$14 Minimum Wage in Ontario? I say no and why by Jamie Gilcig January 21, 2014

Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN –   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.

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  1. @ Eric. I’ve been really lucky. Born at the right time. Never had to go to war. Always able to find work that paid a living wage. Never had to collect social assistance. Always had good health. Never suffered a debilitating accident, and on and on. It was all pure luck, and little else. We are now in different times. Lower level living-wage jobs are gone. Housing prices and the cost of decent food are through the roof. The so-called middle class is disappearing while the filthy-rich get even richer, and more and more people sink into poverty. As I said. I was lucky. I hope your luck holds out too.

  2. There are many university students working in coffee shops, MacDonald’s, grocery stores, Wal Mart, etc. because there are not enough jobs to go around. People are happy to get what they can. If you check out the employment agencies here in Ottawa they post plenty of professional jobs but very few get in compared to the ones applying and the agencies make the money and the employee gets the shaft. Students come out with humoungous debt to pay back to the banksters and of course the minimum wage is not enough and I sure agree with you there but it is better than sitting home collecting welfare. Until the mess is cleared up in the economy then we have to take what we can get no matter what ones qualifications are. Small businesses cannot keep up and many have to close down. Take a good look at big business and see the cuts that are happening at Bombardier in Montréal, Texas Instruments in the US and we can go on and on. Learn to cut back at home and you can survive. If it takes a second job then so be it. One doesn’t have to live in an expensive home. You live in one that only requires one income and the second income to save. Live below your means and you will succeed.

  3. Furtz it is not that people choose to live in poverty, although arguably the majority do (in Canada). But rather the result of over 30 years of liberal domination. You know this to be true as you yourself have lived through it, although denial is a strong liberal characteristic.

  4. @ David. So Brian Mulroney and his Liberal government started us on our race to the bottom with his free trade deal with the US?

  5. It’s been 30 years of the erosion of our manufacturing base. Factory jobs disappearing everyday.
    Brian Mulroney was proud to take credit for Free Trade. His hands were on the wheel when this mess started. He got things off to a bad start.
    Dalton Camp (one of Canada’s greatest political minds) was in Mulroney’s crew at the time but could see how Mulroney was twisting it all to serve himself. Dalton Camp left in disgust – like I said, “one of Canada’s greatest political minds”.
    I don’t blame the Conservative party . It was the beginning of the end of resposible government back then. that’s all.

  6. What does free trade have to do with corruption, abuse of power, failed immigration policies and multiculturalism nightmares not to forget an out of control walked on and generally disrespected bilingual act? Perhaps you are of the opinion, gleaned from your sarcastic retort, that a protectionist approach would have served us better? You are certainly entitled to your opinion Furtz.

    Just for the record Furtz the free trade deal was between Canada, USA and Mexico (NAFTA). The Liberal Party of Canada traditionally supported free trade. In 1985 a Royal Commission chaired by former Liberal Minister of Finance, Donald Macdonald, recommended that Canadians take a leap of faith and embrace freer trade with the USA. Brian Mulroney and the PC’s who had opposed a free trade initiative in the 1984 election campaign later embraced Macdonalds findings and recommendations. This is history Furtz, not an opinion. Also the Liberals under Chretien worked with Bill Clinton in 1994 and renegotiated key labour and environmental parts of NAFTA.

    Why the nasty sarcasm? Can you not simply have fruitful dialogue?

  7. im sure it was

    Brian Mulroney had a conservative goverment

  8. @ Michael Clifton. Completely agree re Mulroney and Camp. Indeed there were many decent and thoughtful Progressive Conservatives. Even Mulroney did some great work re foreign policy (South Africa) and environment (acid rain) etc. It’s a bloody shame that the party no longer exists.
    It’s almost amusing how the usual crowd will forever blame our disappearing jobs and soaring poverty rates on Pierre Trudeau. That’s not completely true. They also blame the poverty rates on the poor.

  9. @Admin
    Dalton Camp had the kind of knowledge and wisdom that set him apart from partisan politics. When he smelled a rat you knew something was wrong. I should have used the word “accountable ” above -” it was the beginning of the end of accountable government”.
    And yes Furtz ,isn’t it funny, some people actually think we are governed by a Conservative Prime Minister?

