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Are The Swiss Going Crazy? $25 Minimum Wage Referendum In May

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,

Most of our readers probably know what we think of minimum wages, but let us briefly recapitulate: there is neither a sensible economic, nor a sensible ethical argument supporting the idea.

Let us look at the economic side of things first: for one thing, the law of supply and demand is not magically suspended when it comes to the price of labor. Price it too high, and not the entire supply will be taken up. Rising unemployment inevitably results.

However, there is also a different way of formulating the argument: the price of labor must not exceed what the market can bear. In order to understand what this actually means, imagine just for the sake of argument a world without money. Such a world is not realistic of course, as without money prices the modern economy could not exist. However, what we want to get at is this: workers can ultimately only be paid with what is actually produced.

As Mises has pointed out, most so-called pro-labor legislation was only introduced after enough capital per worker was invested to make the payment of higher wages possible – usually, the market had already adjusted wages accordingly.

However, unskilled labor increasingly gets priced out of the market anyway, which is where the ethical argument comes in. If a worker cannot produce more than X amount of  goods or services, it is not possible to pay him X+Y for his work. Under minimum wage legislation he is condemned to remain unemployed, even if he is willing to work for less.

In Switzerland, the unions have recently managed to get the demand for minimum wage legislation on one of the quarterly referendums in the country. An interesting point has been brought up by one of the opponents in the course of the debate, but first a little background information:

“Jasmin Eicher has already axed her sole full-time employee to keep afloat her shop selling cards, candles and paper in a Zurich suburb. If Switzerland approves what would be the world’s highest minimum wage, she says the only option would be to close her door.


The Swiss will vote in a national referendum May 18 on whether to create a minimum wage of 22 francs ($25) per hour, or 4,000 francs a month. While about 90 percent of workers in Switzerland already earn more than that, employers say setting Switzerland’s first national wage floor would push up salaries throughout the economy. When adjusted for currency and purchasing power, it would be the highest minimum in the world.


“We couldn’t pay it,” said Eicher, standing behind the counter in her shop in Schlieren. The employee she let go earned 3,500 francs a month. Now she’s by herself, working 10 hours a day, six days a week, and her hopes of hiring a cheaper helper would be dashed if the proposal passed.


“Of course I understand about people not earning enough, but not everyone is worth 4,000 francs. Here in Switzerland we’re already so well-off,” she said.


The chief backers of the proposal are Switzerland’s biggest trade unions, which argue that pay levels need to reflect the country’s prices – among the world’s highest.”




George Sheldon, professor of economics at the University of Basel, said the Swiss proposal would be counterproductive.


“Unemployment among the unskilled is increasing,” he said in a phone interview. “The solution to their problem can’t be to make them more expensive.”

(emphasis added)

So, 90% of all employees are already paid more than the proposed minimum wage. It turns out that virtually all the biggest companies pay salaries above what would be the world's highest minimum wage – but that is not the main problem.


Who Would Lose Out?

The point we actually wanted to get at is touched upon in the following excerpts:

“Despite being home to multinational corporations such as KitKat-candy-maker Nestle SA and drugmaker Novartis AG, Switzerland gets two-thirds of its employment from small and medium-sized enterprises.


The Association of Swiss Cleaning Companies, Allpura, opposes the minimum wage, saying it would lead to job cuts and worse working conditions. It says employees in the sector earn between 18.50 francs and 26.50 francs per hour.


Big companies including Nestle, Novartis and Swatch Group AG are against the measure too, saying it will hurt the economy.


“State intervention in the liberal economic system also goes against the market economy principles of our society that have been so successful to date,” Novartis spokesman Dermot Doherty said via e-mail.


At Nestle, the wages of all Swiss employees are above the proposed minimum, spokesman Philippe Aeschlimann said. “A higher cost of labor would however affect companies in our supply chain and our Swiss customers,” he said via e-mail.




“A minimum wage won’t stop poverty,” Economy Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann said at a press conference in Bern in February. “This new system could be counterproductive.”


According to Boris Zuercher, head of the Employment Directorate at the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, the uniform wage would get passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices and will ultimately result in job losses among low-wage earners. Workers earning between 4,000 and 6,000 francs a month — 40 percent of the full-time workforce — will seek higher pay too, he said.


“The main criticism is that it’s an enormously high minimum wage — it would be the highest internationally,” Zuercher said, speaking by phone from Bern. “It’s not a question of Novartis or UBS not being able to afford to pay 4,000 francs, but some little company in a remote valley.”


By contrast, the Swiss Federation of Labor Unions says a minimum wage wouldn’t lead to higher unemployment because it would mostly affect domestically-oriented sectors where outsourcing isn’t possible.”

(emphasis added)

The first salient point is the fact that once this new minimum wage law is introduced, upward pressure on all wages would likely ensue. Note in this context that Switzerland is awash in newly created deposit money due to the ministrations of the SNB, which is manipulating the Swiss franc's exchange rate (a few charts on Swiss monetary inflation over recent years can be seen in our article 'How Safe is the Swiss Franc?'. The article is slightly dated, but it still serves to illustrate the point). So there is no brake on prices and wages due to  a lack of money supply inflation – rather the opposite. Naturally, wages would not be the only thing rising under these circumstances – prices would be adjusted accordingly, and in the end the purchasing power of the higher wages would not be greater than before.

The second important point is the one about which enterprises would suffer the most on account of such legislation. When the union official cynically comments that 'only businesses that cannot be outsourced will be hit' (i.e., those who cannot vote with their feet and simply flee), he forgets to mention that small and medium-sized companies as a rule cannot 'outsource' their operations either, almost regardless of what they are producing. We felt reminded of something a friend of ours mentioned to us recently: “The problem of today's form of capitalism is that there are not enough capitalists:”

Indeed, an individual entrepreneur running a small business has a very difficult life already, as every new imposition is much harder to overcome for a small business than it is for a large corporation. This is also why we often find that big corporations don't resist new regulations: they reckon they are likely to keep competition from upstarts at bay. It is laudable that several big Swiss corporations are evidently not following this trend.

If Swiss voters agree to introducing a new minimum wage law, they would end up doing incalculable damage to Switzerland's entrepreneurial culture. At the moment, Switzerland is still one of the freest economies in the world. It has been extremely successful so far and its achievements would clearly be put at risk. Hopefully Switzerland's voters won't be swayed by union's arguments.


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Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:48 | 4674523 Rican
Rican's picture

And everyone gets a sweet new army knife (if you like your existing knife, you can keep it).

