Only sexist pigs say no to a $10 minimum wage

Blogger was unable to post my comment to Jason Cherniak, a loud-mouthed young Liberal who suggests that Ontarians say no to a $10 minimum wage. It’s pretty obvious to this mother of two, who has never lived in Ontario, that Cherniak has never raised a child and that he has no clue whatsoever as to what costs are involved in doing so.

If you figure 40 hours a week at $8 an hour, you are looking at about $16,500 in income. I won’t deny it – that would be awfully tough to live on. However, it is not impossible if you are single and without loans to pay. After $9,600 in rent, you would still have around $200 a month for food after taxes. If you are a parent, then you will have other resources such as the child tax benefit to help you.

To suggest that the Child Tax Benefit is enough to help you feed and clothe a couple of kids as well as yourself shows just what a clueless child Cherniak really is. Apparently, he is one of the silver spoon crowd and perhaps he should keep it there rather than spew off the sexist crap he’s spewing! Or, maybe this is part of his initiation rite into the Old Boys’ Club!

Grow up, Cherniak, read the new Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada and show some social and moral responsibility for the lives of those who do not have the luxury to which you are so entitled.

Edited 11:20 p.m. 02Jan07 to add a link to Robert, two to Eugene, the second provides some numbers re some of my points in the comments below, another link is to The Jurist who comes to the economics of it by looking at the relationship between corporate profits and minimum wage and to my favourite cowboy, the one for social responsibility. All are worth having a look-see.

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57 thoughts on “Only sexist pigs say no to a $10 minimum wage

  1. I love that he thinks only losers and students are working for minimum wage.

    What about people in smaller towns that have little industry? Oh suppose we should all pack up and move to the big cities and leave what shops and industries there are to go completely under.

    JC obviously has very little life experience, not to mention empathy, compassion and humanity.

  2. The Child Tax Benefit?!?

    My, my. How interesting to hear a rising Young Liberal falling back so comfortably on that excuse for a policy.

    Jason Cherniak: making life for NDP campaign workers easier by the day.

  3. If you just want to insult me and assume that I don’t care, then we aren’t going to get very far. However, I will at least try.

    The government can do one of two things to help people who cannot live on minimum wage AND have no option but to remain on minimum wage.

    1) They can raise the minimum wage; or
    2) They can improve social programs and/or lower taxes on money earned below $20,000.

    If you want to argue for the minimum wage increase, then you have to explain why it is preferrable. You cannot just assume that it is the only way to help people in that situation. Further, you cannot assume that opposition to an increase minimum wage is a sign of heartlessness. It is a disagreement about how best to help people.

  4. Ughh…I think I’ve heard this crap before. Can’t believe it’s come to this: young ‘liberal’ Canadians taking talking points from Limbaugh. *vomit*
    Thanks for bringing this to my attn. Berlynn!
    PS: I wonder if JC has ever tried to live on 16K/yr. Honestly, I really wonder…

  5. 2) They can improve social programs and/or lower taxes on money earned below $20,000.
    I’ve lived on tax-cuts/credits were the least of my problems! Between 1998 & 2005, my wages didn’t budge…but my rent went up 34%. Food, public transit, everything became more expensive. It would have been a struggle even with zero-tax.

  6. Sorry..I goofed. The first sentence should have read:
    “I’ve lived on less than 20K/yr for most of my adult life (up until last year) and tax-cuts/credits were the least of my problems!”
    Je regrette la goof; but not the sentiment 😉

  7. Cherniak is a scion of privilege, so he will go far with the Liberals. A mediocre halfwit with and endless yearn for power.

    Some how I hope he fucks something up, and he will especially with his political instinks, and ends up working for minimum wage.

  8. $10 in ON is much too low since it’s about $8 already in SK. No one could live in Toronto on $10/h with a family, it just wouldn’t work well enough to be fair to people earning a wage based off of where minimum wage is set.

  9. Sorry, Jason, I cannot tell you how completely and totally angry your statements make me. And so, I will say whatever the hell I want because chances are that guys like you won’t get what I’m saying in my lifetime. You don’t get that what you say is completely and utterly heartless. There is not even a hint of noblesse oblige in your thinking. You see it as an either/or which simply serves to underline the immaturity and heartlessness of your thinking:

    The government can do one of two things…raise the minimum wage; or…improve social programs and/or lower taxes on money earned below $20,000.

