Unions Are So Last Century

For all my liberal leanings, I have absolutely no patience for labour unions. Leading up to the late-20th century, unions undoubtedly advanced health, labour, and safety standards in the workplace. But now, after more than a decade into the 21st century, unions are more concerned with protecting incompetence and demanding higher wages and benefits than they are with advocating for fairness and safety in the workplace for employees. Trying to performance manage (aka discipline), let alone, fire an incompetent union employee is a huge undertaking which begins a long, drawn out process that wastes everyone’s time and money. It only gets worse when accusations of unfair labour practices and wrongful termination start getting thrown around. If you’re consistently terrible at your job, you’re fired. And, honestly, if it takes months upon months of back-and-forth arguments and counter-arguments to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, perhaps it’s time to rethink unions altogether. 

A Plea for Credit and Financial Education

A friend of mine recently did the math on a consumer financing “deal” offered by Future Shop:

The flyer advertises “No Payments, No Interest” for a period up to 18 months. The fine print at the back explains that there is a graduated “administration fee” that increases depending on the length of the “no interest” term. For a $299 purchase utilising the 18 month “No Payments, No Interest” option, the Administration Fee is $99.99. Funny enough, annualized, that is equivalent to more than 22% interest/year. This gets better.