Our society is headed into a downward spiral unlike we have never seen before. Where we are headed will make the Great Depression seem milquetoast by comparison. We are losing more and more jobs, government policies are killing business, folks are struggling to pay utility bills...and nothing is being done to truly answer the problems. Governments can’t fix it; they have caused so many of the problems. They won’t because then they would have to admit to their myriad mistakes.
Recent reports have surfaced regarding the statements made from one of our Liberal MPPs, no doubt an ally of Kathleen Wynne our provincial premiere of supremely questionable competence. Said MPP Ann Hoggarth, opined on the subject of the impending increases in the Ontario minimum wage, that should businesses be forced to close up shop due to having to abide by the dictated wage increases, then those business owners best “reassess their business plan”. Apparently, according to reports, this woman had the unmitigated gall to go so far as to suggest that that the business owners should re-think whether or not they should even be an employer. Undoubtedly one of the most outrageously disingenuous and insulting attitudes anyone could render to a business owner.
According to the biography of Ms. Hoggarth, she spent two plus decades in the Public Education System, part of which was as the President of the Simcoe County Elementary Teachers’ Federation. With this past history, Ms. Hoggarth is quite unlikely to relate to the rigors of the business world, and ownership therein. At 69, and having come from a business background, I have seen only too clearly the constant bombardment of new and revamped demands put on the world of the business owners over the years, primarily caused by ignorant and indifferent governments that self – serve, and have no concept of business practices.
What Ms. Hoggarth and most in politics don’t get, is that business owners have generally taken on high risks to provide the goods and services to the public. When entering into this world personally, my wife and I took out a mortgage on our home to access the monies needed to qualify for our business purchase. Later on, we again provided personal guarantees to gain access to funds in order to purchase our own building. These were not decisions nor actions taken lightly. There was a constant battery of nigglers in our thoughts questioning as to whether or not we did the right thing.
What Ms. Hoggarth and other politicians don’t seem to understand about the $15.00 minimum wage rate is that the $15.00 is just the tip of the iceberg (so to speak) when configuring the ultimate costs associated. It should not be ignored that most business have more than one hourly employee on site at any given time. What needs to be added to the equation here is the demands set forth by governments of years gone by that include time and one half costs for overtime or stat holidays, employer deductions (costs) for CPP, Workman’s Comp premiums, EI costs…the list is endless. Even during the McGuinty days, the addition of Family Day resulted in higher cost to business. Ms. Hoggarth and others quite possibly don’t understand that prior policies forced on business owners such as higher electricity charges in themselves have added exponentially, affecting the bottom line of the business. Certainly, having been an owner myself, with the general responsibilities of finding funds to pay off the associated risks that accumulate with business ownership, it seems obvious that the Ms. Hoggarth’s of the public sector world of largesse, regular pay increases (on the back of businesses I might add), lucrative pension plans, enviable benefits, etc. not guaranteed to the entrepreneur are ill-equipped to be making judgement on the realistic understanding of the potential financial and emotional tolls that may well be being experienced by the business owner. As one example of the impending problems that might plague many in the world of business ownership, I spoke to a gentleman who has been in business for years. He simplified the effects of the new minimum wage law on his operation, a small business in the food and beverage industry, relating to me that his payroll would escalate by about $140,000 per year. In order to counteract the increase, he would be raising the prices of his products by about 12%....his accountant indicated to him that a more realistic increase would be to raise the price to his customers by 20%.
As for the rest of the add-ons dictated to the private sector owners of business that generate so many jobs necessary for the sustaining of a strong quality of life in this province, such as vacation times, sick days, etc., those factors as well will influence the ability of business owners to continue operations. And when looking at the final picture of all of the expectations being demanded by government, perhaps there should be a guaranteed wage meted out to the business owner, who continuously is losing the right to operate his or her establishment as he or she deems necessary to remain solvent, and in order to protect the never-ending reinvestments required to provide the goods and services to their clientele.
How long would anyone with personal monies on the line wish to put up with the insulting remarks of people such as Ms. Hoggarth, who seems to have received her remuneration from the taxpayer, and, from her injurious remarks, has no idea from which she speaks. The sooner the Liberals are voted out of power, the sooner that business owners, and the public enlightened by the harm created by a power hungry Liberal party, can breathe easier.