Australia's Minimun Wage is $18. and change. Come on Canada get your act together, eh!

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NorthReport
Australia's Minimun Wage is $18. and change. Come on Canada get your act together, eh!

CBC Radio One in Vancouver had a right-winger host a call-in show today on BC's minimun wage with a negative Rep from BC's Board of Trade who was full of lies, and an articulate woman from Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives who was excellent. 

During the show a caller mentioned that Australia has a minimum wage of over $18. an hour and small businesses are doing just fine thank you.

So tired of the right-wing mainstream media, ganging up with the right-wing business community, to bash the less privileged and less powerful people in our socity.

Rather sad actually! 

Good on Irene Lanzinger / Aaron Eckman and crew at the BC Fed for initiating the $15 min wage campaign in BC and also Seth Klein and the crew at the CCPA in BC.

You Go Harry (Bains)!

NorthReport
NorthReport
NorthReport

British Columbia Will Have a $15 Minimum Wage by 2021

Increases will be planned and implemented gradually, according to NDP labour minister.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/08/16/BC-Minimum-Wage-2021/

NorthReport

 

Woo! Hoo!

Maybe governments should start giving citizens what they want instead of the fat cats represented by Boards of Trade  spokespeople etc., who have been pulling the strings for the past 16 years in BC.

What a disgrace paying people such meager wages as the Liberals have controlled minimum wages for 16 years here!

Shame on the Liberals!!!

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/daily-poll-what-do-you-think-abo...

NorthReport

Shops can't compete paying a decent wage - here's a novel idea which will help solve a lot of problems - we have way too many restaurants, shops, malls, etc, eh!

Sean in Ottawa

NorthReport wrote:

Shops can't compete paying a decent wage - here's a novel idea which will help solve a lot of problems - we have way too many restaurants, shops, malls, etc, eh!

Of course the idea that shops cannot compete is false if minimum wage is unversal in a market. The definition of compete can be considered carefully to answer this question.

When shops realize that they are selling not only the product but the labour to deliver it, they would see they have more to sell even if the share between a manufacturer and other suppliers and the labour are rebalanced. When workers have more money they can afford more as we have often considered. That minimum wage is bad for sales is a completely false statment. Minimum wage is about the share of the product of a sale not about an inability to make that sale.

All that said, it is true that there are technologies that may replace some workers faster, but they would ahve faced a problem anyway. It is also true that, as you say, there is over-saturation in businesses delivering the same products. That did come about due to a distortion in the low cost of delivering services (low labour).

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
here's a novel idea which will help solve a lot of problems - we have way too many restaurants, shops, malls, etc, eh!

Getting rid of them would introduce a new problem:  the loss of the jobs that would accompany that.  Lots of folk would suddenly be earning $0/hour.

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Of course the idea that shops cannot compete is false if minimum wage is unversal in a market.

This is true.  An across-the-board hike would be a level playing field, at least from a numbers point of view.  I think the problem might be that the ways they continue to compete would not be beneficial to workers overall (I'm thinking of things like ordering kiosks, outsourced food prep, etc.) or to customers (cheaper ingredients, poorer service, etc.)

Quote:
It is also true that, as you say, there is over-saturation in businesses delivering the same products. That did come about due to a distortion in the low cost of delivering services (low labour).

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding this, but I don't think many people have said "I think I'll put my life savings into opening a restaurant, since servers are so cheap to hire" any more than they'd say "I think I'll put my life savings into opening a restaurant, since produce is so inexpensive".  And anyway, whatever you may think of "markets", they do imply that if more businesses are selling Korean tacos than there are diners who want to buy one, that'll correct itself soon enough.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
here's a novel idea which will help solve a lot of problems - we have way too many restaurants, shops, malls, etc, eh!

Getting rid of them would introduce a new problem:  the loss of the jobs that would accompany that.  Lots of folk would suddenly be earning $0/hour.

Quote:
Of course the idea that shops cannot compete is false if minimum wage is unversal in a market.

