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Forum Post: A case against minimum wage laws.

Posted 1 month ago on June 22, 2014, 12:43 p.m. EST by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Just my observations, as usual my thoughts are mostly my own, so no links here.

So what could I possibly have against raising minimum wage, or against minimum wage laws period? They are unfair, and here's why. Like so many good ideas from the left, they tend to forget about the middle. The last time I saw minimum wage go up, I had been working with a company for 4 years. I do not remember what I was making at the time, but it was about $.15 over the new minimum wage. So in short, i lost 4 years of seniority, with new employees making pretty much what I was making after 4 years. You would have thought that the company would have raised everyone's pay accordingly, but since the law did not saw they had to, they didn't.

Personally I think minimum wage laws are short sighted, they only help the lowest paid employees. What I would much rather see, is a formula, based on a companies overall payroll. A bare minimum set, of course. But I would rather see something like this as well. A company whose lowest paid employee makes X dollars/year, would be required to pay second level managers no more than 3X, first level 6X, CEOs 100X, and could pay no more than 10000X per year in dividends. OK, I am no accountant, and maybe those numbers are far off, impossible, or unfair. I make no argument for or against the numbers in my formula, only for the formula concept it's self. By using a scale like this it would assure that all employees, not only the top ,who benefit now, or the bottom who benefit from minimum wage, benefit. Just food for thought.



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[-] 4 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 month ago

Personally, I'm a bit more strict in that I think the highest paid employee should be paid no more than twice the lowest paid employee who should also be earning a livable wage.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27660) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Just think of how much more would be available ( within reach ) to all with such a program.

[-] -1 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

If all we disagree on are the numbers, I am fine with that. Don't forget the other sneaky little things they do like company cars etc. And dividend checks.

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 month ago

A Daring Bid to Stomp Out CEO Pay Excess

Saturday, 23 November 2013 13:25
By Sam Pizzigati, Too Much | Report


Something astounding is happening in Switzerland. For the first time ever, voters in a modern developed nation are going to be voting on whether to create what essentially amounts to a “maximum wage.”

The vote will come this Sunday, November 24, on a ballot initiative that bans any Swiss corporate executive compensation that runs over 12 times worker pay.

In effect, under this “1:12 Initiative for Fair Pay,” no Swiss company would be able to pay its top executives more in a month than the company’s lowest-paid workers make in a year.

Swiss corporations currently compensate their top execs more generously than any other nation in continental Europe. At pharmaceutical giant Roche, CEO pay runs 236 times the firm’s lowest wage. At Nestle, the divide spreads 188 times.

Gross margins like these four years ago caught the attention of activists in Juso, the youth wing of Switzerland’s Social Democratic Party. The activists sensed growing public outrage at a corporate pay system that has, as former Juso president Cédric Wermuth recently told Too Much, “greedy managers earning millions while other people earn too little for living.”

Juso decided to challenge corporate pay inequality head-on, through Switzerland’s “direct democracy” initiative process. Under current Swiss law, propositions that gain 100,000 signatures can trigger a national referendum.

The “1:12” initiative that Wermuth and his Juso vice-president Mattea Meyer organized would go on to gain broad union support and backing from Switzerland’s top two progressive parties, the Social Democrats and the Greens.

This past spring, the 1:12 effort filed enough signatures for ballot status — and Corporate Switzerland has been feverishly attacking the initiative ever since.

Any move to limit CEO pay to 12 times worker pay, charges SwissHoldings, the federation of Swiss-based multinationals, would constitute “a frontal attack on freedom” — and “prosperity,” too! If the measure passes, the SwissHoldings anti-1:12 manifesto declares, “almost all” of Switzerland’s 57 corporate giants “would be forced to restructure or move parts of their companies abroad.”

One Swiss lawmaker, Zurich’s Ruedi Noser, has ratcheted up the hysterics to an even higher level. A “yes” vote on the 1:12 proposition, he’s claiming, would turn Switzerland into the “North Korea of Europe.”

