Equal is Unfair

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I have my own personal thoughts and feelings when it comes to politics, but I usually don’t express them publicly too much because the debates that can arise from them can drive me crazy and there’s usually no way of coming out ahead. But Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins and Aaron Brook got me thinking about something I decided is worth spending some time reflecting on.  The authors share a number of ideas that I would tend to agree with and I can imagine could start some heated debates, but I’ll leave it to you to read the book and decide if you agree or disagree with their opinions.
Until six months ago I’ve lived my entire life in Alberta, Canada. In my mind it was the greatest province in the country for an entrepreneur. Not everything was perfect there but it was pretty dang good. But last year a new government was voted in and with many of the initiatives they have been implementing I feel they are anti-business and anti-entrepreneurship.
I was invited to a meeting with a number of other business owner and the new Minister of Finance, Joe Ceci. There have been many more hot topics since this meeting, but at the time the hot topic was the governments proposal to hike minimum wage to $15/hour (In 2015 it was raised from $10.20/hour to $11.20/hour). The frustration came from the minister’s ignorance to the facts. Not all businesses are highly profitable. Not all businesses have high profit margins. As business owners sat in that meeting and told the minister if minimum wage was to raise to $15/hour they would have to raise their prices he told us that a minimum wage increase would not raise prices. He also told us that a hike in minimum wage would not increase unemployment.  When I listen to the business owners state the opposite I tend to believe them, but we will have to wait and see the outcome.
Many of the business people at this meeting were restaurant owners who typically hire minimum wage workers. I have never been involved in the restaurant business, but today I found this on Reference.com
Profit margins are typically low for restaurants in general and especially for restaurants owned by individual franchisees. The average profit margin for the restaurant industry overall is 2.4 percent, as of 2013. The margin is down from 3.2 percent in 2009. The average franchised restaurant location makes a profit of less than $50,000 per year as of 2013. Opening a franchised restaurant with an established brand sometimes costs as much as $500,000.
Many who support such a hike argue against the “greedy business owners.” However, if I were a franchise owner that invested $500,000 to open by business and I was making less than $50,000 per year, such a significant minimum wage hike would be very tough to swallow.
Here are some ideas shared in Equal Is Unfair: America’s Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality on this topic. Again, I’m not trying to create a debate here, these are just my thoughts. But it’s a good book to read if you are interested in this topic or any of the other inequality topics that seem to be on the rise.
  • A government mandated minimum wage prevents people from deciding for themselves what pay to accept. If a person cannot find an employer that will hire them at the minimum wage level, they are legally barred from accepting a lower paying job.
  • A raise in minimum wage will raise the pay of some workers but stop others from working all together.
  • The biggest victims of a minimum wage increase are the lowest skilled workers. When minimum wage increases, higher skilled workers will now compete for jobs that previously we too low paying.
  • It hurts businesses
    • Many will hire fewer employees. We already see many fast food restaurants automating their services to reduce the number of employees needed so that they can stay in business.
    • Many will reduce perks and benefits
    • Some will simply have to go out of business

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Have you read the book? Thoughts?

Fortune

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Tia Heggie – U17 Basketball Alberta

Looking forward to another summer of basketball with Tia playing for Basketball Alberta.

Team Alberta will be playing at the NIKE End of the Trail basketball tournament in Oregon City OR from July 5-8. From there they will head to Langley BC for some exhibition games. They will cap off the year at the Canadian National Championships in Regina SK from July 24-31.

 

 

 

A Day of Quadding at Crowsnest Pass

For the final weekend of summer before the kids are back in school we headed to the mountains of Crowsnest Pass. It was a great day of riding the quads and enjoying the views and the people we were with. The forest fires in Washington were still filling the sky with smoke but it was a relatively clear day and we had a great time.

Tia Heggie Basketball Highlights – Spring & Summer 2015

It was another fun summer following Tia around with her basketball. Unfortunately she suffered an early spring broken leg that slowed her down for a while but she healed up and finished strong. She played on the University of Lethbridge PEBL team in the spring and the U16 Basketball Alberta team during the summer.

