What a world it would be if governments could simply legislate higher pay for low-wage workers without any ill effects. But we live in the real world and here public policy should be informed by evidence, not just good intentions. The reality that many labour activists fail to realize is that when governments mandate wage floors, there are real adverse effects. And the people hurt are often the most vulnerable with the least skills.
Canadians routinely hear about alleged growing divides in Canadian society. But here is one rift that often goes unmentioned: the divide between the pension benefits of public sector employees and everyone else.
Such inequality incurs real costs, where ordinary taxpayers pay ever more for above-market, guaranteed pension benefits that ever fewer in the private sector possess.
With Labour Day fresh in our memory and Ontarios unemployment rate having recently increased to 7.6 per cent, the province would do well to follow Indiana and Michigans lead and adopt worker choice laws. Doing so would make Ontario a significantly more competitive jurisdiction for business investment and provide a much needed shot in the arm for the provinces struggling manufacturing sector.
In 2012, both Indiana and Michigan enacted worker choice laws and there is a reasonable likelihood that Ohio may soon do the same.
As labour and capital have become more and more mobile, jurisdictional competitiveness is becoming more important in securing and maintaining economic prosperity. A minimum requirement is to have taxes, regulations, and other important policies competitive with competing jurisdictions. To gain an advantage, jurisdictions need policies that differentiate themselves from competing jurisdictions.
As BCs recently minted Clark government works through its economic priorities, it would be well advised to consider worker choice laws.
Terrace city council recently shelved a proposal to implement a living wage policy. Terrace taxpayers should hope it stays shelved.
With governments collectively racking up almost $46 billion in deficits last year and continuing to struggle with health care costs as the population ages, both governments and citizens are concerned that tax dollars are spent wisely.
More than three years after the end of the recession and British Columbias provincial government continues to struggle with deficits, which as of the last quarterly update will likely exceed $1.5 billion. Relying on revenues to rebound enough to catch up with spending just doesnt work as BCs own history aptly demonstrates. Similarly, municipalities across the province continue to struggle to find sufficient resources for infrastructure needs while balancing their books.
More than three years after the end of the recession and Ontarios provincial government continues to struggle with deficits, which as of the last quarterly update, will likely reach a staggering $14.8 billion. Relying on revenues to rebound enough to catch up with spending just doesnt work as Ontarios own history aptly demonstrates. Similarly, municipalities across the province continue to struggle to find sufficient resources for infrastructure needs while balancing their books.