Living Wage Policies


karrie
#1
I was listening to Rutherford this morning while painting in my bathroom, and they were discussing the proposed living wage policies about to be voted on in Calgary on the 9th.

At face value, it seemed like a good idea to me. Currently in some of Alberta's cities you simply can't afford housing on 'mimimum wage'. Many places that are typically low paying jobs are already offering highly inflated entry level wages in order to try to combat the worker shortages. Superstore for example has a great big window painting declaring an opening wage of 11.40/h for weekend workers, and over 13/h for night shift workers.

Some of the arguments against the notion of instituting a living wage policy however is that it then artificially drives up the rates for all other jobs above it (who's willing to take $16/h as a shop hand when they can stay clean and earn that much at Tim Hortons?), and thus it again raises the cost of housing, since the market to attain the places is so competitive sometimes.

It also works to drive up the cost of goods, thus potentially making them out of the cost reach of those earning the 'living wage'.

What are your views?
 
Lester
#2
Well somethings got to move, either rents must be lowered or subsidized - or wages have to go up, maybe a massive housing program, with small projects 30/40 suites dispersed throughout the city, that way you can avoid having slum "projects" concentrated in one area like Chicago had.

Lester
 
karrie
#3
Well, I think a lot of it changes voluntarily.

I gave a couple examples, and I've seen even more drastic ones, of employers seriously hiking the wages they're willing to pay, because of the costs.

I also know employers who are currently offering housing as a 'bonus' for some of the more menial jobs like shipping and receiving.
 
Jsan
#4
It's all about the run away Inflation in this Province. It will get much worse. Every time a wage goes up in this Province, the costs are passed on to the consumer. Most employers are not making any more money than usual during this boom but their costs from rent to wages have skyrocketed. The Alberta government has done a terrible job in controlling growth and now we are reaping the "rewards". This province will continue to get more and more expensive and less and less affordable for the average Albertan. This is a FACT!!!!!
 
Scott Free
#5
Calgary may have to face facts and zone some land for a shanty town on its outskirts. When the divide of wealth and poverty get this extreme no amount of government intervention is going to stop the problem. Unless some new system of wealth distribution can be figured out Home Depot better start stoking more tar paper.
Last edited by Scott Free; Apr 17th, 2008 at 12:40 AM..
 
Kreskin
#6
It's hard to legislate wage fairness. It's a catch-22. To me it would be better to do something like focus distributing scheduled and predictable oil royalty payments based on a wage and work hours formula of some sort. Instead of giving provincial dividend cheques to those making huge incomes, or sending them to people who don't work, give back more relief to the little guy who is doing everyone a favor by showing up for these jobs.
 
FUBAR
#7
Seems a bit supply and demand on the labour front but with the employee being in demand this time round.
 
MikeyDB
#8
Living wage.

http://www.ms.foundation.org/wmspage.cfm?parm1=478


Understand that the wealthy are more than happy to see hungry children and failing justice systems within the body of society from whom they harvest the wealth and power, which they regard as their entitlemen t. Rest assured it will never be their children who go hungry or their corruption that brings them to account before the courts of this nation!

“Commerce” including wars to maintain the grip on control over others in the workplace and on the streets of a nation’s cities is regarded by the wealthy as the right of the wealthy . While Joe and Jane Average wave good-bye to little Johnny and little Sarah as they board the transport to put their lives on the line in Afghanistan or Iraq or any number of nations that the wealthy have “interests”-in…. the children of the wealthy are using the Lexus daddy provided to pick up a few extra kegs for the “kegger” just off-campus from the frat-house….

While the Industrial Revolution was hailed as a progressive leap forward, have the unfair usury practices of pre-industrial revolution actually changed at all? A favored homily chanted by MBAs and CEOs is, “A rising tide raises all boats”, but have the enormous corporate profits and gargantuan salaries and benefit packages doled-out to CEOs and corporate henchmen actually resulted in a higher standard of living for the greater majority of capitalist nations?

