Tag: Referendum

The Swiss Miss


Switzerland will hold a vote on whether to introduce a basic income for all adults, in a further sign of growing public activism over pay inequality since the financial crisis.

A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state, with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.

Organizers submitted more than the 100,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on Friday and tipped a truckload of 8 million five-rappen coins outside the parliament building in Berne, one for each person living in Switzerland.

For married couples, you’re talking about $67,000 a year for blessing the planet with your presence. I know couples with two PhD’s who don’t make that much. Switzerland is a wealthy and expensive country — the per capita income is nearly $80,000. But this is ridiculous. In addition, Switzerland enacted “say on pay” limits to executive compensation and have an upcoming referendum to limit executive salaries to 12 times the lowest paid staff member. They may not be going quite full communist, but they’re close.

If these pass and you open a business in Switzerland, you will have to pay every employee no less than $34,000 a year and you yourself will not be able to take home more than $400,000 per year. I’ve always liked Switzerland, but I can see this driving away a lot of businesses.