In an “open letter” to local MPs Don Rusnak and Bob Nault, published in the Sept. 13 edition of the Fort Frances Times, local Conservative Doug Judson continued his unfair and duplicitous tirade against Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Why he chose to write an “open letter” to federal MPs to complain about a provincial premier is not readily apparent.
Mr. Judson's newest complaint is the premier's proposal to gradually raise the minimum wage in Ontario. Mr. Judson complains that such a proposal will lead to job losses as businesses, particularly small businesses, will be unable to afford the increased cost of labour.
According to standard economic theory, he is right.
Unfortunately for Mr. Judson, he did not take my economics class. Had he done so, he would have learned that standard economic theory also has another view of raising the minimum wage.
Minimum wage earners, being at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid, are very likely to spend their increased wages on goods and services in order to improve their standard of living.
This injection of money into the economy produces a greater demand for goods and services. This increased demand leads to an expansion of productivity, particularly by small businesses, to meet the increased demand.
This increased productivity requires more labour and thus an increase in jobs results from the increase in the minimum wage.
Turning aside from economic theory, raising the minimum wage also will help to make people's lives a little better. And who are most likely trying to eke out a living on minimum wage? Immigrants, people of colour, women, young people, and the disabled.
Not exactly the sort of people likely to vote Conservative.
Conservatives don't believe in raising the minimum wage. They believe in tax cuts for the wealthy as Stephen Harper and Mike Harris have proved to our detriment. The same “tax cuts for the rich” spirit which animates Donald Trump and his crew also inspires our copycat Conservatives here in Ontario.
And don't ever forget who pays for those tax cuts. Tax cuts for the one percent are paid for by the 99 percent. Those tax cuts have to be offset by cuts in public spending. Cuts to social services. Cuts to education. And most of all, cuts to health care.
Some people just die for tax cuts.
Rudolf K.F. Zeitlhofer
Fort Frances, Ont.