Today, I narrate the ire of a generation; the casualization of labour is a quintessential millennial tragedy. We were the unpaid intern generation and the gig-economy guinea pigs. My ninth Advent Policy Brief demands an outright ban on part-time labour. I'm not saying every employee needs to be working for 35 hours a week, but I am saying they should be paid for 35 hours.
My perspective is simple: every job should be a full-time job, and every full-time job should pay a livable wage. If you can't make the numbers work by paying your people enough to live, you're not cut out for business.
Abolishing poverty is going to shutter scores of small businesses. Just make peace with this fact. Many small businesses are only able to turn profit because they pay less than living wages. Let's face it, most small businesses don't solve actual problems.
Small business owners enjoy disproportionate media favour across the perceived Left-Right spectrum of bias. Small businesses are portrayed as a non-debatable benefit to communities. Outlets usually seek out a "small business perspective" on matters of public policy but do not offer similar air time to other interest groups. Business owners effectively get to speak their opinions twice: once as a citizen and a second time as small business stakeholder.
I'm not against small business; it's just a institutional structure to me. It's not anything to root for or against. What are these businesses achieving? Are they solving a problem? Are they creating living wage jobs? We should consider a business' impact before we root for it.
So yes, banning part-time employment will push some small businesses into failure. I'm unmoved. If people want their gift shops and cafes saved, beg the federal government for a wage top-up subsidy. While I'm not sad to see the natural thinning of low-impact businesses, the feds spend money on much more insidious business ventures, so giv'r.
I'd also like to preemptively address the student straw man argument: what about students who "need" part-time jobs? Well, why do they "need" that income? I'd fix that. In a better world, school is a student's full-time job.
Every job a full-time job.