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Why is Switzerland so rich?

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  • 31-03-2017 9:06pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭


    The GDP per person in "German speaking" Switzerland (they don't speak German except to foreigners) is = EUR 150'000 per capita in many cantons.

    Switzerland has an efficient political system, voters decide on policies, not just who will be politicians in power. They (the electorate) vote every few months. (The ballot papers are posted out to each registered voter and s/he can send them by post or turn up on Sunday at their church of any denomination and put their posted to them ballot in the box.) The ballot results are usually published by 15h on Sunday. The ballot papers are machine readable - so you have e-voting with a paper trail and fast results. Best of all worlds.

    Taxes are low as a result - not just corporate income tax - but personal income tax and VAT (which maxes out at 8%). Cars as a result are the cheapest in Europe. Tap water in Zurich is only = EUR 1 per m3. With no crappy chemicals added. Irish water contains fluoride and other crap. Switzerland has a brilliant health service - it is all private with compulsory insurance and if you are poor your canton pays the premium. Social services are better than in Scandinavia. Doctors get paid per task done. Not an annual salary.

    Income tax: A (worst case not married) resident of Canton Zug pays about 14% on an income of 100'000 EUR. The 26 Swiss cantons compete with each other on tax rates. The federal government gets a tiny amount of tax collected (unlike corrupt Ireland and most of the rest of the EU, where centralized taxes dominate to pay a bloated public non-service, who seem to be focused on their pension and little else).

    Most of the tax in CH goes to Cantons (counties) and towns and even what in Irish terms would be regarded as suburbs - eg Tallaght would have different tax rates for companies and people compared with D4. And while this may sound complicated, you have a single tax payment system, and the cantonal tax is derived as a percentage of the federal tax eg 120% of the federal rate for town x. No additional bureaucracy.

    There is no talk of a 'Brexit' within the Swiss confederation. Despite the low taxes it has the best public transport in the world. With 70km rail tunnels (250 km/h) to defeat the Alps. The Swiss banknotes are un-forgeable, unlike the EUR notes. Unlimited public transport on trains, buses and trams etc costs CHF 3'860 pa. Zurich has about 16 tram lines and 10 suburban rail lines. The trams run every 5 min or so. Why bother with a car? Everything runs on electricity which is largely renewable.

    Why does the EU / Ireland have to be so third rate?

    Video: https://youtu.be/dSLs5G4SPP4


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Comments

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 10,071 Mod ✭✭✭✭Jim2007


    I must be living in the wrong Switzerland! I paid 23k in health insurance for a family of four, my tax rate is 23% and no matter how often I vote the same faces stay in government because of a mutual agreement between the political parties.

    In other words don't believe all you hear!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,221 ✭✭✭A_Sober_Paddy


    Gold reserves which have a dark history


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,435 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    They are rich because they look after everyone else's money and keep some of it for themselves, like all bankers. They also keep secrets about other people's money, particularly from taxmen worldwide.

    They also keep out of wars, particularly World Wars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    Jim2007 wrote: »
    I must be living in the wrong Switzerland! I paid 23k in health insurance for a family of four, my tax rate is 23% and no matter how often I vote the same faces stay in government because of a mutual agreement between the political parties.

    In other words don't believe all you hear!

    Which Canton do you live in? Move to Zug or similar, if you want to reduce your tax bill. You have that choice in CH. I pay EUR 5'000 for one person for health insurance. How many people included in your premium.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    They are rich because they look after everyone else's money and keep some of it for themselves, like all bankers. They also keep secrets about other people's money, particularly from taxmen worldwide.

    They also keep out of wars, particularly World Wars.

    Switzerland no longer hides peoples money. CRS etc. Switzerland's wealth comes from high quality design, manufacturing and services. CH has a current account surplus of $75 billion for 8 million people. Germany has only got a surplus of $285 billion for 10x the population of Switzerland.

    Virtually everything you buy in Switzerland is Swiss made - aside from cars.

