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Regional Inequalities & Transfer Payments

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posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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Are transfer payments the backbone of our country?

Canada is a very large land mass, to say the least. We have many cultures from coast to coast, yet we remain united as Canadians. But we do have some serious disparities to overcome. Provinces out west are flourishing as those back east have been struggling to get by. Alberta is filthy rich with oil while the east coast is scraping by on what remains of the fishing industry. These disparities are beginning to rip our country apart.

Looking at our unemployment rates, you might be surprised. Manitoba has one of the lowest unemployment rates in our country, yet one of the highest numbers of people living under the poverty line. How? They have one of the highest ratio's of employed to unemployed, yet more people living in poverty. Minimum wage. Another regional disparity I believe we need to take a second look at.

Back east, we have had very high unemployment rates. From seasonal work to lack of job security, being unemployed is common sight in our area. Many people survive off of these transfer payments, which in our country, aren't too shabby. Is it fair though? We have less job opportunities and less people living in poverty. Makes me scratch my head.

I've always thought that more job opportunities would equal better pay. Employers would have to pay their workers better salaries since they could easily walk out the door into another employer at any second. But it seems to be quite the opposite. Since there is such a large population looking for employment, there is no need to increase wages. Alberta, I believe, has one of the lowest minimum wage standards in the country. So more people are working full time jobs, but not getting the pay they need to feed their family.

More work, more poverty. Not right.

Due to our regional disparities, should our government step in the way it has? Well surely we can not turn our back on those who depend on these transfer payments. This is vital to the survival of many families, removing these funds is not an option. But I am against the current statistics. People who work, should not be living in poverty. Manitoba should not employ more people than the rest of the country and leave more people living under the poverty line.

We need to take a second look at minimum wage. Minimum wage should be at least $9 an hour. This alone would make a huge difference in our disparities, poverty level, employment opportunities, etc. This would hopefully take families who work full time jobs out of the impoverish state they currently live in.

I come from the east coast, my family has lived off of these payments, and I still think it is completely wrong. My mother now works two jobs and normally works 50-60 hours a week. For years she lived off of transfer payments and never had to lift a finger when she was more than capable of working. Today she busts her ass going from job to job. I am proud of her for it, and she is much more satisfied with the sense of accomplishment she gets from her employment.

Not everyone is capable of doing what she has done, so I do support the payments for some. She no longer has any dependants which permits her to work full time. But this system is being raped by many, more than any of us can even imagine.

So my answer to all of our disparities is make it mandatory for employers to offer decent wages. When we have a province with a low level of unemployment and a high level of poverty, we know something is seriously wrong.

What do you all think?


[edit on 12-11-2006 by chissler]




posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 02:45 AM
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I'd love to increase minimum wage, but what tends to happen is that pricing goes up and it just gets clawed back. Business owners aren't likely to give up any of their margin. Grady made a great post about that a while back and if I can find it, I'll post the link.

This is a really complicated subject. I'll have to think about it some more and get back to you. If it was an easy problem to fix, we would have done it by now.



posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 06:40 AM
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Originally posted by Duzey
If it was an easy problem to fix, we would have done it by now.


Without a doubt. It's easy for me to sit here and say what we should do, but I fully understand the ramifications of any decision we would make. No matter what we do in the future, we will still have poverty.

It is frustrating though. We live in a civilized, & developed society, yet we have people holding down full time jobs and still can not put food on the table for their children. While others make more money from raping the system, without having to lift a finger.

edit: bbcode

[edit on 13-11-2006 by chissler]



posted on Nov, 14 2006 @ 10:07 PM
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Without a doubt, there is a serious problem when someone can make more money on welfare than working full-time. It's not exactly an incentive for people to work.

I'm with you on the frustrating thing.

I would support some changes to our social programs where if someone returned to work, but didn't earn as much as they did on assistance, they would have their wages topped up. It's not like the govt doesn't have an enormous surplus in the EI program that gets shifted into general revenue. We've got the money to do it.

