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Swiss CEOs Make Less Than U.S. CEOs


In Switzerland, the highest paid CEOs earn only 43 times more than the average worker. This ratio, while tiny compared to CEO-to-worker pay in the U.S., has so enraged the Swiss that they’re considering putting a cap on CEOs’ salaries.

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(Photo Credit: ToGa Wanderings/Flickr)

CEOs in the United States make a median wage of $182,079 a year, and Fortune 100 CEOs make far more than that. The highest paid CEOs can hundreds of times more money than their median salaried employee.

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“Here, the SEC is currently considering a rule that would require large companies simply to disclose the ratio of their CEO pay to that of an average worker,” writes Hamilton Nolan at Gawker. “This rule would have no power to change any of those numbers; it’s meant simply to shame. For context, the ratio of CEO pay to worker pay in America has gone from about 20-1 to well over 230-1 in the past half century. Still, even this proposed bit of disclosure has prompted an angry backlash from corporate lobbyists.”

On Nov. 24, the Swiss will vote on a bill that would limit the CEO’s compensation to 12 times the rate of the lowest paid worker at his or her company.

“Switzerland’s wealth is very unfairly distributed,” says David Roth, president of the youth wing of the Swiss Socialist Party. “While top Swiss managers earn millions, more than 300,000 people in Switzerland have to work for a mere pittance.”

Imagine what Roth and the other members of the Swiss Socialist Party, which worked to gather the 100,000 signatures necessary to launch the bill, would think of CEO-to-worker pay ratios here in the U.S.

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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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