People have “qualified” for huge mortgages that permit them to buy homes they can’t afford to heat…. “Easy-Credit” allows nearly anyone to drive down the freeway in a new luxury automobile and the cascade of “credit-cards” that clatters around the gas-pumps is nearly deafening. Millions of people can’t afford health care and education curricula in school systems cut physical education programs to a significant degree because insurance policy riders on physically active children are too expensive for school boards.

The façade of “prosperity” generated by lavish advertising budgets paid for by people lining-up at fast-food/burger-joints offers the impression that regardless of real disposable income, food is available for a mere dollar or two at the local greasy-spoon. “Big-Box” stores offer a cornucopia of gadgets and trinkets at appealing prices, and when the consumer reads the labels on their newly purchased treasures…. Made in Bangladesh…. Made in India…Made in Mexico…. Made in China…Made in Sri Lanka…. Made in Indonesia…. little if anything offered is Made in Canada or Made in the United States…..

No self-respecting American or Canadian would accept the dollar-a-day paid to workers in foreign states who harvest their Tim Horton’s Coffee or their Starbuck’s “Latte-Mocha-Supreme”…

No concientious North American can accept the same wages of the people who clean up after them in hotels and convention centres across this continent because that huge mortgage and their credit-card debt would rapidly overwhelm that level of income….

Regulatory commissions manned by ex-CEOs and high-roller investors perpetuate the myth that “the system is self-adjusting”, “supply and demand” are the “control” on economic systems that will ensure the well-being of business…. A “system” that facilitates off-shore sweatshops to allow corporate greed to charge three to five hundred percent markups on goods manufactured then sold in eye-catching “Oh soooooo cool..” up-scale ‘establishments’ like the Gap and Old Navy and designer labels that give the impression to the very impressionable consumer that they too can dress like the “stars”….

Political contests are decided by which of the wealthiest can successfully campaign for millions of dollars to be invested in media advertising and photo-oportunities to embed the “image” of sobriety and concern etched into the faces of liars and thieves struggling to exude that “you-can-trust-me” facial expression that will convince the masses of conditioned-to-stupidity “voters” that at least this candidate…can do no worse than the previous liar and thief….

Wars are popular with economies manipulators because they conveniently address several concerns simultaneously. “Patriotism” can generate willingness to forego a clamour for equal rights and balanced representation, after all, “we’re at war!”….production facilities re-tooled to address the “ugent necessity” of that supposed evil-doer can open the doors to employment although the concomitant ingredients and processes involve may necessitate re-defining and re-structuring trade agreements and expanding ideas like eminent domain….

Those who think they’ve seen the worst are in for a shock. Advertising that’s conditioned the consumer to lavish credit expenses and convinced them that their individual “happiness” is a consumption based on ersatz ‘prosperity’ will soon find their dreams dashed along with the future of their children.

We have a perfect storm brewing…..and have only ourselves to thank for it.








 
Zzarchov
#9
Uh huh, so reading your post the end result is.

Anyone with problems made their own problems. So...what?

Then you are saying there is no real problem here, just people making bad life choices as they have since the dawn of time?

Ok, fine.

Then you go in the other direction and also blame the people who made good life choices...


To me the biggest problem is the fuzzy line between corporation as a seperate entity and not.

What is really needed is some clear lines about what is in fact not in a corporations best interest as a caretaker. Perhaps things like mandatory limits on Corporate salary (no one in the company can make more than 20 times the lowest paid person). If you want huge salaries for running a company, then assume the liability and run a proprietorship.
 
karrie
#10
I think there needs to be a serious re-education system in Canada in regards to 'the poor'.

Because boy, I see a lot of people crying about being 'poor', yet they can afford pot, they go to more movies, and eat out more often than our family could ever afford. One woman interviewed here in Edmonton was living in tent city because she couldn't find an apartment for her family within her budget. All she could find were one or two bedrooms. Well, forgive me for thinking that a one bedroom apartment might be preferable to tent city! What kind of moron stays in tent city (or makes a family live in tent city) instead of in a one bedroom apartment? It makes no sense.

