Friday, 2 June 2017

Don't Be Afraid of Raising The Minimum Wage!

I decided to write this post in response to the usual chatter that is generated, whenever the government decides to impose an increase on minimum wage.

Usually, you will hear some form of Libertarian or Anarchist arguing that the increase in minimum wage will not only lead to higher prices, but also directly result in the destruction of many small to medium sized businesses.

I am here to tell you that this is not only a fear tactic, but also a misconception when it comes to increasing the minimum wage.

30% of the Ontario work force is currently working below the $15 an hour rate. These individuals continue to struggle on a monthly basis to not only save for things like their children's education and retirement, but also paying the bills and ensuring enough good food is on the table, which unfortunately is not a guarantee at that rate.

Then you have people arguing that these individuals should be more responsible and become better educated for a higher paying position. While this may make sense in economies of old, our current economy has little to no security left in the work force and that is even if you are fortunate enough to find employment on a full time basis. We are becoming a part time and contract economy more and more on a daily basis and the gaps in our system continue to multiply and grow, so naturally something has to be done.

Small Business to Medium Business


My real agenda here though is not to remind people of the obvious for increasing the minimum wage, since you have most likely heard this many times from multiple social media and news outlets. Not even continue my argument as to why a Guaranteed Income is more of a suitable solution to a minimum wage increase, nope, I am going to talk about the general dynamics that will help business survive any increase in labour costs.

Small and Medium sized business are in fear of any increase to their labour costs and I want to ensure this fear is removed completely.

First, if you are so afraid for the future of your business due to an increase in the minimum wage, you need to ask how entrepreneurial you are in the first place. Do people not generally have a fear when starting a business of failure in general? Could your material costs or equipment failure not impose an equally fearful experience?

Second, you are a small and medium sized business in a market currently dominated by Big Business. I usually refer to Walmart in these scenarios, since Big Business is usually bad for business, especially when you look at the effects of Walmart on our market.

While I am not an expert, I am a consumer, which means I know how to spend money on a daily basis. I need to spend money, much like everyone else living in a Capitalist society and in need of sustenance. So, as a consumer, I can easily decide to spend "less" money at a big box store, where everything is usually present, except for the fact that I usually lack good customer service, a personal touch and community.

So, where do I go for good customer service, a personal touch and a sense of community?  

The answer is obvious, I go to that Small and Medium sized business, because while I usually pay a little more for the products I purchase there, I also know who I am buying my materials from. I am also usually treated like a human being and not like a succulent pig ready for the butcher block. For Example: You are less likely to encounter a Small or Medium sized business offering you an exclusive credit card with an introductory bonus point sum that can equal a whole $20.00!!!!

Some Statistics for the Skeptical

So, If on January 1st, You are a Small or Medium sized business and are still in fear, I can be there to hold your hand, as we enter 2018 with a $14/Hour minimum wage.

Keep being the personal experience generating, community enforcing entity that you are and in doing so you will not only offer people an alternative to Big Business, but you will also weather any increase to your labour costs. Not to mention that on average, your employees will be happier and more productive as they will have to worry a little less about making rent and providing healthy food for themselves and their family.

Not to mention that this move also generates incentive for  the government to reduce taxes on Small and Medium sized business in the near future. As less people are more independent on their own without any kind of social assistance from the government, it opens the possibility of spreading more support to other areas in need of it. Traditionally, Big Business eats up a lot of this support due to its lobby power, but that doesn't have to continue. Without more incentive and voice from Small and Medium sized business, nothing will change to make life easier for people and stimulate the economy from the bottom up, so vigilance and continued attention is still required.

To end it all off, do not fear job loss or destruction from a higher minimum wage. The price of things seem to go up regardless and people are being laid off regardless of our current minimum wage. Focus on the positive and look to the future as something good overall, since your employees will not only directly benefit, but you also may increase the pool of people who can also access your services and products, which usually results in an increase in profit.

- The Political Road Map

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