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:49 | 4674570 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Wasn't it back in the 70s that the Swiss gave the vote to a bunch of socialists?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:56 | 4674581 knukles
knukles's picture

Hallo, mai name is Mohhmaned.  Would you like a porcine slurpie?  Ett ees only $25.
Teeee heee he 


Have you any idea what this is going to cost me to get my bug out cave outside of Gstaad cleaned weekly, now?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:04 | 4674604 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

While about 90 percent of workers in Switzerland already earn more than that

Yet, somehow Switzerland is still a bang up place to live.. What the fuck Peter!!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:20 | 4674608 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Um.. ok.. so how far is Zurich from the swirling tower of Basel and then to Brussels.. and what part of that proximity is difficult to understand?

oh.. I absolutely love that area and there are a few banker stooges I would like to have very intimate pleasant, conversation with in a dark alley there..

(it would be pleasant for me.. maybe not so much for the others involved)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:01 | 4674826 flacon
flacon's picture

Better stock up on Jarlsberg. How long does it last buried underground? Can I pack it in with some silver to take care of the mould?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:10 | 4674911 Manthong
Manthong's picture

probably best to have a cellar in the valley..

get down at least 3 meters and have the concrete (conduit to earth) at least .5 meters thick.

keep your gold and ammo down there too.

.. for a k Euro or so I can send you info on how to cap your bunker and do the air re-circ.

..that's a joke.. :-) it would cost you a whole bunch more for official advice on how to secure your cheese.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:44 | 4675133 Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

Wow, is this the new "Zerohedge for the 1%" section? Makes you think.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 09:59 | 4675294 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You do realize that Jarlsberg is Norwegian?

While Norway has no minimum wage, there are national norms negiotiated by labor, management and gubbmint...

Fastfood places pay ~$16-24 per hour depending on age....

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 11:23 | 4675461 flacon
flacon's picture

Ha! I did not know it was Norwegian. Thanks for that. 


Here in Canada we have something called Canadian Swiss cheese - which tastes similar but doesn't have the bubbles-holes. 



Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:26 | 4674769 max2205
max2205's picture

Wow the Swiss are making the USA look like a bunch of cotton pickers...the IMF needs to confiscate there money and send it to West Virgina damn it

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:28 | 4674937 El Oregonian
El Oregonian's picture

Dang, for $25.00 an hour they must have just as many holes in their heads as with their swiss cheese... I mean, they'll have to get $50.00 a Pound to survive! In this economy, who's going to pay $85.00 for a chunk of cheese?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:15 | 4675073 SwissCake
SwissCake's picture

Expect a 60/40 against, or more.


We actually already have "minimum wages", or conventions, in two thirds the sectors of the economy negociated between unions and owners. They usually are around 3.8k or something.


This initiative comes from the frustration of the unions tnot being able to cover the last third of the sectors (not productive enough to demand this kind of earnings), and not having the strongest leverage out there. In order to do that they're ready to screw a system that has worked extremely well for so long. It won't pass.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:43 | 4675082 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

agree, it won't pass. though the last one, the 1:12 remuneration initiative had a very slim chance, didn't it?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 05:16 | 4675097 SwissCake
SwissCake's picture

Yeah and it got turned down by 65%. This one may be a bit more dangerous though but I can hardly see more than 40% in favor. Lots of common sense and good education among the folks.


Funny result in the last survey shows that the folks making between 3.5 and 4.5k are actually in majority against the proposal for fear of losing their jobs. The bulk of people in favor are those 7-10k people from the left side of the spectrum (privileged public servants in other words).

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 17:13 | 4676027 Ratscam
Ratscam's picture

I love incentives.
Why not detax the income up to 48K (12x4K), it would result in more income for a worker in the amount of 4.6K tax savings per annum, more money for the people to spend on goods!

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:48 | 4675134 Ketsa
Ketsa's picture

1:12 was designed to fail. It was so stupid.

If they wanted something to pas they would have said 1:24 or 1:50 or even 1:100.


Then every time there's a scandal or a crisis, reduce the ceiling.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:04 | 4675174 SwissCake
SwissCake's picture

Absolutely, beyond acceptance or rejection the adamant goal of those is to use this plateform as a marketing tool for elections, for an initiative like 1:12 the socialists are able to monopolize the micro and promote their fairness and social justice. Populism, if you like. In that prospective it's still a win.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:34 | 4675124 negative rates
negative rates's picture

A swiss mouse.

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 01:03 | 4676689 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

Better yet, Virginia. We got beaches bitches!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:53 | 4674815 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

Here's what I want to know: What if someone is willing to work for less than the minimum wage? Would they and their employer be breaking the law if they negotiated a private employment contract for less than some mandated minimum? The answer of course if yes because in Switzerland and the US there is no such thing as a private employment contract. The government has to know exactly what the employer is paying the employee so that the employer can play surrogate tax collector.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:21 | 4674845 PT
PT's picture

Yeah, what if someone is willing to work for a bowl of gruel and a bed on the factory floor?  

"Please sir, can I have some less?"

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:58 | 4674898 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

The point is that all, ALL employment contracts should be private and unencumbered by government interference. If a guy who owns a small shop on Main Street in some little town in middle America wants to hire a kid to sweep floors and take out the trash but can only pay him or her $5 per hour he should be able to do so. The fact that government interferes with the relationship probably means that the kid is stuck without any income when he could be making something. And if the shop owner decides to hire the kid and pay him under the table and is caught doing so he'll be prosecuted out of business. It's lose-lose.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:54 | 4675014 PT
PT's picture

Fair enough.  Let the little people do what they like.  But there comes a point where people work to live and they need protection.  The free-market minimum wage is a bowl of rice / gruel on the factory floor with the company owner swearing "there is no better way because he has no more customers".  And don't say that the workers can make more by working harder / smarter / faster.  You double productivity and your minimum wage is double the minimum i.e. two bowls of gruel and two beds on the factory floor!  Knock yourself out!  Go to town and swap your second bowl of gruel for a bowl of rice!  But if your minimum wage job involves operating a machine that lets one man do the job of a hundred, how do you produce twice as much?


Speaking of customers, the "non-minimum wage" countries thrive by selling to the "minimum wage" countries.  Without us they have no rich customers.  In a "fair" economy, the workers are the customers.  How can it possibly be fair to produce what you yourself cannot afford to consume? A pay rise is not just an increased cost.  It is increased purchasing power.