    You are so Wrong. Governments can do both. And should. And they should do it because we care about the well-being of our neighbours, because we want to be a nation that leads in reducing poverty on this planet, and because there are ways to do it, though lowering taxes rarely, if ever, helps the lower income earner. (And, most minimum wage earners I know hold down two or three part-time jobs to help make ends meet.)

    When will people like you and those you mindlessly follow ever add to the equation the human costs of worshipping the Almighty Dollar? You are so out of touch with reality of poverty I cannot believe it! I mean, this is the 21st century. Isn’t it about time to end poverty?

  10. “The government can do one of two things to help people who cannot live on minimum wage AND have no option but to remain on minimum wage.

    1) They can raise the minimum wage; or
    2) They can improve social programs and/or lower taxes on money earned below $20,000.”

    They need to do both. Minimum wage increases aren’t enough, but they are something. Don’t forget most people on minimum wage don’t have job security either.

    The calculations don’t make any sense.

    “… you would still have around $200 a month for food after taxes” OK, now you need to get to work, so if you are in Toronto, that’s $100 for a metropass. Then perhaps you have a phone bill, and hydro to pay… oops, there goes the other $100. Now there is $0 left for food and other incidentals of life. Oh, and now your landlord raises the rent 3%. Guess what: you can’t afford to pay rent, nor can you afford to move. Oops you got a bad flu and missed a week of work. Or, your employer only gives you 32 hours this week. Crap, you have a toothache… your deductible is unpayable so you must suffer. Boy, you’d like to have something to do with your time, but everything costs money – museums, coffee shops, without money you become socially isolated. You get a hole in your shoes. Too bad. So sad. No shoes for you. Best is, everyone looks down on you because you are poor – they feel morally superior because poverty is deemed to be a personal failure in this society.

    And this is if you are single with no kids, working a full time job! The best scenario! Many don’t get full time hours, yet they have to stay flexible (can’t get another job) or they risk getting fired. Many are single mothers who also have to pay for daycare. And woe be to the couple in which one works for minimum wage and the other is unemployed. Or, if you lose your minimum wage job you’re in serious sh!t because you never earned enough in the first place to put aside any savings.

    Is any of this sinking in, JC?

  11. JC sounds too simple-minded and inexperienced. Doesn’t sound like he understands a heck of a lot about income vs. expenses, and he hasn’t bothered to research any stats on who lives on minimum income and the number of their dependants, if any. He is mouthing off an ill thought out solution (‘reasonable’ increases in minimum wage) without presenting any facts or numbers as to why his solution is better than anything else.

  12. Pingback: Scott’s DiaTribes » Blog Archive » The 10$ an hr proposed minimum wage is the right thing to do.

  13. I understand that nobody wants to live on $20,000 a year. However, I just don’t think that raising the minimum wage is the right answer. What happens if increasing your salary to $25,000 results in somebody else getting fired? What if you are the one who is fired? Is that fair? Is is worth the risk?

    If the child tax benefit is too low, then let’s raise it. Let’s not create economic havoc by raising the minimum wage by over 25%. I don’t see how you can call me heartless. I am not disagreeing with your sentiment. Indeed, I am saying we should do something to help people in your situation. Our only disagreement is on how best to do it.

  14. Let’s not create economic havoc by raising the minimum wage by over 25%.
    ——

    Whatever. Haven’t you written that your lifelong dream is to be a Bay Street lawyer?
    Sounds like Bay Street propaganda to me.

  15. It ought to show you who’s side Cherniak and the Ontario Liberals are on (well, most of them).

    Look at what he said: “Let’s not create economic havoc by raising the minimum wage by over 25%”

    The only economic havoc this will create is the 1% that will be trimmed off the profit margins of wal-mart and all the rest of those multinational organizations who have been waging war on their workers.

    that being said, look at who this is coming from… This is coming from the same guy and party who were all too enthusiastic to support a 31% pay increase for Ontario MLAs. How does one make the argument that some people deserve a wage increase of 31% and then go and tell other people that they can’t have a 25% increase? I suppose we ought to point Cherniak in the direction of the dictionary, specifically to the pages where the word “hypocite” would be located.

