Thursday, April 23, 2015

Do you earn enough money? Do you deserve the amount of money you earn? There will always be questions about money earned and money spent. It is the one area of life that is really unregulated except for the least amount wage earners starting pay. Can you put a price on a worker’s satisfaction? Well, the CEO of Gravity Payments took a massive pay cut so all his employees could earn $70,000 per year. Can money buy happiness?

Well now he is being called Boss of the Year. He is Dan Price the little known Seattle based company that manages credit card payments that has only 120 people on his staff. So, was this a publicity stunt? It looks like he is really concerned about his staff’s welfare. We have never heard of anything like this from the well liked, well known CEOs of famous corporations like Apple’s Tim Cooke, Starbucks Harold Schultz or Amazon’s Geoff  Protz. Do you think they will follow this guy? I doubt it.

Why did he give every employee a minimum salary of $70,000 dollars per year? He will be cutting his own million dollar salary to just $70 grand. He calls it a Capitalists solution to the problems of poverty. Here is a growing gap between the rich and the poor. Congress is the first to be blamed by always granting tax gaps and incentives to the rich and nothing to the poor. New Republican candidates are already talking about more cuts to the poor in this country for the next presidential election. Leigh Gallagher, the Assistant Managing Editor of Fortune Magazine agrees that finally we are starting to see the outrage with the protests in major cities demanding a $15 minimum wage from protesters.

American workers do not want to be on food stamps and welfare but the typical American family does not consist of 2 wage earners anymore. It is usually a Mom and her kids working a full time low wage job struggling to survive. The fathers are not even in the picture and if they are, it is a struggle to get child support payments out of them. Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow has taken up the cause with her campaign to try to get by with only $29 dollars for food a week to raise awareness.  Income inequality is one of the greatest issues of our time.  While some states have raised the minimum wages guidelines from $7.25 per hour, there are still 14 states that have not changed.

The anger of the poor will be attacking the top one percenters of wealth soon.  If they do not find a way to keep their workers happy, they will soon have no workers and our system will collapse. Nick Hanauer a rich Venture Capitalist is one of the few sending a warning to his fellow rich guys to do something and do something soon. It is a catastrophe for not only American   families but for Democracy in general. The tide may be slowly turning for the general public. Last June the city of Seattle was the first to change their minimum wage to $15 per hour.  Companies like Wall Mart, Target and Gap and Costco have raised employees’ wages voluntarily and later this month,  McDonald’ said for its company owned stores, franchises excluded will raise it’s starting salary to $1 dollar above the local minimum wage and give the workers the ability to have approved time off.  

So, should CEO’s take personal responsibility for the pay gap? Well, Congress isn’t doing anything about it. So, yes, they should volunteer to have a happy workforce then they would be happy with them. Please don’t play that happy song again. Just do it. 

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