The part Peter Schiff (and everyone else on the video) forgot was that he was implying that a doubling of the minimum wage would only result in a 15% price inflation.  Or, look at it from the opposite direction - Walmart workers have a 50% pay cut so Walmart customers can have a 15% price discount.  Whoopee doo!  Barguns here I cum!  But to take it one step further, who shops at Walmart?  Minimum wage workers?  So if costs went up by 15% but customers pay packets doubled, what do you think really happens to demand?  Oh, but production can't keep up so we get useless inflation instead of increased production.  Really?  We're running at 100% capacity right now?  Tell this guy:

(Actually, I read his book because I didn't believe him.  I wanted to see his argument about deflation.  Basically he said that there is way too much productive capacity in the world and this would drive prices lower.  I always figure that TPTB would find a way to make prices rise anyway but I'll let you decide the result.  The take-away here is his assertion that there is too much productive capacity in the world).

Regardless, we have plenty of unemployed people.  If companies are making a profit then they can afford to increase production and they have the labour there ready to go.  How did they make a profit?  By having richer customers?  Where did the richer customers come from?  Fuck!  Someone must have paid them more!  What if they don't bother producing more and just pocket the extra cash or put up prices?  Well doesn't that make room for a new entrepreneur to enter the market?  Who's the new entrepreneur?  The rich worker who can't buy anything or the hungry worker eating a bowl of gruel each day and no profit what-so-ever?

Oh!, no, no, no PT, you don't get it.  The rich worker is lazy and the hungry worker will suddenly acquire capital because he is more motivated!!!  Yeah that's it!  Don't you remember all them cotton-picking slaves that went on to become wealthy multi-national entrepreneurs?  Don't you remember all the starving Ethiopians who are now wealthy corporates?   Let me dig up up or two success stories that totally obliterate your 100 million exceptions to the rule!  Sure, Gates and Jobs started in their parents garages, but imagine how wealthy they would have become if only their parents didn't even have a garage!!!  Haven't you heard?  There's two classes of people - lazy workers who don't deserve anything and are a drain on the economy, and hard-working entrepreneurs who deserve every cent they ever paid someone else to work for them!  Yeah! That's it!

No, in a closed economy, a minimum wage means guaranteed customers. Zero minimum wage means your "potential customers"' s wages is a bowl of rice / gruel on the factory floor.  I guess you could sell them a i-pad in exchange for a grain of rice per day for the next two years.  Of course, in a globalized economy we have geographic wage arbitrage - buy from the poor workers and sell to the rich workers, so increased wages can (will?) lead to more jobs shipped overseas and fewer rich customers!  Gee, I wonder what happens next?

But let us take a step back.  I doubt I have convinced anyone of anything from the above and it is still only a sideshow to the main attraction.

1.  In the time it took my wages to increase by 40% (due to investment of time and acquisition of a more productive skill set i.e. not everyone got that increase ), THE PRICE OF REAL ESTATE INCREASED BY 400%.  Oh but that won't hurt the economy at all - supply and demand and all that shit.  Look! See!  We're still going strong.  No way will a little 400% increase in the price of residential real estate or commercial real estate will hurt anything - anyway, have you tried renting?  Sharing?  Sharing the rent? ... BUT NO WAY CAN THE ECONOMY WITHSTAND THE ONSLAUGHT OF A POOFTEENTH OF A PERCENT PAY RISE TO MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS!!!!!  We'll all go broke I tell yiz!  But don't worry about the price of real estate.  It doesn't matter that it affects the price of where the worker lives, the prices at the supermarkets, the prices for every retailer, the price of all industry.  It doesn't matter that what you spend on second-hand housing can't be re-spent on repairing that second hand, dilapidated house.  Noooooooooooooo, won't affect the economy at all!  Just don't expect a minimum wage!

2.  Actually, money spent on housing can be re-spent!  You just borrow it back again!  And let the fweeeeeee markits decide how much money to lend.  No-one would deliberately lend money that couldn't be paid back, would they?  Even if they did, they would go broke and be replaced by a responsible lender, wouldn't they?  No way would they use their temporary huge profits to buy all the competing businesses, ummmm, becoz, becoz, and anyway this is a capitalist society so no-one will get bailed out ever and if they do then that is no reason for you to be bailed out too because if your banker was a communist doesn't mean you should also be a communist and anyway minimum pay rises damage the economy real bad but if people use their pay-rise money to borrow even more money then no way does that borrowed money hurt the economy at all becoz the fwee markits will sort it out and pay no attention to the bailouts behind the curtain.

The prices of real estate and debt makes us uncompetitive before we even think about anything else.

TPTB derive most of their wealth from debt and real estate.  The propaganda machine will continue to justify / ignore TPTBs theft mechanisms.  

Minimum wage rises won't achieve anything if wreckless debt is still competing against money earnt from labour.


Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:39 | 4675127 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

Good post. The libertarian hoard who frequent this site don't understand why capitalism worked up until 30 years ago...that the workers were participating in the wealth gains of capitalism. Now that this has stopped due to shifting our productive capacity off shore to cheap labor pools in the name of higher capital gains for shareholders...capitalism has been in crisis mode...unable to support itself. In fact, we no longer have capitalism...we have corporate socialism. Cheaper labor is only good for one class of people...the Oligarch class who own the large small shop owners will soon go bankrupt from a lack of customers who can afford their products...which is happening as we speak.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 15:11 | 4675866 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

I've been saying for a while that the Randian, noble capitalist version of libertarianisim touted by many here is a fantasy of greater magnitude than any of the religions in history.  The very fact that .gov creates the markets for products through protection of patents and other enforcment mechanisims justifys their intervention on behalf of workers. 

In an anarchist sytem the Real Estate barons would be dead in the water as the cost of paying for private protection of their assets would outweigh the profit they could draw.  Without .gov Microsoft could NEVER afford to enforce their patents.  Without government use of force on behalf of the oligarchy the cost to protect most industries profits would render them unworkable.  You'd still have innovation as there are more than enough altruistic scientists and innovators whose only "profit motive" is to help their fellow man.  Class distinction is exclusivly a creation of government.  Take away the monopoly of legitimate force from .gov and you have a prosporus mankind beyond imagination.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:19 | 4675199 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Next time could you say all that with fewer words?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:19 | 4675331 PT
PT's picture

Excellent suggestion eddiebe, but I was on a roll.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:56 | 4675411 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

and a most enjoyable roll that was, perfect add to my morning coffee. . .

the "long hand" version works for me, some of us like our rants expanded rather than twitted.

stoking that fire.

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 00:10 | 4676643 NihilistZero
NihilistZero's picture

Your post should be stickied by the Tyler's.  Totally concise deconstruction of the Libertopia fantasy.  I'm saddened it won't be read as much as it should on this holiday weekend.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 11:59 | 4675543 Oscar Mayer
Oscar Mayer's picture

Finally, someone who actually understands economics! 