    The fact of the matter is that Cherniak and his fat cats friends don’t give a shit about poor people. It’s all about pay increases for the CEOs of the Ontario hydro racket … ahem … private corporations and tough love for those who are not cash contributors to the Ontario Liberal Party’s coffers.

    If you ever want the definition of class warfare, just see Cherniak’s denial of a minimum wage increase, and the Ontario Liberal party’s legislative war on the down trodden.

  16. Right… corporations like Wal-Mart, Subway, Tim Hortons, McDonalds, etc. etc. etc. will suffer great economic damage that will wreak havoc on the general Canadian economy if they pay their employees $10/hr because their profits will dwindle, and they will be forced to get rid of a significant portion of their workforce; otherwise, the CEOs will have to sell a couple of their mansions and cottages and they might even be forced to have only one roof over their heads. Oh my gad, no country cottage to spend Thanksgiving at? Egads, what a tragedy.

    Right Jason, the economy is really going to suffer for this. Hey, didya hear a happier and less-stressed employee is likely to contribute better to society than one who is trying to hold down 3 minimum wage jobs to make ends meet? Did you know many women voluntarily choose to be prostitutes (and accept all the dangers associated with the sex trade) because they simply cannot support themselves and their families on $7-8/hr? Why work a shitty job where the employer treats you like crap for $8/hr when you can work someother crappy job for a few hundred dollars a night?

    Your assumption that an employer will be forced to cut back on his/her employees is merely that – an assumption. It is what you want to believe, but it does not reflect reality.

  17. I am self employed and have been for 8 years. I would love to make $10 per hour as I have been making at the most about $5 per hour for the last few years. My business property taxes went up 75% last year. All of my other overhead expenses have gone up as well. If the minimum wage goes any higher in Saskatchewan I wouldn’t be able to hire someone part time even if I wanted to.

  18. I think maybe you’re the one who is sexist to imply that only women have to deal with raising childen.

    And why exactly would a person have to raise a family on a single minimum wage income? Even if parents split up, there should still be child support etc to help pay to take care of the children.

  19. I did not see any implication that only women have to deal with raising children. Just maybe there are more single women than men forced to raised children on their own, often with little or no support from family and friends.

    “Even if parents split up, there should still be child support etc to help pay to take care of the children.”

    There should be, but often there isn’t. Are you really this naive?? Maybe the parent who doesn’t have child custody is disabled, unable to get a job for various other reasons, has other debts, works for only $8/hr, or really just doesn’t give a shit about paying child support. (I can’t believe I just had to explain why there isn’t always enough enough child support!)

  20. Jason,

    First, do not assume that I speak of my own situation. You have no clue as to who I am or what I do. To presume so smacks of the young and very male arrogance on which I have already called you.

    Second, our disagreement has deeper roots than you can obviously see. As I said over at Scott’s DiaTribes, we live in a patriarchy, a society established and dominated by male ways of thinking and doing, by laws and regulations that do not take into full account the real lives of women. There are systemic barriers to women’s economic freedom (as well as a host of other freedoms, but I’ll not get into those right now).

    Third, for as long as I’ve been a working adult (and that’s going on close to three decades now) full-time working women have earned somewhere around 70 percent of their male counterparts earn. Part-time working women fare even worse and it is women who hold the majority of minimum-waged, part-time positions in this country. So, when the minimum wage goes up, it is primarily women who benefit. To see it otherwise is heartless.

    Fourth, it was the previous Liberal government, I believe, that fucked up Family Allowance, replacing it with something that doesn’t work — not that it was perfect — but it was at least a consistent thing throughout the child’s life. Now, the allowance goes down as the child gets older. It’s been my experience that the costs of children’s food, clothing, activities, etc. increase, not decrease, as the children age.

    Fifth, you sound like Chicken Little crying, The sky is falling, the sky is falling when you cry about wreaking economic havoc by raising the minimum wage by over 25%. Use your higher level thinking, for heaven’s sake!

