Idiot is idiot

The leader of Canada’s most populous province has lashed out at prominent business owners who clawed back employee benefits and paid breaks in order to offset the costs of a minimum wage increase, describing the move as the “act of a bully”.

Kathleen Wynne, the premier of Ontario, announced last year that the province would raise its minimum wage to C$15 ($12) an hour by 2019. The first phase went into effect this week, hiking the minimum wage for workers from C$11.40 an hour to C$14.00.

Days into the wage hike, it emerged that employees at two locations of Tim Hortons – Canada’s emblematic coffee chain that claims to pour eight of every 10 cups of coffee sold in the country – would no longer be paid for breaks and would have to cover at least half the costs of their health and dental benefits.

The owners of the two stores, Ron Joyce Jr and his wife, Jeri Horton-Joyce – who are the son and daughter of the chain’s co-founders – said in a letter to employees that the changes were due to the increased minimum wage.

Labour compensation is labour compensation, labour wages are labour wages. When a politician, by fiat, changes labour wages we might well expect to see a change in non-wage labour costs in order to keep labour compensation around and about static.

You know? Canute and the tide, prices in a market economy?

21 comments on “Idiot is idiot

  1. “The leader of Canada’s most populous province has lashed out at prominent business owners who clawed back employee benefits and paid breaks in order to offset the costs of a minimum wage increase, describing the move as the “act of a bully”.”

    Why the fuck doesn’t “The leader of Canada’s most populous province” open up her own fucking coffee shop and set an example by paying whatever the fuck wages she wants to her staff so we can see what happens?

    Never do, do they?

  2. ‘arguing that the gains of this growth have not been shared equally’

    Here we go again. CM scum trotting out totalist terms, the language of nonthought.

  3. Fools, the lot of you.

    The decisions of our bien pensant betters are always consequence-free. Because reasons.

    That’s why they never have to think beyond first order effects (on the limited times they even manage to get that far.) See many time passim the great works of Ritchie, Blair, Brown, Cameron etc, etc, etc.

  4. Politicians too often haven’t a clue about incentives and how people respond to them. To them economics is just people behaving badly.

  5. Of course; set the cost wrong, of hiring employees, and the owner will make up for it in other ways.

    If it’s anything like the forces that drove US businesses to leave profits in Europe, Canada’s next step will be to enact countermeasures and employ bureaucrats to enter businesses and study whether they are guilty of “evasion” of the previous law’s good intentions.

    Makes me also think about Theresa May’s chronic need to keep the free-market at arm’s length and apologize for its salary “excesses.”

  6. True, Spike. The business owners are in fact making adjustments that will PRESERVE THE EMPLOYEES’ JOBS.

    They could accept Kathy Bully’s directive, then go bankrupt.

  7. Simon Evans on R4 last night predicting that the crisis in social care will be solved by sex robots – if they can do the carnal deed with you, they can wipe your bottom, lift you in and out of the bath, make small talk and check you’ve taken your medication.
    This will now happen a lot faster, during which time the crisis will get worse, as we make it illegal for someone to do these things at prices between 1p and 7.79 an hour.

  8. @Tommydog, January 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Politicians too often haven’t a clue about incentives and how people respond to them. To them economics is just people behaving badly.

    Yet many of them read PPE at Oxbridge – does Oxbridge have an army of Ritchie clones that tutor PPE undergrads?

  9. It is dismaying to be forced to acknowledge that what in modern terms should be relatively spacious, resource wealthy (and most of all comparatively free!) places like Canada, Australia, NZ and substantial bits of the USA are actually at least as head to toe bonkers as the UK. So much for the harmless fantasy of very reluctantly buggering off there when England has (overall and before you know it) become a gruesome melange of the grottier aspects of London, Liverpool and Bradford.

    Even Mother Russia is starting to appeal (albeit slightly). I’ve sort of prospered in fabulously lawless places in the past, though not sure I’d have the energy for it now. Still, overt crooks terrify me way less than the insidious ones. Poland, maybe; spirited and talented, admittedly forever being invaded and with a pretty incomprehensible language. Some other unregarded Eastern European kleptocracy?

    The list is getting shorter. Perhaps we’ll have to stay, resist as best as we can and hope for better times. They’ll likely be different before they’re notably better, though.

  10. Yet many of them read PPE at Oxbridge – does Oxbridge have an army of Ritchie clones that tutor PPE undergrads?

    You have to drop one of the three ‘legs’ of your PPE degree after the first year, and economics is often ditched because it’s seen as ‘harder’ than the other two options (basic arithmetic may be involved). Still, they all ought to have covered the basics.

  11. The owners of the two stores, Ron Joyce Jr and his wife, Jeri Horton-Joyce – who are the son and daughter of the chain’s co-founders

    It is very liberal of Canada to let a brother and sister marry.

    I do like the Left’s belief that they are entitled to do things and other people are not entitled to respond.

  12. It’s been brought up here before, but the margins on hospitality are often rather on the thin sife.

    So hiking the M.W. from 11.4 to 14 is an increase of 23%.

    If Tim Horton’s is running the “normal” 30/30/30/10 ratio (rent / stock purchase / labour / net margin), increasing their salary costs by 23% (assuming that social charges etc. scale with, and that they’re dominated by MW labour), one of those 30’s becomes 37. So we end up with 30/30/37/3.

    So if the margin drops from about 10% to about 3%, it’s putting the entire company at risk of making a loss should something unforseen happen.

    The tyranny of numbers, eh?

  13. abacab

    Not debating the principle at all – but at the margin re the arthmetic, not “all” labour will be min wage.

  14. @Chris Miller,

    Thanks for info. May explain the ignorance – do they have to pass the E. end of year exam to progress to year two?

  15. @PF – but the bulk of the labour will be at MW, or will be indexed to minimum wage.

    It’s not only the MW workers who will have to get a raise – those paid below $14, and some above will ALL have to be bumped up to maintain the hierarchy and incentivisation scheme.

    I accept that my figures are an approximation, but the impact will be on a significant proportion of the wage bill.

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