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Every other worker in a company is facing downward pressure on their wages and benefits. The minimum wage only gets in the news because it is a government mandate.

In any case, minimum wage laws are known job killers. A person without a job is more of a burden than a person with a job.

Minimum wage is only a job killer if you're stupid enough to believe that labour and the economy is a zero sum game. When people have more money to spend, it increases demand for products and services. You know what that does? It sure as hell doesn't kill jobs.

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Minimum wage is only a job killer if you're stupid enough to believe that labour and the economy is a zero sum game. When people have more money to spend, it increases demand for products and services. You know what that does? It sure as hell doesn't kill jobs.

Did it increase demand for products and services in 1920s Germany when people had wheel barrows full of cash?

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That's where you're wrong. Lots of things can be done.

So let me get this straight, wealth redistribution is only okay when we take it forcefully from rich people throu taxes which is what you guys want done in north America to fix our problems, yet it's pure evil for those rich people to invest money overseas, making those people far richer than before? I don't get it, I thought you guys wanted the developing world to become better off. Or are you guys just jealous?

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The answer to your question takes 15 minutes to explain briefly.

And yet we have wealth being distributed amongst the world, not through forcefully taxation, but throuh investment. Those rich bastards have done more to help the developing world then governments with foreign aid could ever hope to.

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You would be the first person jumping on the government for squandering $10 million in taxpayers money.
Actually, I never complain about spending boondoggles whether they are gazebos in Muskoka or $16 dollar orange juice. What I complain about are unsustainable entitlement programs or the creation of new entitlement programs. That is because the year after year spending is what kills the the budget and is the most difficult to cut.

As for my comment: the fact is government is a notoriously inefficient enterprise. If you give the government an extra 10 million it would be pissed away with nothing useful to show. At this point in time the only useful reforms to government are those that decrease the amount of money that it spends.

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When people have more money to spend, it increases demand for products and services. You know what that does? It sure as hell doesn't kill jobs.
Wrong. Increasing the minimum wage *increases* the cost of those goods an services which will wipe out any benefit brought on by the wage gain. In a globally competitive world these increased costs will harm exporters which results in even more job losses.
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Wrong. Increasing the minimum wage *increases* the cost of those goods an services which will wipe out any benefit brought on by the wage gain. In a globally competitive world these increased costs will harm exporters which results in even more job losses.

Can you give a concrete example of that? Are you saying because the person that serves you your Timmies coffee, Canadian exporting businesses will become noncompetitive?

Did you not watch that TED talks video about income inequality? Poverty costs us all money.

Edited by Canuckistani
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Can you give a concrete example of that? Are you saying because the person that serves you your Timmies coffee, Canadian exporting businesses will become noncompetitive?
A lot depends on how employers deal with the extra costs. If we assume that businesses like Timmies can simply pass on the extra costs to customers then those extra costs will ripple through the economy and affect the cost of living and doing business here. If we assume that they cannot pass on the costs then Timmies will be forced to reduce staffing levels.

I will put it another way: if you are so convinced that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy then why not make it $50/hour? After all if $10 is good then $50 must be better. If you have any grasp of the concepts of economics then you would understand that a $50 minimum wage would kill the economy.

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Did you not watch that TED talks video about income inequality? Poverty costs us all money.
As long as poverty is measured in relative terms then we will never be rid of it. Any discussion of eliminating poverty must start with an absolute definition of poverty.
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As long as poverty is measured in relative terms then we will never be rid of it. Any discussion of eliminating poverty must start with an absolute definition of poverty.

We'll never have total income equality. Nor should we want to. But as is shown by history and by how various countries manage income inequality, we can choose to have less or more of it. And within certain bounds, less is better. For everybody.

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A lot depends on how employers deal with the extra costs. If we assume that businesses like Timmies can simply pass on the extra costs to customers then those extra costs will ripple through the economy and affect the cost of living and doing business here. If we assume that they cannot pass on the costs then Timmies will be forced to reduce staffing levels.

I will put it another way: if you are so convinced that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy then why not make it $50/hour? After all if $10 is good then $50 must be better. If you have any grasp of the concepts of economics then you would understand that a $50 minimum wage would kill the economy.

Reducto ad absurdum, eh?

In the TED talks, he mentions how Japan addresses income inequality by having a much smaller gap between the lowest and highest earners. So we can either pay people at the bottom more, or raise taxes and redistribute money back to them. I think the first way is the way to go, but I'll settle for the second.

