Hi! I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. I just interviewed one of the most successful businessmen in America today — a small-business owner who became a business titan. He is living proof the American dream used to work. But no more. His story not only proves the American dream used to work, it also proves why it no longer works. Wait until you hear what he has to say about trying to run a business in this economy.
My new book, The Murder of the Middle Class, paints a picture of economic devastation throughout America. Because of big government overreach, onerous taxes, debt, regulations, lawsuits and increased Internal Revenue Service attacks on business, the odds of starting a new business and succeeding have been badly damaged. This is precisely why there is a severe shortage of new full-time, middle-class-wage jobs. Small business traditionally creates a majority of new jobs, yet small business is under withering attack by the Barack Obama Administration, the judicial system and our political class.
I can quote hundreds of factual statistics proving the American economy is in severe decline. Recently, we learned American household wealth has declined by more than one-third in only 10 years. Over the same time period, electricity, water, fuel, food and tax costs have soared by as much as more than 100 percent.
But why deal with sterile statistics? Let’s go right to the source. Let’s hear the reason for the decline of American business direct from a superstar businessman who has “boots on the ground.” He understands exactly what it takes to succeed… and exactly what’s wrong with today’s American economy.
Wayne Gorsek is the quintessential American entrepreneur. He has lived the American dream. Raised and adopted by his grandparents (who lived in a 14-by-70 single-wide mobile home), Gorsek started a tiny vitamin company in Springfield, Ill., out of a basement in 1994. Gorsek grew his small company into the most successful online vitamin retailer in the world. His company became one of the few in history to earn “Inc. 500 Hall of Fame” status. For 15 years, Gorsek’s company grew at a remarkable 50 percent a year pace for more than 15 years. He became “America’s King of Vitamins.”
Gorsek was living the American dream. He took his company public on Nasdaq in 2009 for a $320 million valuation. Along the way, he gave well over 1,000 Americans a full-time job with good middle-class wages and benefits. Many of his employees and investors made a fortune when his company went public; the average return to investors was measured in thousands of percent. Gorsek retired at the age of 42 and bought not one, but two, new private jets and earned two single-pilot jet-type ratings. His story is a living, breathing example of how capitalism, combined with hard and smart work, can produce extreme success for everyone involved.
But today, Gorsek has a new story and a message every American needs to hear. Unfortunately, his updated story is proof positive that no recovery is coming and no middle-class jobs rebound is possible.
Here is the eye-opening Part 2 of this story. Gorsek got bored by retirement and decided to get back in the game. He took about $26 million of his own money and started two new vitamin companies called www.drvita.com and natureslab.com (you’ve seen the brand at costco.com). His company also manufactures Martha Stewart’s new vitamin brand, sold at Walgreens.
That’s where the story gets interesting.
Gorsek reports on how things have changed. “It doesn’t surprise me that there are 92 million working-age Americans no longer working; and, even worse, 108 million are now on one or multiple forms of welfare. It doesn’t surprise me that for the first time in history more businesses are failing each day than starting. I’ve now seen the reasons for the murder of the middle class up close and personal.”
Gorsek says things have changed dramatically since he started his first company in 1994 and not for the better. “I have found it three times more expensive and far more stressful and difficult compared to 20 years ago. The differences are stunning. I did not have to risk $26 million of my own money to build a state-of-the-art vitamin manufacturing facility in Las Vegas. I didn’t have to, but I wanted to. I did it to create jobs; to lower vitamin prices and significantly improve the formulations with ‘Made in USA’ vitamins for consumers; and to help turn around the economy.”
Gorsek continues, “Don’t forget my timing; I made the decision to invest $26 million during the worst economy since the Great Depression. Shouldn’t entrepreneurs and financial risk-takers like me be thanked and rewarded? Instead, I feel demonized, denigrated, targeted and punished. Fear and uncertainty of the government is reason No. 1 why there are [sic] a lack of quality full-time jobs.”
But Gorsek sees many more problems. “A trillion [dollars] a year in welfare spending incentivizing people not to work has made it hard to find quality employees. Why work when you can stay home, sleep late and collect dozens of different welfare checks, free food, free cellphones, free healthcare and many other freebies from government?
“Then there are the much higher income taxes and capital gain taxes; employment taxes; hundreds of thousands of pages of onerous regulations, fees and fines; plus the lawyer and accounting costs to comply with a maze of city, county, State and Federal laws.
“Now add in Obamacare, the biggest job killer ever. Because of the massive costs of Obamacare, many employers have no choice but to lay off employees, or create only part-time, low-wage jobs. When I started my prior company in the 1990s, healthcare costs were $1 trillion per year; they are now at nearly triple that insane level to $2.8 trillion per year.
“Lastly, the ease for employees to file frivolous lawsuits is truly a disgrace. Lawyers are job killers, but guess who runs government and makes the laws? Lawyers. It just doesn’t pay to risk your money to start a business anymore when the chance of failure is now near 100 percent, and the government has monopolized the wealth and power to the Fortune 1000 companies (because they are the only ones that can afford to ‘pay to play’).”
Gorsek’s advice is simple, if only our political leaders would listen. “If Americans fail to elect politicians that will actually reduce the taxes, regulations and make it harder to file frivolous lawsuits (with loser-pay laws), as well as reduce the size and spending of government, while providing incentives for businesses creating the jobs, you will see the continued decline of the U.S. economy, the death of good jobs and the murder of the middle class. We’re staring at the end of the American dream.”
That’s priceless, common-sense advice from a proven business builder and job creator who has tried it twice and who sees the stark differences in America today. Gorsek’s conclusion is simple: Because of these changes, the second time around is much more difficult, if not impossible. At this moment in time, the American dream, small business and the middle class are being murdered.
Gorsek wanted me to end this story by reminding everyone to buy only “Made in USA” brands whenever possible to support those companies creating jobs in the United States. A man who lives his own advice, Gorsek drives a Ford pickup — not only because Fords are made in the U.S., but because Ford is the only American automaker that didn’t accept a bailout. Gorsek is an all-American hero.
I’m Wayne Allyn Root for Personal Liberty. See you right back here next week. God bless America.