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  #61  
Old 05.12.2018, 14:38
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Yes, you are from a different cultural background... so you might not know the history or struggle it was for the average European to get things we now consider normal. Like a health insurance, unemployment insurance, paid holidays or a retirement fund. People actually fought for that, they did not just happen. "Why don't we just have family members taking care of each other instead" in to be very honest an outright stupid argument. The benefits of the social systems by far outweigh the downside of having a few freeloaders...
This is half the problem with Western Europe today. Successive governments under the cancer that was "Social Democracy" have done as good a job as they can in order to destroy "the family", so that the State could replace it with themselves.

Have a baby? - no family required, house, money, pension all free. VOTE FOR US.
Children? - no family required, we'll pay for childcare so that you may work (and pay taxes). VOTE FOR US
Aged relatives? - no family required, throw them in a home. VOTE FOR US.
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  #62  
Old 05.12.2018, 14:41
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

Thanks to you all for this discussion.

3Wishes, I think you’ve misunderstood something. The case I wrote about was about a man taking out his pension, going on a world trip, blowing it all and then asking for help. I need to correct that impression. That’s not how it went.

The man was here, all along, and drew his pension money as a lump sum (as many people do, and one could debate the wisdom or the self-responsibility of having so done) rather than as a pension. He then became a victim of a relationship-scam. A young woman appeared out of nowhere, made all the right moves, to convince him she loved and cared for him, said they would build a future together in her home country, and she would set up the building of the house there. That…. is how – after they’d been a couple for four or five years! – his money suddenly all disappeared, along with the woman, within weeks. He was not criminal in any way, just optimistic enough (which is a human tragedy in itself) to fall for what looked like, to him, a real, long-term relationship. During all that time, he lived in his same modest apartment, not spending his money on any fancy world trips or the like.

Running deer and Kedi wrote about family solidarity, and yes, often that is all there is. Been there, given, too. And it can be a wonderful thing when relations rally around to rescue someone, especially if that can be done without a huge emotional guilt trip attached. Thanks, Treverus, for having pointed out that some people just don’t have access to any such family help, at all.

Some relations, even if they might wish to help, simply do not have the money to contribute. This could be because those relations work in low-paid jobs themselves (thank you to Fish Paste for pointing out that for some people there simply is no money to set aside) or – as is the case for many on this forum – live abroad so their contributions would be minor when compared to the real expenses of living in Switzerland. Yet other relations choose not to contribute any help. This may be because they don’t care, but often, as I see it, it is because they truly believe, as I did formerly, that the social network was adequately supporting their family member. Yes, someone mentioned, there are Swiss rules by which family members can be forced to help, yet they kick in only if those persons be well-off, themselves, and apply only to a very limited number of close family members.

However, some people are truly single in the world, no parents, no spouses, no siblings, no children. Or none who could help.

Others have spoken of frivolity and not saving for a rainy day, and of being wilfully lazy and a sense of entitlement. Yes, I know all those things exist. I don’t think there are that there are as many lazy, dishonest exploiters of the system(s) at the huge boulevard-press headlines like to imply. All of the cases I’ve mentioned on this forum, and more in which I’ve been involved but have not written about here, have not involved any deceit or fraud. I was peripherally involved in only one such case, but it was soon exposed (not by me) and the payments were stopped and person was sent out of Switzerland.

Some have written here about self-responsibility, and yes, that’s always a good idea where possible, but sometimes even that is not enough. I think that while one is working, healthy, strong and able, it is sometimes unimaginable how quickly one can fall, as slammer said, like a pinball not even touching the paddles, just down and down into the hole. The administrative task is then huge, time-consuming and intimidating… just when the person is at his/her weakest. I know of several cases where people simply give up, cannot face the strain of claiming that to which they are 100% certainly legally (not just mind-set-wise) entitled.

In one case I know, the man worked in an executive position, his only relations his aged parents. One became demented, the care for the other fell fully on the man. Then the man had an accident and became ill, just at the same time. A huge insurance battle arose, which lead to each possible party claiming that the other insurance fund should pay. He was left with no cover at all.

