Entrepreneur of the Year Sets $70,000 Minimum Wage

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

Could Dan Price, the CEO of a Seattle credit card processing company, represent America’s corporate future? Until just recently, Corporate America certainly thought so. Last year, a top business magazine named Price the nation’s “2014 Entrepreneur of the Year.”

But then this 30-year-old entrepreneur did something that has unsettled — and embarrassed — Corporate America. Price last month announced he was setting a $70,000 annual minimum for all his employees. He also called current U.S. CEO pay “absurd” and “out of whack” and announced he’ll be cutting his own million-dollar pay by over 90 percent.

America’s business leaders, Price predicts, “will follow suit” when they see how well his company will do with a much more equal salary structure.

A noble thought. But don’t hold your breath. America’s top execs and their pals aren’t treating Price as a hero anymore. The Acton Institute, for instance, has dubbed Price’s pay move “not a rational business decision.” Seems to us that we need plenty more of Dan Price-style irrationality.

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Sam Pizzigati edits Too Much, the online weekly on excess and inequality. He is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Last year, he played an active role on the team that generated The Nation magazine special issue on extreme inequality. That issue recently won the 2009 Hillman Prize for magazine journalism. Pizzigati’s latest book, Greed and Good: Understanding and Overcoming the Inequality that Limits Our Lives (Apex Press, 2004), won an “outstanding title” of the year ranking from the American Library Association’s Choice book review journal.

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