$15 Minimum Wage: Chapter Two

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  • Excellent explanation of important transition to a decent minimum wage. Thank you.
    Your arguments are cogent and compelling, as usual, but there are a few other ways to help poor workers without injuring small business.
    One is to provide the same tax exemption for travel to work as is given wealthy owners of private corporations:
    No logbook required. The federal 65 cent/km mileage rate for driving personal vehicles for “work purposes”.
    As you know, Bill, one of the many reasons poor working folk can’t drive an hour to improve employment opportunities is that their travel costs come out of net, not gross, income.
    This is impossible at even $12/hr.
    Give it some thought, sir, people pay attention to your financial policy opinions.
    Hope you will write about this and similar tax policies to help the working poor.

    Philip Thompson | July 15, 2017 | Reply

  • In sum, if we slow the pace toward a $15 minimum wage, exclude those under 20 and apprentices, count tips and benefits and partner with selected companies to invest in equipment and training, we should be OK? I am still skeptical about the ability of provincial bureaucrats to guide us to prosperity in this and other ways. F. A. Hayek once said, “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” Why not, instead, decrease the workload and cost of bureaucrats, use the money saved to reduce corporate taxes and get out of the way?

    Steve Chipman | July 15, 2017 | Reply

  • Yes, too complicated to attempt to define or regulate.

    To an extent, it is a matter of trust between an employer and an employee.

    The job is offered/wanted and it’s terms are known to both. Later on, performances must be offered. If that is satisfactory to both, an appropriate adjustment transpires. If not, a departure.

    Let’s stop intruding with all sorts of rules in this simple trust. (The bonus in such a system, would build in pay-for-performance “attitude” … something which, while it’s been ignored, is the spring board for any prosperity for N.S.)

    Gordon a.... | July 14, 2017 | Reply

  • I submit that you (and politicians) have failed to give little or no regard to “pay by piecework”- a far more efffective way to ensure a fair days pay for a fair days work. By way of examples
    My grandson is planting trees in Ont this summer with/for a contractor who hires about 50 students per crew.It is hard,gruelling work and about 20% quit in first week.They live in tents provided by themselves and are well fed by the contractor at his cost.They leave for the bush each morning at 7:30 and if you miss bus you pay $25.00 for board that day. Each individual is paid about 10 cents per tree if the job passes inspection (they check by helicopter)
    Some make $500.00 per day;others make $100s less-it depends on EFFORT or productivity
    Even the least productive makes more than minimum wage and develop a work ethic
    I am sure snow would fly before the requisite trees were planted on a min wage basis.
    Secondly-I had 3 people laying sod this summer in Halifax. As soon as they were converted to piecework the number of sods laid per day increased dramatically-self interest is a great motivator
    Third- with respect,you or the bureaucrats have no concept of the take home pay of servers or bar staff. There are some establishments and shifts where I would PAY to have a job if my knees were younger.
    Generally piece work is opposed by unions and that reduces productivity to the speed of the slowest performer.

    Bill | July 14, 2017 | Reply

    • The NS policy explicitly contemplates piecework:

      Many employers in Nova Scotia pay employees by the amount they produce and not by the hour. This arrangement is called “piecework.” The Minimum Wage Order (General) says that an employer cannot pay an employee less for piecework than that employee would have earned at the minimum wage for the number of hours worked. For example, an employee is paid $7 for each hat the employee sews. During a one-week period the employee produces 40 hats. The employee is entitled to be paid: $7 per hat x 40 hats, or $280.00. To produce the 40 hats, the employee worked 30 hours. At the minimum wage the employee would have earned $325.50 ($10.85 x 30 hours of work). The employee is entitled to be paid at least the same as if the employee was being paid the minimum wage for each hour worked. The employee is, therefore, owed an additional $45.50 ($325.50 – $280.00). ”

      Its a good system for planting trees or sewing hats, but not for washing dishes or working a cash register.

      Bill | July 14, 2017 | Reply