I'd rather pay part of someone's wages and see them working than paying all of it for them to stay at home.



posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 10:10 AM
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Firstly, using Alberta is a bad example. Alberta just raised their min wage too 7.50/hr. However we are still one of the lowest/if not the lowest in the country. However, our economy has a shortage of labour. So are wages do not reflect the min wage. If a company pays the 7.5/hr they will not find workers. Even Mcdicks/Timmys (who are known for only paying min wage.) Offer upwards of 15/hr to workers. Hence why many people of the east come to Alberta for work.

However, one of the other posters commented on how a raise in min wage will effect the products price. This is very true. So how can one get around this problem. There is no real answer that states raising min wage is the answer.

Personally i think the real key is subsidising, either by their wages (as stated earlier), more education programs etc or even housing. However, strict guidelines must be needed to limit the amount of freeloading on the programs (which Canada is horrible for)

However, I do not believe that transfer payments in their current state are the answer. Too many of the have provinces freeload with transfer payments leaving out the provinces who truely (currently) need it. I am not going to state which provinces but here is a hint. The two of them currently reside beside each other in Central Canada. Plus in their current form they are more of a spending act. Just look at Health transfers. Where if you try and evolve your health care spending they cut transfer payments.

Dont worry about jobs in the future out east. Once the offshore oil get sets up. Your wages will start to increase. Helping us out west pay for Ontario's and Quebec's spending habits.



posted on Nov, 15 2006 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by Som3Guy
Alberta just raised their min wage too 7.50/hr.


Its been almost two years since I've been to Alberta and when I was there I believe it was $5+ an hour. Closer to $6 I believe, but still well below what I was accustomed to in Nova Scotia. I believe we are around $7.50 at the present too.


Originally posted by Som3Guy
However, I do not believe that transfer payments in their current state are the answer. Too many of the have provinces freeload with transfer payments leaving out the provinces who truely (currently) need it.


I think we can all agree with that. My home town is filled with people who rape the system, and do nothing to hide it. People who have never fished a day of their life are collecting unemployment off of fishing stamps. They are pulling in close to $700 every two weeks for doing nothing. And I assure you there are hundreds of people doing this, in this small community alone.

Meanwhile, the single mother is at Tim Hortons making less than minimum wage probably and trying to scrape by on tips. No time to spend with family since they are busting their knuckles down to the bone just to pay the rent and put food in the fridge for their children. Yet those who rape the system, speaking from experience, toss their money into VLT's. (Video Lottery Terminals) I've often wondered why so many people in my area do this, and I've only come to the conclusion that they have done nothing to earn it. Which makes it easier to throw away, in my opinion.

Now this is a partial stereotype, as not everyone is guilty of it. Some people work hard just to waste their money and leave their children in the cold. While others who collect transfer payments actually put the money to good use. But speaking from experience, the latter is rarely seen.

It frustrates the hell out of me.


Originally posted by Som3Guy
Dont worry about jobs in the future out east. Once the offshore oil get sets up. Your wages will start to increase.


I can see this being a huge boost to our economy. My home town was a huge mining community years ago. Today, every mine is closed and has been closed for almost 10 years. They are attempting to open one back up, but it is years away if they do get it up and running again. Our fishing industry that was once booming has come to a slow crawl. The extermination of cod fish was the beginning, and now the number on lobsters has been setting an all-time low every year it seems.

I understand the positives that the offshore oil would bring to our communities, but we come from a strong heritage that was based around fishing. These rigs have been faced with a strong opposition, since their work would all but abolish the fishing industry all together. Well what remains of it.

Job opportunities would open, but many people would be out of work at the same time.

Everything has a pro and a con.


DSO

posted on Nov, 16 2006 @ 09:37 PM
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Ottawa is supposed to take $15 billion dollars away from Alberta this year alone. While i agree that there are regional inequalities in canada, and something needs to be done, i 100% dissagree with the transfer payment system. Its taking money out of our economy and moving it to other regions where it does little to make them self sufficent. If this money was being used to help other regions create a sustainable funding system (such as a savings account or major economic investment) then i'd be for it. But as the system stands right now, its not working for me or for anyone in Alberta.



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