Saturday, June 29, 2013

Maintain the RIGHT - sieze those guns.

It seems as though everyone from High River residents to the Federal Government is irate at the RCMP. With the mandate to try and preserve and protect life, the RCMP are searching houses in the High River area, a natural disaster flood zone, searching for both survivors and corpses.

With fears of potential looting, the RCMP are also siezing any unsecured firearms that they come across.

Let's get a few things straight. Police see infractions and offenses every day, from not signalling to make a lane change - to damaging property, minor thefts, drunk and disorderly, and any number of illegal activities. If the police were to charge for every offense or infraction they investigated, got reported, or came across, they would need quadruple the resources just to deal with the paperwork.

Police are trained to be afraid of firearms. They are dangerous and they kill people. They need to be respected and treated with extreme caution. As such, firearms, if in the house, should be secured. Ideally, both a trigger lock and a gun safe for double protection. They should definitely not be loaded inside the house and ammunition should be kept separately from the firearm.

Police don't have the authority to enter any house, unless exigent circumstances exist.

In the case of the High River Flood. Residents were given a mandatory evacuation order.

Houses had to be searched in order to determine if the people were safe. Police entered houses for the purpose of welfare checks. Shockingly, some people did not leave!

Police, risking their own safety, working in humid and horrific circumstances, trudged through raw sewage and filthy polluted waters inside houses. Police may come across rotting, stinking, drowned corpses.

Police also came across unsecured firearms, and as their training dictates, seized those firearms. They did so for two reasons. One - the houses they entered were no longer secure and the firearms needed to be secured from looters. Two - it is illegal to not safely store a firearm and they had the lawful authority to seize unsecured firearms they found in plain view.

The police don't have the time or the authority to search every nook and cranny of a house for unsecured firearms. They didn't go through drawers, cupboards, etc. They didn't toss houses looking for illegal things, as they would do in the case of a search warrant. They walked through houses doing a search for corpses, people not complying with the evacuation order, or people in distress who needed medical attention.

If they didn't find anyone, they moved onto the next non-compliant house. If they saw something illegal and dangerous, they secured it, then moved onto the next house in order to try and save lives.

An important part of protecting and preserving life is trying to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of dangerous people - like those who would loot a flood ravaged town.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The True Value of Overtime

What is the real value of the overtime that I work?

Double pounders, double bubble - Oh yeah, I'm raking in the dough.

But is it really double?

On the surface, you think so. But when you start doing the math, the looks change. 

For instance, take a salary of $80,000 per year in Alberta. After the Federal government take their cut of 22%, and the provincial their cut of 10%, you're left with about $56,000

In that $56,000 per year, you perhaps have a family insurance plan. I really have no idea what the value of an insurance plan is. I'll make up a number just because I can. $1500 per person in the family that it covers. So for an average Canadian Family of 4 people, that's a value of $6000. The reason I mention this is because that amount will not increase in value the more OT you work. 

Basically, the $56,000 you make before taxes is really worth $62,000 with that worked in. But there's more. The taxes that you pay on your salary cover other things we take for granted. Roads, police forces protecting us, a military to protect National interests, basically the value of everything the government does.

A dollar value for this? Well, the average income in Canada is around $46,000, which is taxed at around 25%, so the value of the taxes you pay is around $12000.

The $56,000, which became $62,000 with your insurance, is now worth $74,000 with the value added that you get from government spending on society.

The value you get from an hour you work is now $38.50.

So you work an overtime shift, making double time. $80 per hour. But that is taxed at a higher rate than normal. So you are taking home 36% less than the $80. You are taking home $50 per hour.

Meanwhile, you're salary's intrinsic value is $38.50 per hour.


For every hour you work on normal time, you get $38.50 overall gain. $29 direct financial gain, $3 in  medical/insurance gains and $6.50 in societal benefits.

For every overtime hour you get $50. You see no benefit from the $30 you pay in taxes. You see no extra benefits on your plan.

That overtime hour, the hour you spend away from your family, not learning or studying, or reading with your kids. In real money, you get 29% more than before - not double bubble.

From a company perspective. The $80,000 they pay you is actually more than that. If you come in to work extra time, they don't have to increase their resources to accompany extra employees. They don't have to invest in increased training, recruiting, and then the benefits packages on top of that.

They may pay you double time, but in the case of the government, they get a third of that back anyway.

Is it worth the trade off?

From a company perspective, it may actually be cheaper to pay heaps of overtime to current employees rather than hire more employees.