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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Swiss Showing the World How to Take on Pay Inequality

 Swiss activists submitted more than 100,000 signatures needed to get a vote on a guaranteed income Friday, October 4, 2013. In a symbolic gesture, they dumped a truckload of 8 million five-cent coins outside the parliament building in Berne, one for every Swiss citizen.

"There's a growing movement in Europe against pay inequality and the right for a basic income.
Switzerland is one of Europe's richest countries but does not have a minimum wage law. But growing public activism over pay inequality since the 2008 financial crisis has already led to two referendum drives on CEO pay. In March 2013, Swiss voters overwhelmingly passed one of the world's strictest controls on executive pay, forcing public companies to give shareholders a binding vote on compensation. Voters ignored the business lobby's claim that such curbs would undermine the country’s investor-friendly image.
 Next month, November 24, a separate proposal to limit monthly executive pay to no more than what the company's lowest-paid staff earn in a year, the so-called 1:12 initiative, faces a popular vote. Now, on Friday, Swiss activists submitted over 130,000 signatures to the Swiss Parliament likely forcing another referendum - this one to create a new law guaranteeing all Swiss nationals a basic income." and

Hardly a bastion of communism and socialists, Switzerland; perhaps simply an enlightened majority of people with a sense of what is fair, and tired of obscene riches for the few. (A system defended by those who, sadly for them, think they will join their country's elite pantheon someday.)