You might have noticed in the title of this post there is no $ sign. This is mostly because of the fact that once this movement has gotten itself to ‘mission accomplished’ stage it will not be a fight for $15 dollars, but 15 hours.
Just like everywhere in North America, the BCNDP have decided to put their weight behind this movement in an attempt to gain votes from those that might get themselves a nice raise. The consequences? Irrelevant, so long as votes are gained.
Obviously when you look at CEO/Upper Management, Administrators and all else in areas like Banking, Government etc. we know there are huge discrepancies in salaries.
We know that many of these people get paid fortunes regardless of performance and at times it seems (BC Ferries, BC Hydro… anything with BC in front of it) they get paid more the worse they do. Even if it something else that would have you or I in jail, they walk.
We all watched as massive bonuses were paid to CEO’s for Sub Prime Crisis (and dozens of others like it.) We know that barring the fact that a few pennies are getting paid to hundreds of millions of people we have outright slavery at most Fortune 500 companies or their subsidiaries.
We know that many people are not fighting for $15, they are fighting for 15 calories, fighting large corporations/governments stealing their land, fighting over e-waste to burn so they can get some metal from it to sell for food.
We are well aware slave labour is being used to make your phones, mine the metals for them and so on. There is a long way to go for true equality beyond the CEO buzzword use of equality to make the twitter algorithms work. Or the buzzwords we want to say while supporting someone else non ‘living’ wage in a foreign land.
The point of this article is not to get into how to perfectly solve this problem but rather the problems the political ‘solution’ will create.
I am sure you have all seen articles talking about how this increase in wages is going to somehow increase employment or at a minimum ‘not affect’ jobs. Right.
Typically, someone will point to some obscure situation over a short period of time in 1 city and say ‘look here, it works’ and then a year or 2 later they will never revisit their claims after the dust has settled and the jobs cuts keep coming.
You start to wonder if any of these people making these claims have done either A) basic math, B) ever owned a business or C) have any understanding of the speed at which technology is replacing people in the work place. This is roughly 90% of all politicians.
These ideas are very romantic. Who doesn’t want a government forced wage that increases your hourly wage by 20-50% without you having to show you have added anymore value to the company you work for? That’s right, no one. In fact the probabilities are high that this doesn’t stop here, for many will feel ‘this is what we should have got the whole time’ and continue to do exactly as they have which will be a further erosion on productivity. In case you were not aware, despite all the tech, the training and all else productivity of workers is getting to all time lows.
One of the primary reasons cited? People on the very phones that are supposed to ‘save time’ while they are supposed to be providing productivity (value) for the company they are working for. Looks like many companies are just bypassing the phone/human thing and just going phone:
I grew up in Ontario. We were very close to the USA border. While I was on the younger side of life when NAFTA came around, I remember a video by Ross Perot (of all people) The video is appropriately titled ‘giant sucking sound’ It was made for the purposes of talking about the continued push by big corporations to get legislation done to reduce labour costs.
As time passed I was still too young to care about the effects this ‘deal’ would have. Slowly as each factory went from 3 shifts to 2 to 1 to Mexico it can be hard to see it. Like when you see a child every day you might not notice them growing but if you don’t see them from age 6 to 10 and then do you see the difference.
I also recall at the time there was much debate and in fact there were many in the industries that were completely gutted that were duped into believing politicians and industry were going to do ‘what is best for middle class families’
Last year I went home and many of the factories, hotels and the rest are just weed infested parking lots. Same in other towns close by where people used to work.
Why? Everyone’s friend Math.
Every companies best friend: The Cheapest Labour Possible.
A small reminder was put out the other day of what we all used to see almost daily where I am from. Some plant moving to Mexico because labour is a fraction of the cost there than it is to produce in Canada/USA.
97% reduction in labour costs. Wow. Inversely to the question posed earlier, what CEO in the world wouldn’t want a 97% decrease in labour costs? What CEO wouldn’t want a 5% decrease in labour costs?
A huge factor in accelerating this trend is another completely failed policy that was supposed ‘be a permanent fix’ and that is Obamacare which is driving businesses large and small out of the country or just out of business altogether.
While in Canada our ‘free’ Health Care is not exactly a push out of the country, it is our massive increases in Hydro costs, MSP, benefits and all the rest that are drags on profits. We can get into just about anything but the driver of all things, in the end is costs.
Rule # 1: If there is a cheaper alternative to anything, all things being equal, the corporation MUST go with it.
