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  #141  
Old 11.10.2019, 14:34
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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Well, the honest truth is that the world isnt that black and white.

1. I dont think the ultra high service costs of CH are purely a lack of public funding. Stuff simply is expensive in CH, mostly due to a lack of competition. Listening to parents how hard it is to find a place even at that prices do I for one wonder why there are not a million people opening more businesses… and I strongly assume that there are some steep "very Swiss" hurdles to do so. Or to put things differently: I lived in a business friendly low tax place called Singapore before. Taxes are lower than in CH and parents have the choice from anywhere around 300 bucks a month to the 3000 a month organic all-in place.
I can only speak from my perspective, which is Zurich. There has been a boom in childcare in and around the city centre so finding places isn't as hard as it was say 10 years ago.

It's expensive, yes, not denying that but people tend to have a rosy view of the surrounding countries or their home countries. I know friends and family in the UK also faced eye-wateringly expensive and fickle childcare when their kids were small. Maybe not as expensive as here but definitely a larger bite into your monthly disposable income than here.

I don't know why it is but people tend to lose their minds over Switzerland when it comes to the costs when, if you balance everything out, everyone sure seems a bit better off than, in my case, the UK. All a bit attack of the "FWPs"...
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  #142  
Old 11.10.2019, 15:07
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

Yes, but Switzerland is one the few countries (the only one that I know) where it is financially more favourable for one of the parents to stay at home than to work.
I don't know any couple with two preschool kids where both of the parents would be working 100%. Because they all say that it doesn't have sense. And they are all at least median earners.
Somehow, this is a political decisions, where the system favours "stay at home moms*" and penalize the working one.


*I said moms because here around it is frowned if they are fathers who stay at home. My co-worker's husband was clearly told after one year of divided child care that he should come back to office 100%, as it's his wife's job to take care of child.
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  #143  
Old 11.10.2019, 15:43
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

Going by the map in this article alone it looks like this to no small part a selfmade problem due to excessive regulation. The Zürcher Kantonsrat has a motion pending that requires propositions for improvement within a year or two.
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  #144  
Old 11.10.2019, 15:49
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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Because they all say that it doesn't have sense. And they are all at least median earners.
Thats the best case scenario. I witnessed Swiss ladies, and it was predominantly ladies, to rather bitch about "how can she be a good mother if she doesnt take care of the kids but sends them to some Krippe in the morning?"... I felt like I was visiting the 1950s.
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  #145  
Old 11.10.2019, 15:54
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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Thats the best case scenario. I witnessed Swiss ladies, and it was predominantly ladies, to rather bitch about "how can she be a good mother if she doesnt take care of the kids but sends them to some Krippe in the morning?"... I felt like I was visiting the 1950s.
You get people like that all over the world, though. Out of interest where were these "Swiss ladies" exactly? The amount of working mums and krippe places in Zurich, for example, makes it the norm rather than the exception.

I could imagine that kind of attitude outside of cities but, then again, where I grew up in England there are a fair few mummies with a similar outlook. The tabloids are on a perpetual battle to denounce working mothers, and Mumsnet is full of skirmishes between the battle-ready SAHM and the easily guilt-tripped working mother .
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  #146  
Old 11.10.2019, 16:25
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

I'd say it's pretty normal to send kids to Kinderkrippe in Basel, we have one along the street from us and all the little ones in our building go there, even the ones who have a stay at home mum. They then graduate to the Kindergarten in the park across the street.
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  #147  
Old 11.10.2019, 16:38
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

If I have kids now ! I would give them up for adoption at birth and reclaim them when they making MONEY
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  #148  
Old 11.10.2019, 16:51
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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Thats the best case scenario. I witnessed Swiss ladies, and it was predominantly ladies, to rather bitch about "how can she be a good mother if she doesnt take care of the kids but sends them to some Krippe in the morning?"... I felt like I was visiting the 1950s.
I was walking my youngest two to Krippe once early morning before work and two of these Swiss ladies, with their nordic walking poles and nothing better to do, strolled passed me and sneered "Hausmann".
WTF?
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  #149  
Old 12.10.2019, 01:00
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

I should have said “Swiss way”, culturally speaking, which leans in favor of family over work (opposite of the American way). I gather the government is blocking private businesses from providing affordable childcare for the working class; otherwise it would have been done already. Hopefully that changes soon for those families that need 2+ low-wage incomes to survive in an already expensive country.