I've seen people 'go broke' and have to declare bankruptcy, while a brand new 5th wheel and truck to tow it, combined worth of more than my first home, sit in the driveway of their 500,000 home. In the garage, a new Harley, new snowmobile, and new quad. For a couple in their 20's or early 30's with new babies. Crying about how poor they are. Seriously people, you're not poor! Stop going to the food bank and sell a few fricking things wouldja?

What we call 'poor' in this country would make people in other countries think they were living like kings for crying out loud. Heck, the 'poor' people I know, I wish I could afford the way they live. I wish I could dress as nice as my cousin on welfare, or spend as much money on recreational substances.

When you've had homeless people sneak into your old hunting camper to steal soup, camping jackets, and get a good night's sleep on a bed, when you've had homeless people sleep in bales of insulation in your garden shed to keep from freezing at -30, you start to see how truly not poor the vast majority of Canadian poor are. All they are is mismanaged and needing a reality check.
 
MikeyDB
#11
Zzarchov

I understand your need to appear worldly and "wise", but what you seem to disregard is the larger context. Never before in the history of humanity have the means been available to so intimately influence the lives of so many people! I believe we are witnessing the decay of social institutions revealed becasue of this blossoming of communications technology and modernity. Religion is being recognized by millions as the fountain of divissiveness and prejudice, the spirituality of interrelating with one another as human beings is quickly eroding. The facades of "prosperity" artificially injected into the consciousness of the TV aficionado are beliefs that a plastic card is a symbol of prosperity when in fact, the construct behind the granting of "credit" has been usury and disingenuous since it fails to bind the concepts of "real-income" to the use of the symbol.

A "prosperity" predicated on illusion and supported through facades like sweatshops and re-structuring the heirarchies of "status" on highly dubious constucts is unique to this era and although the sentiment that "people make poor choices" may satisfy a cursory estimate, the depth of the mental conditioning it takes to erect and maintain the fantasy of "prosperity" that abounds throughout our modern times is profoundly evil. An evil so pervasive throughout our societies and nations that we are prepared to abandon principle and re-define "law" and "justice" to serve the ends of wealth regardless of the underlying reality that will eventually call us all up short to our hubris and our disdain.
 
Kreskin
#12
Karrie, very true. Some people spend like there's no tomorrow and never look at their financial picture. When the good times dry up they have no plan B.
 
karrie
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by Kreskin View Post

Karrie, very true. Some people spend like there's no tomorrow and never look at their financial picture. When the good times dry up they have no plan B.

my big thing isn't the spending... it's the borrowing. I can't believe how many people I know who have mortgaged motorhomes, taken out loans on furniture, appliances, artwork, recreational vehicles.... the list goes on and on. And then they put it all in these great big homes, and demand higher and higher wages because they can barely make ends meet.

No kidding!

And all the while they are paying through the nose to banks, throwing their money away to someone else and crying about being 'poor'.
 
MikeyDB
#14
Kreskin

I agree with your sentiment, but how legitimate is a future predicated on a "career" or lengthy employment and stable economy....when corporations ship their means of production off-shore? When a corporation like General Motors for Ford or Chrysler begins whimpering about "unfair trade practices"... why is it unfair that Toyota Hyundai or anyone else chooses to compete with these people and end up gaining ground on them when they've had decades of "head-start"? It's because the impetus has been to generate wealth for the few and pay as little as possible for labor.... Our perspectives on what it takes to make a living...to generate a future for our children...to invest in our social institutions and strengthen our "prosperity" is undermined continually by the few at the top who work their damndest to wring as much money from the consumer as they possibly can while limiting the workplace to pay as little as possible.... It's a snake eating its tail!
 
Kreskin
#15
If they didn't ship these jobs offshore we'd be paying more for these products anyway, so inflation would erode whatever we made. If everyone took the time to look closely at one or two financial issues and made future decisions accordingly there would be fewer people stuck with humongous loans and a pile of toys in the parking lot that they can't afford.
 