    And as far as looking after money is concerned, they do a good job, like they do with most other things. If you live in Ireland or anywhere else in the EU you can open up a bank account in Switzerland and disclose it to your local revenue authority where you are resident. There are no exchange controls in the EU. Your account will be multi-currency - ie you lodge $ 100 and it will be kept in a USD account until you need it. Irish and British banks rip off customers by forcing them to convert foreign currency - unless they are big companies and have separate currency accounts. Switzerland has the best investment funds of any country, whose shares are traded on stock exchanges (unlike Irish and British funds which are largely bought and sold (at a price) by the fund manager. Ripping people off. Your Swiss bank account can also hold precious metals, shares, funds, virtually everything except your house. And when you log in to online banking you see everything and your net worth.

    But banking is just a tiny side of Swiss life. If you land at Zurich airport at 22h at night, there will be a massive Migros supermarket open (until 23h) which sells fresh fish and fresh everything else. The post office is open late at the airport. There is a huge railway station which can take you virtually anywhere in Switzerland direct from the airport to your destination - sometimes with a short stop in Zurich HB.

    When you go to a Swiss restaurant you can buy the amount of wine you want - you are not forced to buy a bottle or half bottle as in Ireland or a glass. You can specify 1dl, 2dl, 3dl, 4dl 5dl etc and a carafe of that size will arrive.

    Zurich has the best road traffic system in the world. The traffic signals are prioritized for public transport. And the typical tram is every 3 to 5 minutes which means an average waiting time of 2 min.

    Swiss Rail has the best mobile phone app in the world. It covers all means of transport (train, tram, bus, boat, funicular, etc. This is a TV / internet advert for it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0gcViQz6aM

    (She is speaking Zuri lingo - not German - but you will get the message - she can draw a line with pictures on her Samsung phone from her origin to her destination (could be a pic of her grandchild who lives near a tram station in Zurich) or she might want to get a train to visit friends in Monaco.)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0gcViQz6aM

    The announcers voice at the end is the same as you hear on any Swiss train. On Irish trains all one hears over and over is stupid announcements in Irish and English before each station. In Switzerland all one hears is "Nächste halt Bern". If you are in Geneva it will be in French. If you are at an airport station it will also be in English.

    More: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boNH2lOKors

    This 'little old lady' is a Vice President of Swiss Rail and does the TV ads as a sideline. She has actually worked on the app.

    A train from Geneva Airport to Zurich airport is faster than flying. Not so a Dublin Cork train - aside from the fact that there are no Dublin Cork flights anymore. In bankrupt Ireland. There are two motorways between Zurich and Geneva (almost) - and two railway lines.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SilO0VojjBU

    SBB app info in English

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzN4A7VD4hA

    She speaks Spanish too - which is not a Swiss language

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDU7KTPty_w

    Zurich has the most dense network of trams of any city in the world

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9-y4SyO2sY

    Dublin has two tram lines - not yet interconnected and there are no line numbers - just colours presumably aimed at the illiteracy of the population?

    Dublin airport has no train station. Cork has no tram lines. Incompetent Ireland living in a dysfunctional "European Union".

    Back in the day, when ejits in Ireland were talking metro for Dublin, the Zurich government visited Dublin to try and persuade people that underground rail was not a solution. Ten years later, fortunately, due to Irish procrastination and inability to manage finances, there is no metro. Zurich had two referenda on metro - on both occasions the initiative was kicked out. Leaving Zurich to develop its tram and double deck suburban high speed rail system. Zurich now has the best public transport in the world. And it is not just trains and trams. https://thecircle.ch/en an office development in Zurich airport (almost 200'000 m2) allows one to walk off a plane or train and to your office in five or so minutes from completion of the building. Switzerland is in Schengen (unlike Ireland) so if you have hand baggage, you just walk out into the street if you are coming from another Schengen country.

    All Ireland seems to wish for is to retain a common travel area with a bunch of terrorists who are anti-European and racist. And Ireland will willingly give into them, because native Irish business is incapable of serving the greater European market in most cases. I live on the continent and the quality of packaging of most Irish stuff (the bit you can find) makes one want to vomit. Aside from a bottle of Jameson, which is really a French owned brand.

    Conclusion

    Ireland is a nation of morons who can speak few languages and is badly governed and over centralized.

    The EU is an incompetent dictatorship with no real democracy.

    Switzerland is what the EU should be and EU states should be like Swiss cantons ( some Swiss states are republics - eg Geneva) where tax competition and free markets dominate the agenda and the focus is on quality.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    They are rich because they look after everyone else's money and keep some of it for themselves, like all bankers. They also keep secrets about other people's money, particularly from taxmen worldwide.

