Why Business Hates a Rise in Minimum Wage

Posted on December 19, 2011

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After years of being behind the race, British Columbia is slowly getting its minimum wage in line with the other provinces.  Sort of.  If those provinces don’t raise their own minimum wages in the meantime, we might eventually come close to catching up to the rest of Canada, or at least running with the pack.

Unless the Minister thinks you make too much from tips serving pancakes at your pancake house.

 And of course, with this long-delayed minimum wage adjustment, local business leaders tear their hair, wring their hands and cry out in keening voices.

“Alas!  Alas!”

Sober economic examination shows that only a tiny portion of the labour force is directly affected, representing small millions, if that, in an economy measured in the 100s of billions, so why all the fuss?

Well, you see if the minimum wage pops up to $10 after residing down at $8 for oh so long, then all those people who have patiently worked their way up to $2 or $3 above minimum wage suddenly find themselves at zero or only a dollar away.  Oops.

Employers don’t want that to happen, not because they want to save their employees mental distress, but because they don’t want their employees to know how many of them are in fact, despite loyalty and on-paper promotions, still living at or barely above minimum wage.

Some of them might start feeling exploited or manipulated or something.  Some of them might start expecting their wages to cover their rent and food both.

Can’t have that.

Posted in: politics