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Old 17.02.2012, 14:36
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1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

An initiative has been launched by the young socialists (supported from SP and Greens) for a fair salary system. Top managers can at max. earn 12 times more money than the lowest paid employee of the company. More than 100.000 signatures have been collected already.

Website (de/fr/it): http://www.juso.ch/de/node/599


I don't believe that the top managers of the big companies are worth their absurdly high salaries - their work isn't 100 or 1000 times better or more important than their co-workers. But is this initiative feasible?
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Old 17.02.2012, 14:38
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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An initiative has been launched by the young socialists (supported from SP and Greens) for a fair salary system. Top managers can at max. earn 12 times more money than the lowest paid employee of the company. More than 100.000 signatures have been collected already.

Website (de/fr/it): http://www.juso.ch/de/node/599


I don't believe that the top managers of the big companies are worth their absurdly high salaries - their work isn't 100 or 1000 times better or more important than their co-workers. But is this initiative feasible?
if i were a shareholder of HP, then yes, i would tell you that the CEO is worth their millions. in this case, probably worth about 60 billion.
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Old 17.02.2012, 14:46
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

You want MORE government interference in private business?
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Old 17.02.2012, 14:47
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

a manager earns 4 million on average? look's like i seriously low-balled my own pay discussions....
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Old 17.02.2012, 14:52
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

Nice idealistic idea, but if this was to go through then the best talent at the top would disappear off to other countries where they could continue to earn obscene amounts, leaving Switzerland with possibly less than competent people at the helm of the big hitters. This would then probably cause the top companies to relocate to areas where they could continue to recruit the top talent at market rates.

All in all bad for Switzerland.
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Old 17.02.2012, 14:59
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

If you take the minimum wage of 50'000 chfs, this means you're limiting the salary of the top management of big pharma/ tabacco etc to 600'000 chfs?

I think you'd find that all the top managers would promptly be relocated to the London/ Paris/ Munich office

I don't look at is as 'you do just as many hours as the mail clerk...' but rather 'you're responsible for keeping the business profitable and running smoothly and you're keeping the mail clerk in a job...'.

When the poop hits the spinny thing, the mail clerk doesn't have to account for his actions to the shareholders, government etc.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:03
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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Nice idealistic idea, but if this was to go through then the best talent at the top would disappear off to other countries where they could continue to earn obscene amounts, leaving Switzerland with possibly less than competent people at the helm of the big hitters.
I agree with what you say in principle (as in I don't think the government should tell companies what they should pay their top people) but I do sometimes wonder whether the value of top management is not overstated. How much better is a 10MCHF manager than a 5MCHF one? Probably only marginally as the law of diminishing returns applies here also. Is it right to always go for the best or can a not quite so good but cheaper manager sometimes be of more benefit to a company.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:07
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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When the poop hits the spinny thing, the mail clerk doesn't have to account for his actions to the shareholders, government etc.
If that was genuinely the case, then it would be different. But as long as a company expects to be bailed out by government when things go wrong, it should also accept being given orders by government during the good times. Maybe there should be an option of signing some sort of social contract in which the company confirms that under no circumstances does it expect the government to help in return for which the government also leaves it alone. Then at least we would know where which company stands. Too many comapnies are trying to play in both camps.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:09
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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I don't look at is as 'you do just as many hours as the mail clerk...' but rather 'you're responsible for keeping the business profitable and running smoothly and you're keeping the mail clerk in a job...'.
More likely they would outsource the mail clerk to a separate company and problem solved.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:12
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

I thought left-wingers were meant to have higher IQs?
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:15
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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I agree with what you say in principle (as in I don't think the government should tell companies what they should pay their top people) but I do sometimes wonder whether the value of top management is not overstated. How much better is a 10MCHF manager than a 5MCHF one? Probably only marginally as the law of diminishing returns applies here also. Is it right to always go for the best or can a not quite so good but cheaper manager sometimes be of more benefit to a company.
Sure - but that's up to the shareholders / board, not government. It also often makes sense to produce a product that is not quite perfect, because that last bit of perfection costs more than the value added to it.... but some companies might choose to go for the best anyway.

