Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Sunday, October 16, 2016

"Minimum wage, maximum hyperbole"

Sept. 12, 2015: I found this letter to the Edmonton Journal:

"Progress in Germany":

In January 2015, Germany introduced a national minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour, which is 50 percent of the median wage.  Based on a study carried out by the German central bank, unemployment levels decreased by 250,000 in the first six months- a result contrary to the gloom-and-doom predictions of job losses of more than 200,000.  Of particular interest was the growth in jobs in the traditional low-wage sectors.

The new minimum wage forces employers to offer jobs at a reasonable wage.  Without this legislation, labour market flexibility drives good-paying jobs out of the market as employers are able to drive down wages to lower and lower standards." -Dave Jobson, Edmonton

Nov. 15, 2015 "Minimum wage, maximum hyperbole": I cut out this article by Dan Barnes in the Edmonton Journal on May. 30, 2015.  It was in the Insight section.

The NDP election promise of a $15 minimum wage by 2018 is either the end of small business in Alberta or the beginning of the end of poverty in the province.
That’s how polarizing and hyperbolic the debate has been.

A 47-per-cent hike from $10.20 phased in over three years would certainly be the most dramatic increase in Canada in recent times, but not unprecedented in the country’s history.

In the 1960s and ‘70s, minimum wage rates jumped significantly in the Maritimes, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The hourly rate in Newfoundland and Labrador rose from 50 cents to 85 cents between 1965 and 1968, an increase of 70 per cent in three years.

The rate in Nova Scotia rose 82 per cent between 1971 and 1974, from $1.10 to $2. The rate in Quebec rose 59 per cent and Saskatchewan’s increased by 50 per cent in the same time frame.

However, more recent increases across Canada have been modest. In Alberta, the minimum wage last increased Sept. 1, 2014 from $9.95 to $10.20. In 2013, it moved from $9.75 to $9.95. And in 2012, it increased from $9.40 to $9.75.
That’s a cumulative 8.5 per cent increase over three years.
Minimum wage
The NDP is proposing an initial move to $12 in the fall, an increase of 17.6 per cent.

The debate over $15 inevitably bogs down on the issue of economic impact, more specifically potential job loss versus theoretical poverty reduction.
“We think the NDP government is on exactly the right track,” said Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “The fearmongering coming from low-wage employers is both predictable and easy to dismiss. We now have literally decades of experience with minimum wage increases from across the world and the conclusions are clear: Increasing the minimum wage does not result in significant job losses but it does have a big impact on the levels of poverty.”
The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce opposes increasing the minimum wage to $15, but wants to be a part of the consultation process, given concerns for its members in a delicate economy.

“Take a look from the perspective of a business owner,” said Chamber President Janet Riopel. “Oil is down, the economy is becoming increasingly fragile, there is lots of uncertainty and insecurity. We’ve got some pretty big hits and now this. You’ll probably see not as many businesses able to hire.

“The message is it will help combat poverty. If that’s the goal, what’s needed is a multi-pronged approach.”
Clarity would also be beneficial. But as economist David Green noted in his April review and endorsement of a minimum wage move from $10.25 to $15 in B.C., his conclusions of limited job loss and significant impact on poverty are fraught with uncertainty. That’s because such a massive hike is so far outside the norm.
Minimum wage
All chart data compiled by Dan Barnes/Edmonton Journal.
To scroll right, please hover your mouse over the image.

"Waging words: minimum versus living": This was also on the same page of the Edmonton Journal on May. 30, 2015:

A task force formed to eliminate poverty will recommend to city council in September that Edmonton adopt a living wage of $17.29 per hour.

All companies contracted or subcontracted to do business with the city would have to pay their employees at least that amount, which already exceeds the NDP government’s planned minimum wage of $15 for 2018.

“We know $15 is a move in the right direction but won’t completely address the issue of poverty,” said Jane Alexander, Anglican Bishop of Edmonton and co-chair of the task force.

She said the majority of Edmontonians living in poverty are fully employed, and would therefore benefit from a living wage.

A living wage calculation assumes two full-time wage earners, without employer benefits, living in a rental accommodation; with two healthy children, one in school, one in child care; making enough to cover all normal living expenses, including night school for one adult, not including credit card debt, RRSP contributions, mortgage payments or extensive medical bills.

The City of New Westminster, B.C. is the only jurisdiction in Canada to adopt a living wage policy, and set the rate at $20.68 per hour for this year.
The NDP claims the average living wage in Alberta is $15.

In 2012, the City of Grande Prairie calculated its living wage as $15.55. In 2013, Medicine Hat’s was $13. Also that year, an extensive study of central Alberta found the following rates: Red Deer $13.11, Blackfalds $16.48, Eckville $14.41, Innisfail $15.20, Lacombe $15.03, Penhold $15.37, Ponoka $15.59, Rimbey $17.38 and Sylvan Lake $15.13. Vibrant Calgary states the living wage in that city in 2014 was $17.29.

Outside of Alberta, it’s $18.73 in Victoria, $18.52 in Toronto, $14.07 in Winnipeg, and $15.05 in Hamilton.