But Swiss society, 1:12 supporters counter, has functioned quite successfully in the not-so-distant past with quite narrow gaps between executive and worker compensation. In 1984, points out the Swiss Denknetz think tank, CEOs in Switzerland only averaged six times more in pay than average Swiss workers.

Many Swiss today still remember those more equal times, one reason why headlines about 21st century executive paydays — like the $100.5 million Credit Suisse CEO Brady Dougan grabbed in 2010 — so infuriate the general public.

In 2007, Swiss chief execs nationwide averaged 56 times more than average worker pay. But big companies pay their execs far more, the Swiss trade union federation points out, and these execs desperately want their gravy trains to continue. Nestle, the drugmaker Novartis, and other Swiss companies have been bombarding their employees with letters decrying the dangers 1:12 poses.

Swiss corporate execs unleashed a similar political blitz earlier this year when corporate gadfly Thomas Minder, a successful entrepreneur, led a campaign to give shareholders more say over top executive pay — and ban executive new-hire and “golden parachute” bonuses.

Swiss multinationals bitterly opposed Minder’s proposal. But his initiative passed anyway this past March, with a stunning 67.9 percent of the vote.

Corporate interests don’t have to reveal how many millions they’re pouring into the campaign to kill the 1:12 initiative, and some observers are estimating that initiative opponents may be outspending supporters by as much as 50 times.

Adding to the huge drumbeat against 1:12: official opposition from Switzerland’s Federal Council, the country’s ministerial cabinet. The Swiss media, meanwhile, have been overwhelmingly hostile as well.

“No major Swiss newspaper is supporting the 1:12 initiative,” Juso activist Mattea Meyer tells Too Much, and only about 15 percent of major media coverage, she estimates, has been friendly to the pay cap effort.

Remarkably enough, given this deeply unequal political playing field, the 1:12 initiative has remained competitive in the opinion polls. In October, one survey had the measure in a virtual dead-heat, with 44 percent both pro and con.

Polling released last week does have the “no” side gaining ground, and passage this Sunday, observers feel, remains a longshot. But however the vote goes, activist Cédric Wermuth stresses, egalitarians have made substantial progress.

“We’ve launched,” he notes, “a major debate about wage equality and a just income distribution, a subject regarded as taboo before.”

Advocates for the 1:12 initiative see their effort as part of a broader “strategic counter-project” to reverse top 1 percent-friendly rule changes that have made Switzerland so much less equal over recent decades, and next steps are filling the Swiss referendum pipeline.

Among these next steps: an initiative to create a basic minimum income for everyone in Switzerland — at the equivalent of $2,800 a month — and campaigns to put in place both a stiff inheritance tax and a new tax on foreigners using Switzerland as a tax haven.

Switzerland’s 1:12 activists also see themselves as part of a global effort, and 1:12-like campaigns, they note proudly, have taken root in France and Germany.

“We stay in close contact with them,” says Cédric Wermuth, who currently serves as a member of Switzerland’s federal parliament.

The Swiss 1:12 activists are also staying in close contact with leading global egalitarian thinkers. They’ve hosted talks in Zurich, Basel, and Bern, for instance, from the British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the impact of inequality on our daily lives.

The 1:12 effort, Wilkinson told Too Much last week, has already made a major contribution — by helping the entire world understand that businesses “do not have to be organized as systems for the undemocratic concentration of wealth and power.”

Interested in helping support the 1:12 initiative? Supporters can make donations through the campaign’s online presence.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27660) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Something astounding is happening in Switzerland. For the first time ever, voters in a modern developed nation are going to be voting on whether to create what essentially amounts to a “maximum wage.”

Cool - let us ALL wish them much success in this endeavor. I mean really - just exactly how much does any single person need to have/make?

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 month ago

Upon organizing a National Democratic Congress http://occupywallst.org/forum/omni-organizing-municipal-national-initiatives/ we could do the very same thing here.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27660) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

One of many things to accomplish.

OSTA one subject at a time legislation - being another.