Good job PT

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 12:11 | 4675567 rubiconsolutions
rubiconsolutions's picture

How about attacking the real problem which is the fact that central banks and their fiat money coupled with fractional reserve banking constantly erodes the value of our currency. It doesn't matter what they raise the minimum wage to because inflation is going to steadily eat away at the value. So next year it will have to be raised again....and again....and again. Pretty soon the minimum wage will be $100 an hour and a loaf of bread will be $200. People never want to discuss the root causes, only suggest ways to treat the symptoms. Under the present economic construct - fiat money and fractional reserve banking - there will never ever be a sustainable wage.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:52 | 4675227 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

You want a free market for wages only? Should we not end ALL governmental interference, including corporate welfare, the miltary industrial complex, education, medicine ad infinitum? Why is our legal tender unconstitutional in every way? Oh yeah, and direct taxation as it is not proportional. 

You either tear it all down or deal with the zionist/iluminati nexus.

Just as it has proven impossible to fashion a labor theory of value, it is impossible to use economic theory in a world that runs on the manipulation of law and power for the benefit of a few.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:05 | 4675067 Tom_333
Tom_333's picture

That was Sweden you moron. Try to understand that there is a world outside the U.S. I have lived in both countries...and the U.S. as well. There´s a big difference between Sweden and Switzerland.

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 00:03 | 4676636 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Neutral, arms dealers, meh--what's the difference? /sarc

Sweden is more homogenous, blond and a shorter growing season, but lovely berries and wild game. I'd work in either if I had the chance.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:28 | 4674661 holmes
holmes's picture

I'd clean the bathrooms in the local McDonalds for $25 an hour.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:41 | 4674685 Manthong
Manthong's picture

..there's a roadstop halfway between Zurich and Montreaux.

I'd wipe the bathrooms with my tongue to get that kind of money and live in that area.

ok.. maybe not.. but it made me think about it. 

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:45 | 4674698 Manthong
Manthong's picture

On second thought.. If I could keep that rental 5 series benz and drive up and down the auto/bahn/route but even have to lick roadstop bathrooms clean and live in a hole in the ground.. I am good with that.

.. gosh.. that's not right.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:24 | 4674927 Manthong
Manthong's picture

Aw geez, mr. red vote..

I’m one of the good guys..

Licking roadstop bathroom seats clean in Switzerland is greatly better than living with oobama or hitlery.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:54 | 4674954 Manthong
Manthong's picture

OK dudes.. if you have not done > 220 clicks/hr on the autobahn in a fine benz through the alps then you do not understand the value proposition of gratefully licking rest stop toilet seats.

I only wish I could share the vibes.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 18:16 | 4676149 walküre
walküre's picture

topped out at 280 clicks/hr with a friend's Audi A8

totally surreal

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 01:29 | 4676710 willwork4food
willwork4food's picture

I topped out @ 81mph in my 350 Ford work van on I 95 in northern Illinois during the fall..


Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:46 | 4674705 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

You understand the POVERTY line is about CHF 50,000, and the median income is about CHF 100,000.  CHF 22/hr doesn't go very far, you would have a better standard of living on most other developed countries FSA handouts.  


(daily bus pass chf 20, 1 kg crappy steak chf 70, going 14.9 mph over the speed limit in town CHF 730, it adds up real quick)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:27 | 4674772 Tinky
Tinky's picture

While there is no doubt that Switzerland is expensive, your examples are nonsense. Day passes in Zurich, for example, are sold based on zones, and begin at 5 CHF.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:06 | 4675069 Tom_333
Tom_333's picture

But they have that kinda of money....they´re good for it.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 14:14 | 4675797 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

A 2-zone day pass (and downtown Zurch or Wintethur are double zones) is CHF 8.40 for 2nd class. I can easily drive 4 zones in 10-15 minutes by car. A 2nd class Lokalnetz Tageskarte - which NO ONE uses (except the obese or the infirm) because it's only good for travel of about several hundred meters is CHF 5.20.

Your "example" is nonsense.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 02:53 | 4675041 IronForge
IronForge's picture

Checked here:

In USD (this post day's rates, roughly 30K for a Single Person;and 62K for a Married Couple with 2 Kids.

Tacking on the Average 1903 Hours per Annum with the proposed 22CHF(25USD) per Hour, you get 47,575 USD (or is it 47.575,00 American Dollars in European style designation - ^_^).

Nice cushion for Singles with full-time positions, and a need for Couples with a Pair of Young Cubs to have at least 2 Sources of Income btwn them to be above the Line.

Not bad, actually. 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:51 | 4675136 Ketsa
Ketsa's picture

And then you'd realise everything is so fucking expensive around here you would be worse than before...

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:26 | 4674992 IronForge
IronForge's picture

Well, those numbers look pretty close to what some have been advocating in the USA - adjusted for Inflation, Income Growth, etc.  

The Aussies have higher minimums; and it seems to be working fine for them.

Higher Minimums is one of several things that can help the Economy.  More importantly, it would be prudent to bring back Mfg with Tariffs and/or Domestic Content Mandates.

We're pretty much at or near the "Top" of the Pyramid when it comes to Wages in our Competitive Sectors.  If this Country doesn't protect its Wage Earners (I'm talking about Everyone whose Livelihood depends on one's Profession, Trading Acct, or own Enterprise -  something other than clipping Coupons from the Family Trust), it'll be pwned by its Credtitors and abandoned by Nation-States with sound Economies. 


Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:04 | 4675171 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Sorry....this is off topic but VERY, VERY INTERESTING !

Tyler(s).....need to check this out.  A jet with small American markings owned in a trust to a Utah Bank for some mysterious person was found in Iran.   And NOBODY wants to talk about it.

Officials in Iran only would say they are aware of the plane and that the passenger is "V.I.P."

HHHHmmmmm ???



There is one slight clue though. The jet was spotted in Zurich, Switzerland on January 22, 2014, right around the time of the World Economic Forum in Davos. That probably narrows the list down to 2,633 powerful people.

The plane was also in Accra, Ghana on January 3 and in Luton, England on October 1 of last year and February 16 of this year.


Could it be her ????

