Sunday, April 19, 2015

I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means.

Up in Seattle, a business owner named Dan Price decided he was going to raise the wages of all of his employees, over a several-years period, to $70,000 per year.

You can guess what has happened. Some economists and business leaders are showing considerable skepticism about this, which seems reasonable to me; certainly there's plenty of theory and data out there about using wages not only to pay employees fairly and keep them happy, but as an incentive.

On the other hand, I think it is a noble experiment in not privileging certain types of work over others. That administrative assistant is also keeping your company together.

But then there are screamers screaming "Socialism! It never works!"

People, get your definitions straight. Here's the brief Wikipedia definition of Socialism:
  1. Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy, as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.
Note: Dan Price voluntarily decided to give his employees this wage increase. He still owns his company. No government or government regulation forced him to do this. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a Socialist move for a business owner to set wages at a rate he deems fair, rather than paying minimum wage or letting the "market" set the wages.


Chuck Karish said...

Socialism is used these days to refer to any economic approach that isn't based on naked self interest and savage competition.

America hasn't always worked that way. Humane approaches to business have worked in the past and they still work today.

Lisa Hirsch said...

True enough!