The federal minimum wage debate has recently heated up with large protests being staged across the country for higher pay. While the national minimum wage hasn’t been raised in 6 years, some cities and states continue to raise their minimum wage above the national requirement. Seattle, for example, set a new $15 minimum-wage law that will slowly raise the minimum wage over the course of 3 years.
Is a $15 Minimum Wage Enough?
Dan Price—the CEO of Gravity Payments, a Seattle-based company that processes credit card payments—announced that he was cutting his $1 million salary and using company profits so all employees will earn a base salary of $70,000. His plan will be phased in over 3 years. This means that each employee will now make roughly $33 per hour.
In contrast, the federal minimum wage in the US is $7.25 an hour, which comes out to about $15,000 a year for someone working a typical 40-hour week. Seattle, where Gravity Payments is based, started phasing in a minimum wage of $15 an hour in early April, but even that will only equal out to about $31,000 a year.
Public Reaction to Price’s Decision
Price is being widely lauded for his decision not only because it’s a feel-good story that makes him seem like an awesome guy and desirable boss, but also because most CEOs cling tightly to their pay. By some estimates, CEOs in the US make 354 times as much as their average employees.
Does Money = Happiness?