Minimum Wage Solution: Shift Corporate Subsidies to Small Business

Minimum Wage Solution: Shift Corporate Subsidies to Small Business

As published in the Hill Times: April 7, 2021

Opponents of raising the minimum wage consistently claim that such increases would harm or even destroy small business. This argument may easily be refuted by revealing an obvious but apparently unmentionable solution.

If government offered small business a fair share of the generous subsidies routinely showered on corporate Canada, the minimum wage could rise easily and painlessly. However, since increasing profits is a corporation’s only legal duty, even the suggestion of subsidy sharing will be vigorously discredited by dominant voices in the media and academia.

Unfortunately for small business operators, mainstream commentators are well-paid to distract people from the institutional nature of private profit at public risk. For decades, all Canadian governments have so deeply committed themselves to corporate subsidy that it has become a permanent part of the economy.

In 2015 for example, the Canadian government and the governments of Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia made a collective investment of about $29 billion public dollars in tax benefits and direct grants to various business enterprises. By comparison, Canada spent approximately $18.6 billion on defense in the same fiscal year.