“Big business is the only free, non-revolutionary social organization.”
– Peter Drucker
Harris Rosen, CEO and founder of Rosen Resorts & Hotels in Central Florida, is a visionary who has proven that the private sector can solve today’s big social problems, such as unemployment, illness and poverty. Government often just gets into the way, and makes social services inadequate and more expensive (witness the latest debacle with long delays in former soldiers receiving needed care at Veteran Administration hospitals).
First, jobs and unemployment: The New York Times did a May 26 story on Rosen entitled “A Bet for Florida Pays Off.” The reporter was surprised to learn that Harris Rosen didn’t cut back and lay off workers during the 2008 financial crisis, even though hotel occupancy rates had fallen substantially as tourists stopped coming to Disney World and Universal. He used his substantial cash reserve and retained earnings ($130 million!) to renovate his seven hotels. He refused to lay off any workers (he considers them family). In fact, he hired more marketing staffers to entice tour groups from Brazil and South Korea to come to Florida.
Rosen is a smart businessman who doesn’t buy into the myth that current consumer spending drives the economy. What’s important is what the customer does in the future. And Rosen made an educated bet, based on his experience, that the drop off in the tourist business was temporary. He made plans to take advantage of the recovery.
“We did it because we knew things would get better, and we knew it would be much less costly because construction wasn’t doing well,” Rosen said. ”If we had waited until construction came back, the same work would have cost us $175 million to $200 million.”
And he was right. Now Florida tourism is booming, and Rosen Hotels & Resorts are taking full advantage.
Second, high cost of medical expenses: Rosen is also a visionary when it comes to affordable healthcare for his employees. His privately funded “Rosen Care” is 10 times better than the government-mandated “Obamacare.” Rosen has first-class fitness centers and medical facilities to take care of his 4,000 employees at substantial savings over the national average, and it costs less than other medical insurance programs.
Finally, welfare: Rosen has a volunteer “anti-poverty” program that really works at Tangelo Park in Central Florida, where high-school graduation levels have soared and crime has fallen sharply amid his “good-works” activities.
Want to know more? Come to Freedom Fest, July 9-12, at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, and get the whole story. Steve Forbes will interview Harris Rosen and show how there are private solutions to public problems, whether it be jobs, poverty, healthcare or the environment.
We have a great line-up of speakers, panels and debates. Steve Forbes and John Mackey (co-CEO, Whole Foods Market) are our co-ambassadors and stay all three days! John Stossel is taping his Fox News television show there. Read about the latest plans.
See you in Las Vegas next month. Don’t miss this “intellectual feast in the entertainment capital of the world.”
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column posted last week on Eagle Daily Investor about how you can profit from an Asian bargain. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below.
You Blew It! Out of Control Golfer John Daly Gambles Away $55 Million
“Gambling — the sure way of getting nothing for something.”
– Wilson Mizner
John Daly is known as a big, high-risk and loud-mouth golfer who is either a “hero” or a “zero” in the high-stakes game of professional golf. He’s famous for hitting the ball a mile (over 300 yards) and has won several tournaments, but none since 2004. In a recent interview, the irascible golfer admitted to gambling away more than $55 million. Imagine the good ways he could have spent the money.
Daly lost the money playing slots for two straight days, maintaining seven $15,000 blackjack hands at once and risked $5,000 per spin at the slot machines.
He told the reporter, “We went through all my tax records to find out, because I really didn’t know, and it just came to that. I was shocked. I thought it might have been $20-25 (million), but I had no idea that it was $55-57 million. It’s crazy …” And stupid.
Why did he do it? Daly confessed, “I love the action. I love the adrenaline, going in there. Now if I gamble, I play the $25 slots. If I hit something, I might move up to $100.”
I can see loving the action and adrenaline from playing the craps tables or five-stud poker, but playing slots? Not only do slots give you the worst odds, but it’s a lonely game. Roulette and blackjack are a little more social, but craps or poker are where the action is, and your chances of winning are better.
The best way to gamble is in the stock market, because the longer you play, the better your chances of winning. In Las Vegas, the longer you gamble, the more likely you eventually will lose. In Wall Street, time is on your side if you buy a good company at a cheap price (bargains are found all the time on Wall Street). Imagine if you bought Apple stock for $1 in the early 1980s!
Fortunately, Daly says his gambling days are over. “But I don’t do what I used to do anymore. You know, I move on from it. I had a lot of fun doing it.”