Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is Minimum Wage The Issue?

Jim Taylor, Not the Famous One

Or Is It Lack of Hours Available?

With the recent announcement by our new Premier (yet to be elected) that the minimum wage in the province will be increasing from the current $8.00 per hour to $10.25 by next May it raises a question. While I do not think BC should be at the bottom of the pack in all of Canada when it comes to minimum wage, which we are, I wonder if a single person could not be able to support themselves on an annual wage of $24,960.00 ?

It would seem that with a bit of careful budgeting even with today's high housing cost, that a single person should be able to keep body and soul together on nearly $25,000 a year, and even have a few bucks leftover to blow on night's out at their favourite bar or restaurant.

How Does $8.00 per Hour Equal $25,000 A Year?

 I can hear some people scratching their head and perhaps even wondering what I've been smoking to make such a claim. How in the world does $8.00 an hour add up to $25,000 per year? As the lead-in headings indicate, it could be a matter of total hours available to WORK that is the issue, and not the rate per hour being paid.

If a person were to work a total of 60 hours per week at $8.00 per hour, they would earn a total annually of $24,960.00. It is simple good old fashioned math.

So, to the point, is the hourly rate the issue or the total amount of hours being worked the issue? If the latter, then is the shortage due to the jobs simply not being available, or the lack of willingness on the part of the current labour pool to work 60 hours in a week?

Now, before you remind me that Abe Lincoln freed the slaves and that we have come a long way from the 60 hour work week, this premise is based on a really old fashioned principle of EARNING your keep and has nothing to do with being ENTITLED simply because you happen to have been born into this time.

As someone who has worked for himself most of his life, I can tell you that a 60 hour work week, would have seemed like I had gone on vacation during many of those years of enjoying the fruits of being self employed. This idea of being able to live in a nice house, eat in restaurants, drive a flashy car, own the latest electronic gadget and vacation twice a year while working 37.5 hours a week, and contributing little to society as a whole has always just been a pie in the sky, pipe dream. My generation has tried to live the illusion but have not been willing to actually pay for it, which is why we are passing on a horrendous debt to our kids and grandkids. Unfortunately, the generation coming along think, they too are entitled to live like kings as a birthright because that is what their deluded parents have taught them.

Those willing to 'suck it up' and take a reality check will find that next year that minimum wage job will earn them nearly $32,000 a year if they are willing to put the time in. Of course now, for the second part of that equation, for those willing to work, are the jobs available?


1 comment:

  1. If restaurant meals end up costing too much people may just have to grocery shop and prepare their own meals.
    The grocers will be happy to see the increased sales.


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