Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MetroVancouver: Should you merely adjust to a work adjustment?

The following an article from the Metro Vancouver newspaper. This is posted up in support of aSingaporeanSon's blog entry. Not only do Canadians have minimum wages which can buy a decent life, they also enjoy various workplace laws that recognize the power differential between the employers and the employees, and lean towards protecting the employees. See news article below for an example.

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Since Harper's (originally from Alberta) majority Conservative government win in May-2011, such rights are slowly eroded away. Nevertheless, Harper's Conservatives will still have to stay right of centre (and not push further right) because many Canadians are already repulsed by his recent bills, e.g. the move to block some job actions (i.e. labour strike), delay the OAS withdrawal date (i.e. change the Old Age Supplement starting age from 65 to 67), the attempt to undercut political-diversity funding and public media funding (i.e. CBC).

Now there are pros and cons to such pro-employee labour laws. IMHO, the pros do not need much elaboration since many people are employees. Such policies contribute to Canada ranking 5th on the "happiness index" -- after Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands, all of which have high income taxes and high income equality. The cons are unemployment rate is comparatively higher in Canada (7.2% in March 2012) than Singapore (1.9% in March 2011); and going by GDP (PPP) per capita, Singapore (at $59,711) seems much richer than Canada (at $40,541). A word of caution for those who think, "Ohh, 7.2%! Almost 4x Singapore's unemployment rate, bad, bad!" -- think about what those numbers actually mean. [I'm going to refer you to LIFT for his excellent explanation.]

The ultimate question is where do you stand personally in the game? [Note: For an explanation on that, click here for details on "Why averages don't matter" (again) by LIFT.]

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