Pay EVERYONE $70,000 a year. That’ll work…

Dan Price
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Dan Price, the “world’s nicest boss” who took a $930,000 salary cut earlier this year in order to pay even his lowliest staff members a minimum wage of $70,000, has reportedly hit hard times.

Why does this story make me so happy?

Well, partly, I’ve got to admit, it’s thinking about the shattered dreams of all those HuffPo readers who, just four months ago, were hailing Price’s move as enlightened, forward-thinking and commercially astute:

This guy just got most of his employees to stick with the company for a very long time. It will benefit his company greatly. He will not have to spend money on training new people and those that are there will return the favour by working even harder to make the company great.

Can we get this guy into the govt???? What a stand he is making!! More should follow suit if they are smart. I love that he sees is as an investment. And he’s correct. It has been proven that if you treat your employees with respect (especially monetarily) they will remain loyal and respect you back. Bravo!!

Finally people are waking up to realize that if people have money they will spend it and profit will soar. Look at it this way, if a company pays it’s workers well, that worker will spend the money, that money then flows to a different company, that company pays it workers well and that worker spend it elsewhere and so on until that money finally return to you as income/profit.

Bravo!! And this is a change that is meaningful. He didnt just take a 30k cut in salary to give people a 100 dollars a year increase, which would have been meaningless. He took a meaningful cut to give his employee an equally meaningful raise. This is what all CEOs with an ounce of decency should be doing. This kind of stuff should be the law, not something that hinges upon the generosity or largess and thus whims of individual CEOs. It is just not ok for someone to make tens of millions of dollars a year while the people in his employ have to get by on under 50k. Treat your employees with humanity, respect and dignity. And compensate them well.

Mainly, though, it’s because as a sensitive, caring person, I do hate seeing bosses conducting cruel experiments on their employees.

Not, I’m sure, that Price meant it as a cruel experiment.

But there’s a practical reason why successful company bosses generally don’t pay their workers  $70,000 a year regardless of their talent or output. It’s because if they carry on like that in a competitive market then pretty soon the firm will go bust and all those happy $70,000 pa employees will suddenly find themselves on $0 a year redundancy packages with a $70,000 a year lifestyle to maintain but no prospects of getting another job which pays anywhere near as a well as the one they’ve just lost.

This is what is so heartwarming and gratifying about the speed of Price’s decline and fall.

Imagine how it could have been: years and years of puff pieces in the business press, in Salon, Slate and Vice, in Vanity Fair on “Dan Price – the hunky tech boss who has changed all the rules about how to do business.”

“Hey, I’m just the guy who scrubs Dan’s toilets,” says Bill Jones, 38. “I thought my career was going nowhere. Then I got this raise and suddenly I can afford a mortgage and I don’t even have to save for my kids’ education because what’s the point? In the brave new world that people like Dan are creating, everyone is going to be paid a living wage, whether they’ve got a PhD in computer programming or they’re just handy with a toilet brush.”

“I make the coffee,” says Beyonce Spears, 27. “Has anything changed since I got my $35,000 raise last year? Sure it has. I’m now so much more careful to remember who takes sugar, who doesn’t, making sure the cups are warm, important shit like that. Except when I forget because I’m distracted with thinking about all the premium grade jewellery I can now buy every day from the Shopping Channel.”

“It’s so obviously the way forward for everything,” said Dan Price, the company’s handsome, perma-stubbled, long-haired CEO, gently beating off with his gold-plated stick wave after wave of panting supermodels from PETA who have been drawn to his Seattle HQ by his nurturing caringness. “I mean, if I can pay my workers $70,000 a year, why can’t everyone? Think of what it could do to the starving peoples of Africa. With more money to spend, they’d have no need to eke out a living illegally killing beautiful lions with cute names, and soon places like Burkino Faso and Democratic Republic of Congo would have economies pretty much the size of the US’s because standards of living would be higher and poverty would be eliminated possibly for ever.”

Instead, happily for all of us, the law of the commercial jungle has reasserted itself. Price has been exposed as just another publicity-seeking bleeding-heart Democrat donor. His talented, more hard-working employees have not warmed to the idea of being paid the same as the lesser ones. Some businesses have stopped doing business with him because they find his experiment dangerously communistic. Price is now having to rent out his apartment to try to keep himself afloat.

Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, could it?