Monday, May 19, 2014

Gold in Them Thar Alps

I spent five days in Switzerland last November. Even though the visit was very brief, from what I could gather during my time there it seemed like the kind of place I could get used to living in. Recent news seems to confirm this.

Swiss Voters Reject Setting World's Highest Minimum Wage:

Swiss voters overwhelmingly rejected an initiative that would have introduced the highest minimum wage in the world.

The Minimum Wage Initiative, which had been proposed by the Swiss Trades Union Confederation, was defeated by a 76%-24% vote, according to Swiss television.

The referendum, which would have established a minimum hourly wage of 22 Swiss francs ($25), marked a move by Swiss voters away from legislating compensation. Last year, voters backed a proposal giving shareholders of publicly traded companies more say on executive pay. A subsequent vote on capping the salaries of the best-paid executives at 12 times those of a company's lowest-paid employees was rejected.

If similar referendums were held in the United States today what would you expect the results to be? Not only would be the vote be much closer than in Switzerland, I wouldn't be surprised if a national proposal to raise the minimum wage by an equivalent amount would actually pass here.