How Do You Combat Income Inequality? Switzerland has an idea.

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UPDATE: This post has been updated.

Well, here’s a different approach!

Switzerland residents are considering enacting a nation-wide cap on their CEO-average employee pay. Considering what a terrible crisis income inequality has wrought around the world, we find it a refreshing idea to consider. (Case in point: Walmart’s CEO made $20 million last year, while store associates can’t even afford a Thanksgiving turkey.)

As Forbes reports,

This proposal might sound like something cooked up by Occupy Wall Street or another radical protest movement, but in fact it comes from the heartland of a nation not usually known for its disdain of money-making: Switzerland. On Nov. 24, the Swiss will vote in a referendum on whether to enshrine the 1:12 pay ratio — in their national constitution, no less.

The initiative is backed by an assortment of mainstream political groups, including the Social Democratic Party and the Greens, who argue that CEO pay in Switzerland has gotten out of control and needs to be reined in.

The Swiss will vote to cap CEO-worker ratio pay to no greater than 12:1. They’ll vote on this referendum Sunday, November 24. Stay tuned, we’ll report what happens!

By now, Americans are pretty well-versed in the “we have a problem” part of the growing income inequality crisis in America. But the nation hasn’t yet produced many policy suggestions. What do you think about the Swiss’ brand of solution?


This referendum was defeated at the ballot yesterday. Advocates for the proposal suggested that fear mongering and immense campaign spending from the opposition led to the referendum’s defeat, which had previously received widespread support from mainstream political groups and was polling well earlier in the campaign. According to reports, proponents were outspent by more than 40 to 1. (Advocates in support of the proposal spent about 200,000 euros while opponents spent 8.8 million euros.) RT News reports that Swiss lawmaker Ruedi Noser threatened voters that the referendum would turn Switzerland into the “North Korea of Europe.”

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