    Finally, I’m a firm believer in where there’s a will, there’s a way. So, if a government makes it a priority to have a $10 minimum wage, then it will find a way to make it happen in the best way possible for everyone.

  21. Jason Cherniak said:
    “I understand that nobody wants to live on $20,000 a year.”

    How does he get these numbers?

    Let’s do the math

    Work 40 hours a week
    52 weeks a year
    $7.75 per hour
    ——————
    $16,120.00

    Jason, you need a new calculator. People on minimum wage do not make $20,000 – even if they work 40 hours week, 52 weeks a year.

  22. Pingback: My Blahg » WHY $10

  23. “First, do not assume that I speak of my own situation. You have no clue as to who I am or what I do. To presume so smacks of the young and very male arrogance on which I have already called you.”

    Um… You wrote that you’ve lived on “I’ve lived on less than 20K/yr for most of my adult life“. How can we have an honest debate if you are going to accus me of sexism for taking you at your word?

    “There are systemic barriers to women’s economic freedom.”

    I agree. I have never argued otherwise. Why would you assume I did?

    “Fourth, it was the previous Liberal government, I believe, that fucked up Family Allowance”

    So fix it. That has nothing to do with the minimum wage.

    “Use your higher level thinking, for heaven’s sake!”

    Oh, well I’m convinced. Who needs rational argument?

    “Finally, I’m a firm believer in where there’s a will, there’s a way. So, if a government makes it a priority to have a $10 minimum wage, then it will find a way to make it happen in the best way possible for everyone.”

    I’ve never denied that. I’m denying that making this specific policy work is the best way to help low income earners. Read today’s post.

  24. Jason,
    Have you ever worked a minimum wage job during your adult life, or have you always been able to rely on favours and connections from friends of your high power lawyer, Liberal-friendly father?

  25. Now JCs sicking “the media” on people who disagree with his privileged Bay Street insider analysis. Funny as always, Cherniak.

  26. The best reason to oppose increasing the minimum wage is that it’ll do nothing to reduce poverty, and will quite possibly make it worse. Something like 96% of those in the lowest two income deciles would not be affected by an increase in the minumum wage, and only a quarter of those who work for minimum wage are in the bottom two income deciles. A much, much better policy would be an earned income tax credit, targeted at low-income households.

    I’ve blogged on this here and in much greater detail here. The data on who is paid minimum wage is summarised here.

  27. Sexist pigs do not get that a vast majority of those who hold minimum wage jobs are women. An increase in minimum wage will help women. That’s the point. No one has said it’s the best way. Hell no! I’d argue for a guaranteed annual income because that would be best for all women and children, but that might send little J-boy and his buddies into even crazier tailspins!

    Embrace your chauvinism, boys. And deal with it. Women’s time has arrived.

    Or, wait, is that you’re scared of the power of women?

  28. Didn’t see anything mentioned about Ireland, Stephen.

    Well, no. Because I don’t live there, and because I thought that Canadian data was relevant in a discussion about, you know, Canada.

  29. Pingback: ThePolitic.com » From a Sexless Pig to a Sexist Pig

  30. Yeah, that’s it pnp, us men-folk are skeered y’all wimmin might git uppity’n’such.

    I’ll tell you what, though. If you make yourself worth more than $7.75 to an employer, then he will probably pay you more than $7.75. Just a suggestion.

    Oh yeah. And if you have to move to make a better life for your children, then a RESPONSIBLE parent will bloody well move. Suck it up and spare me the whine.

  31. As I have state on my blog on more than one occassion but I will reiterate here that womens struggles are the struggle of the proletariat, since women make up the majority of the population and are exploited as workers, both in the workplace and through unpaid homework as caregivers. That is the patriarchy in action. Sure sexist pigs may sound rhetorical, it is, insulting, it is, but the point being made is that the arguments being made by Jason and others misses completely the real fiscal needs of working people.

    First we need a social wage, that is a living wage of approximately $10 an hour nationally, including a benefits package for dental/hearing eye care, medical benefits not covered by healthcare, a transferable pension plan or RRSP, life insurance,

    Secondly that should include wages paid to homecare workers women who stay at home to care for children or elders.

    Thirdly no Canadian working earning $100,000 a year or less should pay any taxes. Period.