Had he saved for a rainy day? Of course! So he used his personal assets to cover his living expenses. He did all he could to recover from the accident (achieved fair success) but remained ill, no matter what he and his doctors tried. In the meantime his own costs increased, because he was in greater need from being unwell, and the same was true for his remaining parent, on account of becoming older and more frail. Bit by bit, the assets of both were used up. In the mean-time, the man is still trying to do battle with the insurances, and losing the energy to fight, similar to what EastEnders boldly described her own situation (thank you for your courage to share). The point will soon be reached where all savings have been used, and both people will be on Social Security benefits. This will involve both people having to move to less expensive accommodation, and while the man, in phases when he does have a little more strength (very ill!) has been trying to find such, the 89-year-old parent flatly refuses. The moneys received from the Social Security will keep the roof over their heads, but not pay for things they need because they are ill and old, respectively.

Vlh22 wrote about obtaining a tuteur or curateur (in French) or Beistandsschaft (in German), which is a social worker or other responsible person who is placed as a guardian over the person who cannot cope with their own administration.

Yes, VLh22, I admit I do have a resistance to this concept. My reason is that, apart from your own success story, (and I’m very glad for you that it worked out) and from two people I know who have acted as guardians and who each managed to prevent their one client each from spiralling into a worse financial disaster, I have never, ever personally heard of one single positive outcome of guardianship in Switzerland. On the other hand, I’ve met a number of clients of guardians who said that being under that system made everything worse for them, adding another heavy layer to all the other bureaucratic nightmares. One person told me clearly: “Guardianship is another nail in my coffin, probably one of the last”. The Forum user nettles wrote a good thread about having to pick up the shards of his life after having been placed under guardianship.

Since some have written about expats in Switzerland, I’d like to add something about leaving Switzerland if one can’t cope here.

Many of the cases about whom I’ve written are Swiss. Completely so. This is their home and they have nowhere else to go. And it is the very worst time to have to plan to emigrate when one is already ill and poor (and might not speak any other language, might not want to leave one’s home country, known doctors, etc., anyway).

Even with the Swiss-EU bilateral agreements making it possible for Swiss people to live in the EU (which would be cheaper), they can get permission to do so only once they can demonstrate that they have financial support. Therefore, if they are already in a “social event that causes financial difficulties”, they are not, in fact, free to leave until they find employment (if they are healthy enough or young enough to do so) or until their Swiss pensions/benefits are approved. Furthermore, many types of Swiss benefits are domicile based. Only some very few types of Swiss pay-outs, such as Old Age Pensions and Disability Pensions (but then not even in all cases) are payable to persons living abroad.

For non-Swiss people, “going home” is not always that simple, either. As I said above, people of some nationalities will not even receive their Disability Pension if they leave Switzerland. Besides, many of those who’ve lived here for years will have become culturally foreign in their original countries of origin. That doesn’t make it impossible to do, but it does make it very hard. Just when they are sick, injured or old, and poor. The longer they’ve been away, the less likely any relations they left behind will be willing to take them in and support them.

As rainer-d rightly said, there are statistics, and statistics. Those who fall out of the system or never even enter it because they cannot, try as they might, bring all the sacrifices needed to feed it, and those who crawl under a rock and who may or may not be supported by their families, and those who cannot take the strain and commit suicide, are probably not counted in the statistics. But they should be.
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  #63  
Old 05.12.2018, 14:50
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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This is half the problem with Western Europe today. Successive governments under the cancer that was "Social Democracy" have done as good a job as they can in order to destroy "the family", so that the State could replace it with themselves.

Have a baby? - no family required, house, money, pension all free. VOTE FOR US.
Children? - no family required, we'll pay for childcare so that you may work (and pay taxes). VOTE FOR US
Aged relatives? - no family required, throw them in a home. VOTE FOR US.
Yeah, why cant the chavs just work 14 hr days as they used to and once their health isn't good anymore just go away and die? How dare they demand a decent life in exchange of contributing to society.


