April 17, 2015

Question of the Day: Is this millionaire CEO an American hero?

Emily PrattRebel Correspondent
 

A Seattle CEO is being called an American hero after slashing his million dollar a year salary so he can pay each of his employees at least $70,000 a year.

We hit the streets to see if you agree with the massive move to increase those wages.

What do YOU think? Tell us in the comments!


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(Photo: Dan Price, Facebook)

Comments
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commented 2015-04-20 00:12:51 -0400
Please don’t get me wrong. I still think the conservatives are far more fiscally responsible than the other two parties combined and the liberals refusal to look at and deal with the debt not just the deficit runs the risk of undermining any good the feds balancing their budget is accomplishing. As much as I am not pro union I’m not totally against them either. Historically they helped end the cruel working conditions of children slave labor which the owner’s couldn’t find in their heart to do by themselves. Unfortunately today they help to spawn a lazy class who have lawyers to protect their ineptness and their often outrageous demands help owner’s decide that moving the companies to Mexico or India or China even more appealing however I do think free trade was a huge mistake and really only been a benefit to the owners and shareholders of the companies. Not that I agree with every nutty idea Donald Trump espouses I do agree with fair trade not free trade. I’m not against immigration but I do think it is unfortunate we need to import workers because people lack the training here and because we can’t find people here. If I am annoyed by anything it is by laws passed by Bob Rae which were supposed to help minorities but had the effect of reverse discrimination making the provincial government the worse violators of the employment act which is supposed to protect against sexism, racism, age discrimination. As much as I agree we can’t remedy all of the problems I don’t think abandoning the system to what is effectually financial Darwinism (survival of the fittest) is the road we want to go down. Please don’t anyone take my remarks personally unless of course you are Bob Rae (unlikely) or Donald Trump (now I’m dreaming). I know there are decent and fair and even generous employers. When I lived in the GTA I knew some of them. It’s just my heart goes out to the people who have little or no voice for themselves. I thank you all for the responses you have given.
commented 2015-04-18 16:19:54 -0400
Edward, what will make for a better quality of life in Ontario, is a government that encourages business to flourish, not leave. If you want to be mad at somebody be mad at Wynne. One of the most impressive qualities of Conservatism in my opinion, is pragmatism.
commented 2015-04-18 15:58:54 -0400
Edward you say," I identify with conservatives in most areas but one thing I have always been shamefully aware of is the unapologetic dis-concern for those less fortunate and with what ease they use simple throw away lines without giving the issues serious thought."

I don’t beleive it is a lack of concern for those less fortunate. What it is, is reality.
If the gov. dictates to business beyond reason, business will cut their losses, let excess staff go, never mind not give them a raise. Equal opportunity, is as good as it gets. If you try to mandate outcome, you are going to lose every time. The only way to get a wage hike in a free market, is to be worth it, ask for it, and if you don’t get it be prepared to make a choice. Stay with a wage your not happy with, and an employer who doesn’t appreciate you OR or do what ever it takes to get another better paying job. People don’t go into business to employ other people, they go into business to make money.