    Fourthly a national day care program should be instituted acorss Canada for free.

    How do we do this, by making the Capitalists pay. Simply put all social costs of capitalist society should be paid for by business, from their before tax profits. Currently taxes are paid on after expenses are calculated from profits, and taxes are then deferred.

    Currently all social programs in Canada are a benefit to capitalists but are paid for by you and I.

    That is real economic secret of capitalism, it created the State to offset the social costs of doing business. Costs you and I pay whether we benefit or not.

    Tax credits are an illusion at best a joke at worst. They do NOT put money in our pockets.

  32. Why do so many of you think that the governement ‘owes’ you anything? Why is it that you feel you deserve to be babysat by Big Brother? Why do you feel that strong-arming employers into a higher minimum wage is ‘fair and just’? Where is this extra money going to come from?
    I’ll tell you what’s fair and just though, you keep what you earn and I keep what I earn.

  33. “What about people in smaller towns that have little industry? Oh suppose we should all pack up and move to the big cities and leave what shops and industries there are to go completely under.”-April Reign(

  34. “What about people in smaller towns that have little industry? Oh suppose we should all pack up and move to the big cities and leave what shops and industries there are to go completely under.”-April Reign

    Without defending Cherniak I feel the desire to make two points regarding this comment.

    1. The small businesses you feel so sorry for are the ones lobbying against the $10 minimum wage. If they wanted you to have it they would have given it to you already.

    2. Yes, you should pick up and move to where the money and jobs are. If you want to live where there is little opportunity then be prepared to live with the consequences.

  35. Berlynn, how else would you like me to subsidize your life through my tax dollars?

    If minimum wage earners don’t like earning minimum wage, then there’s always that little thing called a community college. Look it up.

    But please do drop all the “pig” talk when what this is really about is you sucking up to the state for greater pogey.

  36. Aaron, you really know nothing about how capitalism works, do you? Well, fyi, it depends on a cheap labour pool for part of its profits. Your suggestion that a bit of education will get you a job is as outdated as the political views you present at your blog.

    And, I’ll drop the pig talk when people stop acting like sexist pigs which is, apparently, not going to happen in what’s left of my lifetime.

  37. No, businesses with a small profit margin depend on a cheap labour pool for profits. Like A & W restaurants. Gold mines have a higher margin of profit and can therefore pay their employees more. You can make yourself attractive to those business by attaining skills.

    Some advice: do a one year course in information technology at your local community college. Then go on a trip to Calgary and see if anyone will take you on at a starting wage of about 18/hour. You’d be surprised. And, amazingly, the state didn’t have to support you one bit during this whole scenario!

  38. And you can just leave your kids in a mall while you go to school, and leave them alone while you hitchhike out there and back, and tuck them in a closet somewhere in Calgary because there is virtually no family, childcare or housing there! Yay! Everyone is happy!

  39. Aaron, you are a prime example of the know-it-all Old Boy I’ve been talking about. I don’t need your advice; my wages are more than quadruple the pittance the Ontario NDP have recommended as minimum wage for their province. And, the cost of living there is much higher than here.

    As to A&W and gold mines, I would like to see our world survive without both. The first promotes unhealthy eating habits in our youth; the second devastates our earth.

  40. “And you can just leave your kids in a mall while you go to school, and leave them alone while you hitchhike out there and back, and tuck them in a closet somewhere in Calgary because there is virtually no family, childcare or housing there! Yay! Everyone is happy!”

    So why exactly should that be my problem, or any other taxpayers’ problem? We didn’t get you pregnant. Excuses are for losers.

    “Aaron, you are a prime example of the know-it-all Old Boy I’ve been talking about.”

    And you’re a good example of the prototype old feminist bat I talk about sometimes. I didn’t mention it because it wouldn’t have been polite. But you seem not to be constrained by anything resembling civility, so here I am, wallowing in the mud.

    “I don’t need your advice; my wages are more than quadruple the pittance the Ontario NDP have recommended as minimum wage for their province.”

    Sigh. Fine, good for you. Then let’s pretend that I was doing what I was actually doing: giving advice to some abstract person that is making minimum wage and doesn’t like it.