    No they don't. They send XML reports of bank activity to the customers' country of residence. (Ironically this suits the Swiss. It allows foreign governments (non Swiss) to pass even higher tax laws and make other countries even less tax competitive than CH - to pay their civil servant pensions etc. Meanwhile Switzerland has a lean government where every big spend (over 10 mil CHF in Zurich canton for example) needs a public vote. VAT is 8% max. The capital value of the pension of the dumbo chief of the Irish Central Bank during the financial crisis is probably more than 10 mil CHF.
    I have no time for banks that help people conceal money from their governments. Neither do I have time for a country where civil servants who can't be fired, earning about 13'000 EUR pa more than private sector workers. And they have an inflation proof pension, unlike the majority of the population.

    An electorate who allows this is really dumb. Aside from the rain, I do not want to live in such an environment. And I hate rain and damp air.

    They also keep out of wars, particularly World Wars.

    Ireland pretends to do the same


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    Yvette Michael's best TV ad (in English)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1HVjZGo1-M&list=PL2y5uecQPrF0vGAQcP7RFiKvmiAtgqG7c&index=12

    She built the app (with tech assistance). I don't know how much she is earning on Swiss Rail as a vice president. But she would be worth at least EUR 500'000 to run "CIE". + perhaps EUR 200'000 bonus to put up with Irish damp / rain when she commutes from Zurich to Dublin.

    I am focusing on Yvette because she is typically Swiss - extremely competent, multi-lingual. And despite her age, she gets it (unlike gov.ie). Not to mention strikebound CIE - give her another 100'000 EUR to handle that lot.

    To be clear her app can work out a journey from 123 Merrion Road to Fota Wildlife Park in Cork - taking all connections into account. And if her grandchild lives near Fota, the app allows her to put a pic of the child and do a drag from her local tram stop in Zurich to Fota. The app works out the connections and the price and charges her Visa/MC/Amex (sick Irish rail do not accept AmEx). I suspect that Yvette has a GA which allows her first class unlimited travel on all modes of public transport in Switzerland. Cheaper than a car, if you have to buy it. With the app, when the ticket checker visits a carriage, he won't bother you - because his hand-held computer will tell him which people on which seats have already paid using the app, It uses the train's wifi. Only people with paper tickets risk ticket inspection hassle. On French trains, one's ticket is only checked in about one in five trips. On Irish rail you have to line up at the barrier (often not working) to check your ticket, followed by (if you are travelling on first class) another ejit stopping you trying to enter the carriage until he sees your ticket. And when you leave the train be sure to have the ticket for another barrier check.

    To be precise my example of a trip to Fota was fictional because this app can't access Irish public transport info. It will work out journeys in Switzerland door to door, and Germany, Monaco, France etc - even England. But not Ireland because Ireland does not contribute to the Hafas Europe wide database of public transport to work out connections. Typical for an island behind an island. Super-insular.

    Travel in Ireland is an awful experience. Few motorway toll booths take payment cards (Visa etc) - unlike everywhere else in Europe. Long toll queues. No online motorway service areas. Crowded offline service areas with cramped toilets and crappy food. The entire motorway network is focused on Dublin - so if you want to go somewhere else it is generally a bog road.

    It would be challenging for Disney with all the computer animation capabilities to come up with a country that is more poorly managed than IRL.

    User feedback on her app: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l23GOHTjjPQ&index=13&list=PL2y5uecQPrF0vGAQcP7RFiKvmiAtgqG7c

    This is a lot more than an app - it is how society moves from A to B and a driver of public transport.

    Zurich HB station at 7 in the morning onwards:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNTlVKeAVBQ

    There are nearly 300 shops and super markets in that station which allow one do to virtually anything en route home. Designed to keep people from driving to shop or to work,


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭realitykeeper


    One reason Switzerland is considered so rich is because a third of the worlds money is kept there. The Bank of International Settlements is based in Basel, Switzerland. This is the central bank of central banks. This is where the EU central bank, the US Fed and hundreds of other central banks around the world lodge their billions and they pay interest on it. They make withdrawals when they need to issue it in their domestic economies.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,435 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Impetus wrote: »
    Switzerland no longer hides peoples money. .

