Clothing Store GAP Raising Employee Minimum Wage to $10, Gives Perfect Reason Why

gapThe debate over the minimum wage has been fierce lately, with most Democrats backing a push to raise it to $10.10 and Republicans strongly opposing such action.

But of course they do.  If it were a tax break for the super rich, they’d vote in favor of it unanimously.  If it’s something to help out the poor, they’re almost always against it.

And yes, I’m aware the CBO released a report that said raising the minimum wage could cost 500,000 jobs.  That report also said it would lift 900,000 out of poverty.  And let’s not ignore the fact that many economists have said that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy.

Well, the clothing store GAP recently announced that it’s going to be raising the minimum wage it pays its employees to $10 per hour.  But it’s not just the fact that they’re raising their minimum wage.  I believe the reason why they’re doing it is just as important as what they’re doing.

GAP Chairman and CEO Glenn Murphy said, “To us, this is not a political issue.  Our decision to invest in frontline employees will directly support our business, and is one that we expect to deliver a return many times over.”


Amazing isn’t it?  Common sense being used when it comes to wages.

If a business takes better care of their employees, pays them better, treats them better – those employees are likely to be far more productive and loyal.  They’ll work hard, call in sick less and not quit their jobs as often.

You increase productivity which will boost revenue and you decrease costly employee turnover which saves on expenses.

That’s just common sense.

And let’s not ignore the fact that when Americans are paid more, they have more money to spend, which then boosts consumer spending.  You know, that little thing called “demand” which is much more important for economic growth than tax cuts.

I just hope more businesses start following examples like these.  There’s no reason why businesses can’t pay their workers a living wage and still remain highly profitable.  Because if a company can’t do that, should they be in business in the first place?

A part of an employer’s responsibility should be to ensure everyone working for their company earns enough to take care of themselves and their family.  And if an employer can’t ensure that, well – I don’t feel sorry for them.

Forced slave labor would be extremely cost-effective, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.


But of course, this won’t make a bit of difference when it comes to the national debate on raising the minimum wage.  Something the vast majority of Americans support doing.  It’s funny, when it comes to “Obamacare,” something that only about half of Americans oppose (with a decent chunk of the opposition to the law coming from liberals who don’t think it’s liberal enough), Republicans are adamant that the “American people have spoken!”  Which is why they continue to hold pointless votes to repeal the health care law.

Yet when 76% of Americans support raising the minimum wage, suddenly Republicans don’t seem too eager to listen to the American people.

This is just another issue in this country that the vast Americans support, along with expanded background checks and immigration reform, that we might never see passed because Republicans in Congress won’t allow it.

So the question I ask is, “If the vast majority of Americans support raising the minimum wage, but Republicans in Congress who are supposed to represent the American people keep preventing it from happening, just who are they representing?”

Well, I think the answer to that question is pretty obvious.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • strayaway

    I’m in favor of states raising the minimum wage or even the federal government raising the minimum wage for federal workers or even anyone hired through a federal contract for the following reasons.
    1) A higher minimum wage would cut government spending on various supplemental welfare programs since, for instance, poorly paid service workers would be in higher income brackets and no longer qualify for as much or any supplemental help.
    2) Higher wages would better allow the poor to decide for themselves how to allocate resources that sometimes come with too many restrictions as government supplementary assistance.
    3) Since less government assistance would be needed, the size of the government bureaucracy could be slashed. I know I’m dreaming but fiscal conservatives should be in love with this. That would free up scarce government resources to to more good elsewhere.
    4) Since there would be a higher minimum wage, cheating employers would have less incentive to hire illegal aliens brought in to work for less money to maximize employer profits. That means that any jobs lost because of higher minimum wages would not fall so heavily on US citizens.
    5) Higher minimum wages would be a bonanza for newly created jobs in automation and robotization technology. These would be higher paying jobs than the $10/hour jobs automation and robotization displace.

    However, unless import taxes are increased so that it makes more sense to hire Americans at the higher minimum wage than ship jobs overseas, raising the minimum wage could be a disaster. Higher taxes on import corporations could be offset by lower income taxes on the middle class to be revenue neutral.