Look at it another way - what's the difference between a 40'000 CHF programmer and an 80'000 CHF programmer? Hypothetically, you're willing to pay someone more money because he can make better decisions.... and one decision at the right time that is just 10 or 20% "better" at the CEO level might well greatly exceed the 5'000'000 CH difference you describe above.

You pays your money and you takes your chances, but when you're talking billions, you probably want the best, almost regardless of the cost.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:16
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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An initiative has been launched by the young socialists (supported from SP and Greens) for a fair salary system. Top managers can at max. earn 12 times more money than the lowest paid employee of the company. More than 100.000 signatures have been collected already.

Website (de/fr/it): http://www.juso.ch/de/node/599


I don't believe that the top managers of the big companies are worth their absurdly high salaries - their work isn't 100 or 1000 times better or more important than their co-workers. But is this initiative feasible?
Actually if you read the initiative, it's a little bit different:
No worker in a company should earn LESS in 1 year what a top manager earns in 1 month.

Example: if top manager earns 1'000'000 CHF in a year, then the lowest yearly salary in the company should be 83'333 (1Million/12).

The initiative does not ask top managers to have a lower salary; they are rather just shifting the gauss curve
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:18
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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When the poop hits the spinny thing, the mail clerk doesn't have to account for his actions to the shareholders, government etc.
Seems to me whenever something has gone wrong at a large company, the only 'accounting' that happens involves a few negative press reports, maybe the odd politician mouthing off, and then laying low for a few months. Then popping up at another large company that needs 'turning round', or as a consultant, or on a board of directors somewhere. It seldom seems to actually affect the individuals ability to continue raking in vast amounts of cash.

Compare and contrast with the fortunes of lesser paid members of staff who are laid off, into the tender mercies of unemployment support...
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:19
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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Actually if you read the initiative, it's a little bit different:
No worker in a company should earn LESS in 1 year what a top manager earns in 1 month.

Example: if top manager earns 1'000'000 CHF in a year, then the lowest yearly salary in the company should be 83'333 (1Million/12).

The initiative does not ask top managers to have a lower salary; they are rather just shifting the gauss curve
So it's all the mail clerks gunning for a pay-rise?
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:21
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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Seems to me whenever something has gone wrong at a large company, the only 'accounting' that happens involves a few negative press reports, maybe the odd politician mouthing off, and then laying low for a few months. Then popping up at another large company that needs 'turning round', or as a consultant, or on a board of directors somewhere. It seldom seems to actually affect the individuals ability to continue raking in vast amounts of cash.
You know how on other threads people moan all the time that service and waiters are so poor in Switzerland. Well, you know why? They're all laid off CEOs trying to scratch a living on waitering or peeling potatoes.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:29
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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...Look at it another way - what's the difference between a 40'000 CHF programmer and an 80'000 CHF programmer? ...
According to various studies, the Total Cost of Ownership of a program from an average programmer is some 10x that of a good programmer.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:29
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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Actually if you read the initiative, it's a little bit different:
No worker in a company should earn LESS in 1 year what a top manager earns in 1 month.

Example: if top manager earns 1'000'000 CHF in a year, then the lowest yearly salary in the company should be 83'333 (1Million/12).

The initiative does not ask top managers to have a lower salary; they are rather just shifting the gauss curve
By that logic, and incorporating Phil's 4,000,000 salary example, it would mean that the lowest paid full time wage in that company would be 333,333 per annum.

This again would end up forcing companies to move elsewhere to get cheaper labour.

Whichever way you look at, and regardless of your personal opinions about high earners, the whole idea is flawed. In principle it seems fair, but in practice it would be a disaster.
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:30
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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In principle it seems fair, but in practice it would be a disaster.
That's JuSo for you
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:34
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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You want MORE government interference in private business?
Does "you" refer to "me"? I came across the initiative and thought it could be of interest for my fellow forumers.

I'm probably a bit idealistic but I doubt that a top business talent who is only interested in making a lot of money and who wanders away once things get difficult would do a better job than someone with less talent who accepts a lower pay but who cares about the company or the country. Since the market doesn't seem to regulate itself but get out of proportion instead, what other options are left but government interference?
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Old 17.02.2012, 15:36
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Re: 1:12 - An initiative for fair wages

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Does "you" refer to "me"? I came across the initiative and thought it could be of interest for my fellow forumers.
Well, you did bring it up and appear to support it, no?
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