Fiscal Suicide: The Truth Behind Minimum Wage Increases

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When you were sixteen years old working as a Cashier at Walmart or Tim Hortons, you would get extremely excited to hear that the minimum wages were about to increase. You’ll finally be able to buy those cool new Jordan’s to wear at Emma’s party next month! Life seemed like it was about to get better for every hard working-class A citizen, didn’t it? Now it’s ten years later and you’re in business school trying to find out how to make a profitable company without going bankrupt in your first few start up months cause prices for supplies and staffing are ridiculously high. Although minimum wage increases seem more than reasonable for the lower economic classes, many economic experts and business owners, view it as economic suicide and the real employment destroyer. Yes, a higher minimum wage will start pushing more money in our economy, but if you analyze its long-term effects on job creation and employment, there is no doubt that it is a short-term solution to severe long-term problems.

If you get a cough, high fever, and sneezing due to a virus you caught over the weekend trip to San Diego, do you just keep taking symptom relief medication over and over again? Or will you try to get antibiotics to kill the virus causing those problems? Hopefully, you’ll treat the problem so you don’t have to deal with the problems anymore, right? Well this logic can be applied to the Canadian economy. The Canadian economy is currently struggling due to a drop in the job market. We all know that international business is extremely competitive and in order to survive, corporations must think of ways to cut costs like automation and outsourcing to low wage countries, and unfortunately, Canadian citizens are suffering from it. A large percent of Canadian businesses are considered small to medium, which makes it nearly impossible for them to financially support their staff. This will result in one of two things: a major spike in services and products prices, and many businesses closing their doors. In this scenario, the symptoms are an increase in job losses and cost of living, and the cause is the high minimum wages here in Canada. So why is Kathleen Wynne suggesting that we jump from 11,40$/hour minimum wage to a gigantic 15$/hour? It’s time for the Canadian government to start thinking about long term solutions.

Natalie Cloutier

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