Some people are really angry that I say an increase in minimum wage is BS and some people are applauding it.
But yes, it is total BS! There is a better solution…..
First of all, you have to understand the demographics behind the people that hold minimum wage positions. Stats Canada has some really great info on that. Essentially, the majority of minimum wage positions are held by students still living at home age 16 to 25. Another large group in the minimum wage category is women.
For the students living at home, they hold those jobs as entry level jobs. They learn a lot from those jobs! They are using that job to save money for a car, university and just spending money in general. Kudos to those parents that, first of all, aren’t just giving their kids every thing, but also kudos to those kids willing to work for it!
The problem with increasing minimum wage is that it affects EVERYONE, including the minimum wage earners. All of a sudden they lose their jobs or their hours are cut back. They might be making more per hour but their paycheck doesn’t show it. Then the costs of goods increase in order to compensate for the higher wages and they lose all the gains in their wage increase to compensate for higher living costs. This cuts into the wages of higher earners and they are less likely to spend on unnecessary items like eating out, then more minimum wage earners get laid off….. I could go on and on, but it is a vicious cycle! No one wins here.
We all need those minimum wage jobs…… and there are the right people to work in those positions. Students are excellent candidates for it and they are the one’s filling the majority of those positions. Minimum wage jobs tend to be highly concentrated in service jobs like fast food, gas stations, grocery stores. It teaches students more valuable lessons about life, work, and dealing with customers than school will ever teach them.
The problem is that a lot of women hold those positions as well. They also tend to be single women who have children as dependents. It’s not the minimum wage that is the issue, it is the access to education. The costs are too high and student loans are not friendly, especially for single mom’s. Now that is an issue that needs to be addressed and then minimum wage isn’t a concern.
I have a son who works minimum wage. He’s actually always had a job since he was 8 years old. He started with delivering flyers for the local newspaper. He has worked at a grocery store for the last 4 years. His hours have been cut back due to the minimum wage increase. I don’t blame his employer at all. I work with too many business owners to be that ignorant to think they are just trying to pocket more money for themselves. That’s so far from the truth!
I’m a single mom who has worked hard to educate myself through university. In fact, as a Financial Planner, I am continuously taking courses and training and it costs money…. lots of money. I wanted and knew I needed more than a minimum wage job to support me and my son. Anyone who wants to do it, will do it. Anyone is capable of doing anything that they want to do, including making $800/hr. Is it easy? Nope. Is it worth it? Yep. It all depends on what you want to do with your life and how motivated you are to do it. We all have to start somewhere. I’m not envious of people who make that much money at all! I applaud them! They are doing something right and following their passions in the right way. And financial security is obviously one of their passions. We all have that inside of us if we are willing to go for it and get over our fears and excuses!
Unfortunately, we have people like Gail Vaz-Oxlade (twitter @GailVazOxlade) telling us that it’s not possible. Total contradiction to what she used to teach in her financial shows. I believe in my clients way more than that. I see my clients reach for the stars and achieve it and exceed it. I have the best clients ever! Maybe that’s why I’m not as jaded as she is.
Check out the conversation on twitter 🙂
@cutecanukgirl and @GailVazOxlad