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Old 29.11.2011, 13:09
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Is Switzerland replicable?

I was thinking recently about the two countries apart from here about which I have most knowledge - UK and Russia - and thinking about how far they are away from the lifestyle of Switzerland.

Assuming that we all pretty much agree that the standard of living (in terms of basic "hygiene" factors) is as high here as anywhere in the world - ie the safety, cleanliness, personal responsibility, honesty, quality of public services etc etc, do you think that it would be replicable elsewhere in the world?

In other words - if Putin or Cameron came and read the big book of Swissness in the Bundeshaus, and took all the laws, systems and regulations, would those countries eventually (over one or two generations) turn into the same "model society" as we have here, or is there a combination of history, location, societal evolution, that means that the systems and processes only support what is already inbuilt in the Swiss and that no manner of copying will ever work elsewhere.

Couple of other thoughts

1. I know that there are other societies which are generally recognized as being fantastic eg Singapore, but I think (maybe wrongly) that they are based more on punative punishment regimes, which we don't seem to have here

2. I know that some people may not agree with my assertion that "society here is great" and that is - of course - a valid opinion. But there are lots of threads about that elsewhere here

What do you think? Could you build another Switzerland elsewhere?
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:29
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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What do you think? Could you build another Switzerland elsewhere?
You'd need to replicate the Swiss mindset, though. This would include all its bad points as well as all the good.

The Swiss have generations of keeping things on track, adhering to rules, not looking for handouts and someone to blame, and taking responsibility for their own actions. Can you imagine Cameron trying to sell that to the UK?
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:34
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

and I think you really need to look at the size. Switzerland is Tiny compared to Russia.(or many countries for that matter)

Also the immigration here is regulated. If you look at the EU where everyone comes in, takes their free money and moves back well thats where we are at today imo......
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:39
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

i propose we move all swiss to Mexico for a year or two to find out.

We can stay here and hold the fort of course...
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:44
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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I was thinking recently about the two countries apart from here about which I have most knowledge - UK and Russia - and thinking about how far they are away from the lifestyle of Switzerland.

Assuming that we all pretty much agree that the standard of living (in terms of basic "hygiene" factors) is as high here as anywhere in the world - ie the safety, cleanliness, personal responsibility, honesty, quality of public services etc etc, do you think that it would be replicable elsewhere in the world?

In other words - if Putin or Cameron came and read the big book of Swissness in the Bundeshaus, and took all the laws, systems and regulations, would those countries eventually (over one or two generations) turn into the same "model society" as we have here, or is there a combination of history, location, societal evolution, that means that the systems and processes only support what is already inbuilt in the Swiss and that no manner of copying will ever work elsewhere.

Couple of other thoughts

1. I know that there are other societies which are generally recognized as being fantastic eg Singapore, but I think (maybe wrongly) that they are based more on punative punishment regimes, which we don't seem to have here

2. I know that some people may not agree with my assertion that "society here is great" and that is - of course - a valid opinion. But there are lots of threads about that elsewhere here

What do you think? Could you build another Switzerland elsewhere?
Can another country, in this modern time, initiate a banking secrecy code, and benefit from millions of people around the world hiding money, whether to evade taxes, money laundering, criminal activity, and actively benefit as a country from it? Unlikely in the current climate. Hell, even Switzerland is struggling to continue doing this under international pressures.
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:53
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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Can another country, in this modern time, initiate a banking secrecy code, and benefit from millions of people around the world hiding money, whether to evade taxes, money laundering, criminal activity, and actively benefit as a country from it? Unlikely in the current climate. Hell, even Switzerland is struggling to continue doing this under international pressures.

Errr. Singapore, Panama, Liechtenstein, Guatemala, Urugay, the British overseas territories?
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Old 29.11.2011, 13:57
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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Errr. Singapore, Panama, Liechtenstein, Guatemala, Urugay, the British overseas territories?
Quite besides which, how much does the average Ueli or Sepp on the street benefit from those activities? They may be important to that small part of the population that works in that sector. But how important is the trickle down effect from that compared to, for example, Switzerland's manuafcturing base which employs far more people.
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:00
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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Errr. Singapore, Panama, Liechtenstein, Guatemala, Urugay, the British overseas territories?
i can assure you that the average person in guatemala and panama aren't benefiting from these practices. i would even venture to say that it is not even the countries of panama and guatemala that benefit the most...
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:05
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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i can assure you that the average person in guatemala and panama aren't benefiting from these practices. i would even venture to say that it is not even the countries of panama and guatemala that benefit the most...

You think it is the Swiss who get the most out of the Banking system here?
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:13
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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What do you think? Could you build another Switzerland elsewhere?
Not on earth for sure

If you believe in alien civilisation then maybe there might exist a similar solat system to ours with similar conditions to replicate Switzerland, it's customs and traditions
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:17
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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Quite besides which, how much does the average Ueli or Sepp on the street benefit from those activities? They may be important to that small part of the population that works in that sector. But how important is the trickle down effect from that compared to, for example, Switzerland's manuafcturing base which employs far more people.
1. We did and we do profit from such practices.

