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By R. J. Hernandez

July 11, 2015 (San Diego) -- This is the inaugural  “What Works” column. And in this column, there will be stories and editorials that talk about what is working or ideas about how things could work. How things could work when people find ways to come together, even if those ways are tied together by a shoe string. This is about progress to its greatest degree, the very existence of forward motion. It isn’t even momentum that I’m talking about here. It is motion that brings people together for their mutual benefit, that engages them and inspires them and case-by-case builds them up.

Things will always remain competitive, however I posit that the greatest competitor is the greatest cooperator. The one who has learned how to cooperate with his/her peers to carve out their own niche, with adjustments and partnerships made over time that allow for an adaptation. That has yielded sustainable solutions and a dynamic and strong marketplace and sociopolitical climate.

For example, we see firms like Costco that pay their employees well above minimum wages while remaining true to their core values of taking care of the customer. The founder has been immovable in even changing the cost of a hot dog, it has remained $1.50 for years.  And the stock market loves this company.

Costco has a reputation as being a strong and value driven company.  And from those I have interviewed who work or have worked for Costco, they have remained steady in their satisfaction relative to those who work for firms without the same core values and practices. I won’t say it is like night a day but it is clear it is work remarking.

I don’t know if I am for or against a minimum wage, I think it’s not that simple. But when a company like Costco can pay its employees more than a minimum wage, provide excellent cost conscious products and services and manage to stay strong in the market and stock market then one has to question, what the fuss is elsewhere? It’s working. And, from what my interviews have told me—it’s because employees are vested in their jobs, not out of fear or out of some desperate attempt to hold onto their jobs to make the rent, but because the firm is investing back into them. No firm is perfect and Costco is not perfect. However, when you see what works, then it’s time to imagine how to everything else work and just as strong. Let’s talk about that.

RJ Hernandez is a San Diego based small businessman President of The Consortium Companies, Independent political activist and philanthropist/mentor focused on education and harnessing the potential of youth. http://www.rjhernandez.net

The opinions in this column reflect the views of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.  

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