Thursday, July 01, 2010

The case for raising the minimum wage to $10

Don Cayo sets out the argument here.


Anonymous said...

Colour me surprised to read anything in the Vancouver Sun's business section that runs counter to the prevailing the markets-can-do-no-wrong mind set that runs amok in this province.

I have to admit to feeling a bit of schadenfreude seeing the restaurant industry so up in arms over the HST. Let's not forget how apoplectic they (and the rest of the business community) became over the NDP's promise to raise the minimum wage during the last election.

My guess is the BC Liberals will raise the minimum wage sometime before the next election in a bid to try and win back some support. Just imagine that – the service industry being hit with the HST double-cross and increase in the minimum wage all in one term.

Perhaps some are now wondering if an NDP government would have been such a bad outcome after all...

Anonymous said...

The minimum wage should be adjusted once a year at the higher of either the CPI or a BC MLA's total income/benefit/pension package increase.
According to the Bank of Canada's Inflation Calculator $9.75 from 1995 is worth $12.93 today.

$8.00 from 2001 is worth $9.44 today.
It would be nice to know where Labour Minister Murray Coell got his B.C.'s average wage is $22.97 an hour figure from.
Here is an article that would not be out of place for 'Freakonomics' fans and seems to fit with Cayo's statement: "to speak plainly, there's a wage level at which a job no longer provides much of value to society. If wages drop to the exploitive range -- and in high-cost B.C., a minimum wage that's been stalled for a decade is headed into that territory -- then what's the point?"

The sting of poverty
What bees and dented cars can teach about what it means to be poor - and the flaws of economics
Drake Bennett, The Boston Globe

IMAGINE GETTING A bee sting; then imagine getting six more. You are now in a position to think about what it means to be poor, according to Charles Karelis, a philosopher and former president of Colgate University.

In the community of people dedicated to analyzing poverty, one of the sharpest debates is over why some poor people act in ways that ensure their continued indigence. Compared with the middle class or the wealthy, the poor are disproportionately likely to drop out of school, to have children while in their teens, to abuse drugs, to commit crimes, to not save when extra money comes their way, to not work.

To an economist, this is irrational behavior.

Anonymous said...

O0opz: That should have been $7.50 from 1995 is $9.95 today - just to add a little context to Cayo's article.