  10. Jaime.. I respectfully disagree with you. We need to stop indirectly subsidizing these companies that pay low wages. Who picks up the tab for the social programs that low income earners require? We have a huge debt and continue to run deficits with these monkeys we have in Ottawa. We can’t afford to keep these corporate welfare bums in this country. Kick them out and raise the minimum wage to 17 bucks. Costco pays its worker a living wage, so others can too. End Corporate Welfare today!

  11. True Michael. Harper sure as hell isn’t a large C Conservative in the traditional sense. But he is a full-tilt small c conservative in the born-again sense. My guess (or hope) is that he’ll step down this year to spend more time with his family and Christ and TC Pipeline.

  12. Author

    Robert I partially agree with you. I think there should be a basket. Countries like China with lower standards than Canada would have their goods taxed coming into Canada. Goods from countries with higher standards than Canada would not be taxed and maybe even given a credit. We need a level playing field. Our farmers can’t spray certain chemicals or use certain practices here. How can the compete with Apples from China. It’s insanity and pollution travels as well. We need to close the loopholes; not raise minimum wage as it’s just a destructive floating number.

  13. Jaime.. I don’t feel it would be inflationary in the long run. Might be short term, but the amount we are talking about will get the corporates off the back of the tax payer. Corporate subsidize are not inflationary I agree on that point, and arguably deflationary. this is only because these companies are hording cash. Keeping it out of circulation. Lets get the money out and working again by charging a sur tax on corporate cash hoards.

  14. You raise some very good points Jaime. I will have to give this more study.

  15. @ Robert. You make some excellent points. Social assistance for the working poor is indeed a tax funded subsidy to the corporations that cash in on cheap labour. Locally run food banks kick in too. Why would Walmart or Target pay their employees a living wage when they can top up at food banks and such?
    Our corporate rulers aren’t filthy rich because they are stupid. As of August 2013, Sam Walton and his kids (owners of Walmart) have amassed $150 BILLION! That is $150,000,000,000.00 or one hundred and fifty thousand million. Cool, eh?

  16. There is something that the US is looking into and that is to put on tariffs of goods coming over from China and other third world entities. These corporations who went over are mostly American industrialists who went over to get the goods done for a fraction of the cost. These are corporate welfare bums indeed. Something does have to be done. My daughter is now working for minimum wage since there is nothing out there and one good thing about that job is that she is on the start of losing some weight that is greatly needed. The good thing is that she is right near home especially in this snow storm.

  17. I do not know what I was thinking ! You have hit the nail on the head. Walmart which supports some 2.1 million individuals directly and hundreds of thousands indirectly and MacDonalds who are right behind them supporting 1.9 million individuals and again hundreds of thousands more indirectly and every other corporation supporting say 10,000 individuals or more should be forced out of business unless regardless of competition or economic models or commonsense they give the employees their entitlements.

    In fact why not bring these greedy self serving corporate bloodsuckers down altogether and have our government simply give us all welfare so that we can stay at home and drink beer do drugs have sex with our relatives watch mindless television reality shows and spend hours on the computer contributing absolutely nothing to society. We are entitled to our entitlements after all are we not ? Productivity, self worth, self reliance, achievement, contribution, humility, pride these are simply words not positive concepts, right ?

    The caliber of thought and evidence of well read individuals with carefully thought out opinions is quite evident and I am definitely not in the same league.

  18. David Oldham finally sees the light!

  19. I just found something now so as everyone can read this. In the comments below which I read only a couple someone blamed Harpoon Harpo for sending our jobs away and yes I sure do agree with that. He and his party the cons from lying Brian Mulroney pulling the fleece over people’s eyes way back when he and George H.W. Bush was pres. of the US sent our jobs abroad and were conspirators. Anyway here is something for all to read:

    Canada’s economy: Time to resurrect the manufacturing sector to spur new growth


    Canada’s unemployment is at least double or more than what the government tells us and the same thing in the US and around the world. Things are much worse than what the people know about. If people knew the real truth they would go into despair. We cannot let this continue or the entire world will collapse economically as well as the society and I mean that to the fullest extent. I have been looking into all this for years now and will only tell you that much and everyone has to do the extreme research and find out how badly that we were all lied to and had and by whom. It goes to the highest levels that you could ever know about.