And on your examples: Have you personally taken care of elderly? Because I have. And I think it is a job that's better left to the professionals. Believing that old people have a better life when they are in a family is the sort of conservative myth that just does not hold true... but in exchange puts social pressure on the society to meet your norms. The bizarre thing is how the right winged people claim that social democrats tell people how to live their lives... while in reality just creating a choice. I am totally fine with the picture perfect conservative family with a working dad, a housewife and two kids. But I don't want a society that revolves around this single model and makes it impossible to live differently... or as in the past actually illegal to do so.
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  #64  
Old 05.12.2018, 14:52
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Yeah, why cant the chavs just work 14 hr days as they used to and once their health isn't good anymore just go away and die? How dare they demand a decent life in exchange of contributing to society.


And on your examples: Have you personally taken care of elderly? Because I have. And I think it is a job that's better left to the professionals. Believing that old people have a better life when they are in a family is the sort of conservative myth that just does not hold true... but in exchange puts social pressure on the society to meet your norms. The bizarre thing is how the right winged people claim that social democrats tell people how to live their lives... while in reality just creating a choice. I am totally fine with the picture perfect conservative family with a working dad, a housewife and two kids. But I don't want a society that revolves around this single model and makes it impossible to live differently... or as in the past actually illegal to do so.
I'm fine with choice, so long as I'm not expected to pay for it.
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Old 05.12.2018, 14:56
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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I'm fine with choice, so long as I'm not expected to pay for it.
As you pointed out were all these changes done in pretty much all of Europe in what is probably the most free and democratic time the continent has ever witnessed.
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  #66  
Old 05.12.2018, 15:00
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Switzerland provides excellent social help. Of course there are sad cases but I don't think any country can afford to provide "stress free" life for citizens. Switzerland in particular, IMHO, is not a reach country. Simply it has nothing to offer, no natural resources (oil, gas), no industry. The only thing is the financial/banking sector which does not give back anything to the country but misfortune by making the swiss franc a strong currency on foreign exchange. CHF should loose half of its value to stop the slow but steady dying of swiss industry.

Speaking of RAV in particular, I wish there was no RAV at all. So many horrible people here at work simply because the safety net of the system. People are stubborn and are playing politics to make their point rather than doing what's best for the company. Who would care when in the worst case they have 2 years of hefty support
Your first paragraph is complete nonsense. With all due respect, you wrote so much wrong stuff that I don't know even where to start:

1 - The financial sector, including banks and insurance, make up just 12% of the Swiss GDP. Everything else is pharma, mechanical industries, etc., How you dare say that it has "no industry"?

2 - The "evil" financial/banking sector pays BILLIONS of Swiss francs in taxes. Imagine how much of the Swiss education, infrastructure, defense, social security, etc, have being developed thanks to these taxes.

3 - A strong Swiss Franc means your money does not lose value and thus your wealth is not destroyed. It also allows you to enjoy the highest purchasing power in Europe. It's a misconception that a strong currency is always bad.

4 - "...dying Swiss industry"- Who told you that? Switzerland as a whole is doing very good well, with exceptional low unemployment, excellent trading surplus, and reasonable growth. Some industries are dying but many others are being created, like it has been happening everywhere in the world.
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Old 05.12.2018, 15:11
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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As you pointed out were all these changes done in pretty much all of Europe in what is probably the most free and democratic time the continent has ever witnessed.
Are you kidding? How can Merkel's unilaterally decision to open the doors for 1 million immigrants be democratic? What about all those non-elected bureaucrats in Brussels deciding the most absurd things on behalf of the people? Is it fair that the Italian people voted, rightly or wrongly, on some proposals but now the EU says "you can't do it"?
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  #68  
Old 05.12.2018, 15:12
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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As you pointed out were all these changes done in pretty much all of Europe in what is probably the most free and democratic time the continent has ever witnessed.
Yup, and look what the result of it all is now? Europe is under invasion as the rest of the world has cottoned on the fact that being on full benefits in a wealthy western European country puts you into the top 5% of earners on the planet. The Social Democratic parties are dying across Europe as they've realised there's not much they can give without going full Commie (which some, indeed are doing). Well that, and since they decided the working classes aren't worth the time or effort anymore and chose to concentrate on the Middle Class Teacher/Social Worker vote.
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Old 05.12.2018, 16:09
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Because I was on 80k (equivalent) when I arrived here 20 years ago, and this is now my home, where my entire support network exists.