MikeyDB
#16
Kreskin

So are you saying that billions of dollars spent by corporations that influence you to believe that your status as a person and your "happiness" depends on owning their product have no responsibility? Do you by chance have any idea how much it costs to build an automobile for instance? If we can agree that the "model changes" that influence our sense of "modernity" are significant but can be set aside for the moment in terms of producing a reliable vehicle that's capable of weathering the temperature extremes of Canada and gets reasonable gasoline mileage....since the dies and forming components have been paid for long long ago....what's the real cost of producing a car?
 
Kreskin
#17
Responsibility to what? I don't think we can outlaw marketing. Sometimes people need to take inventory of themselves before spending money they don't have.
 
karrie
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Kreskin View Post

Responsibility to what? I don't think we can outlaw marketing. Sometimes people need to take inventory of themselves before spending money they don't have.

What? Personal accountability? I'm sorry Kreskin, you lost me there.
 
MikeyDB
#19
Kreskin

Have you ever recieved a "pre-approved" credit card in the mail? Have you ever seen your "credit-worthiness" increased by the bank of lending institution whether you've asked for it or not?

It seems you're eager to believe that the cost of merchandise and process are bound to reason when in fact, "reason" is what advertising is all about and not necessarily reality. How many steak-knives does one person need? Now you could suggest and rightly that its a matter of personal directedness or will, but would you entertain the idea that when corporations spend billions to influence your choices that the price of steak-knives and everything else goes up...and this isn't something the individual controls?
 
karrie
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDB View Post

Kreskin

Have you ever recieved a "pre-approved" credit card in the mail? Have you ever seen your "credit-worthiness" increased by the bank of lending institution whether you've asked for it or not?

It seems you're eager to believe that the cost of merchandise and process are bound to reason when in fact, "reason" is what advertising is all about and not necessarily reality. How many steak-knives does one person need? Now you could suggest and rightly that its a matter of personal directedness or will, but would you entertain the idea that when corporations spend billions to influence your choices that the price of steak-knives and everything else goes up...and this isn't something the individual controls?

Are you implying that we're not smart enough to not send in those applications, or spend more on credit cards than we can afford? That we're not smart enough to buy 50 steak knives because some advert said we should?

If I'm dumb enough to fall for marketing like that, then it's no one's fault but my own. It's well within my control to not bow to pressure like that.
 
MikeyDB
#21
Karrie

Even if you personally don't buy fifty steak knives, do you think it's reasonble to consider that millions of people buy things they don't "need" because they're influenced by the concerted effort to move dollars out of their pockets into the pockets of some corporation? Is it naive to believe that when Madison Avenue charges millions of dollars for advertising campaigns and network television companies pay millions for air-time and a thirty second spot on the Super-Bowl costs as much as it does that the costs for products is absorbed by a great many more than simply those few folk involved directly?

Have you ever seen a Nike Logo...or how about an Addidas logo....?

When your children need or want new running shoes...does the argument that these no-name runners are just as good...carry any weight with them at all?

When you turn on your television (if you watch TV) is the reason behind the hours upon hours upon hours of advertising that accompanies "programming" simply done as an exercise and actually has no influence on what people buy?
 
karrie
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDB View Post

When your children need or want new running shoes...does the argument that these no-name runners are just as good...carry any weight with them at all?

When you turn on your television (if you watch TV) is the reason behind the hours upon hours upon hours of advertising that accompanies "programming" simply done as an exercise and actually has no influence on what people buy?

I've said before in this thread that people need re-educating, and add a decent slap upside the head frankly. But, I don't buy into the notion that those marketing are to be held to blame for doing their job. Holding them to blame for others' stupidity and gullability? No, I just can't see myself supporting that.
 
MikeyDB
#23
Karrie

There are several trains leaving the station and some already have....

If we're prepared to let Churches hide their ciminals (pedophiles and sexual abusers)....If we're prepared to let governments at the behest of a few wealthy corporate influencers take our nations to wars based on lies....If we're content to watch as our children are conditioned to fulfil their role as the next generation of consumers without conscience...

Ok...I understand.
 
karrie
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDB View Post

Karrie

There are several trains leaving the station and some already have....

