Credit Card CEO Doesn't Want Employees To Starve, Will Be Kicked Out Of Capitalism Now
Heartwarming stories involving big financial services CEOs? They exist, apparently! Meet Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company based in Seattle. According to the New York Times, Price had a novel idea, after hearing years and years of stories about how people, even those making $40K per year -- which many would consider pretty decent -- could have their lives thrown into financial chaos by simple things like medical bills or an asshole landlords raising the rent.
So he did some math and decided that, hey, you know what? I could do something about this, at least for my own employees! So over the next three years, all employees of Gravity Payments will be brought to an annual salary of at least $70,000 per year. Nice Time!
His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.
“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.”
He is freaking out! He's also pretty cute! But really, how nice to hear about a CEO who, like, um, wants his people to be happy, instead of treating them as simply levers on the giant assembly line that spits cash into his swimming pool.
Even better? Price is cutting his OWN pay from, oh, around a cool million a year, right down to that $70K level, at least until the company can recoup the profits it's going to use to make all the employees' lives a little easier. He says it "eats at him inside" when he hears about the everyday struggles people go through, just to make ends meet. Dan Price is a fucking MENSCH.
He's also pretty disgusted by America's little problem with income inequality:
“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.
Weird, a capitalist entrepreneur who doesn't think you also have to be a greedy, raging fuckstick. He must have skipped all those classes in school. Also, it's probably because he's a fucking Millennial, as the Times reports he started his company when he was 19, which was in the year 2004!
That happiness article Price read one day was written by gentlemen researchers from Princeton, named Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton, and it found that, TO A POINT, money does buy happiness, but not the way Richie McRichersons think. For those making under $75,000, there is a much greater degree of financial stress, which has a poor effect on overall happiness, but once people exceed that amount, it doesn't make much of a difference. You can be super-happy making 100K a year, and a super-miserable human making over a million:
Low income exacerbates the emotional pain associated with such misfortunes as divorce, ill health, and being alone. We conclude that high income buys life satisfaction but not happiness, and that low income is associated both with low life evaluation and low emotional well-being.
It makes quite a bit of sense! If you have the money to pay for it, then you simply go through the normal pains and stresses of life, but when normal life trauma also leads to bankruptcy and poverty, it just adds financial insult to the already existing injury. Of course, it's probably your fault that you're poor and stuff, that's what the Republicans say, so Price probably should tell his employees to fuck RIGHT off, right?
For their part, his employees seem pretty happy, saying that they're blown away and their jaws are dropping and probably that they can finally afford to put food on their cats again. The Times snarkily closes by quoting one excited employee, cutely saying that "no Princeton researchers were needed to figure out he was feeling very happy." Since this is yr Wonkette, we will close instead by saying NO SHIT, YA THINK?
Congratulations on not being awful and also being very cute, Dan Price, we wish you many successes and TruckNutz in the coming years.