  20. @ Jules. Some jerk, a long time ago, said that “the meek will inherit the earth.” Unfortunately, the jerk didn’t include the fact that the meek will be hungry and cold and die before their inheritance comes through.
    Who was that jerk? I forget who it was.

  21. Furtz my dear friend on the net I sure do know how you feel and many times I feel the same way and on a daily basis I just want to scream at times. Jesus said that in the Bible that “the meek shall inherit the earth” and believe me Furtz it isn’t Jesus’ fault but it is all man’s fault. If you and the others knew what I knew I can’t imagine how much you would blow up. It is the top elites of the world who are doing this to us and not God. Believe me Furtz there are times that I become a little like yourself. Just this evening doing my dishes I was thinking about you and how you became and I said to myself I wonder how Furtz would feel if he knew the real truth. I think that I became very pale just thinking about it. It is something that is way too dangerous to talk about what is really going on and I do know that eventually something will happen to those big shots at the top of the pyramid and you would all be in dreadful shock who they all are. It is best to pray to the Good Lord and have confidence in Him and He will fix them all in due course. We don’t know if that will be in our lifetime or later but these people sure do pay the price – everybody pays for what they do to others in one way or another but these people are at the very top and I would hate to see how they will suffer and you and I and everyone here and around the world know who they are.

  22. The vast majority of the jobs being created today are minimum wage jobs. Yesterday my daughter was telling me that a young man was being trained on the cash where she is working. I usually see a school bus parked at Wal Mart because people have to do more than one job to keep going. All there is are lies coming out of the government. The real estate and the government lies about houses being sold and in demand. Today I noticed another house on the market that was just sold a couple of years ago and now back on in competition with the little one across from them. Lies, lies and all lies. Nobody can live really well on minimum wage – you can’t pay rent, or anything. I do agree that small businesses cannot keep up with the wages and that is so very true. You would be surprised how many university grads cannot find work and have to resort to MacDonalds and other low wage jobs in order to survive. People have to live together to afford it and the past is gone and was a dream. The dream is over and so many are in very deep debts that they cannot crawl out of.

  23. A little over an hour ago one of Ottawa’s top agencies called my daughter for work and they only send her resume to the employers. She told them that she already had a job and that her hours vary and wasn’t going to take anything now. She works mighty hard for minimum wage and comes home exhausted. My daughter waited over a year before she got something and got this job on her own without the help of agencies that do nothing. The son of her friend has been doing contract work with agencies and he keeps having to wear his shoe leather looking for work. There are no jobs that pay a decent salary today and the standard of living is going to go down gradually. We haven’t seen anything yet.

  24. My daughter agrees with 420 that being a cashier is a lowly job but more so where she is working than other places and deals with the worst people. The staff are very good people where she works and it makes up for the losses. She will soon be going to that job. My daughter is happy to have a job and there are not many out there. She sure is mighty busy and sore when she comes home and even those who have been there a long time feel the very same. The vast majority of jobs today are minimum wage or slightly above that and the standard of living is going to come down. All this has been in the plans for many long years and it is just starting to happen.

  25. Well folks everything went up today in price and it sure doesn’t help any for the ordinary people nor for businesses. I counted 3 furniture stores so far in Ottawa that are closing for good. There will be more businesses yet to fold. The economy is in a deep hole and Flaherty will not tell anyone the truth. All these stupid politicians do is all smoke and mirrors and the know how to juggle the books to make things look good. You will see banks fail and lately in both London England as well as in the US people have been committing suicide because they know what is coming and there is no solution. The horse left the barn for a mighty long time to come. Regular gas was at $129.6 this morning, cigarettes, booze, etc. all up. Many businesses will be struggling. This crap about house sales is all lies and more lies. The same things that happened in the US is going to come to Canada and people will only be too glad to have a job at minimum wage like what is happening in the US since everything is going to hell in a handbasket.

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