Equal opportunity not equality of outcome. That’s up to you.
commented 2015-04-18 15:47:27 -0400
Yes, he is a real hero. He sure beats the cheapskates that I used to work for.
commented 2015-04-18 14:46:00 -0400
I know far too many people in the Eastern Ontario region who are making lousy wages. While getting my teeth cleaned my dental hygienist was blowing off a bit of steam one day telling me after 5 years of service she spoke to her boss about a raise and his response was you’re lucky to have a job here. Meanwhile and I know the employer lived in a luxury house, went on two traveling vacations each year and bought his wife a sports car for Christmas. Great he deserves it he worked hard. But how about just a little appreciation for the employees. Another owner of 6 popular coffee franchises when the government raised minimum wage took away the employees paid breaks so as one single mother who was not affected by the wage hike revealed she was now actually making less. I understand employers take the risk and when they start out they need to keep costs down but when you start to succeed some of that success is due to the employees who helped get you there. The employees know the people here are desperate for work and if they quit they can always replace them with another sucker. My mother explained to me that many years ago she worked her butt off at a canning factory and saved every precious cent that she didn’t give to her parents to plan her escape. And since coming back here some 60 years later very little has changed. And yes night school is an option but what you will soon discover is many of these courses have little practical value other than to keep the teachers employed. It is a beautiful part of the country and when I moved here I saw it as an adventure. Now I am what I was thinking. “Just get a second job and cut back on expenses”. It is hard enough to find one job in this area". Here is a better suggestion why not pay people a livable wage.? Not $70’000 not $60,000 not $50’000 but when you take home $1200 a month and one car repair and climb as high as $1000 and you have rent and food to buy there is not a whole lot of money left over. I identify with conservatives in most areas but one thing I have always been shamefully aware of is the unapologetic dis-concern for those less fortunate and with what ease they use simple throw away lines without giving the issues serious thought.
commented 2015-04-18 11:50:45 -0400
He should have hired 10 more people so those who did not have jobs could get one. People who earn $40K and want to have more money could have several options (going back to evening school to upgrade education, get a second job, cut back on expenses, etc.). The people who do not have jobs have not much option other than living on taxpayers’ dole which is robbing them of self esteem, pride and may lead to generational welfare. Give a person a fish to feed him a day, or, teach him how to fish to feed himself.
commented 2015-04-17 23:30:53 -0400
Good point Guy, he is bringing everyone up to 70,000.
Shawn, thumbs up for that post.
commented 2015-04-17 22:39:12 -0400
Sounds like such a perfect work environment — so politically correct. In this utopia, contentment, freedom from competition and harmony abound. The reality, however, is that we all expect recognition for a job well done — like salary increases, promotions and more vacation time. Why do we celebrate winners? Why do we give medals for first, second, and third? Why do we appreciate those who invent new technologies? Why do applaud academic excellence? Why do we honour our military heroes? We do these things because we live in a competitive society that values individual achievement. A world of equal outcomes is a progressive fantasy that is contradictory to human nature. History and experience support this thesis.
commented 2015-04-17 22:17:20 -0400
I think the people commenting should read the article and listen to the report before commenting!
1) the CEO is slashing his million dollar salary but does not say how many millions his salary was by how much he cut it.
2) he is raising the lowest salary to $70,000, not that he is paying everyone $70,000.
If he gave 50 people a $10,000 raise it would only take $500,000. We don’t know what the lowest paid workers were paid before he raised it, or what the average pay was.
I commend him for empowering his employees and giving them the opportunity to prove they are worth every dollar. If they slack off, I’m sure they could easily be replaced by someone who will perform for $70,000. A true leader leads by example and I’m pretty sure he fits the bill.
commented 2015-04-17 21:19:05 -0400
I gotta say this, why would any one work at a hardware store for 6 years unless they were being compensated fairly? I have never had a Union to pad my way, but have moved from unsatisfactory employment to better employment to good employment, obtaining a raise, that I usually had to ask for myself, and only if I had the service to back it up. Don’t ever expect private companies to stay in business and employ people if they are being told how to run their businesses by the gov. It has to be free market. If you don’t like your employer move to where ever you need to to find one who pays you fairly. That this CEO is in a position to do this, is an anomaly. Gov. interference kills jobs by killing small business owners.
commented 2015-04-17 20:18:08 -0400
I don’t think everyone needs to be paid the same wage for different types of work and effort put into it however I do applaud someone breaking out of the sting mold many ceo are in. Bank managers who cut and cut and cut jobs putting more and more pressure on the remaining employees while the live like kings. I live in Easter Ontario and know far too many people who work their butts off and only get raises when the minimum goes up and many have no benefits or pensions other than C.P.P. One girl I know among many told me she just got a 10 cent raise after working 6 years at a local hardware store. Shame!
commented 2015-04-17 19:20:36 -0400
You sure don’t want gov. mandating anything. That would be Atlas Shrugged, and that would be when everyone went out of business. Can’t find the initial interview I saw, but he’s 30, started his tech company at 19, is king of his castle and can do what ever he wants. Besides he is in Seattle, what d’ ya want. Its Lotus land.
commented 2015-04-17 19:12:34 -0400
i can think of many CEO’s taking small salaries or even just $1 but they receive millions in stock options…good for the employees
commented 2015-04-17 18:54:58 -0400
You have to hear the interview and listen to what was said. He doesn’t plan on losing money. It is an investment he is making in his company for the good of the company which will benefit him. He figures his income will be right up there again in short order. He is a capitalist with a vision. No gov. enforcement is making him do it. Not every business owner is in a position to make such a move, but it is interesting. Being fully his own decision, and having nothing to do with being regulated by gov. makes it nothing what so ever anything like what Ayn Rand was describing in her book, Atlas Shrugged.
commented 2015-04-17 18:01:16 -0400
Two concepts: earning your worth (as opposed to just needing more), and devaluing his own worth. If he drops his own salary to 70, and his lowest employee gets the same, how much does the supervisors earn? Won’t they be making more than him? So, I could be someone who was hired when the company started, and worked up to a supervisory position, and make more than the guy who came up with the ideas, start the company, go into debt (and pay it off), sweat all the things that have to be sweated by the owner (especially at start up). All those things are what justifies the boss’s salary. And he thinks all that’s worth about as much as the guy who sweeps the floor and less than that floor sweeper’s immediate superior. I can’t support that line of thinking. There’s being generous, which is a good thing usually, and there’s being kinda stupid. Doesn’t Ayn Rand address this kind of corporate mentality in Atlas Shrugged?
commented 2015-04-17 17:16:58 -0400
He will probably have to pay less in tax due to a smaller paycheck.
I would say that’s a win win for employees and employer.
commented 2015-04-17 17:03:43 -0400
Reality? It’s his company to do as he feels appropriate. Where do I sign up?