Raise Minimum Wage or Create Guaranteed Income For All? by Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN –  If we don’t learn from history we are doomed to repeat its mistakes.    Certain silly political parties here in Canada and organized labour are advocating for a $14.00 minimum wage.

They point to the term “Living Wage” and how much people need to be able to pay their bills and all that good stuff that people pimp when pushing an agenda.

And in a sense I fully agree.   Working at the worst jobs on the market for the bare minimum should be able to provide you with enough coin of the realm to at least survive.

In this time of very little advancement and no real starting your way from the bottom to reach the top; and government pensions becoming scary wages are important.

Ontario experimented with raising minimum wage.  That has resulted in inflation and an actual reduction of spending quality.  After all what good is $10.25 per hour in 2013 when it only buys you $9.70 in 2010 dollars?

Of course for those on fixed incomes, pensions, and the like their buying ability doesn’t go up.   Business adjusts and what rarely gets talked about is that raising the minimum wage devastates small independent business that either has to curtail positions or hours which impedes growth and sometimes survival.   This of course limits opportunities for people to gain work experience thus making them more valuable in the workplace market.

Kinda scary, huh?

We have so many programs to cover people who aren’t working for one reason or another here in Ontario.   We have Ontario Works, ODsomething something, for those disabled, Old Age pensions, baby bonuses, the list goes on and on as does the cost of supporting many of this programs; of which some trap people into a cycle.

Why not simply have a guaranteed minimum income for Ontarians and Canadians that they can supplement by working?   Studies have clearly showed that the less you earn the more you spend in your local market.

The more spent in a local market the stronger that market is.   The stronger a market is the stronger a community is.

Isn’t it time that we stop spending huge swaths of money to impede progress in life for those that need it most?

It’s a scary step.   It’d be a huge step.   It’s probably a desperate needed step.

But poverty, hunger, illiteracy, mental illness and all the ills that come with it; crime, despair,  and an innate unevenness of our communities surely should open the doors to dialog?

Raising the minimum wage will not really help workers except in maybe the very brief short term.  It will cause long term damage to our way of life.

It’s time for people to open their eyes and really look at how to fix an issue instead of just burning money; because with debt levels in Canada the credit cards will be refused at the vendor soon.

If we really want to amp up jobs and the economy we need to stop raising minimum wage and start raising awareness and having a guaranteed minimum income for all.


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  1. you got a point there Jamie but there are other issues that need to be looked at. First there is the cost of living with everyrthing like gas, food and other essentials constantly going up how can someone making minimum wage make it.
    Then there are the other porgrams you are referring to, the ones that the working force has to support.
    What is actually wrong with society today is that most people are educated with the system and come to realize that they would be better off being on these programs then making minimum wage.
    The solution here would be yes to raise the minimum wage to allow those making minimum to live a little better. And secondly making the other program harder for people to get on.
    Finally the government ought to come up with some kind of initiative to educate the people on social programs the benefit of being out there among the working force.

  2. “…start raising awareness and having a guaranteed minimum income for all.”

    Reverse income tax for all. In order for the government to give to one it must first take from another. Let’s call it legal plunder.

    Extracted from The Law, by Federic Bastiat

    “Man can live and satisfy his wants only by ceaseless labor; by the ceaseless application of his faculties to natural resources. This process is the origin of property.

    But it is also true that a man may live and satisfy his wants by seizing and consuming the products of the labor of others. This process is the origin of plunder.

    Now since man is naturally inclined to avoid pain — and since labor is pain in itself — it follows that men will resort to plunder whenever plunder is easier than work. History shows this quite clearly. And under these conditions, neither religion nor morality can stop it.

    When, then, does plunder stop? It stops when it becomes more painful and more dangerous than labor.

    It is evident, then, that the proper purpose of law is to use the power of its collective force to stop this fatal tendency to plunder instead of to work. All the measures of the law should protect property and punish plunder.

    But, generally, the law is made by one man or one class of men. And since law cannot operate without the sanction and support of a dominating force, this force must be entrusted to those who make the laws.

