Last week’s democratic debate had some personal fireworks, but aside from a little variation on how to tackle healthcare, there was little room between the twenty candidates when it came to policy. The two issues that everyone seemed to agree on from the democratic side are a minimum wage increase to around $15 an hour and lowering healthcare costs, be it through universal coverage or through other means.
At least on those two major issues, perhaps JP Morgan should expect a trophy for being more progressive than the progressives. The minimum wage at JP Morgan is already substantially higher than their proposed plans at $16.50.
JP Morgan also accounts for the variation of cost of living standards throughout the country and lifts it to as much as $18 in some places for starting pay. These wages are for standard workers from day one such as bank tellers and regional branch employees.
Additionally, JP Morgan has high standards for the lowest level workers than many progressives when it comes to healthcare coverage. For full time workers that make $60,000 a year or under even new employees essentially do not have to pay the deductible. Additionally, JP Morgan has generous continuing education programs for employees.
The Progressive Theory of Relativity
As one might guess, JP Morgan is not feeling the love from the left. For one, the progressives have their own theory of relativity. It is not good enough to voluntarily pay double digit percentages higher than their own minimum wage standards. Instead, progressive performance for banks is measured relative to what the CEO makes at JP Morgan. The ratio is key, not how much JP Morgan pays and what their benefits are compared to other work at a similar level at other companies.
That said, perhaps at least Sanders does have a point when responding to the largest banks in the country. “I didn’t hear Jamie Dimon criticizing socialism when Wall Street begged for the largest federal bailout in American history”, he said. Reasonable people can disagree over whether a bailout is really a sign of socialism when the entire American economy hinges on a healthy banking industry.
That said, the bailouts were not for the community banks despite having to meet compliance standards that came with it.