As governments in Alberta, Ontario and B.C. plan to increase their minimum wage to $15 an hour, it’s fair to say the move has stirred up some emotions. On one side, proponents argue it’s a righteous campaign to bring fairness to exploited dishwashers and cashiers. On the other side, free-enterprise types see it as a wrongheaded crusade to force employers to pay workers more than they’re worth.
But there are differences between what a minimum wage “should” do, and what it can do.
Whatever your moral arguments, below are some of the cold, hard economic findings that may squash some of the more sunny promises of a “living wage.”