This is true.  An across-the-board hike would be a level playing field, at least from a numbers point of view.  I think the problem might be that the ways they continue to compete would not be beneficial to workers overall (I'm thinking of things like ordering kiosks, outsourced food prep, etc.) or to customers (cheaper ingredients, poorer service, etc.)

Quote:
It is also true that, as you say, there is over-saturation in businesses delivering the same products. That did come about due to a distortion in the low cost of delivering services (low labour).

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding this, but I don't think many people have said "I think I'll put my life savings into opening a restaurant, since servers are so cheap to hire" any more than they'd say "I think I'll put my life savings into opening a restaurant, since produce is so inexpensive".  And anyway, whatever you may think of "markets", they do imply that if more businesses are selling Korean tacos than there are diners who want to buy one, that'll correct itself soon enough.

I am saying that a lower than reasonable cost of labour has allowed more outlets than the market would have tolerated otherwise. I do think the low cost of labour is a factor since the decision to open a business includes a review of the costs and risks. Higher labour costs would demand a better market/ share of market than what many businesses could command. It is also true that if we price the cost of actually living needing to be derived from hours worked, some jobs may not be worth doing in the way they are.

In some cases people need to be trained to do other things that are more valuable for more money.

That said, I think that the earnings of the people with the higher wages will support other businesses, even if they are not restaurants and shops, I think the economy would make hiring these people possible.  It is true that some workers do not have the ability to make enough wealth with their labours to justify a living wage in the market. To that end there are social options including the state subsidizing in some way their labour (topping up in some way to a minimum basic income) or providing funds to take the place of earned income. I do agree that a more reasonable minimum wage requires stronger state income supports. This does not represent a huge number of people needing support but more support than is now available.

You can take the tech in a circle -- if a business can reduce labour expense through tech then more businesses can compete with that lower cost and presumably more people can be hired even at a higher wage -- remembering that these people are also consumers of those services.

Businesses consider lost profits due to higher prices and higher costs but they almost never factor in the advantage of more money in the community to pay those higher costs. If you assume that increasesed money paid to employees does not ncrease the money available to those selling goods and services, you ahve a fundamentaly imbalanced ledger and incorrect estimates and conclusions about the impact of wage changes.

 

One thing higher wages does do is work against the forces that lead to a concentration of wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer people. Really for small businesses and the viability of shops and restaurants that is a good thing. There are only so many meals a day the uber rich can eat with their extra money.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I am saying that a lower than reasonable cost of labour has allowed more outlets than the market would have tolerated otherwise.

Will the corollary also be true?  That a statutory increase to that cost will mean outlets either going out of business, or not starting?  I'm only asking because plenty of folk seem to think that either:

- businesses won't be affected

- businesses will need to "step up" and find ways to deal with that increase

- businesses literally shouldn't operate if they can't pay everyone a "living wage" regardless of what they do

I'm not specifically arguing with any of those, other than to say that if $12/hour means more businesses then I'm not sure how $15/hour wouldn't mean fewer, and (let's say) $18/hour would mean fewer still.  And I'm not sure it's a victory of some of those $12/hour workers find out their services are no longer worth what they cost.

Quote:
Businesses consider lost profits due to higher prices and higher costs but they almost never factor in the advantage of more money in the community to pay those higher costs.

I agree somewhat, but at the same time I wonder how many workers at some Mom and Pop will now find they have enough extra income to buy stuff from Amazon Prime.  That's not a great argument for why the Mom and Pop should embrace this change as a good thing.

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

- businesses literally shouldn't operate if they can't pay everyone a "living wage" regardless of what they do

That's definitely my position, whether we're talking about minimum wage or importing TFWs at below-market wages because you don't want to pay what's necessary to get people to relocate to (and be able to afford to live in) Fort McMurray. If your business can't operate with wage expenses at livable levels, guess what? Your business model's flawed. Maybe you should look into retraining yourself for a new line of work. Demanding that the government keep labour cheap enough that you can make a profit while your employees are forced to move back in with their parents isn't something any party should look upon favourably, let alone the left.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Just to be clear, I'm not trying to force anyone back home to be a "cellar dweller" in their parents' basement.