The social security system depends very much on the quality and dedication of the individuals who work in it. It also depends on your community. Where I live the local government have various programs designed to keep people on low incomes from having to go on the social in the first place.
This. Some people tend to forget that they too will get older. Nobody likes it when the system is "milked" but there are situations when people have done everything in their power and still end up relying on this so-called social safety net. I like to believe that all those who are so much against a decent social protection system (granted only when it's needed and only when it's necessary) - to really have those suspenders and belts you're talking about. Funnily enough, those who do have them are not so much against such a system. It's one of the so called life's ironies...;-)

Last edited by greenmount; 05.12.2018 at 16:28.
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Old 05.12.2018, 16:18
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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That was kinda my point.

Very few people want to become unemployed. What we're talking about is the smallest of minorities, young single professionals who can manage on 70% of their salary. The unbelievable low unemployment rate in Switzerland is testament to a system that works, and one where people don't take the piss.
I have encountered more than a few expats in CH over the last decade who saw RAV as one big holiday and maximised it as much as possible before getting another job.
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Old 05.12.2018, 16:35
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Yup, and look what the result of it all is now? Europe is under invasion as the rest of the world has cottoned on the fact that being on full benefits in a wealthy western European country puts you into the top 5% of earners on the planet. The Social Democratic parties are dying across Europe as they've realised there's not much they can give without going full Commie (which some, indeed are doing). Well that, and since they decided the working classes aren't worth the time or effort anymore and chose to concentrate on the Middle Class Teacher/Social Worker vote.
The system per se, works. It's just underfunded in such a way that it is difficult to administer it properly.

Switzerland's social benefits work probably the best out of the bunch because its infrastructure is funded sufficiently.

The "invasion", as you rather UKIP-edly term it, is simply exploiting the weaknesses which have appeared over the years due to gross neglect.

It's a bit short-sighted to see the only solution as pulling the plug for everyone because nobody wants to fix it up to a workable solution anymore.
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Old 05.12.2018, 16:44
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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The system per se, works. It's just underfunded in such a way that it is difficult to administer it properly.

Switzerland's social benefits work probably the best out of the bunch because its infrastructure is funded sufficiently.

The "invasion", as you rather UKIP-edly term it, is simply exploiting the weaknesses which have appeared over the years due to gross neglect.

It's a bit short-sighted to see the only solution as pulling the plug for everyone because nobody wants to fix it up to a workable solution anymore.
Underfunded?! These countries welfare systems are borrowing from their grandchildren in order to keep them running!

And I've not said that the solution is the pull the plug because that would result in riots, as what started as gratitude became dependency and has resulted in entitlement. Well done Europe!
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Old 05.12.2018, 16:51
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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There is nothing wrong with having a strong family and it is great if people care for each other. The whole point of a social security system is to overcome bloodlines and be able to support different life styles your family might not support.
How about building a society around that great and brigh idea you've just spelled out, and then seeing it fall apart because there because everybody thought raising children is someone other's task?
Have you heard about widespread old people poverty in Germany, where about half of pensioners get EUR 800 or less? And it is only thanks to the ultra cheap labour from Eastern Europe that there is some staff in the great "professional care" houses.

Same in Italy, but there the pensioners get the largest share of GDP of all OECD countries. Same great freedom to not have kids, and now those few who have work pay very high taxes to support the elderly who lived their life fully and liberally.