Valerie Jarrett

Jarrett was born in Shiraz, Iran, to African-American parents James E. Bowman and Barbara Taylor Bowman. Her father, a pathologist and geneticist, ran a hospital for children in Shiraz in 1956, as part of a program where American physicians and agricultural experts sought to help communitize developing countries' health and farming efforts. When she was five, the family moved to London for one year, later moving to Chicago in 1963

n 1991, as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Richard Daley, she interviewed Michelle Robinson for an opening in the mayor’s office, after which she immediately offered her the job.[23] Michelle Robinson asked for time to think and also asked Jarrett to meet her fiancé, Barack Obama. The three ended up meeting for dinner. After the dinner, Michelle took the job with the mayor's office, and Valerie Jarrett reportedly took the couple under her wing and “introduced them to a wealthier and better-connected Chicago than their own". She later took Michelle with her when she left the mayor's office to head Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 09:33 | 4675260 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

wages are pricing for labor... drive up the price, drive down demand...

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:34 | 4675367 PT
PT's picture

When I buy a sausage, the sausage does not go out and buy another sausage.
When I pay someone to wash my car, that guy goes out and buys a sausage.  If I pay him enough. 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 12:32 | 4675619 Bankstein Swiss...
Bankstein Swissgoldberg's picture

and if someone washes his sausage, that will buy a car?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 21:32 | 4676457 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I think the size of ones sausage has a significant relationship as to how much sausage washers get paid.

Johnny Wad got paid much, much, more than little Danny Dart did for his sausage work.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 07:48 | 4689825 PT
PT's picture

But someone else washed his sausage!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:36 | 4674524 DaddyO
DaddyO's picture

Hell's Bells, go ahead and raise it to $40, the outcome will be the same...

Just a little quicker.


Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:41 | 4674545 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

I have a feeling that most employers will resort to reducing the hours of their employees so as not to increase the overall cost.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:57 | 4674590 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

More likely, they'll just devalue the currency so that the new minimum wage buys even less than the current one.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:59 | 4674593 knukles
knukles's picture

Or just link it to the Euro!

giggle giggle snort snort

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:28 | 4674662 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

they need the new wage to pay for... "O'cococare"...

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:24 | 4674767 Tengri Temujin
Tengri Temujin's picture

hmm is canuknuckles and knuckles I think we have a connecton and they are only born a few weeks apart hmmm

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:18 | 4674751 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

The Swiss are experiencing the worst DEflation in Europe.

The Swiss have to devalue and/or generate cost-push/wage-spiral inflation.

Funny thing is, the Swiss Riksbank would probably agree to QE/printing to purchase the very worst EU Bonds available in an attempt at back-dooring a neo financial transfer mechanism with PIIGS just to stabalize the situation and try to save Banks still extended into the Med block.

Riksbankers would love a nice warm French or Italian or Greek Mistress with expensive/Swiss tastes right about now...  


Mmmmm.  Damn.   Blue-eyed Milanese Italian Mistress...  It's worth the yelling and shit getting broke on the stoop: I'll take BOTH Claudia AND Valaria.   

...& tell neither about my gorgeous little Moica in Transnistslavorussia...

Love, Franc 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:27 | 4674933 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

That is the end game, inflation to keep the global ponzi floating as long as possible.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 09:34 | 4675263 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

if it's so fucking great why stop at 25, make it 125...

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:40 | 4674537 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Maximum of $25 per hour for bankers

Minimum wage of $25 per hour for any worker.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:03 | 4674602 Bankstein Swiss...
Bankstein Swissgoldberg's picture

wait! no! no please!


edit- well i m gonna have to vote this time

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:10 | 4675116 LongMarch
LongMarch's picture

Do you have any idea what that will do to the income of hookers and coke dealers?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:21 | 4675121 Bankstein Swiss...
Bankstein Swissgoldberg's picture

a coke dealer near the train station makes about $5'000 a month and you get a hooker for $100. i dont have any sense of humor but i do know accurate data.

i believe that their income will stay stable.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 21:38 | 4676462 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

But the coke dealer gets his hooker for the wholesale price of coke. So his cost is much lower than any John. Sorta like bankers getting their money from the discount window while earning interest on reserves at the FED.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:42 | 4674548 nmewn
nmewn's picture

This will be great news for James Cole ;-)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:05 | 4674611 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

zh rarely ventures beyond American issues on these types of things, so pretty funny to see the comments trickling in. Love the headline..

Are the swiss gawddamn lunatics??? The country is going to hell in a handbasket!!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:24 | 4674650 nmewn
nmewn's picture

lol...maybe they can make it up by announcing a tax on their once "super-secretive" banking laws? ;-)

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:38 | 4675081 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

and those ventures are often superficial, and the comments even moar so

as Peter writes in the article, the Swiss have lots of referenda, to the point that they are bunched together in quarterly poll dates

and most of them are rejected by the voters, to the point that there is always a "lunatic" Swiss Referendum looming in the next few months, and always an opportunity for uninformative, local politics self-serving articles that have actually very little to do with the Swiss situation

the last socialist referendum was about having no wage in any company less than 12 times the highest one, for example. it was rejected, too

both referenda were launched by the Young Swiss Socialists, a very small organization (within the socialists) with some 6% voter approval (total social democratic vote is around 20%). and this is the reality of Swiss Referenda: you don't need lots of money or lots of political power to have a question posed to the sovereign people (outcome is another matter altogether)

meanwhile I'm appalled at the usual hypocrisy of the theme in the US comments: small and medium biz? come on, it's BIG BIZ that is the champion of lowest-level wages and highest-level bonuses and executive pay

you know how to increase the level of shrill complaints against minimum wage? propose it - but only for companies with more than 100 employees. earplugs adviced

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:03 | 4675300 PT
PT's picture

Re "you know how to increase the level of shrill complaints against minimum wage? propose it - but only for companies with more than 100 employees. earplugs advised"

Excellent idea but companies have already found a way around it - they restructure their company into lots of small companies.  That is how one of our large companies got around laws governing number of employees vs trading hours.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:33 | 4676523 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

Or the large company simply contracts labor staffing to another company or group of companies and/or individuals directly for each 'specialty' such as IT, security, maint. and cleaning, shipping and deliveries, legal representation, lobbying, A/V, etc...

So the Corporation with more than 100 employees IS paying ALL employees more than the minimum that corporations employing more than 100 would get stuck with; and the subcontractors -all working for smaller firms owned by the same people that own the big corp or are cronies of them- are in a legal loophole and are getting paid less than if they actually worked for the more than 100 employee company.

