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Old 24.06.2006, 11:49
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Privatisation urgently needed here

Thatcher style reforms are urgently needed in socialist Switzerand. For example:

buses should be privatised
Swisscom's government shares should be sold
The post office should be privatised
The railways (Sbb) coud be privatised
The cantonal banks should be sold off

State pensions are over generous and need to be cut

An axe should be taken to health care costs

bureaucracy at cantonal, communal and state levels is very high and needs cut.

Compulsary military service shoud be stopped.
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Old 24.06.2006, 13:06
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

Quote:
Thatcher style reforms are urgently needed in socialist Switzerand. For example:

buses should be privatised
Swisscom's government shares should be sold
The post office should be privatised
The railways (Sbb) coud be privatised
The cantonal banks should be sold off

State pensions are over generous and need to be cut

An axe should be taken to health care costs

bureaucracy at cantonal, communal and state levels is very high and needs cut.

Compulsary military service shoud be stopped.
I guess trolling on this forum was just a matter of time.
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Old 25.06.2006, 16:26
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

Quote:
The post office should be privatised
The railways (Sbb) coud be privatised


So it can end up like Britian's? I like living in a country with a clean, realiable, modern, and unstressed public transport system without barriers at the station.


Quote:
bureaucracy at cantonal, communal and state levels is very high and needs cut.



But it generally functions well. Any part you don't like in particular?


Quote:
Compulsary military service shoud be stopped.
Why's that? I like the idea of compulsary military service. It is a great social equalizer, subdues hawkist politicos, and provides Switzerland with a very respectable defensive capability.

(I cut out your gripes that I didn't feel strongly about.)

I may bitch about a few things here in Switzerland but have no interest in telling them how to run thier country with such a sweeping mandate as all that! Wow...

Last edited by stuinzuri; 26.06.2006 at 08:20.
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Old 26.06.2006, 12:26
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

To the original poster: While I basically agree with the points you have raised, your post is certainly a complaint, and therefore it should be placed in the area which is obviously designed for this purpose: Complaints corner. I have moved it there now.

To answer some of the more "sticking out like sore thumb" points in this thread:

* Those who oppose railway privatisation should not hold up the UK as the sole example of why this is a bad idea. In fact, the UK's episode is a textbook case of how not to privatise a railway - it does not mean that all such attempts have to end that badly. While many like the public transport system (usually those fortunate to live in areas where it serves them well) in this country, few seem to realise that it costs the country a princely sum each year in losses. This loss has to be paid ultimately by the taxpayer (even those who don't use it). Governments who run loss making ventures are seldom successful in turning such a situation around.

* Bureaucracy might appear "to work well", but this is also far from the truth. Those who work from within will tell you a very different story. Another aspect to consider is the cost of this system to the taxpayer. You don't have to be an economist or an accountant to figure out that having such a small nation's tax returns manually checked by staff in over 3000 gemeinde tax departments to be then forwarded to 26 different cantonal tax departments could certainly be done in a more efficient and cost effective manner. This is but one example - cantonal and gemeinde divisons also hinder the medical and educational spheres, and the list goes on. I don't think that a foreigner who points this out should be singled out for telling the Swiss how to run their country - an overwhelming number of Swiss support this view already. I suspect that the number of Swiss who believe that their system is not in need of urgent reforms is actually quite small (and I suspect that they exist on the far right).

Debate on exactly these subjects is rife among the Swiss and the Swiss media - and it certainly should be encouraged, not discouraged here.

A note to the original poster - Putting a little more meat on the bone of your points may be a good thing to think about for the future.

As for military service - it is easy for people who have not been deprived of their liberty in this way to say that it might be a good thing. While I agree that military service might certainly be a good way to give a mummy's boy a good jolt into manhood, I can't agree that such a system, staffed by people who generally don't want to be there, can give a country a "respectable defense capability", especially when compared with a well trained, motivated, professional army. Switzerland's military has never been tested, and I've met few Swiss that actually believe it would function as it should in a wartime situation (again, see comparison to professional army).
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Old 26.06.2006, 13:55
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

The UK’s rail privatization is very relevant in this context because a) the OP invoked Thatcher’s name, b) the OP is (I believe) British, and c) I have lived in the UK and was ritually tortured by Railtrack. Describing a government (taxpayer) subsidised rail system as a failure can be a subjective judgement. If you only at the bottom line (revenue versus expenditure) then the case for ‘failure’ seems clear. But the situation looks remarkably different when you factor in ‘soft’ benefits, like few cars and road traffic, resource consumption/pollution, the ability of people to move around any two points in the country efficiently, time not lost by people and businesses because they are stranded at a rail station due to ‘leafs on the track’ or whatever. These soft benefits are much harder to measure but certainly tangible.

The bureaucracy point is also very subjective and relative. Feel free to contrast the Swiss bureaucracy against another country’s system. Governmental bureaucracies are inherently inefficient. Many governments through out the world are deadlocked and/or rife with corruption. In comparison to the rest of the world, IMHO, the Swiss come out well.

Military service: I understand that people can opt out of military service by either by paying a tax or by ‘serving’ in a social capacity. Fuzzy on the details. Point is, if a Swiss really, really does not want to join the military then they don’t have to. As for their capabilities I can only highlight what I have seen: many here have basic infantry skills and weapons at home; all of Switzerland is littered with bunkers, fall out shelters, etc. Could they invade another country? Not likely. But if Switzerland were to be invaded then I think they’d put up a damn good fight.

(I am also very unhappy about America’s war machine and strongly believe that if we had compulsorily military service in America our government would not be so aggressive internationally.)