    I would also consider a lower wage for students to make it easier for them to find work, gain real life work experience, and have fewer loans to pay off after school.

  • Sandy Greer

    An employer should have a stake in paying a high enough wage employees can afford to buy its products.

    Taxpayers should not have to ‘subsidize’ wages kept so low employees are forced to rely on public assistance to make ends meet.

    We the People should patronize (reward) businesses who exhibit a public responsibility.

    • Matthew Reece

      1. The “enough to buy back the product” argument leads to a reductio ad absurdum. Consider two welders who have identical training, experience, abilities, etc. One helps to make cars that cost $20,000 each, the other helps to make airplanes that cost $200,000,000 each. By this reasoning, the second welder should be paid 10,000 times as much as the first.
      2. This is true in a way, but consider this from another angle. Over the long term, workers cannot work for income that is not sufficient to keep them alive. Tax-funded subsidies (aka welfare programs) allow corporations to get away with paying abnormally low wages. If the welfare programs end, corporations will pay living wages because they will have no other options.
      3. This is correct. Voting with your wallet is the most effective form of voting you can do, and is one of the best ways to cause the types of changes you want to see.

      • Sandy Greer

        Looks like I should have been more specific, than to present an abstract idea. I had Henry Ford in mind, and what he said about paying his workers.

        1a) It’s not that employees should be able to buy a SPECIFIC product (say, Ford vs. Mercedes)

        1b) Rather, taxpayers should not have to ‘supplement’ the pay of Wal-Mart (et al) employees who can only afford to shop at Dollar Stores (etc) So the Walton family (et al) can continue to be the wealthiest family in the world, with nothing to hinder their profit.

        2a) Further, I would not approve ending ‘tax-funded subsidies and/or welfare programs’ in the HOPES that corporations will then pay ‘living wages’.

        2b) We tried Trickle-Down Economics, and found it didn’t ‘trickle down’ far enough, but stopped in the pockets of the 1-2%. I don’t ‘begrudge’ Food Stamps (et al) to those less fortunate than myself.

        That ‘begrudging’ of others is the domain of The Right: Just like ‘begrudging’ the Minimum Wage; The Right is so much better at ‘begrudging’ than the Lefties.

      • Matthew Reece

        1a) Then what exactly does this mean?

        1b, 2a) Hope has nothing to do with it. This is solely a matter of logic. A company cannot function without living workers unless everything is automated, which is not yet possible. If nothing else exists to keep the workers alive, then the company must do it in the form of a living wage.

        2b) I don’t ‘begrudge’ food stamps. I simply realize that they are stolen goods because taxation is armed robbery. As for trickle-down, it also consists of stolen goods transferred from the poor to the rich in the form of tax-funded corporate subsidies.

        The moral way to help the poor is to stop all of the practices which transfer wealth from the poor to the rich. This includes abolishing both individual and corporate welfare/subsidies as well as abolishing central banking and returning to sound money.

      • Charles Vincent

        I think people also miss the fact that raising the minimum wage only insures that employers only hire employees that can produce value above and beyond the minimum wage, this hurts the low skill less productive people they are trying to help. The Mises institute and the CBO report talk about this.
        Sandy also ignores the fact that ford paid more for selfish reasons, reasons that produced an effect he didn’t directly intend.
        She also misses the fact that this wasn’t a product of government force it was a voluntary action as was his instituting a 40 hour work week.

      • Anon

        Charles: the word is hire, not higher. Hate to be the grammar police, but had to correct that one.

  • Bravo to the Brave

    Good for the “GAP”. I just wish other companies would quickly join in and do the same, but I doubt it. I wish all sensible Americans would boycott companies that will not raise their employees wages to the minimum of $10.00 per hour. Then, those companies would see a real decrease in their profits. Yet, the companies willing to raise their minimum wage, would see an increase in their profits by the extra business they will get, which would more than offset the cost to them of paying higher wages.

    • tina rowling

      so most people wouldn’t be able to shop anywhere. nice.
      it’s a nice thought, and i’m sure your heart is in the right place, but that’s just not a realistic plan.

