Rush Chairman

    Funny thing that this was posted as gospel on a website that sells t-shirts saying “My dad owns a dealership”

    8 years ago at 2:24 pm
      1. FratPoppa

        Because the fuckwad was trying to be snarky by insinuating that all the satirical shit on this site is actually mean to be gospel. And only fucking retards like you two would think it is.

        8 years ago at 4:36 pm
      2. Clintf

        Sorry, shouldn’t have commented, didn’t realize I’d get the fucking peanut gallery involved.

        8 years ago at 5:28 pm
      3. Eric Stratton Rush Chairman

        Listen buddy, I was trying to make a joke. We both know that there are people that would take this article completely seriously that usually read this website as satire, because they just love to be good ol’ boy repubs when they get the chance to tell off a smarmy liberal. The fact is that Sanders’ policies would probably make stories like this easier to achieve for a larger number of people, and Sanders himself would never aim to make a person like this ashamed of his work. Sanders targets people who specifically had to put in a MINIMAL amount of effort to make millions or billions and don’t give a shit about poor people. The fact is, this guy’s story neither refutes or champions Sanders’ cause, so this entire article is just clickbait bullshit, and you got pissed off about a comment on that clickbait bullshit.

        TL;DR? Take a step back and literally FUCK YOUR OWN FACE

        8 years ago at 9:58 pm
      1. PeerPressureChair

        We glorify one thing and pretend to whole-heartedly not to embody that thing at all…

        8 years ago at 12:52 am
  5. Asian Guy

    my father grew up as a peasant farmer in a third world country. He came to America because it was the land of freedom and opportunity. He worked hard against all odds and built his own business, now he is a millionaire here. If bernie got his way (which thank god he won’t), America would lose its soul as the land of opportunity.

    8 years ago at 2:59 pm
  6. TakingItInTheAssMoreThanYouDo

    Bernie can do the country more good by jumping off a bridge.

    8 years ago at 3:06 pm
  7. MikeMops

    But then who the hell should be president? Hillary is way too shady and Trump is just a douche causing trouble

    8 years ago at 3:06 pm