The Alberta Federation of Labour supports the NDP initiative but makes the distinction between the two rates.

“If the goal is to establish a minimum wage that is a living wage, we should be talking about $17 or $18, but $15 is certainly a big step in the right direction,” said federation president Gil McGowan. “The bottom line is, $10.20 is a poverty wage that can simply no longer be tolerated.

“Our policy supports $15. I may be encouraging (the NDP) to think about implementing it more quickly than three years.”

Oct. 1, 2016 "Small-business owners in Alberta brace for minimum-wage hike": Today I read this article by Kelly Cryderman and Rachel Younglai in the Globe and Mail.  It talks about restaurants raising prices.  That's what's happening at my 2nd restaurant job.

Oct. 10, 2016: There are so many comments on this article.  I read a little of it:  

alg1 9 days ago
The minimum wage everywhere is far too low. It is shameful that the businesses and their middle class customers rely so much on an underclass of workers earning wages that are not livable. Is it so difficult to understand that if these low paid workers received a higher wage, they would go out and spend it, thereby boosting the economy? Governments everywhere should increase the minimum wage significantly. The economy would adjust quickly.

Oct. 12, 2016 2nd restaurant job: Last month, one of my co-workers S quit at the 2nd restaurant job after about a yr.  I have met her and she has worked with me in my first restaurant job in 2013.  After she quit, my manager told me I can work and get her hours by 1hr and 30min a day by washing dishes.  I am usually at the front serving customers.

I did the math and I would be working 7.5 hrs more a week. 

I asked the manager questions like what if I tried it out for a day, and if I don't like it, can I go back to working the front and not having those extra hours?  She says fine.  I would get 2 15min breaks instead of 1.  So I worked the extra 1 hr 30min in the last part of the day to close.  It was harder work and I didn't like it.

I like the job, but if I continue working where I have to wash dishes and close, I will dislike this job.

Yesterday I didn't close, but I did wash some dishes like I usually do.

Betty cartoon: I cut out this cartoon a long time ago.  There was one where Betty was talking to her son Jr.:

1st panel:

Betty: You either make more money or save more money.

2nd panel:

Betty: Simple is not always easy.

3rd panel:

Jr.: Yet, easy is always simple.

At the 2nd restaurant job, by not working more:

Con: I am not making as much money.

Pro: I am happier.

I wash dishes at home for like 15 min.  I don't mind that.

Quitting bad habits: There are some things like behavioral addictions:


My bad habit was watching crappy TV shows like Dr. Phil and Maury back in 2003-2006. 

Maury was always bad, but I did like watching the paternity tests from 2003-2005.  By 2005, I started disliking it and it was taking too much of my time (even though I may be on the computer and the show is on the background.)  I had watched one too many paternity tests and I had to quit because I was getting too angry and it wasn't good for my mental and emotional health.

The choices:

A. I continue to watch Maury and learn not to get angry at it.

B. I quit watching Maury altogether.

Both are simple, but not easy.  I had to choose the easier one, so I chose B.  It was really hard for me to quit that show.  I was allowed to watch Dr. Phil until the season ended in May 2006.  I relapsed a few times and watched a bit of Maury here and there.  By mid- 2006, I was totally able to quit. However, I still have random reminders of that show.

As for Dr. Phil: The first 2 seasons in 2003-2005 were good.  By the 3rd season, I started disliking it because he didn't seem to be helping people and the guests got me too angry.  The only way for me to quit is to watch the rest of the season.

After 2006, I hardly ever watched it.  I would watch 1 episode a yr if it's about something like teen pregnancy.

Watching the news: I don't watch the news because it's too depressing where I have to see and hear it.

Reading the news: I would rather read the news.  I see a sad article, and I can skim it or skip it.  Some may leave me feeling sad, but it won't have as much of an effect on me because I only read it.

My week:

Oct. 10, 2016 Reading the articles: I know you can't exactly tell, but I do reread all the articles I post onto my blog.  I read them, and not skim or scan them really fast.

Weather: It was cold, but I didn't want to put on my winter jacket until snow falls.  Then it does and then I wore my winter jacket.

Oct. 12, 2016 New graduates: I was reading the Globe and Mail today and found Lauren Friese (Talent Egg) article "Gen Y student guide for navigating career questions."  I'm 31 and I'm not a new graduate.  I graduated out of Professional Writing 2 yr college diploma in 2008.  I took 2 classes in the Office Assistant program in 2014. I still find these articles applicable to me.

Oct. 13, 2016 Alpha meeting: I went to another Alpha meeting last night.  I donated $5 because C made the chili.  It does cost money to make that and the beef in it.  I also talked to people, unlike at the family dinner table.  The other night, my little brother P was reading a magazine article.

Tracy: "Lisa, how was school?"  "School, school, it's not time for school."

It was from The Simpsons.  The family was eating dinner in front of the TV.

Marge: Lisa, how was school?
Lisa (is watching TV): School, school.  It's not time for school.

The topic at the meeting was: "Who is Jesus?"  There is a lot of evidence about Jesus being a real person, but I would have to look it up a bit more.


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