      • JJ

        Explain why they wouldn’t be able to shop anywhere? Why not shop at the Gap???

      • tina rowling

        does the gap sell anything other than clothes?

      • JamieHaman

        How about shopping at Krogers’ instead of Walmart’s? Pay isn’t perfect, but average pay is higher, plus Kroger’s has benefits for part time employees.
        Walmart’s doesn’t provide that. Still shopping at Krogers.

      • tina rowling

        krogers isn’t a nationwide chain.

      • JamieHaman

        Of course….and where you live the only grocery store for 100 miles is Walmart’s.
        So any excuse will do.

      • tina rowling

        the grocery stores we have around here (yes, we have more than one) don’t pay $10 an hour to their employees. if such a place were available to me, i would be happy to shop there and support them. i don’t understand why you’re getting so defensive.

      • PoliticsPleeeease

        They have sister companies. Safeway in the west coast.

    • strayaway

      I applaud GAP for providing higher wages to their employees but where are GAP products made? Most of their product line was probably made in third world sweatshops. In fact, most imported products including non-domestic cars and auto parts are imported because cheaper foreign labor makes them cheaper. Buying a foreign manufactured car is both anti-US labor and anti-women yet 71% of liberals buy foreign brand cars (not including Chrysler which was bailed out for Fiat). Unemployed US factory workers don’t even make the minimum wage. To prevent higher minimum wages from driving even more jobs out to the Country, we need higher import taxes (offset with lower middle class income taxes) and the personal discipline to buy US made products…if they are even available.

      • Jim Bean

        And Republicans tend to buy American cars. How inconvenient is THAT?

      • strayaway

        Yet more proof that Republicans love US workers. I should put in a good word in for US blacks too since they seem to usually buy US manufactured cars despite usually voting Democrat. We wouldn’t need to be paying out so much extended unemployment and welfare if there were more Republicans. Gotta love irony.

      • ? Guess Who

        Ah, how sweet, the love affair between JB and Strayaway continues. So happy that you two have each other to relate to in this wicked world of the Democrats. Bahahaha!

      • strayaway

        No, no, the wicked people buy foreign cars. I always buy US manufactured cars made by US companies out of my loyalty to US workers. You should be happy about my qualified support for higher minimum wage levels based on my fiscal prudence, and support of US workers. I was just pointing out an irony. What? Do you own a foreign car?

      • ? Guess Who

        Love our two cars, …………… both made by Ford. Made at a plant in Chicago, which I hope is still in business so those workers still have jobs here. I am 150% for the American worker, who has been put through the meat grinder since the Reagan administration started giving away the middle class’s money to the wealthy in the form of extreme tax cuts, (corporate welfare) for them to ship jobs overseas, and bust up the unions, and trim their staff down to a skeleton crew, and make the few who are still working do the jobs of 2 or 3 people, cut way back on their benefits, etc., all in the quest for them to make more of their idol………………money. Ah, yes, more profits, that’s all that matters. To hell with the American worker and the middle class, it’s all about me and my quest for more profits. The baby boomers are all going to die from the cancers they will get from the stress of working themselves to death, for their meager wages. The Koch Brothers, the Walton Family, the crooked politicians benefiting from all this aid from us workers, will all face their maker one day. Death is the great equalizer, and if I were one of “those types”, I would be shaking in my very expensive boots!

      • strayaway

        Thank you for buying American. We used to share a house with an uncle who didn’t have much seniority at an auto plant. Every few years there would be a recession and he would be out of a job for awhile. He would get to the unemployment line at 6:30am before it wound all the way around the block. I remember that when yuppies maybe think they are being sophisticated driving around in imports. We haven’t had one good president lately regarding the trade imbalance. Obama is trying to get fast tracking for the TPP which is all about corporate profits and has negotiated bad trade deals for US workers with S. Korea and a couple of other countries. Republicans aren’t any better.

      • ? Guess Who

        It’s all about the rich getting what they want. Most of our politicians have sold their souls to the wealthy. The corruption, greed, lack of conscience, selfishness, I hear about and read about everyday is so disgusting. How’s life in America going to be for our kids when they are 50? Scary thought.

