Should more CEOs be adopting these types of practices to support their staff? Should employees have to struggle and barely scrape by while business owners sit pretty with much more than they really need to be happy? 5 years ago the CEO of a cards payment company, Gravity Payments, implemented a $70,000 minimum salary for his entire staff of 120, including himself. In order for this to be possible, he had to take an annual pay cut of over $1.1 million. 5 years later, CEO Dan Price claims that this risk has more than paid off for himself, his employees and his company as a whole. In 2015, Price had an epiphany moment when talking with a friend who was struggling to pay her rent after a landlord had increased it by $200 per month. He realized how this was affecting his friend and made the connection to how many other people must be struggling as well. It was this insight that drove him to his decision to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. According to BBC, “Before 1995 the poorest half of the population of the United States earned a greater share of national wealth than the richest 1%, he points out. But that year the tables turned – the top 1% earned more than the bottom 50%. And the gap is continuing to widen.” “In 1965, CEOs in the US earned 20 times more than the average worker, but by 2015 it had risen to 300 times.” The wealth gap is one of the biggest, fattest elephants in the room–everyone knows that this is occurring, but nobody knows what to do about it. As a society, we’ve simply accepted this huge gap and often believe that some of us are just luckier than others. It’s unfortunate that, with the way the system is designed, the rich just keep getting richer while the lower and middle classes are suffering more and more. It seems that Dan Price understands this issue all too well, saying, “People are starving or being laid off or being taken advantage of, so that somebody can have a penthouse at the top of a tower in New York with gold chairs.” “We’re glorifying greed all the time as a society, in our culture. And, you know, the Forbes list is the worst example – ‘Bill Gates has passed Jeff Bezos as the richest man.’ Who cares!?” Price’s words ring very true, western societies glorify wealth; everywhere we turn the wealthiest people are praised and adored by the media, so much so that we are conditioned to feel inadequate with what we have. That’s not to say that in our current system we don’t need money to survive and get by, but there are a lot of other ways to define success than just money and material goods. It can be difficult to let go of this desire to earn more, especially when we are in a constant state of survival mode just trying to get by. What we don’t often realize is that so long as we have a roof over our heads, food to eat and water to drink, we can survive. Anything else that we want may not be that important anyways, but the media sure does a good job of making us constantly feel like we need more and more stuff in order to be happy.
The power of having gratitude for what we do have rather than yearning for what we don’t is very strong. It’s all about perspective. However, with that being said, we should all have access to a safe environment and a good quality of life. By raising the minimum wage, the employees feel more supported and secure and less stressed out thinking about how they are going to pay the bills or simply make ends meet. According to Price, the benefits to the lives of his employees have been invaluable. Prior to 2015, many were struggling to simply get by, and now many are buying homes and starting families. Price admits that he still has an ego and is sometimes tempted to change the setup in order to have the glorified life of a California CEO. According to the BBC, Price says a colleague at a competitor recently suggested to him that if Gravity adopted a more traditional business model, Price could become a billionaire and do a lot of good with that money. “He’s telling me that the world needs another billionaire philanthropist, and I just don’t know if that’s the case. Because we’ve been relying on billionaire philanthropists for so long, and I don’t really think that’s working out very well for us,” he said. “I think we need to have, you know, kind of more of a justice and integrity engineered and designed into our system. I think we need to have companies where, you know, people are taken care of and given opportunities. And so that’s more intriguing to me than trying to become a billionaire, competing with [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg or [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos on the Forbes list.” This is exactly the type of mentality one can only hope business leaders adopt while we are still in this current system, using money in the way that we do now. What do you think? In this free 7-part series, Dr. Pedram Shojai teaches you about the power of healing your oral biome. More than 70% of all chronic inflammatory diseases begin as tiny bacteria in your mouth getting flushed into your bloodstream. Gut health begins in the mouth, this is the cutting edge truth that's emerging. Learn the simple, low cost methods to restore or.
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