Here is the issue. Costs either get eaten or passed on in the event there is no alternative. However since the dawn of time we know that countries (which are legally corporations) and corporations will ALWAYS look for the labour that is as close to slavery as possible. In fact most countries were founded on slavery which is part of what ‘got them ahead’ of the competition. When countries (the worlds largest corporations) and corporations (what most believe are the largest corporations) get together on something it is a 100% guarantee it will be for their interests and no other.
Just like NAFTA provided the avenue to find cheaper labour as did China, India, Mexico and whatever name is on the back of your shirts and shoe tongues so will iPads, computers and automation. (which are also not made in North America)
While politicians and workers hail this as ‘a long time coming’ small business owners are letting the world know what it means to them. Pay cuts for owners, dropping total hours for all staff, more hours for entrepreneurs, eliminating staff, cutting fringe benefits or total compensation or outright replacement. This article is a great real world example. You will be seeing many like this moving forward. You will also see less workers, more iPads.
This article is having a heavy lean on the food services side. The reason is it is this industry that is mostly doing all the pushing. It is also their unions jumping on the bandwagon. Inversely it is companies like Starbucks who are echoing the sentiments of small businesses with actions. What are those actions? Adding more jobs? Increasing hours? Increasing ‘total compensation’?
No, of course not. They are firing people, reducing hours AND moving to phones/tech doing all the work (which also provides them data to sell). These are the companies that can’t just move to Mexico. These are also the big multi-national companies who will, under no circumstances ‘eat the losses’
In fact, they stand to benefit the most for while other small coffee shops, eateries and the like have to eat the costs (or close) and don’t have the capital to invest in expensive computer systems, Starbucks, McDonalds etc. have a few aces up their sleeves.
The first one is to secretly pretend they don’t want wage increases.
Impossible you say?
Yes, it certainly seems that way. However, what better way to push out workers than to let the workers do it for you. Some companies really don’t care. If you are in Finance, look out because this is one that is moving fastest. Finance is mostly transactional based. When you start to learn that 80% of ALL TASKS will be done by software, you know that as a minimum 50% of ALL finance jobs will no longer be needed.
This way, when they do their quarterly updates, or fire people by the 1000’s, they can say ‘Look, the government passed this law, so we had to adapt to protect shareholder value’
So the food industry plays this card with politicians. I really hope that by now many of you will know where this is going. These multi-nationals buy politicians and elections. Not only them but the entire complex of Big Ag and all things up and down stream. There is not a single piece of legislation ever created that hurts election donors. Ever.
A quick look at the Province of BC pensions alone and how they invest in these very companies. Remember, they do not invest in mom and pop stores. They sure do love to tax them to death while letting Starbucks, McDonalds and the rest offshore their earnings in Luxembourg or wherever. If you’re clever, you know the reasons come companies can do it and the others can’t already: Destroying all competition to government investments, increasing revenue via taxation to compensate for the taxes multi-nationals don’t pay is the CRA’s job.
Here are some documents of reference. I am showing one from California below which is seeing people and businesses close and leave to better pastures due to min. wage laws just passed and high taxes. Typically they are ahead of BC in their folly and politically imposed idiocy. Here is BC
As you will see if you look, the numbers are all right there. When you consider that governments make up the bulk of the $25 TRILLION pension industry and also pass the laws to ensure no taxes are paid and competition is destroyed via CRA/IRS you start to see things clearly. Many of you have seen this image. It is a great image. This is literally an image of Every. Single. Pension Fund.
One thing I wish these people did was somehow find a way to show how heavily invested our governments are in these companies. Since that is not the case, I will do some of it for you. You will see that for the most part, it resembles the below image vs. anything to do with ‘equality’. Municipal, Provincial/State, Public, Private, Federal, Union… they are all invested the same.
Let’s show a company called Yum Brands. It is the controller of Taco Bell, KFC, Eastside Mario’s, A+W and Pizza Hut. Yum Brands, in the end, is owned by Pepsi. Pepsico, via CalPERS (just one of many pension funds in California) is owned to the tune of more than $400 MILLION. You can find Nestle, Proctor and Gamble, Coke… whatever on your own time.
McDonalds? Same thing. Every other fast/medium food chain? Same thing. BCIMC? Same thing. Canada Pension Plan? Same. All pensions? Same. Whether you are talking about tech replacing teachers, lawyers, doctors, drivers or fast food workers, it is all the same. The government is going to look after their investments via legislation. This is why ‘working with’ fight for $15 proponents ‘against’ corporations that they are fully invested in? Right.
Just like in schools and every other place someone is going to provide the Wi-Fi routers, tablets/iPads, computer software, cyber security, data harvesting/mining/selling and so on.