Govenment regulations: it's the fucking loopholes that often make them so useful and desirable to big biz.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:45 | 4674556 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

or they can become property of the manor, but, in that scenario the manor [plantation owners] would have to feed, clothe, medical care/ treatment, house, and transport too and from work-- nice work if you can get it 

or they can pay a living wage from 'trickle-down-money-heaven'... and set the slaves free?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:46 | 4674560 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Damn they all make more than 50$k a year? WTF.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:54 | 4674586 laboratorymike
laboratorymike's picture

Had a convo with a Swiss scientist at a conference about this. Basically, multiply the cost of everything by 2-3 and that's the price over there. If you can save a percentage and leave the country it works, though.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:07 | 4674616 Bankstein Swiss...
Bankstein Swissgoldberg's picture

Big Mac (never tried it): CHF6.5/0.9=USD7.2 i think

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:02 | 4674721 noless
noless's picture

" Des wegen ist ernicht nur ein Doppeldecker,sondern auch doppelt lecker."

No m c d where i am but from what i remember the "flagship burgers" were minimum 7ish usd, and if you can live with the shame the dollar menu was the same shit.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:32 | 4674944 Telemakhos
Telemakhos's picture

This.  Absolute values are worthless in comparing different economies, which is why the Economist developed the Big Mac index.

The latest data has the Swiss Big Mac overvalued by 54% at $7.14 after exchange (i.e. a BigMac costs the local equivalent of $7.14 among the Helvetians), while in the US it costs $4.62.  So, one may surmise that the cost of living the Swiss lifestyle is exorbitant relative to US values.  This only roughly tells you about how far apart they are, since food items aren't the only or even best comparison of living standards (rather a basket of necessary purchases, rent, and realistic taxes would be), but the absolute $25 comes out to something like a $13 minimum wage relative to US purchasing power according to the Big Mac index.  So think of this story as saying that the Swiss are having a referendum on a $13 minimum wage.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 03:59 | 4675064 AvoidingTaxation
AvoidingTaxation's picture

Didn't know that Le Big Mac was food.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 22:38 | 4676528 ThroxxOfVron
ThroxxOfVron's picture

In French I believe the Big Mac is called a 'Sucer Mon Grand' -avec formage ( with cheese! ).

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:49 | 4675011 Vincent Vega
Vincent Vega's picture

Vincent: "You know what they call a quarter pounder with cheese in Paris?" Jules: "They don't call it a quarter pounder with cheese?" Vincent: "No, they got the metric system over there, they don't know what the fuck a quarter pounder is."

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:43 | 4675378 PT
PT's picture

I'll have a hundred and fourteen grammer with cheese, please."

Or, roughly speaking:

"I'll have a ninth of a kilogrammer with cheese, thanks."

Err, I never go to McDs.  Perhaps this is why. 


Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:34 | 4675000 RichardParker
RichardParker's picture

A relative of mine (by marriage) from the Balkans did just that. Went to work in Switzerland for a few years and was able to save quite a bit of money by the time he went back home.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:46 | 4674562 the_magician
the_magician's picture

give it all to us poor fuckers.I say! let us all party! evryone wants some dirty ass!Whoop!

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:48 | 4674566 Ludwig Von
Ludwig Von's picture

"So, 90% of all employees are already paid more than the proposed minimum wage. It turns out that virtually all the biggest companies pay salaries above what would be the world's highest minimum wage – but that is not the main problem."

That means also a substantial part in the small companies, since they are the largest part of the economy. 

I don 't understand this article, what is the message ?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:59 | 4674595 Matt
Matt's picture

The message is that they should vote no, or hurt their economy.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:11 | 4674626 Ludwig Von
Ludwig Von's picture

Really, if only 10 % now is below the proposed minimum ? 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 06:56 | 4675138 Ketsa
Ketsa's picture

Yeah, that article = FUD.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:51 | 4674568 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the minimum wage should be no less than 1/10 the rate of the most highly compensated person in the company. public companies should not be allowed to pay anyone more than six figures per annum in total compensation.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:32 | 4674942 directaction
directaction's picture

I agree. Six figures and with first figure no higher than a "1"

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:52 | 4674575 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

What's the big deal? Welfare Queens get more than $30/hr in benefits from the government in California.


Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:37 | 4674869 4 Freedoms
4 Freedoms's picture

Damn right!  There's Miss Apple, Mrs. IBM, Mrs. Walmart, and that hussy, Ms. Exxon.  ALL welfare queens.....

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:02 | 4674591 Zero Govt
Zero Govt's picture

Yes, the Swiss are crazy ...go to Geneva and drive around their loonatic painted roads.. you can't see black bitumen for their control-freek red, yellow and blue coloured paint they plaster over the road.. and their non-stop meddling drives cars to a congested going-nowhere crawl.. totally bonkers and anti-car ..mentally retarded and all need to be carted off to the funny farm like most Traffic Depts in every country

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 20:58 | 4674592 NYPoke
NYPoke's picture

The goal of Minimum Wage, Low Interest Rates & most to kill small & independent businesses/banks.  The only ones who survive are the bigger corporations & government (same thing).


Again, this was the stated goal of the Left in the 60s, as pointed out by ZH.  Job well done.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:08 | 4674622 ableman28
ableman28's picture

I was around in the left in the 60's and I don't ever remember anyone expressing this as a good idea.  Our express enemy was what was referred to as "Corporate Liberalism".  

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:42 | 4674696 NYPoke
NYPoke's picture

The Left tends to lie a lot, as does The Right.  ZH pulled out some details from the National Archives, not too long ago.  Very interesting.


They didn't promote it.  Much like the origins of ACORN.  Their goal was to bankrupt America, in order to impliment Socialism (or something like it).  They didn't promote this, but that was their stated purpose.  That is the exact playbook they have followed.


Big Corporations have grown dramatically since the 60s.  Small business has been hammered.  Policies from The Left do just that.


ACA?  Insurance companies & drug companies love it.  Small Business, over 50 employees, & individuals?  Not so much.  Small Business under 50? Their employees get hit.


Policies from The Left...good for really Big Corporations, as they are the only ones who can absorb the costs & work the system.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:39 | 4675004 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Look up "Fabianism" and/or "Cloward-Piven strategy"

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:09 | 4674731 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

what is it? interest rates controlled by FRBs printing press, where the debt has doubled and we now have ironically alot moar deflation and a whole lot moar poor billionaires, than?... or, a minimum wage also controlled by a circumambient FRBs via Humphrey-Hawkins Act, impregnated by an ex`facto food and energy 90% penalty? or a posterior regulation trap, carefully crafted by a statist/ fascist ussa!?! so what is it #1- #2- or #3

make your choice wisely :-))

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:00 | 4674597 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

the swiss care more about their people than the kleptocrats here do that's for sure.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:08 | 4674620 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

that is for damn sure.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:45 | 4674701 Tinky
Tinky's picture

Not to mention that their form of government is clearly superior.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:01 | 4674719 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Maybe the Knights got one right ;-)

(Stirring the pot)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:04 | 4674607 Berspankme
Berspankme's picture

They'll be close to the free obamaphone, food stamp collecting, welfare queen, unemployment sucking, free cable tv, free internet dick sucking freeloaders we have here in the US. FSA USA FSA USA...............

