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February 24th, 2014
09:50 PM ET

Billionaire John Paul DeJoria: "I can represent the 99 percent and the 1 percent."

Tempers flared in Washington as Republicans and Democrats continue to clash over the minimum wage debate.

Obama pushes for minimum wage increase

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal came out swinging against President Obama, but Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy didn't want to hear it.

Bobby Jindal: I think there are things we can do instead of waving the white flag of surrender, instead of declaring this economy to be a minimum wage economy. I think our economy, I think America can do better.

Malloy: Wait one second, until a few moments ago we were going off a pretty cooperative road... I don't know what the heck was a reference to white flag when it comes to people making $404 a week. I mean that is the most insane statement I ever heard quite frankly. Let's be very clear that we have had a great meeting and we didn't go down that road and it just started again and we didn't start it.

Both sides have been at odds over the wage fight as income inequality has become a lightning rod among politicians.

OutFront: John Paul DeJoria is one of the richest people in America. He is the co-founder and chairman of John Paul Mitchell Systems and Patron Spirits.


Filed under: Income Inequality • News • Politics
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. anthonydynar

    Dear Erin Burnett,
    Please read my letter to John Paul DeJoria regarding your interview about minimum wage.
    Sincerely,
    Anthony Dynar

    I want to thank Mr. DeJoria for doing an excellent job on CNN, contributing to the discussion on minimum wage. I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. DeJoria. He has been a role model for me. As a cosmetologist myself, I have always loved Paul Mitchell and it would be a dream come true if I am given the opportunity to work for Mr. DeJoria in any of his businesses. Thanks to the inspiration that Mr. DeJoria provided me during my formative years, I started my own business. I dispatch cosmetologists to people’s homes providing haircuts to homebound individuals who cannot go to a salon due to medical reasons.
    It is sad that many employers don’t share his enthusiasm and understanding of objectivity in business today. And those that do are penalized by law.
    I think the frustration in the workforce comes from being taken advantage of by various employers. We have come to accept that as the norm. Employers like Mr. DeJoria are a rarity because he is actually willing to trade value for value. Most other employers are not so inclined. They are either unwilling, or unable.
    I currently work three different jobs because my willingness to contribute is not rewarded with higher wages. This, sadly, has been the experience of many an American worker who has worked for employers who aren’t as enlightened as Mr. DeJoria.
    The sad thing is, given the legal landscape that we have to deal with today, it is hard even for employers who do believe in Mr. DeJoria’s vision of the American dream to offer higher wages to those of their employees who are willing to contribute more.
    An employer that hired an 11-year-old would be violating child labor laws. There are unnecessary safety laws and litigious plaintiffs inventing imaginary torts that drive costs of employing people up and force the wages down. Then there is the interesting interplay of federal labor laws and the new healthcare employer mandate that forces employers to have only part-time employees, even if the employee is willing to work full-time. It is harder to achieve the American dream today than when Mr. DeJoria was a kid.
    Mr. DeJoria understands that in the debate over minimum wage, both sides disregard the realities of the legal landscape we live in today. Mr. DeJoria understands that without leaving employees and employers free to contribute to each other’s growth for mutual benefit, rules and regulations create absurd incentives and disincentives that distort the marketplace and also ultimately harm the consumers.
    This is the reason why Mr. DeJoria has been and continues to be my hero. Thank you, Mr. DeJoria, for giving people like me hope. I will continue to do everything in my power to follow you in your footsteps.

