CFN – There are calls again to raise the minimum wage. As someone who’s worked for minimum wage in their lifetime I understand the symbolism of that term, but what it’s become is a fulcrum for poverty development that actually hurts the employability of masses of people.
Advocates rightly state that it’s near impossible to live on Minimum Wage and its true. The high cost of housing, resources, and ridiculous taxation of the poor, devastation of the middle class, and utter enrichment of the rich mean trouble for our economy and landscape.
But Minimum Wage should not be a societal widget wall against poverty.
Raising Minimum Wage triggers mass inflation. It pushes other salaries far higher, and of course those on fixed incomes and pensions take it in the teeth causing more suffering and social expense. Can’t afford your medication; you end up in emergency. Eat less healthy options because of cost; end up in emergency. Add in the cost of residual crime and are you really helping society?
The solution? It’s time to really focus on a Guaranteed Minimum Income. Recently Utah decided to combat homelessness by providing homes. Why? It saved money. Bottom line and if you can keep down costs for overall care you’ll have a better economy.
Does it make sense to have people on Welfare or Ontario Works as its called here being given substandard amounts of money that lead to crime and higher health care and societal costs? The overheads of managing Employment Insurance, Disability programs, Pension plans are huge. Likewise if we don’t have a large enough tax base how are we supposed to pay for the salaries of those that administer the plans for the government?
How can small business thrive when the knives are at their throats with labour and tax costs? Small business cannot afford to hire people and those that they do hire have to have skills that few do because they simply never had a chance to learn them.
In my business we have to contract out almost all of our services due to the high overhead costs of supporting salaried labour. We take occasional interns on and frankly you can’t learn much more than theory in school. You can’t replace the ability to learn hands on while in the field. In many trades they have apprentices; but most Small businesses do not have access compared to Trades.
If you had a Guaranteed Minimum Income and removed the Minimum Wage those that wanted to improve their lot wouldn’t be penalized. And business would be able to have more people work thus building their skill base.
You can’t fix a leak in pool simply by running the garden hose, and the ramping up chunk by chunk of Minimum wage is simply a Ponzi scheme that’s fine as long as you’re near the top; but for those of us closer to the bottom the reality is that our dollars don’t stretch as far and for many it means suffering.
We can do better.
You can post your comments below.
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)