Minimum Schminimum

August 24, 2007

The Globe and Mail has an article by Reginald Stackhouse making a case for indexing the minimum wage to help the “working poor”.

What we need is the same remedy used to maintain retirement incomes at the level of inflation. We index the Old Age Security Pension and the Canada Pension. Why not index the minimum wage, too? Take it out of the arena of political debate and partisan competition. Periodically adjust it to the cost of living so that the working poor aren’t made poorer by inflation.

When I suggested this in Parliament 20 years ago, I was greeted by the Milton Friedman kind of argument that a minimum wage does not belong to a free-market economy. But that is irrelevant. My point is that if we are going to have a minimum, it should be at least on a par with the cost of living in the face of irresistible inflation. Indexing is the way to do it.

The Milton Friedman argument is only irrelevant if you don’t care about the ultimate outcomes. Increasing the minimum wage, through indexing or other means, will increase unemployment for the “working poor” and decrease the group’s spending power. This economic fact is counter-intuitive but it is important to rely on more than intuition when making proposals that will impact the lives of others.

Reggie Stackhouse…. what a great basketball name though.


One Response to “Minimum Schminimum”

  1. Dylan Says:

    Depends. Have they been good to you or just ignorant? Are the still tohgteer and married? Technically with the way baby boomers have taken advantage of the system ie women you can get child support well your in college from them and since you are underaged they have the LEGAL duty to support and house you.They can’t just kick you out that would be illegal.Also after your 18 even if your not paying rent again due to baby boomer women they cannot just kick you out they’d have to evict you if you were living there and that could take up to a year and then you’d need to wait for a sherif to evict you which takes longer Was this answer helpful?

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