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:07 | 4674614 Who was that ma...
Who was that masked man's picture

Hey, why not just pay people to not work, we could easily make up the difference by basically eliminating education.


Oh wait, we're already doing that right here.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:09 | 4674624 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

3,500 a month for a gift shop worker...  I know everything must be expensive but that's $50k US a year...

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:10 | 4674625 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Just watch ski slope tourism plummet once the daily lift ride sticker shock sets in. Don't forget to bring your AMEX black card to cover a cup of hot chocolate. Hahaha.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:14 | 4674636 robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

Why aren't more Mexicans immigrating to Swissland?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:21 | 4674729 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

The Swiss have solved our Amnesty debate. No need to go to gringos, the Swiss has socialized medicine plan and higher Dinero wage.

Thank you Swiss serfs! I'll bet the Obama adminstration will declare you a terrorist. Your stealing the future illegal democrat voter base.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:39 | 4674872 4 Freedoms
4 Freedoms's picture

It's a very long swim.....

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:24 | 4674647 deerhunter
deerhunter's picture

stopped to ask directions on Maui to the nearest fishing pier.  Tree trimmers,  two nice trucks,  Spanish only.  No Habla,,, wow,  talk about doing some swimming to immigrate illegally.  I thought I was on vacation to enjoy my middle daughters wedding and it was just like being back home in NW burbs of Chicago.  Like I never left,  can't make this stuff up.  They may well move to Swissland for those kind of wages and bennies.  May you live in interesting times,  I think we just may be.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:30 | 4674667 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Now where was it I heard of TPTB fucking with something that was working fine for 90% for the 10% that it wasn't. 

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:49 | 4674693 RaiZH
RaiZH's picture

Stop cheap immigrants from coming in and then raise the minimum wage for themselves? That will definitely work.


Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:47 | 4674707 noless
noless's picture

The Swiss are known for one thing internationally, unrivaled protectionism in regards to their citizens, and extended to those who give them aid.

I expect the measure to become law.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 21:53 | 4674712 navy62802
navy62802's picture

Crazy? No. But they'll soon be broke.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:11 | 4674741 garypaul
garypaul's picture

Well, the U.S. is already more than broke, so what difference does it make?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:06 | 4674727 eddiebe
eddiebe's picture

Oh no, $25 an hour. Can't do that, there won't be enough left over for the .001%.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:10 | 4674735 garypaul
garypaul's picture

Totally correct eddiebe.

And for those against minimum wage, a simple question:  Would you work for 2 bucks an hour?

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:16 | 4674750 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Its a good question.

Why would someone be guaranteed two bucks an hour by law, when they are only worth one? Take your typical bureaucratic paper pusher, for example ;-)

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:29 | 4674779 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Fuck the 2 dollar complaint. The EBT crowd thinks like wimpy..

I'll pay you tuesday for a hamburger today

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:38 | 4674795 nmewn
nmewn's picture

I hear you.

No discussion of what one is worth to employ, only what they are to be a minimum.

I've met people who I wouldn't let feed my dogs because I value the dogs more ;-)

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 03:10 | 4675036 PT
PT's picture

Why would you hire someone that is only worth a buck an hour when there are ten unemployed people each worth ten bucks per hour?  Lazy?  Too much profits?  Can't be bothered sifting through all them resumes?  Oh I know, you tell the ten buck per hour guy that someone else is willing to do the job for one buck per hour and get him cheap because the alternative is starving to death.  Then your competitor does the same thing with one of the other ten-buck-per hour guys.  Then you both lower your prices, trying to undercut each other and suddenly you both declare that the ten-buck per hour guys are actually only worth 50 cents per hour and there is no way we could afford to pay them any more!!!!!  No way!  There is no better way!!!!!!! 

And don't you know the economy is tight???  We used to have lots of customers that made ten bucks per hour but now they only make fifty cents per hour!  We need to scrimp and save every single cent!!!!! 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:44 | 4675084 Peterus
Peterus's picture

Keynsian idiotism. I see indoctrination of populus works very well. If everybody thinks like you, than they can stop staving of the catastrophy - and retain all power after. They'll just blame rampant capitalism on their own policies and get away with it.

Labor market works as any other market. It exists becouse there is an underlying need for the good. Your stereotypical factory owner has alread taken the loans for then land, building and machines. If he's not churning shoes out of it, he still has to pay maintenence or will have capital value of this entire enterprise go down for no income whatsoever. He has a lot to loose too. He needs the workers. The same as people want food, cars and houses. Demand can not be just written off and ignored.

From the time of mechanisation price of labor never dropped below starvation rates. In fact it is now relatively low (with all the awesome socialist leeches out there, stealing from it and blocking it), as a hundred years ago physical worker earned enough for a family and now couple after some education might have problems with a single child. You would have to have no demand for labor to be able to just bid the price down to 0 and that's not the World we live in.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 08:12 | 4675194 PT
PT's picture

Ten houses, eleven people.  What is the price on the cheapest house?
Ten jobs, eleven unemployed people.  What is the minimum wage?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 09:48 | 4675285 post turtle saver
post turtle saver's picture

the answer for most will be "no" and, guess what, the offer of $2 will have to go up to attract needed labor if _no one takes the job_... if someone takes the job, then it was priced for what the market would bear and life goes on...

that's how it's supposed to work anyway, but people keep going on and on about how "fair" life is supposed to be, then stick their fingers in the gears to try and bring their model of fairness to life... only to fuck everything up...

you want to live the lifestyle of people who have the things you want? then figure out a way to do what they do so you're compensated accordingly, instead of trying to mandate "fairness" into every nook and cranny of life...

pro tip folks, life isn't fair and it never will be, in spite of all efforts to make it so (which oddly enough always end up making it less fair, go figure)

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 10:52 | 4675402 PT
PT's picture

??????  "Life ain't fair so just give up and let everyone else trample all over you."  Is that your message ???




Fri, 04/18/2014 - 22:43 | 4674800 Emergency Ward
Emergency Ward's picture

Can you get $25 an hour for not working?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 04:47 | 4675085 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

Get a job with the government.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 07:01 | 4675140 Ketsa
Ketsa's picture

You can get a lot more than 25$ an hour not working if you have enough money to invest...

