Fair Compensation?

THE IDEA
Pay everyone in the company equally, at a livable wage (for the US)
Three months ago, Mr. Price, 31, announced he was setting a new minimum salary of $70,000 at his Seattle credit card processing firm, Gravity Payments, and slashing his own million-dollar pay package to do it. …The idea struck him when a friend shared her worries about paying both her rent and student loans on a $40,000 salary. He realized a lot of his own employees earned that or less.
Yet almost overnight, a decision by one small-business man in the northwestern corner of the country became a swashbuckling blow against income inequality.

THE BLOWBACK
1. Media Onslaught
What few outsiders realized, however, was how much turmoil all the hoopla was causing at the company itself. To begin with, Gravity was simply unprepared for the onslaught of emails, Facebook posts and phone calls. The attention was thrilling, but it was also exhausting and distracting. And with so many eyes focused on the firm, some hoping to witness failure, the pressure has been intense.

2. Both Loss of Customers and Too Much New Business
More troubling, a few customers, dismayed by what they viewed as a political statement, withdrew their business. Others, anticipating a fee increase — despite repeated assurances to the contrary — also left. While dozens of new clients, inspired by Mr. Price’s announcement, were signing up, those accounts will not start paying off for at least another year. To handle the flood, he has already had to hire a dozen additional employees — now at a significantly higher cost — and is struggling to figure out whether more are needed without knowing for certain how long the bonanza will last.

Doing Favors + Creating Relationships, Who Counts?

Today we're looking at quotes from two related articles, one in The Guardian and one in The Wall Street Journal. The heading of each quote is a link to the article it came from.

Women's help doesn't count as something that should be repaid
Women were more likely than men to be asked for favors and were more likely to grant requests for help, Frank found. When the recipients of help were asked how “indebted” they felt, they appreciated the help of women less than the help of men——it turned out that people felt entitled to female help. Worse, the more “agreeable” the woman seemed, the more the value of her help was discounted by the person she assisted (as if they assumed “she just likes to help”).

How societies can grow old better



Today we'll talk about Jared Diamond's TED talk, How societies can grow old better.

As a supplement to this discussion, here's a video describing a group home for older people in Japan called Collective House Seiseki (in Chinese), and here is their website (in Japanese).