“...should be encouraged, not discouraged here…”: I am not trying to discourage discussion on these topics but do feel the Seagull Expat advice is uncalled for. (Fly in, crap all over the place, fly out.) The OP’s points sound very much like “things should be like they are at home” and generally insensitive or unaware of how the Swiss do (and do not) run their country. Like I said, I’ve got my opinions on things here but don’t feel the need to tell the Swiss how they need to run their own country. (A remarkable thing for an American, huh? )

Imagine a Swiss national living in London and dumping a “this is how to fix your country” rant down at the local...

As you point out, the Swiss do debate these and other topics amongst themselves. It is, after all, a fairly democratic system. And they are making changes here and there as they communally see fit.

Last edited by stuinzuri; 26.06.2006 at 15:08.
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Old 26.06.2006, 14:12
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

Margaret Thatcher...

Is what this place needs the only leader with a science degree? Got it? (pretentious old bat should've been beaten to a pulp with her handbag)

Conscription...

Coming from South Africa where I was conscripted and not happy about it... I love Swiss 'soldiers' with their long hair and casual public antics. It really flies in the face of the typical agressive military manner

Railway (and actually everything else)

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

This would be a good thread for a poll.
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Old 26.06.2006, 14:57
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

Every country has their way of doing things.
Not one country has a perfect system.

I laugh or despair at some of the Swiss antics, rules and organisations while I admire others.

In the same vein, I look at the UK and don't miss it all:
bad: Public transport, NHS, Bureaucracy - just how many civil servants are there now?, ...
Good: Decent supermarkets (well entire retail sector...), a consumer orientated society, ...

It appears than en183 aint happy with Switzerland or happy with his job either (see other thread about IT contracting). Perhaps repatriation is in order...

Gooner: how dare you criticise Mrs T .
I'd like you to say that to her face - she may be 116 or so, but I bet she still swings a mean handbag...
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Old 26.06.2006, 15:22
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

If I came face to face with Mrs T, I'd probably mess my kecks.

Anyone for a Galloway/Thatcher Celebrity Deathmatch?
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Old 04.07.2006, 14:17
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

I disgaree so far with allmost all privatization comments (original thread), except for the swisscom, the swiss phoneline monopoly is not a well run one.

and military service should not be compulsory, i do understand that some mommy's boy needs a fresh slap in the face in the bootcamp, (and so do i), but its hard to study abroad and do the service, because i am in my last year of business managment degree in canada, and inorder to stay attractive for the job market, instead of running around with a gun, i need to be doing internships and doing research papers. nobody wants to hire a marketing major, with less than 3 years of job experience in a respectable firm, thus by the time i get those 3 years done ill be already 25 and will be beaten to pulp by the taxes which my government is gonna put on me for being unpatriotic
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Old 05.07.2006, 11:40
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

Quote:
Every country has their way of doing things.
Not one country has a perfect system.

I laugh or despair at some of the Swiss antics, rules and organisations while I admire others.

In the same vein, I look at the UK and don't miss it all:
bad: Public transport, NHS, Bureaucracy - just how many civil servants are there now?, ...
Good: Decent supermarkets (well entire retail sector...), a consumer orientated society, ...

It appears than en183 aint happy with Switzerland or happy with his job either (see other thread about IT contracting). Perhaps repatriation is in order...

Gooner: how dare you criticise Mrs T .
I'd like you to say that to her face - she may be 116 or so, but I bet she still swings a mean handbag...
I've found the NHS to be pretty excellent. I haven't had to use it myself but some members of my family have had the need for major treatment and they got first class support and care. The Swiss system seems even better again but then you pay an absolute fortune for it.

Dunno about bureaucracy - seems to me that CH must be world leaders in this department. I found that bureaucracy in the UK impinges less on one's life but that could be because the language wasn't a problem and I had grown up in the system.


What really lets Switzerland down is the seeming need of the population for absolute certainty and security about everything. Long contracts that are difficult to get out of, restrictive working practices, total unwillingness to take any sort of chance.

As a result, it feels like the place is about 30 years in the past. The place really does need a strong figure to come in and shake it into the 21st century before it really falls behind the rest of Europe. It's nicely managed now but there's no way that the micro-management of the economy and society can hold together in the modern world.






Gav
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Old 05.07.2006, 12:07
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

I can't say anything bad about the NHS. I had a brain tumour removed and a mastoidectomy on the NHS and the treatment I received was incredible. Those guys are superheroes. Getting to see a GP is a hassle, getting to a specialist takes a long time, but when it's urgent, they are there. I would like to see the NHS sort out its troubles, then it could be the best there is.
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Old 05.07.2006, 12:15
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Re: Privatisation urgently needed here

Quote:
I can't say anything bad about the NHS. I had a brain tumour removed and a mastoidectomy on the NHS and the treatment I received was incredible. Those guys are superheroes. Getting to see a GP is a hassle, getting to a specialist takes a long time, but when it's urgent, they are there. I would like to see the NHS sort out its troubles, then it could be the best there is.
Yes - there isn't anything wrong with the doctors in the NHS - it's more the way that the system is managed which makes it a case study on doing something badly (much like the UK's privatisation of the railways). In Switzerland's case high health costs are also caused by poor (read: inefficient) management. Doctors (especially junior doctors) are not really paid that much at all, especially when compared to other professions, or even unskilled jobs. So your high health insurance premiums aren't really going into the pockets of the doctors themselves!

I guess the big difference between the NHS and the Swiss system is that because the government runs it they control the funding. In the Swiss system (which isn't really privatised) they just keep raising their prices and you have to pay more health insurance.

Hospital management will become a big issue in the future, especially as our population ages! I still believe that private enterprise can run things more efficiently than governments - but the trick is that it is the government which has to set up the correct framework for privatisation to avoid mistakes made like that of the UK's railway network.
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