Friday, 25 May 2012

You can't always get what you paid for

Employment Insurance. We all pay for it as a separate deduction, so it's not (apparently) a tax, but what does it entitle us to anymore? Years ago they made it difficult to quit a job (even a horrible one), for the risk of loosing your right to benefits. At the same time, getting fired (even unfairly) became a sticking point which you could be penalized for. In fact 12 years ago, after I had been maxing out my EI insurance payments by May for several years running, they reduced the maximum payments and maximum weeks of eligibility just a few months before I was to actually need to cash in on what I had been paying for for the previous 6 years.

I thought it simply wonderful to be making 40% of my previous salary, and to be badgered to take a job paying 5% lower than that, by my case worker. I was under no obligation to take the near minimum wage jobs that I was being offered, and more importantly, some of the interviews I was sent to were an utter waste of time as the position had been filled several months ago. But to find out that the next time I might need this insurance which I have been paying for, I might have to take another 30% pay cut in a field of work that isn't even related to what I have been doing for the past 10 years only cements my stance on how useless the government is, and how hopelessly broken the entire system has become. 

Granted they are really trying to sell this with pretty (and meaningless) phrases like: "In short, we want to help Canadians who want to work", and "These changes are about empowering unemployed workers, helping them get back into the workforce and getting them into areas where they are most needed". These people can't possibly believe that we are incapable of translating their meaningless words into what they are really doing: 'In short, we want to force Canadians to work somewhere @ slave labour rates', and 'These changes are about empowering slave traders, helping them get people with high-levels of education for unskilled and underpaid jobs and getting them from areas where they are most desperate'.

While they are doing this, they are also axing the departments who review appeals... So now, if an unfair or unjust decision is wrought upon you, like: 'Payments denied: we don't care that there was a public transit strike, you should not have been late for work that many times, or maybe taken a $40 dollar cab ride to your $45 a day job.', or 'Payments cut off: it's only a one hour drive to that job you declined, which pays 30% less than your last one so you cannot afford to drive anymore, get a bus pass and take public transit for 3.5 hours each way.'

I work a 10~15 minute drive from my house, but yesterday I took the bus home for 2 hours so I feel I am being conservative in my time-differential estimates between driving and public transiting... And I don't have to switch transit systems from 'municipal' to 'regional' which increases both time and cost of the fare.

These new rules are pure unadulterated fascism and will serve no useful purpose to the citizens of Canada, unless they are the tax-dodging CEO types who's primary residence is actually in the Cayman Islands.

These rules also fail to address:
  • of Canada's 1.4 million unemployed, only 40% even have access to EI benefits
  • we have six times the number of unemployed in Canada as we have jobs that are available
I have one other serious question in this. How many 30% pay cuts does it take to get to McDonald's? Is there some kind of limitation as to how man pay cuts one can be forced to endure? what period of time does your former salary stop playing into this equation? Technically, My current salary is 37% lower than the one I had 12 years ago... But I am pretty certain that will not count regardless of inflation levels over the past 12 years which is 21.2% over the past 10 years... So I am actually making closer to a 60% salary reduction over the last 12 years.

Here's the math using $10/h and a 40 hour week as minimum wage (meaning $20,800). I have left the step where it drops below that for illustration purposes:
Salary $25,000 $30,000 $35,000 $40,000 $50,000 $75,000 $100,000 $250,000 $500,000 $750,000
1 $17,500 $21,000 $24,500 $28,000 $35,000 $52,500 $70,000 $175,000 $350,000 $525,000
$14,700 $17,150 $19,600 $24,500 $36,750 $49,000 $122,500 $245,000 $367,500

$17,150 $25,725 $34,300 $85,750 $171,500 $257,250

$18,008 $24,010 $60,025 $120,050 $180,075

$16,807 $42,018 $84,035 $126,053

$29,412 $58,825 $88,237

$20,589 $41,177 $61,766

$28,824 $43,236

$20,177 $30,265


Interestingly, adding another quarter million at the end does not add a line 12 because this is an exponential equation. Even making a $5 million salary puts you @ minimum wage in 16 easy steps...  That is why the math and limitations on it are a concern to me, yet, there is absolutely no mention of this in the press nor, the political arena.

Why not just tell us they've decided to turn Canada into a communist state and be done with it? Obviously, if they put it that way it would rock the boat and there'd be chaos in the streets... Oh, wait a minute. there already is...


No comments:

Post a Comment