      • Charles Vincent

        You buy a car built here yes, but the parts used to assemble that car come from a variety of other countries including the materiel the parts are made from. This is how globally integrated things are.

      • strayaway

        When I brought up cars I mentioned, “most imported products including non-domestic cars and auto parts are imported because cheaper foreign labor makes them cheaper.” “Auto parts” was included; things like radios and tail light assemblies. I just looked up the current percentages. Most US name brand cars are 50-80% domestic content. Foreign name brand cars tend to have less, down to zero, but a few models have high US domestic content. However, foreign companies hire fewer US minorities and the profits and management are overseas. There is a glass ceiling for women in Asian companies. Buying a foreign car is one of the most socially regressive things a liberal could do.

      • Charles Vincent

        “Most US name brand cars are 50-80% domestic content.”

        This is what I was talking about there are very few if any items produced 100% here in the US because of globalization. 20-50% is not insignificant in the terms I was talking about.

        “There is a glass ceiling for women in Asian companies. Buying a foreign car is one of the most socially regressive things a liberal could do.”

        This is out side the narrow topic I was talking about. Is it true probably but still not where I was making my point.

      • strayaway

        Understood. US corporations are more interested in profits than in the well being of US workers. That is their only realistic option under present laws to remain competitive. I threw that last thing in about socially regressive behavior for the majority of progressives who buy foreign cars but blame Republicans for lack of jobs. 50-80% domestic content, domestic profits, and domestic management is still better than the alternative. 23 foreign models have zero domestic content, foreign management, and profits.

        I calculated domestic content and imports for the “Cash for Clunkers” program. It turned out that more subsidy dollars went to purchase foreign products than US products. Korean workers did especially well.

      • PoliticsPleeeease

        I don’t shop at the GAP because of their third world affiliates. They are not the only ones I boycott.

  • Sunnysmom

    We need to start seeing a living wage and health care as the true cost of doing business. As a consumer, I would gladly pay any incremental price increase of their products in order to accommodate this, especially if it allows people to get off public assistance.

    • Ann_W

      So you never shop at places that pay employees less than $10.10 per hour?

      • Sunnysmom

        Where did I say that? Of course I do or I would never get groceries in my area. But I wouldn’t scream if my box of cereal went up .25 cents if that’s what it would take for their employees to have a better quality of life.

      • Jim Bean

        Do you ever tip the cashier or stock boy?

      • tina rowling

        when i worked in retail as a cashier, we weren’t allowed to accept tips.

      • That’s not the point. Customers shouldn’t have to tip, because people should make enough money to survive to begin with, even if it means everything in the store goes up a few cents. (Food prices are rising anyway.) That also means I would like to abolish the “tip” culture in restaurants, and include the gratuity in the prices and/or the customer’s final bill.

      • Charles Vincent

        “That also means I would like to abolish the “tip” culture in restaurants, and include the gratuity in the prices and/or the customer’s final bill.”

        This is still tipping you just removed the option from the table by adding it to the bill instead of allowing the customer to choose what to leave. This also removes incentive for the server to provide fast courteous service to the customer.

        “(Food prices are rising anyway.)”
        This is a false equivalency.

      • You mean if servers didn’t have to suck up to (possibly nasty) customers to get the tips they need to survive, they wouldn’t do their jobs at all? That makes no sense. I don’t get a tip at my job (pharmacy tech) when dealing with the public, yet I do my job anyway.

        Maybe because I’m paid well?

        If a server really doesn’t provide good service, a customer can always complain to the manager. It seems to me that the tipping culture as currently implemented gives customers way too much power over servers (which, let’s not forget, are mostly women), especially when the fault for something may not be theirs at all, i.e. the kitchen’s. Add the tip to menu prices, and pay servers better wages, and you eliminate this.

      • Charles Vincent

        You may do your job. I was not inferring you didn’t. I am saying your proposal removes the incentive to even be cordial. Restaurants are a customer service centered industry. I have seen and worked with plenty of really rude and obnoxious servers. I have routinely not tipped those rude and obnoxious servers and conversely I tip good service well above the standard. this is called voting with my/your pocket book. I also employ the use of comment cards with relation to server s and service.

