Minimum wage hike makes sense

Resident provides his thoughts on wages and the needs of workers and the economy

It was interesting to read John Trainor’s letter to the editor. His opinions do not match that of the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, among others. Those cities are implementing a $15 per hour minimum wage ($18 Canadian). It’s probably because they studied those pesky statistics.

One statistic he does present is that there are 400,000 small businesses in B.C. with an average of less than three employees each. That would mean that for every business with 30 employees, there are 10 operated solely by the proprietor. It follows that a minimum wage hike would benefit the majority of small business owners immediately.

People living near the poverty line spend everything they earn, and mostly in their community, not hoarding it away for their extended vacations in Hawaii or Mexico.  Consumer demand will rise, stimulating the sluggish economy.

Employees are commodities, but unlike other commodities they are demand driven. If your business is busier due to increased spending in the community, it would be foolish to cut production by eliminating employees.

A higher minimum wage is associated with higher labour productivity, including greater loyalty and work effort, lowering unit costs. Well-paid employees are healthier (N.Y. State Health Authority). A benefit to employers is a documented reduction in labour turnover, creating savings in recruitment, training, and retention cost.

What about the activists who don’t live in the real world, like the councils of the biggest cities in North America.

Conservatives, look away, here are some more statistics!

Seventy-six percent of British Columbians support raising the minimum wage to $15, including many Liberal voters in 2013. Women make up 63 per cent of the minimum wage earners, the highest proportion of all the provinces  Among minimum wage earners ages 25 to 54, 70 per cent are women — 310,000 women in B.C. earn less than $15 an hour. Eighty-one percent of the 150,000 single parents in B.C. are women. Forty-seven percent of minimum wage earners are over the age of 25. There are 10,000 over the age of 55.

And it’s not just ma and pa. Forty-six percent of minimum wage earners work for employers with more than five hundred employees.

So much for the summer student job line.

The Alberta oil sands are not viable now and may not be again, due to the cost of extraction, vs. the price of oil. Manufacturing jobs are drying up all over the province. Who will feed the real estate market? Who will buy your product or service then?

Conservatives use fear and propaganda instead of facts and statistics because the facts don’t say what they want to hear. Bill C-51 gives us more government and less freedom.

I have no fear of my neighbours and friends making a wage they can live on.

Michael Watt


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