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The Swiss aren't interested in a $25 minimum wage

Many believed Switzerland was poised to become the country with the world's highest minimum wage. The Swiss thought differently.
JJ Feinauer, Deseret News Modified: May 20, 2014 at 11:28 am •  Published: May 21, 2014
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Many believed Switzerland was poised to become the country with the world's highest minimum wage. The Swiss thought differently.

A bill proposing a raise in Switzerland's minimum wage was voted on Sunday, and was rejected by 76.3 percent of voters, according to The New York Times.

The bill would have upped the Swiss minimum wage from $0 (they currently don't have a minimum wage) to 22 francs, which is equal to about $24.65.

It might be easy to wonder why a country as economically prosperous as Switzerland (they have one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe, with only 3.1 percent unemployed) would even entertain the idea of going zero to 60 — or 24.65 — in such a short time span. But as the Times' Melissa Eddy suggests, this European wage debate isn't much different from the current discussion in the U.S.

"Switzerland, as one of the world’s most prosperous countries … might seem an unlikely venue for a debate on wage disparity," Eddy wrote on Sunday. "But unions argued that many people in the lowest-paying sectors of the economy struggled to make ends meet because their wages had not kept up with a cost of living among the highest in the world."

Of course, those in the U.S. who are weary of raising the minimum wage are relieved to hear that Switzerland rejected the bill in such overwhelming numbers.

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