I am not going to wade into the debate on whether the scheduled rather modest minimum wage increases in Ontario are a good thing. I will, however, with pleasure reproduce this comment by a compassionate petty-proprietor over at the Star:
I have a business that has paid our employees $10.50 an hour to care for children with special needs. Three years ago that wage was good (until they graduated from college) but now its going to be minimum wage? What am I supposed to do, pay more to my employees so I don’t lose them or pay more and I end up making as much as my employees? People take the risk to start businesses to have a shot at the bigger things in life. I have a solid business, but the gov’t is screwing it up – spending my money to get themselves re-elected.
Classic, just a classic.
From the same comments section comes another classic argument against the minimum wage. This one has it all: the old functionalist canard about stratification being society’s way of assuring that only the best qualified attain our most prestigious posts while allowing even “the mentally challenged” to flirt with the productive forces of capitalism; it draws on the illusion of meritocracy; on the illusion of choice, on the delusion of a rational marketplace, on the illusion of a symmetrical relation between the employer and worker, on the confusion of where surplus value is injected into production, etc.
“I fully realize minimum wage is difficult to survive on but if we raise it too much, more jobs will go to China. Companies generally pay people what the job is worth and we need to have low skilled jobs available for those who are mentally challenged but want to work, those who are learning the language or youth who want basic experience. Minimum wage is meant to be a starting point, not a ‘forever’ wage. We need to stay competitive or jobs will leave Canada.”
Yah cause our minimum wage resto worker is in competition with a min wage worker in China. I swear these are not real posters but some conservative hack endlessly pumping out compassionate conservative dodo.
While I do realize the “bribes” being doled out to the masses by McGuinty and his Liberals sure must seem like a great deal to low wage earners, they really aren’t. I’m not a “right wing nut”. I’m not a cruel, heartless, slave driver. What I am is a business owner that graduated from college at 20 and opened my business the same year (15+ years ago). I have poured my heart and soul into the growth, expansion and success of my business through investment of a great deal of time and my own money. I worked for minimum wage as a student and admit – it sucked. However, I earned more because I worked hard – harder than the next guy because I wanted and needed to earn more. Minimum wage should be just that – the bare minimum anyone can earn. You’ll note that I didn’t say the bare minimum to have a nice life or “dignity” as I keep hearing bantered around. At $8 an hour I would have no problem providing myself with food and shelter – it wouldn’t be the lavish lifestyle you see on tv but I would have the basics. I have NEVER paid my staff minimum wage. EVER. We always paid at least $1 an hour more per hour to start and increased pay as skill and productivity increased as it should be. I would suggest 99% of the people rallying for the MASSIVE increases to minimum wage are the first people that will decry the inevitable increase in prices to pay for it. Although I suppose us “greedy” business owners already working 6 days a week should take a pay cut to accomodate it right? Let me ask this? Do you actually know anyone that works full time for minimum wage? Is this their career? Or more likely, they are a student or young person or is a second job for a full time worker supplementing their income. All these increases have done is cost unskilled workers jobs. I will no longer spend time training new employees that don’t perform IMMEDIATELY at work where in the past we could justify trying to spend a few weeks for the employee to catcg on to the work. Those employees are gone immediately. No longer can we keep around an extra student in the summer to help out – I just had to inform the young man that worked last summer we couldn’t use him. Now with the prospect of a high minimum wage what will happen with employee loyalty when even a job at McD’s will pay $9.50? It is obvious the people trying to blindly rally for the increases have never faced the realities of dealing with minimum wage employees.
Would you like honesty or compassion?
I, for one, would prefer honesty.
Anyone with half a brain will realize that employers will never want to take a pay cut. They will simply pass the cost on to the consumer. Overall, raising minimum wage does nothing but rather it act inflationary. There is less student labour being used and thus you have a greater burden on student assistance programs (such as OSAP). In addition, less student labour would mean less consumption and reduced output of our economy. I, as a student, am against such large increases in the minimum wage, rather we should look into having minimum wage by sector. Thus, try to reduce the impact of minumin wages on prices by regularing it to certian sectors or only increasing it to keep up with current inflation (which is around 2% in Canada). I work at Rona as a Customer service rep and lost all my wage increases due to Minimum wages laws! I make as much as the cashiers and I think thats bogus. What to keep any employee, its going to be hard this way. Watch me never vote for these jokers agian!
“I work at Rona as a Customer service rep and lost all my wage increases due to Minimum wages laws!”
What do you mean you lost you wage increase. Did the employer reduce your wage?
I had worked hard and was granted an increase in my wage. I was happy that my work and experience was being recognized earning under the current min wage(9.50) but more then the old min wage (8.75). Now new people earn the same as me, and I have become a discouraged worker. HR’s excuse is that everyone is paying minimun, obivously, he never heard of a logical fallacy. I hate uneducated people getting high postition within companies, they are stupid and I can destory all of them in a aurgement.
Raj, I love your typos. “Postition” (combination of post and position”. “Destory” (destroy through demystification). “Aurgement” (???). Your claims to superior intelligence might be better bolstered by a modicum of proofreading. Not to mention you are simply wrong on your views of minimum wage.
Incidentally, no one who wants an education should have to engage in “student labour” to get one. Tuition is a barbaric concept. I was recently in Copenhagen and a resident there told me that not only is post secondary education free, but students are given a 1500 euro per month living allowance. Invest in our young and we’ll reap many benefits. Warehouse them as cattle and feed them a second rate education and we end up with a cowed, unreflective, and stupid population.
I would like to know what year the minimum wage came into effect thank you Bev