Dan Price: A new take on Income Inequality — from 1M to 70k

Probably the coolest fact that I’ve heard  in the past days was the dramatic decision of Dan Price, Founder & CEO  of Gravity Payments, Seattle (US) to cut his $1 Million salary to give lowest paid workers a raise.

Apparently, this idea came to him the moment he read an article on happiness, suggesting that

“Recent research has begun to distinguish two aspects of subjective well-being. Emotional well-being refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience—the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, stress, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant. Life evaluation refers to the thoughts that people have about their life when they think about it. We raise the question of whether money buys happiness, separately for these two aspects of well-being…Income and education are more closely related to life evaluation, but health, care giving, loneliness, and smoking are relatively stronger predictors of daily emotions. When plotted against log income, life evaluation rises steadily. Emotional well-being also rises with log income, but there is no further progress beyond an annual income of ~$75,000.” 

And so, he decided: over the next three years, all the employees at Gravity Payments will get a minimum wage of $70,000, so that they wouldn’t have to worry about income and focus on their work a.k.a increasing the productivity of their selves and the company. For that, Mr. Price is going to slash his $1M salary down to $70,000 and distribute the rest among the employees, trying to reach an income equality.

Of course, this action raises a great amount of attention and maybe it is time that more CEOs (and not only) start filling the income gap. Despite the attention received and deserved, Mr. Price’s decision also raises questions of morality, compassion, dedication and why not, humanity.  On the other hand, it is quite saddening that, generally, people are more and more driven by money and their emotional well-being depends on their income. Still, I guess people are trying to meet the rules, which eventually are dictated by the upper classes and they all (or at least a great amount) seem to resume to capital.

Here is a bigger picture of the story as covered by NBC News:


Gets you thinking, doesn’t it?!

@ Ioana-Alexandra Tache


Photo source © Gravity Payments



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