But in some ways, a minimum wage is similar to (though opposite to) fixed prices.  It's nice to say that everyone needs to be able to afford milk, but if the state sets a maximum price for milk that's less than the cost of producing it, strange things happen.  Suddenly, nobody wants to produce milk at a loss!

And if the state sets a minimum price for labour, regardless of the actual job, strange things will also happen.  Suddenly, nobody wants to hire employees for a job that either doesn't bring at least that wage's value back to the business, or for a job that can be replaced by a machine/done without/outsourced for less.

If the very least you can pay anyone for anything is $18/hour, I wonder how long Walmart will feel it still needs "greeters"?  For about the same as 90 minutes of their work, Walmart can buy a cardboard cutout with a sign saying "Welcome to Walmart; enjoy your visit!" and they won't need to pay another dime.  Do greeters really bring in at least $144 dollars worth of extra business in a shift?  If not, they're now making the "other" minimum wage: $0/hour.

I know how much people resent "markets".  I know that "markets" are neo-liberal forces of evil that ruin things for everyone.  But they really do set the values of things for us -- sadly, they're why, even when you need $1000 badly, you can't sell your old Playstation for $1000.  The price of anything you want to sell is pegged to the price that some prospective buyer feels is worth it.  For good, bad, or indifferent.

Finally, I sometimes wonder if, in discussing things like this, some folk hold out hope that if we would just increase the minimum wage to (say) $25/hour, everyone could live a great life and businesses would have NO CHOICE but to take the necessary revenues from their stockholders, or take the necessary revenues from their CEO, or take the necessary revenues from their advertising budget or whatever.  They won't.

Paladin1

nmn

cco

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Suddenly, nobody wants to hire employees for a job that either doesn't bring at least that wage's value back to the business, or for a job that can be replaced by a machine/done without/outsourced for less.

The assumption here is that businesses are happy to hire unnecessary workers for easily automated jobs, simply because they're cheap. Imagine, if we set minimum wage to $1/day, we'd have full employment!

Businesses hire workers for one reason only: they need to. If a worker's job can be done by a machine, it eventually will be. All keeping wages low does is, at best, delay the transition. (The argument against minimum wages is identical to the argument against unions, and fails on the same grounds of assuming the generous widely-hiring employer who's driven out of business by those damn greedy workers.)

Now, I know the right wing of the NDP (and even some of those on the left) would like to reduce the broader economic argument to fighting a losing rear-guard action against automation and in favour of (often dangerous) jobs, rather than broaching the subject of an eventual transition to a post-capitalist economy. It's simpler to slap some gum over the holes in the gas tank than it is to repair the broken system. We've painted ourselves into a corner by adopting the right-wing "jobs" discourse. Those market incentives won't let us keep it up for long, though.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
The assumption here is that businesses are happy to hire unnecessary workers for easily automated jobs, simply because they're cheap. Imagine, if we set minimum wage to $1/day, we'd have full employment!

I'm definitely not suggesting that.  It only seems to me that our urgency to increase the minimum wage as quickly and as much as possible is political, and is entirely divorced from the dollar value of some of those jobs.  At the same time, there are surely jobs that "punch above their weight" in terms of the dollar value they bring, and I would hope that businesses are willing to take a modest "haircut", so long as that dollar value is more than the mandated wage.  But are you pretty certain nobody's going to complain when those workers who are earning more than they're bringing are replaced by a machine, or a cardboard cutout?  When we expect employers to "get creative" to fund this, are we ready for the possibility of higher unemployment, even as some workers earn more?  If you're confident that we are then I'll stop, because that was my only point.  Not everyone's job is worth $x/hour, and expecting that employers are just going to pay it and take the loss because "it's the right thing to do" is silly.

cco

I don't believe that simply having a job, at any wage, no matter how miniscule, is preferable to unemployment.

