Minimum Wage in Ontario

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“Increasing the minimum wage is a bad move economically, philosophically and politically.” This quote by Marc Freedman, a distinguished author and CEO of Encore Careers, perfectly exemplifies my view on minimum wage. As a minimum wage earner, I would enjoy and entertain the idea of a few extra dollars in my pocket that comes with a minimum wage increase. Despite my self-interest, I believe in the interest of Ontario and the general population, that a minimum wage increase has only negative implications. I believe a minimum wage freeze is necessary, the economy needs to catch up, to decrease minimum wage is very difficult for a government because they would never get elected.

In a time when Ontario is in a slow economic recovery and is in dire need of job creation, a minimum wage increase will only slow the recovery and reduce jobs. The government of Ontario would like the minimum wage to increase by 10% in 2012 and it has already increased by $2.50 in past 10 years. I believe this is more of a political tactic then an economic aid. The majority of minimum wage earners are young people, immigrants/refugees and elderly people. These groups of people are infamous non-voters; the provincial government (Dalton McGuinty) needs votes. If your government is helping you out by increasing the minimum wage, therefore giving you more money, why would you not vote for them? Politically it is impossible to reduce the minimum wage because no party advocating minimum wage reduction would ever get elected.

The current minimum wage in Ontario is $10.25 and is increasing; the current minimum wage in New York State is $7.25. By increasing the minimum wage in Ontario, it will raise prices on goods and services and in turn negatively affect the economy. Here is an example: I am in the market for a vacuum cleaner. There is a Sears store in Toronto, and one in Buffalo, and they have identical products and number of employees. The Sears in Toronto has to pay their employees $10.25...
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