It would be really churlish to sing anything but the loudest praise for Dan Price. And yet this blogger is falling short of raising three cheers for him.
Dan Price is the CEO of a privately held small company called Gravity Payments with about 120 employees. About two weeks ago, he called all his employees for a huddle and told them that he was raising everybody's salary to $ 70,000 a year, because that will make a big difference to their lives and help them be happy. Simultaneously he also announced that he would cut his own salary from $1m to $ 70,000. Considering that the average salary in Gravity was $48,000, he certainly made 120 people very happy. To read more about this heartwarming story click here.
In a world of cynical CEOs, astronomical pay differences , of treating employees like (pallets, or worse, shit, ) this is a refreshingly good story. Mr Price must be commended for what is undoubtedly a noble act. He is a CEO with a difference, unlike the many who sometimes don't seem to belong to the species we normally understand as Homo Sapiens.
And yet ............... , this blogger, while praising Price's actions to the sky, thinks he is wrong to do this.
People who are employed, even in Walmart, actually have a good deal in today's world. They have a job. They earn a salary, which while seeming to be inadequate, is at least something. They have the government looking out for them in terms of labour legislation designed to ensure that they are treated fairly. They have the unions watching their back. Although they may not believe it, they actually are in a great position.
Consider the larger number of people who are unemployed. They have nothing. Nobody looks out for them. They are called scroungers and worse. Its damned difficult to get a job. Nobody who is not unemployed can understand the feelings of worthlessness, desperation and worse.
Mr Price - you have a heart and are a good man. If you had not raised anybody's salary, but instead employed 120 more people, you will deserve to be a saint in my books. Those who have a job should be paid fairly - I know that there will be a big dispute as to what constitutes fair pay, but pay them fairly by whatever standards you consider appropriate. But even more important, hire lots of people. Give them jobs. Give them a hope in life.