    “As to A&W and gold mines, I would like to see our world survive without both. The first promotes unhealthy eating habits in our youth; the second devastates our earth.”

    Umm, I think that you’ve maybe missed the point here.

  41. Hey Aaron how come you invalidate other peoples tribulations and struggles with yer bullshit rugged individualist tripe? Some people have had it harder than you period, there, toughy. For some no easy answers are there. I’d like to see you survive anywhere else but Canada where you seem to have the world by the balls, you’re so privileged and all knowing, with tonnes of easy DIY answers. Bite me.

  42. Let me guess. Aaron, “We didn’t get you pregnant. Excuses are for losers” is anti-choice. Am I right? People’s situations can change. Sometimes things happen that are beyond one’s own control. Birthed children cannot be unbirthed.

    You seem to be saying to a 2-year-old, “Now that you’re out of the loser’s hatch, you’re on your own, sucker!”

  43. Aaron, you seem to have misconstrued comments. Writer and I are two different people and you seem to be melding us as one. Perhaps you might try reading more carefully?

    As for civility, this is my blog and if you don’t like it, you can leave. But first, why is it that women are expected to be civil but men can carry on treating women like shit forever and ever, amen?

  44. >because their profits will dwindle

    >How do we do this, by making the Capitalists pay.

    I just love people who live in a vaccuum filled by assumptions that no-one else could possibly have an independent and ingenious mind. Those are nice-sounding policy prescriptions – that all these costs should be taken out of profits – but how do you propose to force the capitalists to stay and work under those particular conditions?

  45. “Aaron, you seem to have misconstrued comments. Writer and I are two different people and you seem to be melding us as one.”

    I just responded to both of you in one post.

    “But first, why is it that women are expected to be civil but men can carry on treating women like shit forever and ever, amen?”

    I could answer that if it accurately represented my opinion, but it doesn’t.

  46. “Hey Aaron how come you invalidate other peoples tribulations and struggles with yer bullshit rugged individualist tripe? Some people have had it harder than you period, there, toughy. For some no easy answers are there. I’d like to see you survive anywhere else but Canada where you seem to have the world by the balls, you’re so privileged and all knowing, with tonnes of easy DIY answers. Bite me.”

    Priviliged? That’s funny, considering the working class pure laine I came from. Here’s the question you should really be asking yourself: How do you ask for help while treating those you’re asking like dirt? Answer: You can’t. Think it through, then attend a Ms. Manners night class.

  47. I think Jason Cherniak makes some valid points. I agree with him that raising the minimum wage too high could have negative consequences for small business owners and that social programs may be a better way to help people out. I wish that you would save calling men sexist pigs for times when it is warranted. I don’t think this debate is the time.

  48. RE: Minimum Wage Increase

    I have a small business in Ontario that employees about 60 people yearly and 110 or so at Christmas. My business is not extremely profitable, thus I pay some employees minimum wage. With this new proposed minimum wage, my business will not survive.

    If I was more profitable, I would pay more and thus most likely get a better qualified employee. Instead I hire those who are new to the country with limited language or computer skills or those looking to work when they want (2nd voluntary income earners). Many of these people eventually leave me for other jobs or else I train them and then increase their wage as their skills get stronger.

    Many of these entry jobs are entry-level light physical (pick and pack) and data work (data entry). In addition, I hire many people who could make more money but want to work flexible hours (students or homemakers who want to get out of the house – which I allow because they accept a
    lower wage).

    Starting today I am going to be looking to the Ukraine and India for possible data entry services. In addition, I will start considering
    relocating my pick and pack operation into Atlantic Canada in the next 3 to 5 years. My lease on my warehouse comes due in 3 years.

    Over the next year I will try to bring down my staff from 60 to 40 people in Ontario. If this minimum wage of $10.25 comes into effect, I will probably move all 110 jobs into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia or Alberta if their economy slows down.

    I wish I would have know about this before I started my business in Ontario 10 years ago, otherwise I would have picked another province.

  49. If your business is not profitable that is not the fault of your employees (who deserve a living wage) but it is the fault of you, your business plan or your management style. Quit blaming workers for the mess you’ve created.

    Take a look at a book such as Holistic Management by Allan Savory and maybe you can rethink your business.

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