I live in a town in California with cost of living comparable to Switzerland. There are very few working class people who can afford to live here and most of them live in other cities. How does the working class afford to live in Switzerland when the whole country is expensive?
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  #150  
Old 12.10.2019, 09:14
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I live in a town in California with cost of living comparable to Switzerland. There are very few working class people who can afford to live here and most of them live in other cities. How does the working class afford to live in Switzerland when the whole country is expensive?
Simple. Switzerland has a much more even and fair salary structure than the US. Simple example - US supermarket cashiers earn something shy of $10 per hour on average so maybe $1,800 per month. Lidl basic salary here is around CHF 4,300 per month. Not saying it's easy but I'd much rather be a low grade employee here than in the US.


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I gather the government is blocking private businesses from providing affordable childcare for the working class; otherwise it would have been done already. Hopefully that changes soon for those families that need 2+ low-wage incomes to survive in an already expensive country.
Where do you "gather" this? The issue here with childcare costs is to a fair degree linked to the above answer. Because people here are paid more fairly, the cost of those services is much more than the US. Here, an employee in a Kita starts from around CHF 5,000 per month with strict rules governing number of staff per child. Quick googling indicates the US equivalent is less than $10 per hour so $ 1,800 per month (again).

What I do see spreading here is employee provided (and mostly subsidised) Kitas.
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  #151  
Old 12.10.2019, 09:16
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I should have said “Swiss way”, culturally speaking, which leans in favor of family over work (opposite of the American way). I gather the government is blocking private businesses from providing affordable childcare for the working class; otherwise it would have been done already. Hopefully that changes soon for those families that need 2+ low-wage incomes to survive in an already expensive country.
Where did you ‘gather’ that information? Some of the big banks and pharma have had cheaper childcare places for years with no ‘government blocking’.
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  #152  
Old 12.10.2019, 09:35
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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Yes, definitely. The only couples who do not have free choice, in the Swiss system, are those whose earnings are in the very lowest range, so that both parents have to work, some even taking on several jobs. They are, however, a small segment of the population.

Other than in that range, in Switzerland each couple and each parent, does have the free choice to decide to what extent either or both of them stays at home, or goes out to work - as long as, of course, the basic minimun living costs are covered.

Swiss society has changed a lot, or at least, certainly so in the urban areas, where many different models of life are accepted.
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I completely disagree: Fulltime preschool childcare that goes all the hours a woman might want to work, not just half a day here and there... is easily some 2000 CHF. Per child. I personally know families where the woman stayed at home not because she wanted to but because the childcare for the two kids would eat up all her net earnings so it made no sense to work.

The Swiss system is in no way one of free choice but unusually biased towards traditional gender roles. Way more so than the countries around CH. That some people happen to be wealthy enough to not care about it and do what they like is an entirely different topic. But it is certainly not only an issue for low income families when the childcare bills for two kids can be 50k a year...

P.S: Maternity leave is also the lowest in Europe and probably the only country where the dads get no time off...
Just to clarify: I wasn't trying to sell the Swiss system as the best in the world, or all lovely.

I meant the free choice in the sense that there are no laws prohibiting women from working outside the home, as in some other countries, nor are there rules prescribing that both parents must work, how many children a couple is permitted to have, nor that once a child is born a parent may no longer work, nor that once a child has reached a certain age a parent must return to work, etc.

I meant that each couple - other than those who earn so terribly little that both parents must work full-time just to pay the rent and get food on the table - can discuss the issue and decide for themselves which route best suits them: whether both will work full-time and pay for the childcare, or whether each works part-time and they juggle the hours, or how to combine and share the childcare with other adults and/or children, or whether one parent stays at home full-time, and how much they decide to leave their children of what age alone at home, when and for how long.

Certainly, each of those choices comes with a different price-tag, be it purely financially, or in terms of energy, safety, sanity and balance. Everyone has to work out which route makes sense for them, or which option would just no longer make sense (in all those aspects), as you rightly put it.

It's not ideal, and childcare is costly. I agree that it we'd have a much healthier society were there better maternity and also paternity leave.

The range of options does exist, though, and yes, each couple can take the decision from within the systems available within their municipality. For those coming from any country in which childcare was all laid on, from early morning till into the night, and for free, the fact of having to make those choices might come as a shock, but the choices are definitely here, for each couple or parent to choose.

Last edited by doropfiz; 12.10.2019 at 13:00.
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  #153  
Old 12.10.2019, 13:12
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I live in a town in California with cost of living comparable to Switzerland. There are very few working class people who can afford to live here and most of them live in other cities. How does the working class afford to live in Switzerland when the whole country is expensive?
This surprises me. You live in a town in which very few working-class people live. What does this mean? A whole town filled exclusively with doctors and lawyers and high-finance experts? Like Stepford?