If we're prepared to let Churches hide their ciminals (pedophiles and sexual abusers)....If we're prepared to let governments at the behest of a few wealthy corporate influencers take our nations to wars based on lies....If we're content to watch as our children are conditioned to fulfil their role as the next generation of consumers without conscience...

Ok...I understand.

Who's 'we'? You don't seem to be describing yourself. You don't seem to be describing many on here who speak loudly against such things. Just because we don't agree on the way to bring it about doesn't mean we all agree with allowing these things to continue.
 
MikeyDB
#25
Talk is cheap Karie.

I refused to practice or participate in any organized religion long long ago.

Thanks for the dialogue.
 
karrie
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDB View Post

Talk is cheap Karie.

I refused to practice or participate in any organized religion long long ago.

Thanks for the dialogue.


If I walk out my door Mikey, and stand in my yard demanding that my children clean the house, it will never get done. They won't hear me. I won't be able to move them. The house will remain filthy as they watch tv.

If I want the house cleaned, I stay in it. It's much more effective. Plus, despite the filth needing cleaning up, I like my house.
 
MikeyDB
#27
And when you drive do you wear your seatbelt becuase its safer or because there are laws that compel you to wear it? And when you go shopping do you take what you want from the store shelves or do you pay for it? The list of laws and conventions necessary to get people to do what's in their best interests despite how they think is long Karrie very long.

You appear to be looking around and saying well its just what everyone does or doesn't do and no-one is responsible so I can't reasonably hold anyone accountable for what anyone else is doing....so everything is just fine!

Why bother considering the notion of a "living wage"...just let those who can make a living make a living and let those who can't die..... It is after all a perfect world where everyone makes all the right decision all the time and has all the information they need to make those decisions and any idea that some bear greater responsibility is a ridiculous notion right?
 
karrie
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDB View Post


Why bother considering the notion of a "living wage"...just let those who can make a living make a living and let those who can't die..... It is after all a perfect world where everyone makes all the right decision all the time and has all the information they need to make those decisions and any idea that some bear greater responsibility is a ridiculous notion right?

It's just that not all issues seem to flow black and white, one issue to another.

The living wage issue.... I'm torn on that one.

What did you make of the notion that, instituting a 'living wage' then drives up all the other wages above it as people demand more pay because they're only making what a cashier at Tim's is making? The wages then all pop up above, and the people at the top once again have more money to bid on apartments, driving up the price of rent so that, once again, it's out of the reach of those who are at the bottom. You've mentioned the snake eating its tail, and it seems to me a living wage policy is much the same.
 
Avro
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by karrie View Post

It's just that not all issues seem to flow black and white, one issue to another.

The living wage issue.... I'm torn on that one.

What did you make of the notion that, instituting a 'living wage' then drives up all the other wages above it as people demand more pay because they're only making what a cashier at Tim's is making? The wages then all pop up above, and the people at the top once again have more money to bid on apartments, driving up the price of rent so that, once again, it's out of the reach of those who are at the bottom. You've mentioned the snake eating its tail, and it seems to me a living wage policy is much the same.

What a load of garbage.
 
MikeyDB
#30
Boiled Frog Syndrome

Some time ago I fixed a piano for a friend of mine. He owns a Technics electric piano that had started to double-strike although a single key was struck only once. He called a piano service-repair person who listed this piano and Rolands and other brands as his area of familiarity and expertise.

I watched as this service person disassembled the piano and began running a spectrum of tests on the various components. He could find nothing wrong and suggested he take the instrument back to his shop to run further tests using equipment he had there. After a week had passed the technician reported that he was stupefied that he could not locate any distinct problem responsible for this “double-strike”…. He returned the piano to my friend’s home and suggested my friend consider replacing the piano with a new one. This piano was after all fifteen years old! My friend paid the four hundred dollars to this gentleman for his time/work and set about getting comfortable with the idea of spending thousands of dollars for a new piano.

