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Sun May 18, 2014, 08:26 AM

 

Switzerland 'rejects world's highest minimum wage'

Source: BBC

Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to introduce what would be the highest minimum wage in the world in a referendum, first projections indicate.

Under the plan, employers would have had to pay workers a minimum 22 Swiss francs (about $25; 15; 18 euros) an hour.

Supporters said the move was necessary for people to live a decent life.

But critics argued that it would raise production costs and increase unemployment.

Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27459178

13 replies, 2490 views

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Response to 7962 (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 08:38 AM

1. "...raise production costs and increase unemployment."

Where have we heard that before?

And corporations welcome "competition" because the "choice" it creates will lead to higher product quality and lower consumer prices.

Oh, and "trickle down" will create jobs.

They're still lying through their teeth and I don't believe a word they say anymore...

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Response to 7962 (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 08:47 AM

2. So go for it - but you have to take the baggage which goes with it.

Consumer Prices in United States are 46.82% lower than in Switzerland
Consumer Prices Including Rent in United States are 45.79% lower than in Switzerland
Rent Prices in United States are 43.33% lower than in Switzerland
Restaurant Prices in United States are 54.10% lower than in Switzerland
Groceries Prices in United States are 44.33% lower than in Switzerland
Local Purchasing Power in United States is 6.07% lower than in Switzerland

More here : http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=Switzerland&country2=United+States

If you took the whole bundle then I'd feel really sorry for the unemployed.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Sun May 18, 2014, 08:55 AM

3. It's all relative, of course ... as wages go up, prices go up. Somehow,

absurdly skewed wages need to be marginalized. In the US we used to have a taxation system, of course, that helped accomplish that, but the absurd wealth holders have moved into very profitable ventures in politics by controlling the reins and favoring their wealth.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Sun May 18, 2014, 10:49 AM

6. Yet Swiss citizens purchasing power, in Switzerland, is only 6.07% less? So much cash

workers get will go a much longer way on visits to surrounding countries and the rest of the world, and has to make for a much richer country.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #6)

Sun May 18, 2014, 11:29 AM

8. only 6.07% less ?

Check the link in reply #2 for comparisons.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #6)

Sun May 18, 2014, 05:16 PM

10. No, it's MORE.

 

Read it again!

In turn this casts doubt on the rest of those numbers.

They are bullshit because exchange rates vary. There is no comparison in the standard of living: Switzerland's is way better. They eat better, they live better, they have more free time and more vacation, they're healthier and better educated, they don't live in constant anxiety.

The following would be meaningful questions:

What is average cost for food+housing+utilities+medical/insurance+education+tax as a percentage of the median income? Of the 20th-percentile income? Of the 80th-percentile income?

How many hours did one have to work to get this income? Under what conditions?

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #10)

Sun May 18, 2014, 08:47 PM

12. Great point.

People always get stuck on the cost of living;I guess that's living in a America for you, the buck is the measure of all things. But really who cares what the cost of living is? The important thing is the STANDARD OF LIVING. There is not a one-on-one positive correlation between COL and SOL. It is not linear. In some ways, if the COL isn't large enough to support a solid safety net and a living wage, then high SOL can not happen. I think making more people understand this is the key for progressives going forward.

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #2)

Sun May 18, 2014, 11:12 AM

7. Also consider that they do not have a minimum wage law in Switzerland

 

This will happen

Local Purchasing Power in United States is 6.07% lower than in Switzerland

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Response to 7962 (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 10:15 AM

4. It's not like Switzerland will suffer horribly from this

I have a small office there with one employee. When I recruited him 30 years ago and his salary went over $50,000 after a year or so, he screamed bloody murder when his tax rate went "all the way up" to 25%, and that was with all education and health care already provided. THIRTY YEARS AGO.

He makes way more now, of course. He just turned 67, but he's still good at what he does, and if he's still in, I'm still happy to have him. Yeah, everything costs ridiculous amounts of money in Switzerland, but that's the exchange rate. The first time I was there as a college kid, the dollar was worth 4.3 Francs. Now it's worth 0.88 francs. That means that even if there were ZERO inflation, whatever cost you 100 Francs in 1970 cost you $23.26, where today it would cost $113.64

The Swiss in general take care of their own. Of course, in a country with about 5 million Swiss and over a million foreigners, the Swiss are sensitive to floods of foreigners looking to cash in on a welfare system that was designed to support the unemployed Swiss, of which there aren't many. The predictable right wing backlash is already starting, as the system can't support all the unemployed Romanians. Wealthy foreigners who are non-residents are also being asked to take their money elsewhere as a reaction to Switzerland's (former!) status as a major tax haven.

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Response to 7962 (Original post)

Sun May 18, 2014, 10:18 AM

5. Surprise surprise - Swiss referenda often don't end up on the progressive side of the issue

Direct democracy has its place; but Swiss reliance on the referendum meant, among much else, that women didn't get the vote till the 1970s.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #5)

Sun May 18, 2014, 11:55 AM

9. They're even voting on whether to buy fighter jets from Saab.

 

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #5)

Sun May 18, 2014, 05:21 PM

11. That's not an argument at all.

 

Surprise surprise - unaccountable unproportional (winner take all) lawmaking systems usually don't end up on the progressive side of the issue.

Really, every time Congress fails to pass a rise in the minimum wage or extension of unemployment benefits, or passes a military budget, this should prompt smarmy mini-editorials about what a bad idea this system is.

Leaving all decisions to the money and a small core of professional policymaker devoted to the capitalist consensus should not have its place.

In fact, the only way major progressive changes come about in such systems is after many years of persistent fighting by social movements.

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Response to 7962 (Original post)

Mon May 19, 2014, 01:45 PM

13. There were a number of stories about the Swiss rejecting the minimum wage.

But hardly a peep about them rejecting 22 new air force fighter jets which was on the same ballot. I guess the media does not want to showcase people rejecting even more military crap. It might catch on...

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/swiss-voters-reject-minimum-wage-fighter-jets-160832256--finance.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory

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