It just so happens that those iPads that are going to replace your friendly server trying to pay tuition, are massive holdings by the very government that will introduce the laws to make those workers obsolete or less competitive, just like they did with NAFTA and other ‘free’ trade agreements they continue to push for multi-nationals.
It just so happens, they (like Big Oil who pay no taxes and pay for every election) also pay for elections and just so happen to run algorithms to favour certain candidates. No different than big Oil, they seem to for some strange reason have the ear of the most powerful people. Wonder what it is they talk about?
You can clearly see this is an everyone wins scenario. The only problem is that you and I and all those workers are not part of everyone.
So we can get a snap shot of downstream value that will be coming to other entities as well. We see that Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow and all the rest are huge holdings. Their chemicals are in just about all the food we eat, which all these companies sell to the public. Hard to ignore the marketing of these ‘quality safe products’
By now many of you (in some cases it is said 80% plus) know that these chemicals are absolute poison and cause sickness which hurt our health care resources. (meaning increases profits for government Pharma investments) My hope it is beyond obvious at this point why all these deadly chemicals are miraculously ‘proven safe’ and ‘have no known effects’
When you are all over yourself for your party passing some law to ‘save the world’ by increasing taxes… do you ever wonder why they don’t touch these guys? Do you really think they care if they are letting these guys poison the entire planet? Do you really think these people care?
These guys know exactly what they are doing and who they work for. It is in no way for the commoners among us. It is in no way to ‘ensure a living wage’ for how do you have a living wage if you are replaced by an iPad? How do you have a living wage if you are replaced by a machine that makes burgers perfect every time, wants no days off, pensions, never sleeps and is twice as productive?
This is strictly to give their pension fund investments an advantage in market share, overall profits, EPS and whatever metric you want. I have warned before of these funds desperate search for returns since bonds are negative and it is hard to get yield out there. Warnings have come from everywhere of governments looking to trim costs (staff) which is the same as we here from Private Firms (like banks and the rest). See what Starbucks did.
The ramifications are huge. We already see issues with companies dumping current workers and going to laws (once agains passed by bought and sold politicians) to hire cheaper labour (because that is what companies do) to compensate for cost increases.
Yes, those multinationals that say words like ‘living wage’ and equality go around in the background, fund campaigns to let them hire cheap foreign labour and then fire people by the 1000’s.
There are 2 aspects that no one seems to want to discuss, for perhaps if they did, they would get the usual labels we all know well. Every one of these countries is taking in millions of people. These people usually take on these entry level lower wage tier jobs.
There is just one problem, millions are coming in and millions of these jobs are disappearing.
For example, in Germany over 99% of 1 million refugee/immigrants don’t have jobs.
This is a whole other story on it’s own. We will leave this here but it is definitely something to think about.
If you are of the belief that somehow your private or public pension is going to be there in 10-20 years ask yourself this question. If slowly but surely we keep moving in this direction and people that are leaving are being replaced by robots/iPads/AI who is going to keep the pension ponzi going? If pensions are already in a massive crisis across the globe because of lack of returns on government debt how are they going to cope with those losses AND people contributing less since they have been replaced by machines AND people in record numbers drawing on pensions?
Sorry folks, when 1 pension plan in California has over 1 billion invested in Exxon, they are not going to go after them with any carbon taxes. Same as in Canada. When they have billions invested in Monsanto etc. that is why votes don’t pass to label GMO’s. When they have countless billions invested in Big Fast Food, they are not going to pass laws that hurt them and help you.
Until we wake up and smell the money, this will only continue and people will be duped into whatever government says if it fits their mutual agenda with their investments that are protected by the very laws they pass.
Don’t want to break it to you to intensely here, but yes, if your party you vote for (wherever it is) can be considered in the top 2 or 3 parties… they are in on it. That is just how it works. Put the pride away and look at the numbers and the actual actions beyond the headlines and one liners on podium lecterns.
If you hear some politicians talking about this stuff you know it is just ‘strategy for the upcoming election’ to get people to vote themselves out of a job. They will get in and your job will be taken out, what do they care?
The question I ask is ‘How do you give someone a raise who doesn’t have a job or gets their hours cut? You don’t. That said, you can certainly give your share/bond holdings a RAISE in value by one stroke of a pen. That is where the election ROI (return on investment) comes in.
Just as with the Smart Grid, Data Mining Schools and virtually every other law, they are bought and paid for. There is one thing we always must consider: No matter how much money is involved with who or when, if we don’t buy the lies and we act on them with knowledge and understanding… they won’t work. If we believe the lies and form our entire opinion on headlines and phone scrolling press releases they will work. For there is nothing else to point to but the shape we are in now to see this is true.
Lies cannot be sold without a buyer. Don’t buy it.