Armine Yalnizyan Profile picture
Dec 1, 2017 17 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Businesses raise their prices *without* the minimum wage going up allathetime! #cdnecon
Exhibit A: Tim Horton's raised the price of a cup of coffee in
2011 by 7¢ ("rising prices of coffee beans")
2014 by 10¢ ("rising operations costs", with coffee bean prices and, oh yah, costs of [$11B] Burger King deal identified)
August 2017 by 10¢ ("rising operations costs")
You will note not one of those rising costs were wages.
Put price rises in context. Any rising input cost is a rising cost. Period.
Including executive pay and mergers and acquisitions.
Very excellent comment made" rising operations costs" include wages.
So.....some follow up with the Timmy's case, which in some ways is exemplar for what is going on.
This may take a few tweets, so mute me if you're not interested.
1. "Rising operations costs" include wages. True in theory.
In practice: a cup of Tim Horton's coffee increased by 7¢ in Aug 2011, but there was no change (ZERO increase) in the prov minimum wage between Mar 31/2010 - Jun 1/2014
So that's not why the price went up in 2011.
1a. (Ontario's provincial minimum wage went to $10.25 in March 31, 2010, and didn't go up again til June 1, 2014 when it rose to $11.00) #cdnecon #canlab #onpoli
2. In Aug 2014, the price of coffee went up by 10 cents a cup (2 months after the minimum wage went up to $11).
But labour costs were not mentioned as the reason for the increase.
Instead, the company specified two other costs of operations: ..../2a
The reasons given for the price rise in coffee were two fold: the rising cost of coffee beans and meat; and the fact that they had booked $27.3 million in costs related to the Burger King deal.…
3. The statutory minimum wage was increased in October 1, 2015 from $11.00 to $11.25
October 1, 2016 it went up to $11.40
October 1, 2017 it went up to $11.60
(just pause on that a second, the 20/25 cent increases)
Tim Horton's raised the price of coffee again in 2017, but....
4. The next Timmy's hike was in August of 2017, (before the October 2017 minimum wage increase), when the price of coffee went up again by 10 cents.
Every story at the time reported unspecified "operating costs". ..../4a
4a. Only the franchisees asked to raise the costs of coffee even higher to deal with rising wages (in the fall).
Their requests were ignored by the mothership (corporate HQ). They raise the price when they need the cash for buying other things.
This is important to understand.
5. The mothership of Tim Horton's is 3G.
It's an asset-stripping, risk-shifting, rent-extracting global business model. Bloomberg described it in a stunning cover story years in 2014:…
6. Bloomberg wrote this about 3G and Tim Hortons in 2014… (while it's a Bloomberg story, I can't get the full story at Bloomberg, interestingly)

And this in 2017, having moved on from being the king of fast food chains.…
7. "Rising operational costs" is code for raising money from companies they own to acquire to acquire other companies. That is not unique to 3G.
Corporate concentration is the name of the game in the era of slowth.
8. @Oxfam produced this remarkable chart in 2012, thousands of products -- perhaps the majority of what we buy in supermarkets -- are owned by 10 companies
Check out the Behind the Brands campaign…
9. So do prices rise because workers get too much/the minimum wage is too high?
Well, when wages rise, input costs rise. But so too do cost rise when the price rises for electricity, petrol, avocados, steel, EXECUTIVE PAY. Or cash is needed to buy market share/eat competitors.
10. It's very easy to blame minimum wages/pensions/benefits/workers for business problems. There's lots of moving parts. Keep your eye on the whole game.

#cdnecon #canlab #canpoli #FutureOfWork

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More from @ArmineYalnizyan

May 15, 2018
I asked @DanDoctoroff today at… what Sidewalk Labs' business model was? How did they plan to make money here?
His answer(s):
There are five potential sources of revenue for Sidewalk Labs:
1. One will be potentially from development, Sidewalk Labs as "master-enabler, but our role in vertical will be limited. We want to demonstrate *others* can make money". /2
2. Working with Waterfront Toronto and planning, getting approvals for land use, will mean value of property will increase. Sidewalk Labs will get some $ for some of that. /3
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May 4, 2018
Hey everybody this chart is great news on two fronts:
1) only 12.1% of Canada's 15-29 year olds are not working, in school or training. We can do better, but we're better than most of OECD's 36 nations.
2) this number was 16.6% 5 days ago. Shocking. Here's what happened next /2
It seemed high given we were 9th worst out of 36 countries. @AlexUsherHESA pointed out relatively high PSE enrolments and relatively low unemployment made it seem odd.
StatCan doesn't publish data series on the category. 1 monograph here:… /3
That's for 15-19 year olds only, and only for 2016. I asked them for the data series for 15-29 year olds, because they were likely the originators of the data OECD used. The 2016 value was much lower than the OECD.
OECD needs to make data from around the world comparable. /4
Read 11 tweets
Apr 21, 2018
Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world, with a fraction of the other economies' populations.
We can build whatever kind of world we want.
Pharmacare? Child care/early childhood education? Dental care? Post-secondary education? Housing? Public transit? Legal aid? Access to hi speed internet? Basic income?
We can improve any dimension of our lives we choose.
What we *can't* do, if we want to improve everyone's quality of life, is continue to offer tax cuts. That includes not enforcing existing tax rules/permitting tax evasion.
Tax cuts are sold as "more money in your pocket".
Two things that are misleading about that framing...
Read 11 tweets
Mar 15, 2018
Dear any political party
Don't bother preaching tax cuts, debt-reduction through service cuts, as the fast-track to the future or a path to prosperity.
We've had a quarter century social experiment with that.
We're done with that fiscal fantasy.
If you're keen on debt reduction, grow the economy.
If you want more growth, support for women > trade or biz investment.
Women's estimated potential impact on growth (with supports) $150B by 2026. Trade's ~$12B by 2040.
(Thread: )
#cdnecon #cdnpoli #onpoli
Federal #Budget2018 articulated most elements of a plan to increase women's contribution to the economy, but not the next crucial step: a national strategy to improve access to affordable, high quality early childhood education for our kids.
That's why Poloz talked about it y'day
Read 8 tweets

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