The Equal Salary Experiment


In 2015, a payment company called Gravity Payments made headlines when its CEO announced that the company's minimum wage would be raised to $70,000 a year. In order to fund this experiment, the CEO cut his own salary by more than 90%. Some have criticized the idea, calling it a move towards socialism. Some clients and employees have even reportedly left the company since the move, but a few questions still remain. Does "equal pay" for a company's employees equate to higher revenues? Does a move like this create feelings of unfairness to the harder-working, higher-skilled workers, or those with more seniority? The issue raises some interesting questions. According to the American philosopher Noam Chomsky, not only did the working-class press of the 19th century advocate for the ownership of factories by the factory workers, but even the Republican party once considered wage labor to be, at best, a preliminary to free labor, or a kind of servitude. In fact, according to Chomsky, a large percentage of soldiers from the Northern states fought in the American Civil War under that banner.