Now it’s time for an exciting season of volleyball for Tia and football for Daxon!

Western Canada Summer Games 2015 – Wood Buffalo Alberta

We had the opportunity to spend the last week in Wood Buffalo (Fort McMurray) Alberta at the Western Canadian Summer Games.  The organizers of the event did a great job. Each event was well organized and the facilities were great. The opening ceremonies were great to watch!

The purpose for us to be at the games was to watch our daughter, Tia Heggie, play with the U16 Basketball Alberta women’s team. We are very proud of Tia and her team. They fought through some tough games and finished fourth overall.

These are some highlights of Tia in her first three games

Tia Heggie Point Guard – Basketball 2014/2015

Tia and her team had a great season of basketball in 2014/2015. Tia was the point guard of the team and is looking forward to entering high school next year to play at the next level.  This summer she is playing for Basketball Alberta again on the U16 Girls team.  They will be playing in the Seattle Summer Showcase from July 10-12, 2015 and then will be headed north to Langley BC for some exhibition games.  After these games their next big event is the Western Canadian Summer Games in Wood Buffalo AB that begin on August 7.

This is a highlight video of Tia with her Grade 9 Cardston Cougar Team.

This spring Tia also made the University of Lethbridge PEBL (Prairie Elite Basketball League) U17 team.  Unfortunately during their first tournament at the University of Alberta she broke a bone in her leg and didn’t get to play the entire season.  But this video shows some highlights from her first couple games at the UofA tournament.  She’s excited to be healed up and ready for Alberta Ball now. (She is #3 on the blue and white team)

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D. Jeff Heggie Steer Wrestling… Glory Days

Going through some old videos and found my rodeo tapes. This video includes rodeos from when I was in the Chinook Rodeo Association, the Foothill Cowboys Association, the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association and the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association.  I miss doing this!

This video was one that my wife put together when we got married in 1996. It’s fun to watch, she included a lot of my wrecks from high school rodeo. Rodeo was a big part of our life when we got married. In fact, we were married on a Tuesday because I had rodeos from Wednesday through Sunday that week!

Father / Daughter / Basketball

My greatest love is my family.  Along with that, something else I love is basketball.  Fortunately, I have the opportunity that I can enjoy both of them together quite often.  My son, Daxon, just started organized basketball and I am able to spend some quality time with him in that setting.  My oldest daughter, Tia, caught the basketball bug a while ago.  She’s only in the eighth grade right now, but I have had the opportunity to be involved with coaching her for four years now, whether it has been in the club ball setting or the school setting.  

Over the past few days I’ve been able to see where Tia’s love and dedication to the game have brought her.  She made the final cut that qualified her to tryout for Team Alberta this weekend and I am very proud that she made the team.  The coaching staff and the team are great.  This is another opportunity for her to push herself and take her skills to another level.

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U15 & U17 Boys and Girls Team Alberta 2014

 

 

 

 

Please vote for Kodiak Mountain Stone

In my previous blog posts I have talked about our Education Plan at Kodiak Mountain Stone.  We have been fortunate enough to have gained some recognition from our program.  Alberta Venture magazine has honored us as one of the finalist in The Small Business Superstars contest.

Our full story can be read at http://smallbusiness.albertaventure.com/?p=1679

We have had great support so far, but we are trailing in votes by a small margin after the first month of voting.  Anyone and everyone is encouraged to vote until the closing of the contest at the end of November, 2012.

To vote you are asked to open an account, which consists of an email address and a password.  At that point, Alberta Venture offers some great opportunities to receive content from them.  But if you wish, you can also opt out of receiving any content.  By voting, you can also have the opportunity to win tickets to the Business Person of the Year luncheon in January as well as the chance to win subscriptions to Alberta Venture magazine.

We would very much appreciate you support by voting for us.  Thank you!

D. Jeff Heggie