I also don't believe that capitalism, in its current form, is ultimately sustainable. If 40% of current jobs can be replaced by machines within the next 30 years, there's a bottom below which dropping wages won't help things. We'll need to be looking at a more fundamental restructuring at that point.

SeekingAPolitic...

Canada already has many economic problems and but trying to compete on wages counterproductive.   

2.  I think the income gap is alreadly is ugly.  I have heard many fancy arguments for repression of minimal wage, I find many to be self servicing.  I like reading history, young people may not realize there was a time without foodbanks.  Canada formed the first food bank 1981 and today about 870,000 people use a food bank a month.  I will say that a combitation wage and social benefits suppression is behind this.   

(I remember recent post I wrote how GMO's will not feed the world.   I would suggest the GMO have not solved world hunger much less hunger in Canada.)

 

Sean in Ottawa

In many Walmarts the greeters have been replaced with security guards and I am sure that was part of the reason they were there. But there is no point debating this given the small number of jobs involved relative to the rest of the store.

That some jobs would be lost as unneeded should people earn a living wage is a poor argument. the better economy of a living wage being paid wuld benefit the economy more.

To suggest that more people aking a living wage would simply benefit amazon suggets a misunderstanding of who gets minimum wage and what they do with their money. The 2-3% of total retail sales that are online are unlikely to be mostly minimum wage earners.

It is true that the growth and speed of online sales represents a growing threat but we are nowhere near being able to make online sales as a reason to hold back minimum wage. For one the number of people required to manage a warehouse is not hugely different from a large walmart type store. It is the walmart like stores that are not very heavy in labour that are most threatened.

 

NorthReport

Let's be leaders not laggards.

It's time to move on past $15. and start looking at $20.

Another bonus for raising the minimum wage is that more of these folks will now become unionized which always leads to elevating the standard of living which is what happens when unions thrive. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I don't believe that simply having a job, at any wage, no matter how miniscule, is preferable to unemployment.

If the current minimum wage officially qualifies as "miniscule" then there appear to be hundreds of thousands of workers who don't agree.

Quote:
It is true that the growth and speed of online sales represents a growing threat but we are nowhere near being able to make online sales as a reason to hold back minimum wage.

Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting it's a reason to hold back minimum wage.  I'm only suggesting that the common assertion that "if Mom and Pops paid their employees more, those employees would have more money to then spend back to Mom and Pops" may or may not really be the case, in 2017.

And I'll say again, just in case, that I'm not saying we shouldn't look at increasing the minimum wage, but I think we need to understand that if we do it, particularly if we do it quickly or by a large leap, it's not going to be all rosy.  We're going to need to have something to say to someone whose (former) job just wasn't worth the new wage.

Sean in Ottawa

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
I don't believe that simply having a job, at any wage, no matter how miniscule, is preferable to unemployment.

If the current minimum wage officially qualifies as "miniscule" then there appear to be hundreds of thousands of workers who don't agree.

Quote:
It is true that the growth and speed of online sales represents a growing threat but we are nowhere near being able to make online sales as a reason to hold back minimum wage.

Just to be clear, I'm not suggesting it's a reason to hold back minimum wage.  I'm only suggesting that the common assertion that "if Mom and Pops paid their employees more, those employees would have more money to then spend back to Mom and Pops" may or may not really be the case, in 2017.

And I'll say again, just in case, that I'm not saying we shouldn't look at increasing the minimum wage, but I think we need to understand that if we do it, particularly if we do it quickly or by a large leap, it's not going to be all rosy.  We're going to need to have something to say to someone whose (former) job just wasn't worth the new wage.

The point I made is the suggestion that the money will go to online sales seems overblown when those online sales still only represent 3% of sales and even those involve Canadain workers in shipping and warehousing. I doubt the difference between the large stores they threaten and these jobs is that substantial. If there is a point to be made there you have to do more than you have done so far to make it.