So much to do - and so little time left to accomplish much that would then extend the clock to accomplish other necessary but less important ( in comparison - less life threatening ) issues.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

We don't have to wait, it could be done by initiative in individual states. Until all states had the new law it would probably not be very effective though.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5854) 1 month ago

Only 24 states could do it by initiative and if only they did it, it would be very effective in creating national pressure to be passed in the other states. Even if it only passed in just one state or one municipality, it would be worth it for the lives of those to benefit from it.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

That sums it up. I will check, but I think it is too late here to get anything on the ballot this fall. Any suggestions on getting something written up, I don't speak legalize well enough to work something like that up. I am sure that someone on this site has at least a working knowledge though.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

Lets use this forum for something besides arguing. We have a proposal (from me, kinda complicated) and a counter proposal from Leo. Lets put the two together, simplify mine, and add to his some provisions for limiting or balancing dividends. Lets discuss what we want to do, then invite persons with more legal experience to write it up for us. Sound like a plan?

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 1 month ago

your being stupid.... the top are subject to zero rules or laws... regardless of what laws are in place ...the wealthiest will find ways around them... a minimum wage can only help

[-] 1 points by StillModestCapitalist (177) 1 month ago

They are subject to the law of gravity. In fact, I'd like to prove this by throwing Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter together off the top floor of the Empire State Building. My theory is that they will both hit the ground at the same time.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (27660) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

If they were falling in a vacuum - so - I would predict Rushing Limpballs hitting just slightly after Coulter due to the higher wind resistance of his bulk.

[-] 0 points by flip (6841) 1 month ago

we could simply go back to the tax rates of eisenhower in 1955 - 91% - let the ceo's make all they want just tax the shit out of them

[-] 0 points by StillModestCapitalist (177) 1 month ago

Damn right.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

OK, so just a minimum wage, who cares if top executive pay is through the roof, and every other employee works for minimum wage. They find loopholes, that is why laws need to be revisited from time to time to close those loopholes. Just raising minimum wage helps some, but not everyone.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

Gee, lots of down votes. So you folks doing the down voting what's your better plan? Just more regurgitated Democrat doctrine, or are you ready to prove you are more than partisan. I have in other posts. So really, what's wrong with this? Is it not an admirable undertaking? Does it go beyond the Democrat plan and help more people, while limiting not only share holder earnings, but top executives as well? It's real easy to hit stinkle, a whole lot harder to come up with something better, or to just post your objections. You do realize, that should some sort of democratic utopia magically appear tomorrow, you will be dealing with 50% or more of the populations who are at least as far right as I am, if not a whole lot further. So common ground folks? Or more partisan hatred? It's up to you.

[-] 0 points by turbocharger (1211) 1 month ago

The multinationals can afford to swallow the costs of a $15 minimum wage.

The little people will be absolutely crushed.

We want to crush the multinationals. Legislating them out of existence is not going to happen, as they have enough cash to handle it.

Only through a conscious awakening where we realize our own day to day roles in the machine, voting with our wallets, will we be able to stop them.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

You are right of course. Nothing I have posted here would crush any multinational company. Would this not help more people than just a minimum wage increase?

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

Well, arguments for or against?

[-] 0 points by StillModestCapitalist (177) 1 month ago

So you're suggesting some sort of regulated pay scale rather than just a minimum wage. Good idea. Unfortunately, it would take an act of God.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

That is exactly what I am suggesting. With dividend checks, and other perks and profit share schemes figured in. Lets come up with a workable plan put it out their and sell it as fair for all employees. Yes it would take an act of god, or an act of the people. It could be done by state initiative. But we will need accountants, and lawyers doing the writing because state AGs will do everything they can to oppose it.

[-] 0 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

Can some of you accountant types out there help come up with a fair formula? Or would this be something that you guys aren't interested in backing.

[-] -2 points by wickerman (116) from Cleveland, AR 1 month ago

So, it is clear that most of the people posting here fundamentally disagree with anything I post. Again, what do you have that is better? Nothing? It would seem so. Again, prove me wrong, show me that you have some concern for the working class. The middle class, among whom I do not count the none working upper middle class. I see your attitude very clearly at this point, help for the poor at the expense of the working middle class. Same old partisan crap, just admit it it, Democrat party line. Republicans for the rich, Democrats and you for the poor, screw the middle. Am I wrong?