I remember arguing for Capitalism and against Socialism in college, although the debate got me thinking about the values within the two systems. Now, I’ve come to a more moderate stance that would, idealistically, combine the best aspects of both systems. Simply put, I’d like to see all workers be paid a living wage and have ready access to good education and healthcare. I also believe that those who work harder and smarter should have the wherewithal and ability to earn more, but not at the expense of others.
This brings me to the story of Dan Price. Dan is the 30 year old Founder and CEO of Gravity Payments in Seattle, WA. Since he started the company in 2004, his company has been successful. So successful, in fact, that Dan expects it to turn a profit of 2.2 million in 2015. This year, Dan was slated to receive a salary of $1 million.
The thing about Dan is, he’s a Capitalist with a Conscience. In a relatively unprecedented move, Dan has just taken a $930,000 pay cut, from $1 million to $70,000, to make sure his 120-person staff receives a wage that will allow them to live comfortably. Each employee will now also receive $70,000, which in some cases, doubles some employees’ current salary.
According to Huffington Post’s article, the salary change will affect Dan’s lifestyle somewhat…but only somewhat. While his current salary is dramatically reduced, he has significant earnings/savings from prior years. He expects his salary to increase again, once the company’s profits grow.
What is important about this move is that it will change the lives of his employees and make changes within his community.
When more people have more money to spend within a community — on staples, on food, on maintaining health and on healthcare, on college for their children, and yes, on travel and luxury items — the entire community benefits. The boats of all smart business people rise. And the boats of those employers smart enough to demonstrate to their employees that they are valued will rise higher, as they should.
So is this move, this investment in his employees, entirely altruistic? Probably not. But this CEO has a conscience and integrity. In the end, he will come out farther ahead, probably in financial outlook… and definitely in his own self-esteem and in the respect of a community made worldwide by the internet.
This is an editorial by Carol White Llewellyn and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Management, Staff or Board of Directors of RCTV.
Photo credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2834768/images/n-DAN-PRICE-Pinterest.jpg