Economic Decency

In about half of the provinces of this country, there is a scenario unfolding. Some would call it a nefarious plot that could lead to economic devastation and a complete breakdown in social order. I’m talking about an increase in the minimum wage. To hear the experts talk about it you’d swear it was going to lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce are so flipped out about this; they have been on a tour of the province for about a year. They roll into a town, invite local business leaders down to the ballroom of a hotel. It’s always during the work day. They charge between 60 and 130 bucks a seat. And they all sit around and talk about what a bad idea it would be if the waiter, that guy over there holding 35 pounds of seared chicken and butternut squash on a tray gets a tiny raise. It’s an irony free zone.

In my family there’s a young man who works stocking shelves in a supermarket. He works nights. He only works nights because he gets an extra buck-twenty an hour to do so. One dollar and twenty cents an hour above minimum wage. He gives up access to daylight and members of the opposite sex for a buck-twenty. Why? Because he’s poor. He’s the working poor. He is doing everything he can to get ahead. But he’s not. If it wasn’t for family he would be sunk.

I understand small and medium-sized businesses, they are the economic engine of this country. But to run an engine you need gas in the tank. And you need a workforce that at least has a chance of surviving in this world. Right now, minimum wage earners—they’re not coming close.

Posted: 22/11/2017 9:29:44 AM | with 0 comments

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