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:32 | 4674863 4 Freedoms
4 Freedoms's picture

Freedom from Switzerland.

Fri, 04/18/2014 - 23:58 | 4674900 q99x2
q99x2's picture

The Swiss seem to be able to take of their own because they are one of the few Nations that are stil a nation. Their constitution was a template for the US constitution.

It works if you work it.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 05:05 | 4675092 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Yes, the US Constitution of the 1790's was taken as a partial template... for the Swiss Constitution of 1848. Study the differences, and you'll have a fit of understanding of where the US constitution is a tad... archaic

yet interestingly, Switzerland is not a classic Nation. It's more properly a confederation of twenty odd nations

the Calvinist, French speaking citizens of Geneva form a Nation that is very distinct from the Catholic, Italian speaking citizen of Ticino or the Reformed, German speaking citizens of Basle (just to pick up 3 "extremes")

the real wonder of Switzerland is how they manage to keep what matters together. language, religion, ethnicity, descent, shared history, the hallmark of the Nation, is a matter of the "Cantons", the semi-sovereign confederated bodies (well, on the cusp of being technically a federation)

no federal police in Switzerland, for example

and yet they also manage to have a working confederation of all that. and are a shining example for us all europeans, and should be more so to all the european federalists

Sun, 04/20/2014 - 07:33 | 4676841 smacker
smacker's picture

Switzerland's structure of Cantons each with local powers of governance should be a template for the EU, United States and United Kingdom. Sadly instead of being lauded for having this system that works, it is quietly sneered at by European federalists everywhere.

Another country that has a similar system of local autonomy is UAE, Although the seven Emirates do not practice any real democracy, the Leaders of them - most notably the al Maktoum dynasty in Dubai - protect their sovereignty very strongly. Nevertheless, the "federalists" brigade in the UAE (mostly those in Abu Dhabi) are always trying to chip away at Emirate sovereignty and expand the size and scope of federal government.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:01 | 4674904 Wannabee
Wannabee's picture

Swiss aren't stupid. Won't pass.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:21 | 4674926 Goatboy
Goatboy's picture

Article states:

If a worker cannot produce more than X amount of  goods or services, it is not possible to pay him X+Y for his work.

Proper formulation:

If a worker cannot produce X+Y amount of  goods or services, it is not possible to pay him X for his work.


Whole article is just a usual "free" market drivel.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:29 | 4674938 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Even at 25$/hrs an hour it is not material when dealing with what the banksters have mined from the US and her taxpayers.

I wish misis'onians would focus on that....

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:29 | 4674939 directaction
directaction's picture

I just want to say I support all efforts at raising the minimum wage. The rich have skewed the income gap to the point the whole game will soon unravel unless the gap is narrowed. 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:43 | 4675009 StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Me too, let's raise the minimum wage to $3000/hr ('cause I'm totally worth it!)

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:32 | 4674943 Barry Freed
Barry Freed's picture

Let us look at the economic side of things first: for one thing, the law of supply and demand is not magically suspended when it comes to the price of labor. Price it too high, and not the entire supply will be taken up. Rising unemployment inevitably results.

Your premise is ridiculous because you are talking about a free market economy.  In the real world, where we all live, central banks massively subsidize big banks and the ultra wealthy.  In such a rigged system, basic protections for workers are need, or they have no chance of earning what little they need just to survive.  Once we abolish the FED, and imprison/excute all the thieves in Washington and on Wall Street, we can talk about free markets and the inefficiency of a minimum wage.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:43 | 4675007 blabam
blabam's picture

Nothing will change... until people get hungry.

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:36 | 4674952 Duc888
Duc888's picture

directaction:I just want to say I support all efforts at raising the minimum wage. The rich have skewed the income gap to the point the whole game will soon unravel unless the gap is narrowed.


Me too. We need at least $800 or $1000 an hour minimum wage.  That will surely fix things. 


(rolling eyes).

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 02:42 | 4675040 PT
PT's picture

... and pay no attention to the price of real estate.  That money does not affect the economy at all because you can borrow it back again!

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 00:42 | 4674956 Joe A
Joe A's picture

The only reason that Switzerland has been such a 'entrepreneurial succes' is because they are sitting on nazi gold, assets of dictators and on black money of bankers and other criminals. Do you think that cheese and watches make it such a rich country?

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 03:31 | 4675059 Setarcos
Setarcos's picture

"Cheese and watches".

You must be a Usan and maybe could not locate Switzerland on a map, but how about this anyway:


Sat, 04/19/2014 - 15:59 | 4675927 Joe A
Joe A's picture

Do you really think that all this high tech and other stuff mentioned would have been possible without the basis of their economy: their banks and their financial sector? Which are so succesfull because of the reason I mentioned. Switzerland is a landlocked country (yes I do know where to find it on the map) with hard natural borders and hardly any natural resources. These are big handicaps for economic development but sitting on the world's money make a difference (you know, things are kind of easy in life when you have big money).

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 11:13 | 4675447 PT
PT's picture

Once again, Google fails me so I have to do this from memory.  ( If any of you can find a link, please show one. )  From Scott Adam's Dilbert (probably Dilbert Future, but again, I can't find it right now) :

What if aliens didn't come from outer space?  What country would a super intelligent alien life form live in?  I think we can agree that they would have the best tasting chocolate.  They would be neutral in all wars.  Their clocks and watches would be the most exquisite, intricate high precision machinery.  That's right.  I think we can deduce that the country they live in would be Switzerland!

Something like that ( I am quoting from memory ).  For some reason it sounds like less of a joke now than it did back then. 

Sat, 04/19/2014 - 01:28 | 4674994 Nukular Freedum
Nukular Freedum's picture

I find it incredible that here we have a web site which constantly bemoans what crony capitalism and the one percent have done to the West (see the article just above this one for another fine example of this) and yet claims it cannot see the logic in pragmatic remedial measures to counter this very harm, such as the minimum wage and a rational taxation program that targets city excesses and concentrations of inherited wealth. 
 Simply citing idealized "perfect market" analysis fails to address this problem (of the intrinsic tendency to corruption of capitalism) unfortunately.

The whole secret of capitalism is this: to let freedom reign, but to tax its outcomes quite steeply, so as to counter balance the many financial and other fraudsters and parasites (that are intrinsic to the system unfortunately) - but not so steeply as to deter the small entrepreneur whom they all hide behind.
 Thus the errors of crony capitalism and communistic socialism are simultaneously obviated. No other system will be found to work I fear.

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