    That is now. Numbered Swiss bank accounts were the stuff of lots of crime thrillers.

    You are right though, they do run their country very well though and do not make the mistakes we make. And they have been doing it right since forever.

    Pity we cannot even do a little right. We do not even make parish pumps here.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,740 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    A few times a year, I work close to the Swiss border. Our French evening events are always chock-a-block with Swiss people who've come over for the night. Why? Because they can stay up and make noise until 2, 3 or 6 in the morning! :cool: Try doing that in Switzerland ... :D

    Based on my travels around "middle Europe" it's also the most expensive place to shop, stay and be amused. In fact I found food, fuel and entry fees so expensive on my last trip there (October last) that I managed to not spend a single CHF all week. :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭realitykeeper


    In recent times, the countries that have been doing things right for many decades have started to make mistakes. These countries include Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries but as economies go, they are still quite good. Recent errors will not become apparent for some time and in any case their mistakes are very small compared to those of other countries. A country or a continent can live on it`s reputation for past glories long after the fire has gone out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,480 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    In recent times, the countries that have been doing things right for many decades have started to make mistakes. These countries include Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries but as economies go, they are still quite good. Recent errors will not become apparent for some time and in any case their mistakes are very small compared to those of other countries. A country or a continent can live on it`s reputation for past glories long after the fire has gone out.

    such as?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,825 ✭✭✭893bet


    I think average gdp is around 70k. Disingenuous to quote select cantons.

    Their Swiss franc can't be counterfeit? Quick Google shows this to be incorrect.

    A quick Google shows lots to be incorrect in fact.

    Still enjoy your new life over there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,195 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    Impetus wrote: »
    . . . Switzerland has an efficient political system, voters decide on policies, not just who will be politicians in power. They (the electorate) vote every few months. (The ballot papers are posted out to each registered voter and s/he can send them by post or turn up on Sunday at their church of any denomination and put their posted to them ballot in the box.) The ballot results are usually published by 15h on Sunday. The ballot papers are machine readable - so you have e-voting with a paper trail and fast results. Best of all worlds.
    A lot of Swiss would dispute that the political system is efficent. The voting system is efficient, but that's not the same thing at all.

    The degree of direct democracy that they have in Switzerland may have many advantages, but it has two disadvantages. First, efficient and all as the voting system is, the requirement to effect policy change through local and/or cantonal referendums is a real barrier. It's slow, it's cumbersome and it requires a fair number of people to do a fair bit of work to get a question put to the ballot, and to work for an affirmative answer. This doesn't make for rapid policy responses.

    Secondly, it doesn't make for joined-up, coherent policy. Everybody likes low taxes and good services, but it's only through fully participating in a budgetary process in which the same people are responsible for decisions about raising revenue and decisions about public expenditure, and in which these decisions are intrinsically linked, that you get coherence and rationality.

    All of this tends to promote conservatism in public policy. The Swiss, famously, were very slow to grant women the vote, uniformly and comprehensively. Most local and cantonal ballot questions are rejected, because the Swiss have learned that, with the disjointed policy-making that is the result of their system of direct democracy, affirming a proposal in a referendum can have unforeseen or unintended consequences.

    One other point worth bearing in mind is that the Swiss system works as it does in Switzerland at least partly because of distinctive Swill cultural traits. One of these is a high degree of conformism (and social rewards in the form of esteem and approval for those who conform). Debating as we know it in Ireland is simply unheard of in Swiss universities, and argument as a pastime (as practiced in pubs in Ireland, and over family dinner tables) is met with blank bemusement. In Swiss culture, to express disagreement with somebody is rude or hostile, and therefore it is rarely done. And, as a quid pro quo, it's considered impolite to express views or opinions that other people are likely to disagree with; if you hold such view or opinions, it is polite to keep them to yourself. None of this makes for a lively political discourse, as you can imagine, people's existing political positions are rarely challenged, which contributes to the generally conservative tone of Swiss politics. And the Swiss have a succession of coalition governments not out of necessity, but because they consider finding consensus and common ground to be a virtue.

