More like Dan Price, please. This is truly putting your money where your mouth is. Gravity Payments is a credit card processing firm located in Seattle, and Dan Price is the CEO. Mr. Price has decided to do more than think or talk about income inequality. He's taking action.
The first thing he did was cut his own pay to $70,000 per year.
The next thing he did was give every employee, whether in the mail room or human resources, a raise so that their minimum wage will be $70,000 per year.
“The market rate for me as a C.E.O. compared to a regular person is ridiculous, it’s absurd,” said Mr. Price, who said his main extravagances were snowboarding and picking up the bar bill. He drives a 12-year-old Audi, which he received in a barter for service from the local dealer.
“As much as I’m a capitalist, there is nothing in the market that is making me do it,” he said, referring to paying wages that make it possible for his employees to go after the American dream, buy a house and pay for their children’s education.
Mr. Price said he wasn’t seeking to score political points with his plan. From his friends, he heard stories of how tough it was to make ends meet even on salaries that were still well-above the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.
“They were walking me through the math of making 40 grand a year,” he said, then describing a surprise rent increase or nagging credit card debt.
“I hear that every single week,” he added. “That just eats at me inside.”
Mr. Price said he wanted to do something to address the issue of inequality, although his proposal “made me really nervous” because he wanted to do it without raising prices for his customers or cutting back on service.
Of all the social issues that he felt he was in a position to do something about as a business leader, “that one seemed like a more worthy issue to go after.”
He said he planned to keep his own salary low until the company earned back the profit it had before the new wage scale went into effect.
Mr. Price, you're a prince. Your employees are lucky to have you as their boss. Let's hope you're also a trendsetter.