MACLEAN'S EDITORIALS

A Circle Has No End

October 15 1941
MACLEAN'S EDITORIALS

A Circle Has No End

October 15 1941

A Circle Has No End

IN ITS endeavor to prevent further increases in the cost of living and at the same time advance the policy of general wage increases via cost of living bonuses, the Government will likely find that it is in the position of a dog chasing its own tail.

The simple reason is that wages form a considerable part of the cost of all processed commodities. Each new bonus will thus heighten the cost of living and each increase in living cost will bring an increased bonus.

It is difficult to see where a halt can be called, and the ramifications are many.

At this writing the City of Toronto is proposing to give a bonus to many of its employees who receive less than $3,000 a year. The cost of this will have to be borne by taxpayers, most of whom do not earn $3,000 a year. Which means that either their living standard will be reduced by increased taxes, or else they will demand a bonus to help pay the bonus of the civic employees. And so it will go on, and on, till we get dizzy.

The point which escapes so many people is that living isn’t so much a matter of how many dollars you get as it is a matter of how much you can buy with those dollars.

However, as the Government is committed to the bonus policy there should at least be fairness about it.

Ottawa is preparing to pay a bonus to civil servants who earn $2,000 a year or under. The cost will amount to between $6,000,000 and $10,000,000 annually.

At the same time, the Government has so far turned a deaf ear to the suggestion that a cost of living bonus should be given to the wives and children of soldiers, sailors and airmen on active service, who are certainly doing as much for the country as are the civil servants.

This is hardly an example of equality of sacrifice.