    Political institutions which work in this context will not necessarily work well in other societies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭realitykeeper


    such as?
    In a recent referendum the Swiss choose to uncouple their currency from gold. I think that was a mistake. Scandinavian countries have become more socialist in recent times, that is a mistake.

    That said, other countries have been far more irresponsible than Switzerland or Scandinavian countries and for a lot longer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,733 ✭✭✭✭RobertKK


    I was there is December, it is a very well kept country.
    The trains run like clockwork, things are done on time.
    The water is like my water from my own well, pure and with no chemicals.

    It is a country that benefits from banking, many homegrown multinationals like Nestle, Novartis, Roche and others I forget.
    It benefits from having neighbours like Germany, France, Italy and Austria.

    But it is a very expensive country, so they need to be paid well to live there. I was there for a week on a €20 Ryanair return flight.
    Food is more expensive as is alcohol, would be very expensive to be an alcoholic in Switzerland...

    I have nothing bad to say about the Swiss, especially when I left my new iPhone on the train, and it was waiting for me in the next main station.
    I don't care if they are rich, I found the people to be decent and when I needed it, I found them honest.
    The trains and water is the best in the world...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    That is now. Numbered Swiss bank accounts were the stuff of lots of crime thrillers.

    And in thrillers, the concept belongs. The Swiss operated banking secrecy since the holocaust days, but were forced to give it up by high tax countries such as France - a country where about 60% of the population are paid directly or indirectly by the French State. Because most of Switzerland's prosperity comes from manufacturing and general services exports - and they needed foreign markets to export to. It is more important to them than the banking industry.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    In a recent referendum the Swiss choose to uncouple their currency from gold. I think that was a mistake. Scandinavian countries have become more socialist in recent times, that is a mistake.

    That said, other countries have been far more irresponsible than Switzerland or Scandinavian countries and for a lot longer.

    I would disagree. The CHF is strong and will remain so because a) the balance of payments surplus the country generates and b) the world thinks of the Swiss as financially prudent. Credibility. It does not need gold backing. It has not been linked to gold since 2000 - and has risen in value ever since. You don't need a gold link 'discipline' when you have a well managed economy. The politicians blame the EU for various regulations so they can pass them in their own state without political 'blame'. And that is largely the reason why the EU is so hated in many countries. Gold is similar, when a currency is linked to it. It allows financial discipline to be enforced without anybody directly to blame.

    The idea that the pompously named "European Banking Authority" would move to Dublin post Brexit is not credible, especially after the Celtic Tiger era.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    One reason Switzerland is considered so rich is because a third of the worlds money is kept there. The Bank of International Settlements is based in Basel, Switzerland. This is the central bank of central banks. This is where the EU central bank, the US Fed and hundreds of other central banks around the world lodge their billions and they pay interest on it. They make withdrawals when they need to issue it in their domestic economies.

    The BIS is like the EU. It is just a bureaucracy. Switzerland is a good place to locate it, because the Swiss are clear thinking.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    A few times a year, I work close to the Swiss border. Our French evening events are always chock-a-block with Swiss people who've come over for the night. Why? Because they can stay up and make noise until 2, 3 or 6 in the morning! :cool: Try doing that in Switzerland ... :D

    Based on my travels around "middle Europe" it's also the most expensive place to shop, stay and be amused. In fact I found food, fuel and entry fees so expensive on my last trip there (October last) that I managed to not spend a single CHF all week. :pac:

    If one is into night life, aside from Zurich and Geneva some other country is probably a better option. Nobody is forcing anybody to live in Switzerland


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    In recent times, the countries that have been doing things right for many decades have started to make mistakes. These countries include Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries but as economies go, they are still quite good. Recent errors will not become apparent for some time and in any case their mistakes are very small compared to those of other countries. A country or a continent can live on it`s reputation for past glories long after the fire has gone out.

    While I agree that things change over time, I don't think that Switzerland is living on a past reputation. Things have changed over the past 20 or 30 years in Switzerland - and everywhere else too, and not always for the best.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,435 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    In the last 10 years, the CHF has appreciated by 50% vs the Euro. That is why everything appears expensive in Switzerland. Swiss products are preferred by the Swiss, so not affected by cheaper imports.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    A number of people have alluded to Switzerland as being expensive. This is not entirely true. It is the fluctuation in the exchange rate of the CHF.

