One creepy and unsettling theme currently animating the 2016 Republican Presidential Race–besides Rand Paul’s hairpiece–is economic populism. Like a kid suddenly believing that his deadbeat dad is legitimately interested in him and his well-being, each and every potential 2016 republican candidate has had a turn at appealing to the middle-class and working-poor. In reality, this is a group of wealthy men in a race to get the most of Sheldon Adelson’s billions for their respective SuperPacs. But the fact of the matter is that income equality is at levels not seen since the Gilded Era, and the top one percent will control half the world’s wealth by next year.
But one caring and reasonable CEO saw the writing on the wall and has decided to address income inequality by doing something very generous for employees.
While many of the country’s CEOs reap obscene profits and benefited the most from the economic recovery, Dan Price, founder and CEO of Gravity Payments in Seattle, decided to better the lives of his workers by raising the minimum salary at his 120-person payment processing company to $70,000. According to The New York Times, the average pay at Gravity was $48,000 per year and the increases affected 70 workers, 30 of whom saw their salaries double.
Now how on earth could this filthy socialist afford to do something so hurtful to super rich people. Surely, the cost of the raises must have fallen on the customers and they will see huge price increases. Think again!
It seems the majority of the money for these raises will come as a result of Price cutting his $1 million salary by a whopping $930,000 . The rest of the funds will come out of the $2.2 million the company expects to earn in profit this year. Price told The Huffington Post on Tuesday:
There’s greater inequality today than there’s been since the Great Recession. I’d been thinking about this stuff and just thought, ‘It’s time. I can’t go another day without doing something about this.’ (Huffington Post)
But why $70,000 a year?
The $70,000 figure is slightly below the $75,000 salary, which a 2010 Princeton University study found as an ideal benchmark for achieving happiness. Further, roughly 28 percent of Americans said they would feel successful earning at most $70,000 per year, according to a 2012 survey from the jobs site CareerBuilder.
Now, what Price is doing is very unique and just plain awesome. Nobody is expecting every CEO to suddenly be visited by three ghosts and do the same, but hopefully Price’s actions show that you can raise employee’s quality of living without having to sacrifice profits.