Tag Archives: wages

(288) Living wages

386PX-~1A direct approach to easing suburban poverty would seem to be found in wages.  If suburban poverty is about precarious employment in dispersed, lower wage jobs, thin transportation resources, weak access to social services, and lack of affordable and appropriate housing options then why wouldn’t wages be a good place to start?  In the UK a movement for living wages is edging into the national debate just as the country appears poised for brutal austerity and economic contraction which will be very difficult for the poor.  Certainly, the idea of living wages has been kicking around social policy circles in most developed countries for decades and perhaps the economic craziness of the last few years has brought it forward.

In Canada, we see British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University adopt living wages as a specific policy …and finding itself able to afford to do so.  It seems a sensible argument can be made that living wages are good for people and what is good for people is good for business.  The very idea of a minimum wage is simply obsolete.  Not only can few live on them but business interests and their lobbyists, at least in English-speaking countries, tend to take offence to notions of raising minimum wages.  It’s harder to argue against living wages, which are an expression of justice in an age where a job doesn’t protect you from being poor.

CBC’s The National visited Hamilton, ON in 2012 to look at what a transition from minimum to living wages might mean.  That clip, and other material, is available on the Living Wage Hamilton site.

Living wage will cost SFU less than 0.1 per cent of budget: report
The Tyee

Living Wage Foundation UK

Beyond the Bottom Line: Challenges and Opportunities of the Living Wage  
77-page .pdf file resolutionfoundation.org January 2013

image: Bundesarkiv via Wikimedia Commons

(267) Twenty twenty vision [Report]

Cheerful reading from Resolution Foundation, a British think tank, which produced a document last fall called Gaining from growth: the final report of the Commission on Living Standards.  Important employers, labour leaders, economists and parents’ groups were looked to for the major findings of the report.  Such a grounding in reality continues on from other publishing efforts from Resolution with a focus on the difficulties facing lower and middle income households.  The major single conclusion of late?  That by 2020 the wages of middle and low income households in the UK will be no better than they were in 2000.  My goodness, no wonder we sometimes end up using the f-word on this blog!

Resolution Foundation publications page

(86) Wages in Canada

This weekend in the mass media in Canada there will be tons of worthless human interest bullshit about those whacky, maxxed out Americans going nuts, getting pepper sprayed and trampled to death storming strip malls for Black Friday bargoons.  Getting less attention will be fresh Statistics Canada data showing the failure of wages in Canada to keep up with inflation.  Considering wages have been sliding in real terms in this country since the 1970s we have to ask who the idiots really are.  Happy Thanksgiving America!
Wages not keeping up with cost of living Halifax Chronicle Herald