Labour needs to be rewarded

If a task is worth doing it is worth getting something in return

Re: Three Cheers, PNR editorial Nov. 13, 2013.

Three cheers for the people who are the backbone of critical services like fire protection and search and rescue response? Why not five cheers, or would that be a budget buster?

The same goes for all who donate time and effort for the benefit of others. If a task is worth doing it is worth getting something in return. Gratitude, appreciation and a twoonie will buy you 30 minutes of parking in downtown Victoria. That something in return is usually monetary wages but can also be payment in kind: a benefits package; discount cards from area merchants; free passes on B.C. Ferries.

The majority of us are working more productively than 40 years ago but our wages buy the same basket of goods as back then. Technology and foreign outsourcing is taking its toll on the human work force in developed societies. Unemployment is a continuing problem.

Bloomberg News reported that an un-named online magazine advertised for an editor’s position, whose duties would include reporting, circulation and advertising sales for which the chosen applicant would receive no compensation. The experience was considered enough.

There have been books written about a future with no jobs. None read convincingly but most extol the opportunity for giving i.e., volunteering.

Someday providers of goods and services might to do so out of a spirit of giving or receiving three cheers from their customers. Until then all labour needs to be materially rewarded.

Peter Whyte

Sidney