I researched the Internet and located an electric piano discussion forum. After reading a great many conversations I finally found one that focused on the exact problem my pal was experiencing with his piano! The identified problem was…. dirt! Bits of skin shed as normal exfoliation, hairs dropping from above and simply an accumulation of dust and detritus lodged itself under the keyboard mechanism that returned the keys to their normal position. People reported that a high-pressure air stream followed by a mild solvent with a repeat of the air stream…solved the problem.

Alex and I disassembled the piano and applied the requisite regimen to the appropriate areas. It worked! After reassembling the keyboard the piano worked as it had for fifteen years and continues to work properly these three years since we tackled the problem.

Delighted with the outcome, Alex bought me a coffee-maker knowing I love my percolated coffee and only drink instant if that’s all that’s available. I had been using a tiny two cup Melita that required that I boil water first then filter the water through grounds until…well I’m sure you’re familiar with this process. This new fangled stainless steel programable thermos equipped marvel of injected plastic and blinking light emitting diodes set him back a goodly sum more than a plastic funnel. While Alex’s piano continues to work well, that coffee maker ceased operation nearly one-year to the day from when it was purchased.

I managed to secure a coffee percolator from the dumpster behind my apartment and although it leaks and several parts are broken, it does make coffee and I can entertain friends more efficiently when they visit. The defuct unit sat in a corner of my kitchen for weeks and today I set about attempting to locate the problem (I think it’s electrical in nature) but found that the bottom panel is secured with a triangular shaped fastener that frustrates using anything but the right tool. A sticker on the bottom advises that no user serviceable parts are contained inside and no attempt should be made to open the body of this machine…..

My conversation with Karrie earlier today came to mind. Even if people make faulty decisions in their practices of living their lives, it seems obvious that industry and corporations would rather compell replacement before considering repair. While a design that could be serviced would serve the interests of the consumer, the interests of the corporation..in this case Black and Decker…dictates that this pile of components be either returned to the repair depot and more money paid for some technician to use his specialized tools to repair the machine…or you simply throw the unit into the landfill and happily go buy another percolator…

Anyone who’s looked under the hood of their horseless carriage will tell you, the days of the backyard do-it-yourselfer…are over.

The upcoming challenge is to replace analogue TVs with HD digital beauties that only require a contract with a supplier for the decoder box….

We hear about tons and tons of lithium batteries that once powered cellular telephones now contaminating landfills…unless of course you purchase a new phone and exchange the unit you have…. In which case in all likelihood the plastic shell, circuit board and battery will end up in a landfill….

Karrie’s of the opinion that the drooling idiots who purchase modern conveniences and fast-food at the local burger joint….etc. etc. are the source of so much rancor and dissatisfaction with an increasing pressure to be “re-cycle conscious” and “earth-friendly” and it all boils down to how stupid everyone is….

Karrie affirms that there is no responsibility on the part of industry or government to regulate so keen a policy as planned obsolescence and the generation of tons of highly toxic products plowed into the earth as part of the happiness and “prosperity” of modern consumption!

No we’ll look at the impact of shipping jobs and technology off-shore to “save” the inevitable (according to Kreskin) increase in prices that would follow paying people here a decent wage to do the same thing a child or a woman in some third-world country can do ….while manufacturers and corporations commiserate with out pollution problems ….and laugh all the way to multi-million and multi-billion dollar profits!

It’s the boiled frog syndrome. Our post-modern love-affair with instant gratification and immediate satisfaction of our wants and desires has provided industry and corporate hooligans with the perfect mechanism to turn the responsibility for many of our problems and issues right back on the ignorant fools who can’t manage their business!

We’ve been conditioned to expect ultra-cheap products and the only way those products can be made at an “attractive” price is to hire-out any necessary labour to third-world countries and of course inflate the sense of “prosperity” we all “feel” by managing to obtain junk built to fail and fill our landfills on a regular basis!

And the option of a “living wage” is brought up for discussion as though all the slovenly mentally challenged consumers in the world are their own worst enemies with the suspicion that re-distributing the available work and wealth will result in dire circumstances with an ever increasing dependency on hand-outs and a climate of expectation as the consequent effect.

All I can say is there’s no doubt in my mind regarding who’s convinced/brainwashed/conditioned and who isn’t!
 

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