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The 'opportunity' to work for free

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Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has a suggestion for the 200,000 young Canadians who are un-or-underemployed: offer your services for free. Brilliant! Why haven't young people thought of this already? What possible basic human need for sustenance and dignity could be keeping them from working for free?

Poloz said that unpaid work on your CV will avoid big gaps in employment, and that free work is "worth it" to avoid that stigma. It's worth it, not in terms of dollars but experience. Some things are so special that you can't put a price on it. What's the "worth" of a flower? What's the "value" of the cost savings from your free labour? What's the "price" of minimum wage?

At one point Poloz even said, "When there are those opportunities, one should grab them." Working for free is an "opportunity" in the same sense that the dumpster behind Taco Bell is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

And even those "opportunities" are only available to young people lucky enough to have parents willing and able to support them. If you call it lucky to have to watch Dancing With The Stars with them every week and no Mom that's not Will Smith it's the other guy from Fresh Prince of Bel Air, we have this conversation every time how can you not know this by now?!

Poloz's words sent a message to employers that it's okay to exploit young workers. Think of all of the employers paying minimum wage. They do that because they'd like to pay workers less but that's literally the minimum they're allowed to pay. The whole point of minimum wage is to protect desperate people from being exploited. That doesn't change just because its marginally less embarrassing to live with your parents at 25 than at 40.

And in case you're wondering what Governor Poloz makes, it's about half a million dollars a year. So maybe a few young people can pull up their bootstraps and volunteer for the opportunity to sleep in HIS basement. 

This video was originally created by the Toronto Star.

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