    In 1970, for example $1 was worth CHF 4.32. Today a dollar will just about get you 1 CHF. So for Americans, Switzerland is over 4x as expensive as it was in 1970.

    That change has been driven by export and services surpluses.

    Meanwhile the US has a large balance of payments deficit every year. The US balance of trade deficit will be around 600 bn USD in 2017.

    Having said that most European currencies have not fallen as much as the $ because they also have trade surpluses. Germany would be as expensive as Switzerland (almost) if it returned to a new DEM.

    Switzerland has the best infrastructure of any country in the world, as well as a highly skilled workforce who can speak numerous languages. It is on a different planet. Ireland needs to copy many Swiss concepts, instead of rubber-stamping EU directives into Irish law, almost verbatim. No other EU country is as dumb when it comes to shooting itself in the foot, obeying 'Brussels'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,667 ✭✭✭Impetus


    In the last 10 years, the CHF has appreciated by 50% vs the Euro. That is why everything appears expensive in Switzerland. Swiss products are preferred by the Swiss, so not affected by cheaper imports.

    We were typing at the same time!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,605 ✭✭✭gctest50


    RobertKK wrote: »

    ...... many homegrown multinationals like Nestle, Novartis, Roche and others I forget.
    It benefits from having neighbours like Germany, France, Italy and Austria.
    ...

    Some of the Switzerland's largest companies, including Nestle, ignored reports of Nazi atrocities and pursued business-as-usual with neighboring Germany, according to the reports that were issued as part of a five-year examination of Switzerland's actions in World War II.




    The ICE singled out the Basel chemical companies Ciba and Sandoz (now merged into Novartis), which implemented the Nazis' Aryanisation policies in a bid to win lucrative supply contracts from the Third Reich.

    It found that Ciba's Berlin branch in 1933 fired its Jewish board of directors and supervisory board members and replaced them with "Aryan" Germans. At the same time, the report said, Sandoz replaced the Jewish chairman of its German subsidiary with an "Aryan" businessman.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,954 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Ruschlikon is a small Swiss village that makes more from Zambia's copper exports than Zambia does.

    Transfer pricing and tax loopholes mean the good people of Ruschlikon don't have to live on a dollar a day like their counterparts.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,740 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    Impetus wrote: »
    If one is into night life, aside from Zurich and Geneva some other country is probably a better option. Nobody is forcing anybody to live in Switzerland

    Of course they're not.

    Doesn't stop the Swiss outnumbering the French 3-to-1 at our trad music & dance events in the east of the country though. (And yes, they do have their own workshops and "céilí"-style dances ... but they finish at about ten which is about when ours start! :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,480 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster


    In a recent referendum the Swiss choose to uncouple their currency from gold. I think that was a mistake.
    any reason, or just because. There are far more valuable and rare elements than gold to base a currency on, it's an outdated concept and then change has hardly be detrimental.
    Scandinavian countries have become more socialist in recent times, that is a mistake.
    so what's wrong with being socialist, is this more of your "the poor can go **** themselves" attitude? to the workhouse with you comrade!
    That said, other countries have been far more irresponsible than Switzerland or Scandinavian countries and for a lot longer.
    or simply, not as responsible perhaps?


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 14,479 Mod ✭✭✭✭johnnyskeleton


    Mod note:

    Link dumps deleted


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,138 ✭✭✭realitykeeper


    any reason, or just because. There are far more valuable and rare elements than gold to base a currency on, it's an outdated concept and then change has hardly be detrimental.
    so what's wrong with being socialist, is this more of your "the poor can go **** themselves" attitude? to the workhouse with you comrade!


    or simply, not as responsible perhaps?
    The Swiss have chosen not to base their currency on gold or anything else, it is free floating. That in itself would be ok if they keep tight control on the supply of new Francs. Gold tends to be considered the safe haven asset for historical reasons. Certainly the west can ignore thousands of years of history and forget about gold as just another metal but Russia, China and India are all buying more gold. If the western economies crash, the real world economy will move to the eastern hemisphere. Western attitudes and opinions will not matter to anyone in the real world.

    What is wrong with being socialist? Everything! It doesn`t work. I would rather go to the workhouse than a soviet era gulag.


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