      • Charles Vincent

        This should have been your lead piece of factual information from the get go.(referring to your link)
        I see several flaws with some of the numbers they used, these could conceivably be fixed. Most places I have worked servers get ~$2.60hr plus tips standard gratuity being 15%, and 18% for parties larger than 5-6 persons. the other big flaw is they based their numbers on high end eateries which are a small portion of all traditional restaurant food service establishments. a poster covered this nicely over on a policy mic article I believe.

      • PoliticsPleeeease

        In Europe the tip is automatically added to the bill and let me tell you I have had many a bad service and bad attitude that was included in the service. Not a good option.

      • Charles Vincent

        She presents a model that works here. I think she linked it.

      • Charles Vincent

        Also remove all “.” and replace them with DOT this fixes the link posting problem

    • politicallypolite

      I also have no problem paying that extra penny or two if I knew it helped improve employee living standards. I was just discussing this issue in regards to Whole Foods and how they pay their employees above minimum wage as well as provide health benefits to the majority of their employees. Because they are well provided for, the employees are more productive and highly loyal which in all improves their bottom line. Whole Foods is also on the list of top 100 companies to work for in the US which says a lot about how a company can be successful financially without sacrificing your humanity.

  • Ann_W

    It should be $10.10. They are $.10 too low. The GAP sucks!! Boycott the GAP!! The Democrats decided that all businesses should pay their employees $10.10 so it shall be written, so it shall be done. How dare they decide what’s best for their business?!! And the 500,000 people that will be thrown out of work by the new minimum wage can all be poets. Who cares if they miss out on the entry level job that used to be used as the first step up from poverty. Unemployment Schunemployment, who cares, let the rich pay! The Koch Bros. can pay everyone $100,000 a year. That would be fair.

    • Sunnysmom

      Sarcasm – very helpful.

    • TRUTH BE TOLD

      The Democrats are trying to help people make a better living, Ann W. What is wrong with that??? I suppose you think that $10.00 per hour, (after taxes is about $7.50 per hour) is a high wage, that people could be living like Kings and Queens on that much? I suppose you think the dumb ass Republicans who are against it, because it might cut into the gross profits that their campaign contributors are salivating for more of. Get your f’ing head straight and start sticking up for the majority of our Country who need help, and are working hard and deserve the help. My son (a high school student) works at a fast food restaurant, and he works with people in their 30’s 40’s 50’s and 60’s. Some of them were laid off of jobs during this recession and they work 2 jobs now just to pay their basic bills every month. They are not lazy, looking for a handout people, they are hard workers with families to support??? Get a dose of reality, lady, it is time that this Country stops catering to the very wealthy, and starts making some serious changes that will help the middle class, so they can keep their heads above water. Your buddies the Koch Brothers are rolling around in their billions laughing at the stupidity of people like you!!!

      • Ann_W

        Just like your son, and most other people in this country I worked minimum wage jobs as a teenager. It taught me work skills and that I didn’t want to do that for the rest of my life. I didn’t have the skills to make $25 or even $10 an hour, but it was still a valuable experience. So now you are saying that only people who have the skills to be worth $10.10 an hour can be employed. That cuts 500,000 people out of the workforce where the vast majority would get a raise within a year and all would get job skills.

        If you’re so generous with other people’s money, why not make the minimum wage $50 an hour? Wouldn’t that be more generous? But even you know that that would make no unskilled person ever get a job. So the question is, “what is the reasonable amount to pay an unskilled worker?” The employer (who puts his own money on the line to create jobs) is the best person to judge this. If a person wants to be paid a lot they should pay attention in HS and get a scholarship, like I did because I came from a poor family. Switzerland has no minimum wage and very low unemployment. The average level of income there is high as well. You need to learn Econ 101.