There are no such towns in Switzerland. All the towns and cities have a mixed population. Certainly they all have areas which tend to poorer or more luxurious, yet with few exceptions even the expensive areas are mixes of houses and apartments.

From the cheapest, nastiest, noisiest apartment block in Zurich to the most luxurious villa in the city would only be a maximum of an hour by tram and bus, anyway.

And the working class in Switzerland afford to live by, well, by working, for those very wealthy people who own the large companies for which they work. And for many, many small and medium-sized businesses, for government departments and hospitals and municipalities, etc., including the public transport companies that bring us together.

Last edited by doropfiz; 12.10.2019 at 13:23.
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  #154  
Old 12.10.2019, 17:16
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

I was unaware of that and under the impression that affordable childcare doesn’t exist.


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Where did you ‘gather’ that information? Some of the big banks and pharma have had cheaper childcare places for years with no ‘government blocking’.
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Old 12.10.2019, 17:20
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

I live between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. There are towns like that here (yes doctors & lawyers, but mostly tech) and there are also cities where only working class people live.


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This surprises me. You live in a town in which very few working-class people live. What does this mean? A whole town filled exclusively with doctors and lawyers and high-finance experts? Like Stepford?

There are no such towns in Switzerland. All the towns and cities have a mixed population. Certainly they all have areas which tend to poorer or more luxurious, yet with few exceptions even the expensive areas are mixes of houses and apartments.

From the cheapest, nastiest, noisiest apartment block in Zurich to the most luxurious villa in the city would only be a maximum of an hour by tram and bus, anyway.

And the working class in Switzerland afford to live by, well, by working, for those very wealthy people who own the large companies for which they work. And for many, many small and medium-sized businesses, for government departments and hospitals and municipalities, etc., including the public transport companies that bring us together.
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  #156  
Old 12.10.2019, 18:01
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I was unaware of that and under the impression that affordable childcare doesn’t exist.
If you look back through the thread you’ll see that there are even subsidies available for people on low income who are working and require childcare.

Salaries are generally higher and taxes lower.

There’s a gulf of difference between ‘expensive’ and ‘unaffordable’. Childcare in the UK is closer to the description of ‘unaffordable’ if the stats in the link posted a couple of pages back is anything to go by.
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  #157  
Old 12.10.2019, 19:07
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I live between San Francisco and Silicon Valley. There are towns like that here (yes doctors & lawyers, but mostly tech) and there are also cities where only working class people live.
This is definitely something I hadn't realised. Could you (or someone else), please give me some examples of such towns? I'd like to read up on them, and see how they work, structurally, because, for me, that's such a different concept from what I know from here in Switzerland. Thanks.
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Old 13.10.2019, 00:36
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

Well now you know some of the dirt on the Bay Area. I’d call it a failed system. Study & do not repeat! Due to the tech boom & bad politics, there is now a huge divide between classes. I love my town, but I’m contained to a small space here and don’t feel safe leaving. The poor areas are very dangerous and poverty stricken with a tragic amount of homeless people (Oakland alone is comparable to a war zone when looking at murder & violent crime rates) and the middle class is being pushed out of the Bay Area due to high cost of living.

“Stepford” cities include: Los Altos & Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Woodside, Hillsbourough, Portola Valley, Belvedere, Muir Beach, Sausalito, Piedmont, Danville, Alamo, Orinda, and 1/3 of Palo Alto (1/3 students & 1/3 ghetto, separated clearly on a map)

I’m sure I’m missing some, but these are some examples. The town where I live has only one apartment complex that I know of and it’s small.


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This is definitely something I hadn't realised. Could you (or someone else), please give me some examples of such towns? I'd like to read up on them, and see how they work, structurally, because, for me, that's such a different concept from what I know from here in Switzerland. Thanks.
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Old 13.10.2019, 10:57
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I felt like I was visiting the 1950s.

I feel like that at least once a day here, but I suspect that's what some people enjoy about living here.
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Old 13.10.2019, 11:09
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Re: The dirt on Switzerland

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I love my town, but I’m contained to a small space here and don’t feel safe leaving.

The town where I live has only one apartment complex that I know of and it’s small.
I'm trying to get my head around the concept of being afraid to leave your small space/town. What makes you feel unsafe (asking bc I travel to that area often)? That level of isolation seems sad in light of what is on offer in the Bay area.

As for apartment buildings, that you won't avoid in Switzerland !
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