What would happen if all ophthalmic staff were allocated such a salary?
It might be appropriate to file this under "all good deeds get punished.”
Dan Price is a 31-year-old chief executive and co-founder-with his brother-of Seattle-based Gravity Payments, which processes credit card payments.
After reading that $70,000 is the annual income needed to give people financial peace of mind, Price announced that he would raise his workers’ compensation so that everyone earned at least $70,000 and that he would cut his own $1 million-plus salary to that same amount. The savings from Price’s salary and corporate profits would fund the raises.
Applauded as a champion in the fight against income inequality, Price enjoyed a lot of complimentary press regarding his decision. But now he is facing a lot of unintended consequences, including:
So how this story will play out is uncertain.
Next: Ophthalmology experiment
Photo credit: ©Melpomene/Shutterstock.com
Reading this story caused me to wonder how this scenario might play out in an ophthalmology practice. What if we all decided that every employee should be guaranteed a nice salary on the order of $70,000?
Then I remembered I had heard about a similar experiment told to me by a friend who had worked in a hospital in another state. One day, a philanthropist decided to provide funding to ensure that every ophthalmologist in the department earned at least the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) median compensation.
What happened was:
As with Price's company, one group of people was happy with the new compensation guarantee, whereas other groups were unhappy (for somewhat varying reasons).
I look forward to seeing news reports over time on the subject of Price, Gravity Payments, and the $70,000 guaranteed pay scale.
This topic of more evenly distributing wealth is nothing new.
Next: Concluding thoughts
In 1888, Walter Bellamy published “Looking Backward.” It was a best-seller, third only behind “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and “Ben-Hur.” Bellamy’s book describes an America in which everyone receives an equal share of society’s wealth, works fewer hours, and retires with full benefits at the age of 45.
I recommend it to your reading.