Ever since the NDP gained power in Alberta, my Facebook newsfeed has been filled with strong opinions from my right-leaning friends about the provincial government’s “disastrous” decision to increase minimum wage to $15/hour. Now, with the federal election looming, raising the minimum wage has become part of the national conversation.

One post showed a picture of McDonald’s new touch screen cashier in St. Albert, saying this was the corporation’s direct response to rising labour costs. (In truth, this type of automation was coming, regardless of political interference).

The most popular argument is that raising minimum wage will put increased pressure on restaurant and bar owners, causing them to reduce operating hours or even close altogether. This New Brunswick restaurant owner called it financial suicide, saying there is no way he could raise prices by 40 percent to compensate for the increase in labour costs.

Here’s a crazy thought that could help business owners and customers alike manage a hefty increase to minimum wage – we should abolish tipping.

Think about it; restaurant owners who claim that passing along increased labour costs to their customers will cripple their business have had no problem presenting the same customers with suggested tipping options of 18-25 percent. The point being; customers are already used to subsidizing service industry wages through increasingly higher tipping “standards”.

Restaurant owners can pay the higher minimum wage, raise their prices accordingly, and then do away with tipping. This idea has already been successfully implemented in cities like Seattle and New York.

This week’s recap:

On Monday we had a guest post from John Ryan about how taking a break or sabbatical can rejuvenate your career.

On Tuesday we announced the winners of our HUGE five-year anniversary contest. Congrats to all the winners!

On Wednesday Marie wrote about how to budget like a small business CFO.

And on Friday we shared a post from Paul Marshman, author of The Travelling Boomer, as part of our retirement series.

Over on Rewards Cards Canada I explained why an annual fee credit card can make sense based on your spending habits.

Finally, on Rate Hub I looked at how technology companies like Apple, Google, and PayPal are changing the way Canadians pay for retail transactions.

Weekend Reading:

Bridget Casey dug up her ugly financial past when she decided to shred old documents from 2008. Like Bridget, I’ve also held onto my congratulatory letter from when I paid off my student loans in full.

Michael James answers the question: how much diversification do you need? I determined that holding just 24 Canadian stocks was quite risky and so now I happily own a small slice of over 3,000 companies from around the world with just two ETFs.

Dan Wesley explains how he handles stock market volatility – ignoring the noise and sticking to his long-term plan.

Justin Bender with some smart advice on whether now is the time to rebalance your portfolio.

Rob Carrick takes a light-hearted look at some financial terms that need policing. I’m guilty of using half of these phrases in my writing.

Jack Waymire explains how Wall Street’s biggest investment scam impacts you.

Financial Uproar says the biggest threat to our retirement isn’t running out of money – it’s the chance of developing dementia.

John Ryan explains how reverse mortgages work and whether they’re a good idea.

Big Cajun Man rants about his ongoing battle with TD bank – this time over the rate on his unsecured line of credit.

Frugal Trader shares the best and worst deals at Costco. As an Executive Member, and regular Costco shopper, I think his list is spot on.

Finally, this article in the Report on Business argues that although jerks can be unpleasant to be around, they get things done. One reason why I gave up trying to become top dog in the hotel industry was that I didn’t have the stomach (or maybe enough “jerk” qualities) to make tough decisions that impact the lives of my employees. Having to fire someone made me physically ill. Giving a negative performance review wasn’t any better. I’m much happier being a team player and manager of one (me).

Happy long weekend, everyone!

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