    This fact, combined with the fatal tendency that exists in the heart of man to satisfy his wants with the least possible effort, explains the almost universal perversion of the law. Thus it is easy to understand how law, instead of checking injustice, becomes the invincible weapon of injustice. It is easy to understand why the law is used by the legislator to destroy in varying degrees among the rest of the people, their personal independence by slavery, their liberty by oppression, and their property by plunder. This is done for the benefit of the person who makes the law, and in proportion to the power that he holds.”

    When the live scarecrow is armed with a shot gun, it is far more dangerous to plunder another person’s garden. In order to overcome this defense, the media convinces the government (scarecrow) to plunder the gardener on behalf of the media and everybody is guaranteed a minimum from the gardener until the gardener goes John Galt.

  3. Having a private business increase payroll costs will drive up the costs for our services and goods. I know many people pay 5 dollars or what ever for a tripled whipped low fat non dairy frappachino whatever, but we all can’t afford it.

    Government may bring in more tax from the same or less tax base though. and if low end wages go up, are the upper range going to want more as well? Where does it stop?

  4. Raise the Minimum Wage at your peril.

  5. Author

    Steve if we had a Guaranteed Minimum Income I think you see stronger local economies and less social ills. I also think you’d see stronger businesses.

  6. I understand that this is an editorial piece, and I understand that you are speaking from a place of opinion, however I have a few follow-up questions:

    Jamie, your second sentence states rather explicit: “Certain silly political parties here in Canada and organized labour are advocating for a $14.00 minimum wage”

    I am assuming you were speaking of the New Democratic Party and various Unions? Why couldn’t you have just referred to them directly instead of calling them silly?

    Second question, you stated “Why not simply have a guaranteed minimum income for Ontarians and Canadians that they can supplement by working? Studies have clearly showed that the less you earn the more you spend in your local market.” Why not cite those studies so that we can look at the evidence you are pointing to?

    Third question, your entire argument rests on the notion that a guarantee minimum income will allow for more wealth to be held by members of the local community, and I commend you on your Utopian ideal, however what about inflation? What about the fact that local business must also compete with multinational business?

    For a person who is of a low income, sometimes where the product or service comes from is less important than the price of the product or service in question. Why would a person in poverty spend more at a Mom and Pop store for their goods when Walmart stocks it for a cheaper price, would be the counter argument.

    As well, you want to rid the minimum wage yet impose a minimum income, how do you think the government would enforce a minimum income? Through a minimum wage of course to ensure that everyone makes X amount of dollars so that they can have their minimum income.

    Just something to think about. I like the direction you are going and I too am imposed to raising the minimum wage, however a minimum income regulation imposed on business in the hopes that consumers will buy locally and keep the wealth at home instead of elsewhere seems somewhat idealist to me.

  7. It used to be that minimum wages were intended for entry-level (student) jobs. Now, more and more people are being forced into these low paying jobs to support their families, which is not possible. The old NDP idea of a Guaranteed Annual Income makes most sense. It would eliminate the need for EI, welfare, and a bunch of other social programs.

  8. Author

    UC I think your comments would gain more heft if you weren’t hiding behind a pseudonym….

  9. Minimum wage is a big can of worms……. a small business can’t afford to pay more than minimum.Business owners don’t just shell out $10.25 per hour they have to pay government remittances on top of the wage and WSIB etc. In a perfect world everyone would make at least $14.00 per hour/but in reality there are lots of businesses that would no longer exist if the wage went up all at once,putting more people on E.I.

  10. I am amazed that labor and political groups want higher minimum salaries to guarantee a living wage. This answer only adds to the problem by continuing a vicious circle of increases. These groups, particularly the politicos should work on reducing taxes and government spending to make the current minimum wage a “living wage”. Guaranteed minimum income would only create another level of government bureaucracy and raise taxes. Let people work to earn a living and let them decide how to spend it without so much interference from government.

  11. I like the idea of guaranteed income.. You could eliminate social services of many kinds if we did that. Make it so you have to to be in Canada and have worked for at least 10 years in this country to qualify.

