The WSJ has launched a pity-party today for the suffering 1% of this country:
Jacqueline Siegel paces the floor of her unfinished 7,200-square-foot ballroom. The former beauty queen, with platinum-blond hair, blue eye shadow and a white minidress, clacks along the plywood construction boards in her high heels trailed by a small entourage of helpers and staff.
"This is the grand hall," she says, opening her arms to a space the size of a concert hall and surrounded by balconies. "It will fit 500 people comfortably, probably more. The problem with our place now is that when we have parties with, like, 400 people, it gets too crowded."
Grab some tissue and read on to hear the horrors as these suffering people can’t complete their 90,000 square foot home. How dare you greedy Occupy Wall Street people not consider the misfortunes of the Siegel’s and the rest of America’s elite!
Sadly this story will pull at the heart strings of many Americans. The problem is that so many in this country can’t accept the reality that they will never come close to living this lifestyle. Instead they dream on everyday that someday they may become the next Siegel’s. The other thing they won’t realize is what the Occupy Wall Street movement is doing is to help bring back the American dream by making it possible for more people to pull themselves up the economic ladder. That’s something becoming harder and harder under the current system and the ‘American dream’ has been called all but extinct now.
But there’s something that really gets me about the Siegel’s. From the article:
Versailles was supposed to be done by now. The Siegels were supposed to be living their dream life—throwing charity balls and getting spa treatments downstairs after a long flight on their Gulfstream. The home was the culmination of David Siegel's Horatio Alger story, from TV repairman to chief executive and owner of America's largest time-share company, Westgate Resorts, with more than $1 billion in annual revenue and $200 million in profits.
Yet today, Versailles sits half-finished and up for sale. The privately owned Westgate Resorts was battered by the 2008 credit crunch and real-estate crash. It had about $1 billion in debt—much of it co-signed by the Siegels.
Yes Westgate resorts! These are the piranhas that latch onto you during a family vacation, pamper you with freebies and take you on a tour to view their timeshares. They even come complete with fresh made chocolate chip cookies, just to make you feel that you are at home!
Of course once they sink their teeth into you, you quickly find that you are paying part of a “mortgage” on a place you can only use one week per year (and not a week of your choice) that costs as much, if not more than a week in a hotel.
But let’s consider that for a moment. When you “buy” into a timeshare, you are taking on a mortgage, or actually a second mortgage. Timeshare’s like Westgate feed off of America’s materialistic needs, making people who can’t afford vacation homes feel like they “own” one. Of course when bill time comes around, what’s the first thing that has to go? Is it the regular house over your head or the one you are allowed to visit 1 out of every 52 weeks? Of course the later is the loser here and that creates a credit problem. Basically Siegel’s very business helped contribute to the economic decline that is causing him to not be able to complete his home.
I guess in a way this is karmic justice against one of America’s biggest predatory lenders. Of course the WSJ wants us to pity them because it was those low income people trying to buy actual houses for their families that caused the misery of poor Jacqueline.
(And for those still not familiar with Westgate, an example of how bad they are can be seen right here. They were one of the first companies fined by the government for violating the do not call list. Siegel believes he is king and his company shouldn’t have to follow the law)