Friday, August 16, 2013

More On The Struggle Of Minimum Wage Workers

We hear it all the time from those who slavishly and unconscionably parrot the corporate line: raising the minimum wage is a job-killer. While that rhetoric may serve the insatiable business appetite for greater and greater profits at the expense of vulnerable workers, it simply isn't true. While I have written several posts recently on American fast-food workers' attempts to double their wages, we would be indeed foolish and willfully ignorant to believe that the American struggle is not also the struggle of their Canadian counterparts.

Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, I would urge you to watch at least part of the following video, and read the accompanying story on Alternet.


  1. Yet Wal-Mart and fast food chains feed off the same sector they victimize, the low-wage earners. It's diabolical. The only people who can stop them, economically, are the same group that believes it can't afford to boycott them.

    I've boycotted those outfits for many years but my demographic is all but irrelevant to them.

    As Stiglitz has shown so powerfully in "The Price of Inequality" we legislate most of the drivers of inequality through subsidies, grants, tax policies, etc. The state is the greatest force of inequality. It's time the state became instrumental in reversing the damage it has created.

    What party in our country is proposing to do that? They don't have the courage. Only the Green Party has a clear platform that deals with this and true press freedom and other progressive issues. The Liberals and even the NDP have succumbed to the allure of corporatism.

    1. This is all so very true, Mound. And while the situation is unlikely to improve in the near-future, there are some signs of hope emerging in the U.S., of all places, at least with regard to Walmart's depredations. As reported in Forbes, (, "Legislation is now making its way through the California legislature—with the support of consumer groups, unions and, interestingly, physicians—that would levy a fine of up to $6,000 on employers like Wal-Mart for every full-time employee that ends up on the state’s Medi-Cal program—the California incarnation of Medicaid."

      While I realize the situation is different in each jurisdiction, in Ontario we pay a health levy that is geared to our income. that would be but one way we are subsidizing Walmart's massive profits here.

      We can only hope against hope that California's legislative fervour takes hold eventually in Canada as more and more people begin to understand the hidden costs of pursuing the lowest prices in the land.