Réactions aux travaux de l'IEDM

Beryl P. Wajsman, Président, Institute for Public Affairs of Montreal, Institute Bulletin No. 451 – The Policies & Politics of Income Security

The current debate [on whether minimum wage laws are an appropriate tool for realizing income-security] was sparked by an economic note from the Montreal Economic Institute authored by Nathalie Elgrably on “The Minimum Wage and Labour Market Flexibility.” That report focused on the broad issues of labour market flexibility, job creation and income security. In it she questioned whether the minimum wage was the proper tool for ensuring sustained job creation and strengthened economic growth for low-income workers. She didn’t question the goals. Only the tools. Wherever one might stand on the issues of what economic levers are most appropriate to achieve social aims, it is irresponsible for those involved in public policy to reflexively resort to dogmatic denigration whenever a program is questioned. And that was what was most troubling in the near-concerted counter-attack by the champions of the “Quebec model” who painted the MEI, the report and its author as products of a retrograde right-wing and did not even have the intellectual rigour and integrity to address the fact that the report did call for sustained help for workers facing economic instability but merely questioned whether minimum wage hikes were the appropriate tool. This kind of knee-jerk reaction of the “progressistes” is, sadly, what passes for public discourse in Quebec on all issues today. It’s the statist model or nothing. […]

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