2. I agree with you that the trickle down effect has been overvalued (over-lobbied) in the past. That is why we should do away with them.

(Though this would not be seen as a positive act by some EU-member states that very obviously profit from the same practices, but hide behind Switzerland right now.)

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i can assure you that the average person in guatemala and panama aren't benefiting from these practices. i would even venture to say that it is not even the countries of panama and guatemala that benefit the most...
Oh believe me, I do agree. These countries prove quite well that such practices alone do not result in a top-notch living standard.
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:29
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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Errr. Singapore, Panama, Liechtenstein, Guatemala, Urugay, the British overseas territories?
I never said Switzerland was the only tax haven, I am merely pointing out the Switzerland has benefited hugely from these practices. It is undeniable.
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:29
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

You couldn't do it in the U.K. Only a very small percentage of the population would be able to understand the concept of the apero.
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:31
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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I never said Switzerland was the only tax haven, I am merely pointing out the Switzerland has benefited hugely from these practices. It is undeniable.
Really?

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Can another country, in this modern time, initiate a banking secrecy code, and benefit from millions of people around the world hiding money, whether to evade taxes, money laundering, criminal activity, and actively benefit as a country from it? Unlikely in the current climate. Hell, even Switzerland is struggling to continue doing this under international pressures.
Yes another country can.. as pointed out from the examples.
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Old 29.11.2011, 14:38
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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Really? Yes.



Yes another country can.. as pointed out from the examples.
The havens mentioned have not been used to benefit the country, Switzerland have atleast been sensible and used it to benefit them, rather than predominantly the clients it serves
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Old 29.11.2011, 16:03
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

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The havens mentioned have not been used to benefit the country, Switzerland have atleast been sensible and used it to benefit them, rather than predominantly the clients it serves
The only possible benefit I can see is that where the high earners take up residence in Switzerland (round here it's usually dotted along the gold coast) the tax is a bit lower for that particular community, although the raising rents probably cancel this out.
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Old 30.11.2011, 00:48
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

Maybe rephrasing the question slightly could get this discussion off the ground. I really think this could be an interesting topic.

What can the West learn from Switzerland?
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Old 30.11.2011, 01:58
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

There was a good opinion piece in "Tages Anzeiger" yesterday on more or less this topic. They came to a conclusion with which I more or less agree which is that among many other things, Switzerland has an absolutely unique political system which may seem a little slow and complicated but with the combination of direct democracy and concordance-government leads to one of the "fairest" and most stable political systems in the world. Since our constitution came into place in 1848 we haven't yet "chucked out" a government. Things change, but only one Bundesrat (our of 7) at the time - ensuring there is no radical shifts. As my frequently vote on topics right across the board, ACCEPTANCE of government decisions is extremely high here. Although people may not always personally agree, most will respect a decision by a popular majority - which means that we very rarely have huge huge protesting mobs in the street demanding for our pollies to be sacked - everyone feels equally guilty if something they voted "Yes" on backfires. So in the end, everyone just goes about their job of keeping the country running - to the benefit of us all. It's a brilliant system if you ask me but it does require some maturity on behalf of the politicians involved to not abuse its methods (in exactly the way we've seen recently with SVP bringing in silly referenda which are borderline violating international agreements).

There are a number of other factors which (in hindsight) have worked so much better for us than we ever hoped for. A huge factor would of course be that Switzerland managed to keep out of WW2 and have a fully running economy pumping our good when Europe was in shambles in the late 1940s.
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Old 30.11.2011, 15:29
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

Good point tomberli, agree.

But I think there are two components here, culture and political system.

1) Culture is an extremely important point, no matter where a group of people are relocated, it usually takes but 1-2 generations for them to reproduce their initial standard of living.
Very nicely illustrated in the Gulag Archipelago by the way, where the author explains how the different nations would go about constructing their homes in Siberia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gulag_Archipelago
Essentially a group of Swiss emmigrating would always create something akin to Switzerland abroad, and so would every other nationality. In that regard it isn't so much a system, an economy, or the politics, government of a country that forms the people and their culture but the people itself that form their surroundings as a cultural artefact.

2) But on the other hand there are also long-term mechanisms for change, I don't believe culture is as static as the first point suggest. And I believe more direct democracy forces people to take responsability for their actions, gives politics legitimacy and weakens the apathy and "us vs. them" mentality in many countries. In that regard, yes, I do believe that many countries could learn something from the political system here, even if the result will be quite different (hopefully!) from Switzerland.
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Old 23.12.2011, 05:03
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Re: Is Switzerland replicable?

The mentality of the Swiss, (and to some extent, of the Germans, Japanese, and some Chinese and Koreans) is principally derived from a childhood environment where the mothers are very, very demanding, but also giving,in terms of time. At the same time, the mothers in these societies (producing the post-world-warII generation) have not worked, but were devoted to the children.

So yes, one could replicate swiss society, but it must be kept in mind that their success is partially derived from being Europe's prime vacation land, as well as due to a long tradition of being bankers to the world.
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