Certainly, if one is lucky and smart enough to have a good career and a pension system is not very redistributive then they might get a nice pension. But it looks very, very miserable for most.
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Old 05.12.2018, 17:42
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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This is half the problem with Western Europe today. Successive governments under the cancer that was "Social Democracy" have done as good a job as they can in order to destroy "the family", so that the State could replace it with themselves.

Have a baby? - no family required, house, money, pension all free. VOTE FOR US.
Children? - no family required, we'll pay for childcare so that you may work (and pay taxes). VOTE FOR US
Aged relatives? - no family required, throw them in a home. VOTE FOR US.
Add to that inheritance tax or even tax on money lended through family
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Old 05.12.2018, 18:08
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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This. Some people tend to forget that they too will get older. Nobody likes it when the system is "milked" but there are situations when people have done everything in their power and still end up relying on this so-called social safety net. I like to believe that all those who are so much against a decent social protection system (granted only when it's needed and only when it's necessary) - to really have those suspenders and belts you're talking about. Funnily enough, those who do have them are not so much against such a system. It's one of the so called life's ironies...;-)
That's exactly the point you are wrong. Money does not grow in trees, there is no such thing as free lunch. Someone - either you or others - payed into this system and when the system has pay for someone else it means wealth is destroyed (i.e., collecting taxes is not expensive, the state is inefficient, etc.) . First thing that should be taught to a 18-year old by his/her parents is: you are going to get old, so invest at least 15% of your income every month for your retirement. State finances can go bust, inflation can greatly decrease your purchasing power, world crises, wars, etc., all these are enough reasons to believe it's very risky to depend on the so called social-net.
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Old 05.12.2018, 18:09
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Add to that inheritance tax or even tax on money lended through family
No inheritance tax here.

Tom
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Old 05.12.2018, 18:10
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Your first paragraph is complete nonsense. With all due respect, you wrote so much wrong stuff that I don't know even where to start:


1 - The financial sector, including banks and insurance, make up just 12% of the Swiss GDP. Everything else is pharma, mechanical industries, etc., How you dare say that it has "no industry"?

2 - The "evil" financial/banking sector pays BILLIONS of Swiss francs in taxes. Imagine how much of the Swiss education, infrastructure, defense, social security, etc, have being developed thanks to these taxes.

3 - A strong Swiss Franc means your money does not lose value and thus your wealth is not destroyed. It also allows you to enjoy the highest purchasing power in Europe. It's a misconception that a strong currency is always bad.

4 - "...dying Swiss industry"- Who told you that? Switzerland as a whole is doing very good well, with exceptional low unemployment, excellent trading surplus, and reasonable growth. Some industries are dying but many others are being created, like it has been happening everywhere in the world.
Interesting reply

Ad 1.
Yeah all the medical industries, pharma, banking are moving the jobs away from Switzerland.

Ad 3.
Of course it's nice to have better purchase power as a consumer but it is really bad for developing the industry - see point 1.

Ad 4.
That's what I can see around: layoffs, pressure for cutting the salaries, "virtual" job offers which in fact just hung around for months because in reality the post is not there because of business uncertainty.

Ad 2.
Well, then that's the only positive point. I have no knowledge how much the banking industry pays back in taxes but once someone whom I met at RAV told me the financial sector is moving away from Switzerland because the favorable tax agreements ended. I just guess that it did not share much and once the obligation increased the business is moving away.
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Old 05.12.2018, 18:13
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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No inheritance tax here.

Tom
That was about EU, but this is still subject to individual country I guess
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Old 05.12.2018, 20:53
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

I took Tom's post to be about the Ticino. No inheritance tax there.
But yes, this thread was started about the individual country of Switzerland, not about the EU, nor anywhere else.
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Old 05.12.2018, 22:02
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Re: So-called "social security": desperation, suicide, capitulation or emigration

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Add to that inheritance tax or even tax on money lended through family
Yup, the most despicable of all taxes. Not just because inheritance tax is paid on assets that have already been taxed, not just down to the hypocrisy of preventing people from handing their wealth to their children whilst the State hands their debts to our children, but most importantly because it enforces the appalling idea that wealth belongs, by right, to the State in the first place.
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