    March 4, 2014 at 9:52 am | Reply
  2. Anthony Dynar

    I want to thank Mr. DeJoria for doing an excellent job on CNN, contributing to the discussion on minimum wage. I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. DeJoria. He has been a role model for me. As a cosmetologist myself, I have always loved Paul Mitchell and it would be a dream come true if I am given the opportunity to work for Mr. DeJoria in any of his businesses. Thanks to the inspiration that Mr. DeJoria provided me during my formative years, I started my own business. I dispatch cosmetologists to people’s homes providing haircuts to homebound individuals who cannot go to a salon due to medical reasons.
    It is sad that many employers don’t share his enthusiasm and understanding of objectivity in business today. And those that do are penalized by law.
    I think the frustration in the workforce comes from being taken advantage of by various employers. We have come to accept that as the norm. Employers like Mr. DeJoria are a rarity because he is actually willing to trade value for value. Most other employers are not so inclined. They are either unwilling, or unable.
    I currently work three different jobs because my willingness to contribute is not rewarded with higher wages. This, sadly, has been the experience of many an American worker who has worked for employers who aren’t as enlightened as Mr. DeJoria.
    The sad thing is, given the legal landscape that we have to deal with today, it is hard even for employers who do believe in Mr. DeJoria’s vision of the American dream to offer higher wages to those of their employees who are willing to contribute more.
    An employer that hired an 11-year-old would be violating child labor laws. There are unnecessary safety laws and litigious plaintiffs inventing imaginary torts that drive costs of employing people up and force the wages down. Then there is the interesting interplay of federal labor laws and the new healthcare employer mandate that forces employers to have only part-time employees, even if the employee is willing to work full-time. It is harder to achieve the American dream today than when Mr. DeJoria was a kid.
    Mr. DeJoria understands that in the debate over minimum wage, both sides disregard the realities of the legal landscape we live in today. Mr. DeJoria understands that without leaving employees and employers free to contribute to each other’s growth for mutual benefit, rules and regulations create absurd incentives and disincentives that distort the marketplace and also ultimately harm the consumers.
    This is the reason why Mr. DeJoria has been and continues to be my hero. Thank you, Mr. DeJoria, for giving people like me hope. I will continue to do everything in my power to follow you in your footsteps.

    March 3, 2014 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  3. Sean

    Where's my post?

    February 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  4. Alois Saint-Martin

    All America has ever stood for is Democracy by Bipartisan Capitalist Bourgeoisie ... Conservative Republican or Liberal Democratic Party. Fact is, the Majority of Political Office in America is occupied by the Ownership Class, while the Majority of People in America are Working and Poverty Class subservient s ?

    February 25, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  5. Joey at Purdue Univ

    David McCullough: One of the most obvious lessons of history is that there is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. We are all the beneficiaries of those who have helped us, who've guided us, who've nudged us in different directions when we needed that nudging, who have encouraged and inspired us. And, I include in that, those who went before us, those figures from the past to whom we owe so much.

    February 25, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  6. Horatio

    John Paul DeJoria is helping so many people which is wonderful. However, the wealth distribution has been tilted for too long to favor the 1%.

    February 25, 2014 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  7. David Ash

    It was intriguing to watch billionaire John Paul DeJoria compare Euro style socialism to a do nothing oyster and American capitalism to a proud eagle. Every fisherman in North America must have been laughing, the Eagle is the biggest thief and cradle robber in the bird kingdom stealing other birds' fish and raiding their nests for eggs.

    Dave Ash, Longwood, FL

    February 25, 2014 at 10:05 am | Reply
  8. Sean

    I work for Walmart. After losing my job in 2009 I was worried about finding a job with a bit more security. I was unemployed for about 7 months before I got hired at Walmart. I was a part time employee and I only made $8.00 an hour. It took me 3 years to get a full time position as the Technology Department Manager. I run 6 separate departments and supervise over 15 associates. I've been at walmart for nearly 4 years and I make $11 an hour. I live well below the poverty line and just recently filed for bankruptcy. If I went to my boss or anyone inside the company and asked for a raise I would simply be told "no". Then I would be reminded that if I didn't like it I could quit. Walmart only gives associates one pay increase per year and the maximum is $0.60 and managers can get in trouble for giving out that much. The average pay raise for a Walmart associate is $0.40 a year. Last week an associate had to work outside in the cold and rain. He asked for a pair of rain boots and he was told "no". He argued and said he should be provided the boots if he was expected to work in the rain. He was then told to leave the store and go home. This all played out over our radios for all associates to hear.

    John Paul needs to wake up and realize the world he's living in and that he's helped create. The rich and powerful have abused their power. They've changed the rules. It's not enough to be rich and successful anymore. Companies like JP's have to keep making a bigger profit each year and often times that means they pay their employees a little bit less this year and then a little less the year after that. If you consider someone who's been working for Walmart for 10 years and they were making $7.00 an hour when they first started and now they're making $11.00. Once you consider inflation, the cost of food, gas, rent and utilities this person is likely making less money than when he/she started working for Walmart.

    February 25, 2014 at 2:37 am | Reply
  9. Joey at Purdue Univ

    It really is a beautiful statehouse they got in Austin. Lotta fun stuff down Congress Ave & across 6th Street, too.

    February 24, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Reply

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