  12. There is another thing Jamie that is very important for you and all to know. The gas is very expensive and if things rise so very far ahead that businesses can no longer afford to ship their goods to the stores and come from overseas the way the bulk of things are made then store shelves will be empty. Truckers will not have the means to bring things to the stores either and believe me this may happen and people will have no other alternative but to buckle down and grow a lot of their own food and live a very different lifestyle. Those MacMansions will be turned into apartments and people would be mighty grateful to have whatever kind of shelter that they can put over themselves and their families. Life is going to change from prosperity down to a much lower standard of living and that is all coming very soon. Realtors, financial planners, those who work in mortgages, insurance and many other things will have to find other means of employment. The past is gone and not coming back.

  13. Interesting that the loudest argument against raising the minimum wage is that businesses would be forced to close. If a business can’t pay its workers a living wage, what use is it?

  14. Minimum wage is for kids. Get an adult job or make one for yourself ya whiners and pikers. Pick yourself up from whatever happened to you and go shake yourself off and kick ass or {MODERATED} you. will delete this or I say Cornwall is awesome if you’ve been away for awhile. {MODERATED} you city council and your stupid monopolistic thinking. Bernadet Clemaw?

  15. Furtz said “Interesting that the loudest argument against raising the minimum wage is that businesses would be forced to close. If a business can’t pay its workers a living wage, what use is it?”

    Small business is where many jobs come from and we see people with dreams starting a business the first year is often the hardest, so money(income vs. outflow costs) is important.

    Small Business Facts
    A summary of key stats on SMEs and the self-employed.

    2.7 million – The number of self-employed people in Canada, or 16% of the total employed work force. (Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, July 2009)

    41% -The percent share of the total private sector workforce who works in enterprises of fewer than 20 employees. (Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 2005)

    70% – The percent share of the total private sector workforce who works in enterprises of fewer than 500 employees. (Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 2005)

    45% – The share of Canada’s GDP generated by small and mid-sized businesses (under 500 employees). (Source: CFIB estimates)

    $39,349 – The average annual employment income of a full-time self-employed worker in 2005. The average employment income of a full-time paid employee is $52,092. (Source: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census)

    50 hours – The average workweek of a full-time self-employed worker, in all jobs. The average workweek for a full-time employee is 37 hours. (Source: Statistics Canada, Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, 2005)

  16. 14.00 p/hr is still not enough for minimum wage after deductions full-time, with the cost of living being so high plus you end up in another tax bracket at the end of the year. But it is far better than 10.50. Another problem too many businesses only offering part-time work, how can anyone survive on 10-15 hours a week or try to juggle 3 to 4 p/t jobs with no benefits to make ends meet?

  17. Author

    Firefly that line of reasoning has been used since MW was $3.00 in the 80’s.

    MW will never enough as long as inflation eats up increases.

  18. Kim is right in what she said and yes as a business person he has to pay a great deal more taxes to the band of thieves the government than what we get out as wages. “Legal plunder” is right and for the business owner as well it is legal plunder.

    Income taxes go towards the payment of all the wars in the world and not towards what is good in life. Everyone in countries where there is tax is more than fed up of it all. Like someone said here even $14./hour is still not enough with all what they have to pay for and everything going up and I can tell you all that it is all done by design. Everything comes from those much higher up than our federal government and if only you all knew what I know you would be literally jumping to grab all the elites and choke them all to death for what they are doing to all of us. Prices are going to go through the roof and a world economic collapse is going to happen whether next year of the year after or somewhere very soon. Everybody world wide are suffering except for the very rich who get richer. There is no way out of this situation and that is the reason for WWIII except this war can end all life on earth if something isn’t done to interrupt it all.

  19. I recall when Bob Rae was Premier of Ontario . . . he wanted to get tough with slum landlords . . . the result is that many people stopped renting out their basements or attics just to be free from harassment by government officials. People moved from low-rent housing into shelters for the homeless.

    Government rent controls resulted in the construction of fewer rental units for low-income earners. Once upon a time before governments tried to improve the housing market, there was plenty of affordable rental housing units . . . even for low-income earners.

    Minimum wage laws reduce the number of official low-paying jobs in the economy. Some people ‘go-under-the-table’ to work for less than minimum wage. I’m all for scrapping the minimum wage laws . . . government needs to get out of many areas . . . government involvement in the markets have caused more problems than the government intended to solve.

  20. Bob Rae is no good for nothing and for such a very educated man he is a turncoat. Thank God he is no longer in politics. When governments put their grubby paws in things it usually goes wrong.

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