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Reducto ad absurdum, eh?
At glad you recognize that a $50 minimum wage is absurd because that means you should also understand that any increase in the minimum wage will have a net negative effect on the economy but the magnitude of the effect will be smaller for smaller increases.
In the TED talks, he mentions how Japan addresses income inequality by having a much smaller gap between the lowest and highest earners.
The reason there is a much smaller gap is because Japanese culture does not accept the idea that CEOs are so important that they deserve to be paid so much more. The top marginal income tax rate in Japan is 40% which makes one of the lower tax jurisdictions.

The reality is it is only really possible to have high taxes and a really generous safety net in a homogeneous countries because the people paying the taxes need to feel connected to the people receiving the benefits. As soon as you have a mixed population then that social contract breaks down.

Edited by TimG
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The reality is it is only really possible to have high taxes and a really generous safety net in a homogeneous countries because the people paying the taxes need to feel connected to the people receiving the benefits. As soon as you have a mixed population then that social contract breaks down.

Only for intellectual weaklings, or for those who simply lack elementary imagination.

But it might be moot, because I'm not sure about the premise. Are you talking about race, ethnicity? Are not most Canadian social assistance recipients of European heritage?

Edited by bleeding heart
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Only for intellectual weaklings, or for those who simply lack elementary imagination.
Imagination? What does that have to do with anything? Are you really so naive that you believe a little "imagination" is all that was needed to rid the world of prejudices and stereotypes?

After all, we are talking about basic rules of human group dynamics that have been with us for millenia. People resent spending resources to take care of "outsiders" more than they resent spending resources to take care other members of their group.

You can look in Canada for evidence. How many people resent the equalization spending on Quebec but don't get so exercised about the money going to the Maritimes? It all comes down to how one defines their "group". It could be race or language. It could also be geography.

Edited by TimG
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Imagination? What does that have to do with anything? Are you really so a pathetically naive that you believe a little "imagination" is all that was needed to rid the world of prejudices and stereotypes?

It's a great start. Imagination is the engine that drives empathy.

After all, we are talking about basic rules of human group dynamics that have been with us for millenia. If people resent spending money to take care of "outsiders" more than they resent spending money to take care other members of their group.

But as I said: is it in fact the case that the perceived "outsiders" receive the lion's share of tax-funded social benefits? Or are most recipients of European heritage, with generations of Canadian-born precedents?

Edited by bleeding heart
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But as I said: is it in fact the case that the perceived "outsiders" receive the lion's share of tax-funded social benefits? Or are most recipients of European heritage, with generations of Canadian-born precedents?
How many people resent the equalization spending on Quebec but don't get so exercised about the money going to the Maritimes? It all comes down to how one defines their "group". It could be race or language. It could also be geography. In many cases groups are perceived as "outsiders" because they choose to be "outsiders". For example, aboriginals choose to identify with their aboriginal heritage exclusively and constantly shove that in people's faces. It should come as no surprise that people see them as "outsiders" when it comes to paying the bills for their social services. Edited by TimG
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How many people resent the equalization spending on Quebec but don't get so exercised about the money going to the Maritimes? It all comes down to how one defines their "group". It could be race or language. It could also be geography. In many cases groups are perceived as "outsiders" because they choose to be "outsiders". For example, aboriginals choose to identify with their aboriginal heritage exclusively and constantly shove that in people's faces. It should come as no surprise that people see them as "outsiders" when it comes to paying the bills for their social services.

I understand all this.

But you are implying that people will not resent welfare etc for their own particular "group"--however that may be defined--and I'm not at all sure that's true.

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But you are implying that people will not resent welfare etc for their own particular "group"--however that may be defined--and I'm not at all sure that's true.
It is one of those necessary but not sufficient conditions. i.e. homogeneous societies may still lack the social cohesion required to support a high tax/generous benefits system but if a society is not homogeneous then a high tax/generous benefits system is not a plausible option.
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It is one of those necessary but not sufficient conditions. i.e. homogeneous societies may still lack the social cohesion required to support a high tax/generous benefits system but if a society is not homogeneous then a high tax/generous benefits system is not a plausible option.

Even if that's so, "generous benefits system" is to some degree in the eye of the beholder.

It's a comparative exercise, so the question is begged: compared to whom?

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We'll never have total income equality. Nor should we want to. But as is shown by history and by how various countries manage income inequality, we can choose to have less or more of it. And within certain bounds, less is better. For everybody.

History also showed us what happens when a lot of countries try to force income equality on it's population, that didn't work out very well in those countries either.

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