      • TRUTH BE TOLD

        DUH!!! The recession changed a lot of things for people who had decent paying jobs. You must be an employer, because you sure talk like one. Unfortunately inflation, (gasoline, groceries, utilities, etc.) has caused the constant rising of prices for things that are absolute necessities. DUH, the minimum wage has not kept up! How the hell does a person make a living, (without needing government assistance) on a take home pay of $5.00 per hour? I guess you didn’t read my post all the way through, stating that there are older people with families that are working there because they need 2 jobs to pay just the basics. Plus the people saying that the Country will lose 500,000 jobs by raising it are wrong. There is plenty of information out there, that has shown that we will NOT see that happen. You need to stop thinking like the top 1 and 2 % and look at the truth of what has happened in America. Why has the top 2% gone on to unbelievable wealth in the past 25 years, and the middle class has remained stagnant in income? It’s called “GREED” by the top 2%. GREED is a perpetual thing, and that is being proven every year as “income inequality” grows and grows. Maybe you are in the top 2% income bracket, which would explain a lot!!! The majority of us are in the 98%, and we are educated, intelligent, hard working people also. We should not continue to be ripped off by the wealthy. You need to do some research on what has happened to America’s middle class, and why they are disappearing. That “trickle down” theory didn’t work out the way they told us it would, now, did it???

      • Ann_W

        I know all about 2nd jobs to make ends meet. My dad did custodial work in the evenings and I went with him to help, because that was the only way for our family to make it. Rising wages without rising productivity is what makes prices go up. Also, the government borrowing so much money makes prices go up. I appreciate that you care about people, but your solution is more of the stuff that has gotten us into the financial mess that the country’s in. You really need to study Economics. P.S. The 500,000 jobs lost was a number generated by the CBO and quoted in the article above.

      • TRUTH BE TOLD

        How can you have “rising productivity”, when you have a skeleton crew trying to produce? Employers have cut their staffs to the bare minimum, yet they expect these smaller staffs to produce more than the prior larger staff did!!! Then, they criticize the smaller staff, (who are working their tails off), and say, “no raises this year again”, or for some, “a pay cut is necessary until we can get our productivity up”. It is just plain B.S. and has become a way for employers to gain more profits for themselves. How do you explain the great income inequality in America if people are paying their employees fairly??? Something is definitely not right, when the top 2% has that much of the country’s money. None of you want to admit it, but it is true. The middle class deserves a raise, and you can start with our minimum wage workers!!!

      • Kenny

        Most employers I know, put some of their’s, AND the Government’s money together to help create jobs. You speak like you/job creators are “superior” to those you employ. You might be more of a risk-taker, and have more money, but you are NOT more superior. So sick of the many job creators thinking they are better than everybody else.

      • Ann_W

        No one says they’re better than anyone else, but they aren’t a guardian to their worker. If they are losing money they will close up shop and everyone loses jobs.

      • Kenny

        I didn’t say that they “said it”. Of course most of them are not stupid enough to say it. Still, I stand by my statement of, they think they are better than everybody else. I know enough of these types of people, and they all seem to have an arrogant sense about them.

  • Matthew Reece

    The correct solution to the problem of income inequality is to abolish the Federal Reserve and return to sound money. This is what will really end many of the unfair advantages of the 1% and restore purchasing power to the 99%.

    Note that in 1964, the minimum wage was 5 silver quarters per hour. Today, those 5 silver quarters have a melt value of $19.54. That is still a nice hourly wage.

  • Shoten2003

    Wow, not much hypocrisy here. Republican do not listen when support for raising the minimum wage but it is perfectly ok for democrats to ignore the people who do not want the ACA!

  • Jim Bean

    “A part of an employer’s responsibility should be to ensure everyone working for their company earns enough to take care of themselves and their family.” That’s a crock. The employer has work to offer and puts it on the market at whatever price he wants to pay. If price isn’t high enough for you, don’t take it. If no one takes it, maybe he’ll raise the price he’s willing to pay. But hiring you doesn’t make him your legal guardian, no matter how badly the Left wants everyone else to be responsible for their well being.

    • PoliticsPleeeease

      Not their legal guardian , however, as an employer, one needs to have regard for the well being for the community they are a part of.

      • Jim Bean

        No, one does not. As an employer, one needs to have regard for the standards set forth by society as defined by its laws. Nothing more.