Sinegal admits that "paying high wages [to his employees] is contrary to conventional wisdom."
And conventional wisdom in this case comes from Wall Street. Analysts seem to be the only critics of Costco and Sinegal. They think the company could make even more money if it paid its workers less -- like Wal-Mart does.
Sinegal is unfazed by his critics. "Wall Street is in the business of making money between now and next Tuesday," he said. "We're in the business of building an organization, an institution that we hope will be here 50 years from now. And paying good wages and keeping your people working with you is very good business."
What Sinegal has proven is that a company doesn't have to be ruthless. Being humane and ethical can also make you money.