The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sam Quigley,, 202-446-0489

Patriotic Millionaires on Bezos $15: "Shot Across the Bow to America's CEOs"

"CEO types with political aspirations like Mike Bloomberg and Howard Schultz should wake up and smell the money." 


This morning, following Amazon's announcement that as of November 1st, it will pay all Amazon and Whole Foods employees, including seasonal and part-time workers, at least $15 an hour, the Chair of the Patriotic Millionaires and former managing director at BlackRock Morris Pearl issued the following statement:

"There's nothing more fun than watching America's CEOs try to one-up each other. This week's winner is Jeff Bezos. Raising the base wage for Amazon and Whole Foods workers to $15, giving 350,000 employees a raise, is a shot across the bow to those short-sighted CEOs who cling to business models that rely on the misery and economic instability of their employees to stay profitable.

CEO types with political aspirations like Mike Bloomberg and Howard Schultz should wake up and smell the money. If you think you're running for president in 2020 without a commitment to raising the minimum wage to $15 you have lost your mind. This is going to become even more of a line in the sand if Democrats win the House and Nancy Pelosi fulfills her promise for the new majority to vote on raising the minimum wage in the first 100 hours of the new Congress. There's no world in which someone wins the Democratic nomination without supporting a $15 minimum wage.

And we sure do hope that Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, now Amazon's Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs, has called his Obama White House buddy Robert Gibbs who now runs McDonald's government relations program to let him know which way the winds are blowing."

The Patriotic Millionaires is a group of high-net worth Americans who share a profound concern about the destabilizing level of inequality in America. Our work centers on the two things that matter most in a capitalist democracy: power and money. Our goal is to ensure that the country's political economy is structured to meet the needs of regular Americans, rather than just millionaires. We focus on three "first" principles: a highly progressive tax system, a livable minimum wage, and equal political representation for all citizens.

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