Scratch Baking and the Minimum Wage


I was thinking about what I would bake this week when a news report captured my interest on the TV. I thought I misheard what was being said. I heard, “CEO makes $70,000 the new minimum wage for his employees.” What?

Have you noticed a pattern developing here? I am supposed to be writing about baking and always get side tracked by social issues.

You see, I grew up during a time when a major social transition took place that I believe went pretty much unnoticed. Yet, the economic and social realities we are faced with today took root then.

Like most of us who live in this country, and unlike most of our parents who may not have been so lucky, I have never had to experience war at home. I have always felt safe. I might complain about my finances, job, and living situation, but have never missed a meal or have been forced to spend a night unsheltered. And for the most part, my family was afforded the American Dream. It did come at a cost however. My parents had to work for it, and found that the streets were not paved in gold, but opportunity.

Today this is not the case. How did this happen? Some blame it on greed, others on the lack of government regulations on banks and corporate tax structures. Although these may be partly responsible for the current situation, the answer could be much simpler.

When I began working in the late seventies, the transition I spoke of earlier occurred when fathers who struggled and labored to develop a business passed it on to their sons. What bloomed out of labor and hardship was a harvest of wealth, privilege, and power. The changeover was a tremor in the night, unnoticed and uneventful, but the minor crack between employee and employer was established; and would eventually develop into a crevasse that would rival the Grand Canyon. This modest transition and other factors would aid in the eradication of the middle class. This undermining of our country’s fundamental foundation has led us to our present situation.

Ayn Rand defined capitalism as,

“The moral justification of capitalism does not lie in the altruist claim that it represents the best way to achieve ‘the common good.’ It is true that capitalism does—if that catch-phrase has any meaning—but this is merely a secondary consequence. The moral justification of capitalism lies in the fact that it is the only system consonant with man’s rational nature, that it protects man’s survival qua man, and that its ruling principle is: justice.” — AYN RAND - capitalism.org

Justice gave way to privilege. The employee became a commodity and a potential loss of profits. He was no longer viewed as an integral part of the business, or a physical partner and structural element in the foundation of the company. The bond that strengthened this relationship was torn. Profits became the focus. The employee’s role changed from helper, assistant, and apprentice to wage earner, subordinate, and potential competitor creating a new and very different business practice and philosophy. Instead of being socially and economically responsible to the employee, the focus shifted and the links were broken.

The middle class is in decline. We are becoming a nation of haves and have not’s. This shift in philosophy focusing on individual ascent has weakened America’s strength in the world and our vision of what this country should be. A country that at one time in history was looked up to as a visionary republic and where an individual’s success reinforced and uplifted the nation. There was a vested interest between country and business as to employer and employee.

I applaud Dan Price, CEO of Gravity Payments, for realizing the value of his employees and their role in the success of his business. By doing so, he is empowering his employees, and helping to build a better, healthier, happier, and, stronger workforce. In so doing, he is supporting his country and its success.

I would hope that other entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to up the minimum wage for their employees. It should not have to be a social issue and political point to debate. By uplifting your employees you will be uplifting a nation and restoring a legacy. Loyalty is a good thing and should be observed by both strengthening the foundation for us to rebuild and reinstate our core values as a nation and uphold our position as a just and rational world power.

Those who “bake from scratch” know it to mean, baking from basics. We believe that using raw ingredients and only the best ingredients, techniques, and methods produce the best goods. Not to judge but to make a point, those who bake using pre-mixed or semi-prepared goods entrust the manufacturer to decide on the ingredients used.

A house without a sound foundation will eventually succumb to the slightest breeze.

You can read the entire article about Dan Price at, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ceo-to-employees-70000-is-our-new-minimum-wage/

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