Gravity’s new minimum wage : $70,000 per year
I was amazed this week when I read in the newspaper about Dan Price the CEO of Gravity Payments in the United States guaranteeing that every employee would have a wage of at least $70,000 over the next three years. You can read the full New York Times Article here. He was inspired after reading an article on happiness that showed for people who earn less than $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives. He intends over the next three years to reduce his $1 million salary to $70,000 and use 70-80% of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year and thereafter to fund the proposal.
Here is a Youtube video showing the reactions of Gravity staff members when he announced the scheme.
Let’s hope it spreads!
What a good news story this is. Everyone would love a pay rise and the implications of a gesture like this are wide-ranging. Imagine if every profitable business began to have an attitude such as Gravity. There would all of a sudden be a large redistribution of income and consumer spending on travel, luxury items and household goods would increase. This would stimulate the economy and have repercussions for all residents as the government would also have rises in tax revenue (especially GST). They could then spend the extra revenue on roads, health, public transport and increase the well being of every person. I know this is a noble thought but people need to realise that our capitalist system is broken and that tiny gestures such as Gravity’s can help towards the inequalities in our societies.
Grenda Bus Company
Another local version of the Gravity story was from local bus company Grenda but it had a slight twist. Grenda Bus Corporation had been a 3rd generation family run business for over 66 years. In 2012, Ken Grenda decided to sell the business and use some of the money as a gift to long serving and dedicated employees. All employees received an unannounced extra large pay cheque one week of up to $100,000 depending on time spent with Grenda. Many employees thought it was a mistake and obviously it did not take long for word to leak out to media outlets. Although it was news across all the newspapers, Ken Grenda insisted the $15 million share given to employees, was deserved after long and dedicated service.
It gives me great pleasure to write about people such as the Grenda family and Dan Price. I wish there were more people who thought about the wider implications of wealth distribution and gave a little back to the society who made their wealth possible in the first place. We were all born naked and with little personal wealth – sometimes we just need to be reminded of it!!