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  #21  
Old 27.06.2011, 20:39
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Re: Greetings from Texas

To answer the question of "Why Switzerland?" I say:

Because as an entrepreneur there are very few other European countries favorable to begin businesses in as a foreigner. The UK is out of the question. Their nanny state society is far from what I ever want to associate with. They're really just a better mannered USA.

Norway has been an option, as well as Estonia. However, being of German decent I don't feel an affinity for their countries as much as I do CH. Germany is not an option economically or socially. Their business climate is very unfriendly to foreigners, and our daughter is schooled by private mentors/instructors and a 1 on 1 basis, and homeschooling is illegal in Germany in any form.
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  #22  
Old 27.06.2011, 20:44
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Oh dear.

Why, oh why, do people believe everything they read on the internet?
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Old 27.06.2011, 20:46
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Oh dear.

Why, oh why, do people believe everything they read on the internet?
What do you mean?
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  #24  
Old 27.06.2011, 20:48
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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What do you mean?
Well, you seem to know an awful lot about several countries you've never visited.

Have you ever stopped to consider that what you have read about them might not be entirely true?
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  #25  
Old 27.06.2011, 20:56
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Well, you seem to know an awful lot about several countries you've never visited.

Have you ever stopped to consider that what you have read about them might not be entirely true?
I'm not entirely concerned with being 100% sure of what to expect when I arrive wherever I'm going. The only things I'm concerned about are facts concerning business/taxes/law and a basic understanding of the society and it's culture.

I think I have a well enough idea about CH to feel satisfied moving there, and I'm always open to new information. The only thing that could really discourage me from moving is some factual evidence that CH is rapidly devolving into a country wholly owned by corporate interest groups and is quickly shedding as many civil liberties as it can in fear of evil "Turr'ists."
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  #26  
Old 27.06.2011, 20:59
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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If you like...
  • compulsory health insurance;
  • 12 years (at least) of being unable to vote on matters which affect you directly;
  • your neighbours determining the colour of the geraniums in your window box;
  • having one day every two weeks in which to do your washing in the communal laundry;
  • registering with the local government everytime you move house (and paying for the privilege);
  • having to be quiet between 12:00 and 14:00, after 22:00 and all day Sunday;
  • putting your trash in the correct bag or receiving a fine;
  • and mountains
... you'll love it here!

Welcome to the forum!
> "compulsary health insurance" means that everything is covered and the man has more time for REAL business
> "the colours of the geranium fixed by the community" means even more time for REAL business
> it is a time every single week usually anyway, and as Texans have the best and largest laundry machines anyway, this point will not affect him
> "registering with the municipal administration" ? You UNDERSTATE as you also have to DEregister with the "old" administration

BUT, you underestimate the REAL problems for a Texan in Switzerland.
> When he thinks he is just at the city-limit of his town he will have arrived in Germany or Italy
> When he makes an excursion to the Rheinfall and misses the place, and asks the locals in what he perceives as Schaffhausen-Neuhausen, they will reply, "but THIS here is Praha, Capital of Czechia"
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  #27  
Old 27.06.2011, 21:00
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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The only thing that could really discourage me from moving is some factual evidence that CH is rapidly devolving into a country wholly owned by corporate interest groups and is quickly shedding as many civil liberties as it can in fear of evil "Turr'ists."
they are already moving their expats here....
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  #28  
Old 27.06.2011, 21:01
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If that's your attitude towards US, while living in such a "small government" state as Texas, you'll not like it here where literally in the plains we live in 400 people per km2 average density, liteterally on top of each other.
There are no resources in this country, making it structurally unstable and dependent on other countries. Like Singapore, just a bit less :-)
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:03
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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There are no resources in this country, making it structurally unstable and dependent on other countries.
You're not suggesting, surely, that Switzerland is little more than a non-voting member of the Embryonic New Order Socialist Fascist State European Union, are you?

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Old 27.06.2011, 21:03
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I'd like to address the income comments firstly. $120k is upper middle class in the US, across the nation. In Southern Texas where I reside it's nearing lower upper class on par with general medical practitioners and an average lawyer. I feel confident that in CH I would be able to secure a handsome income as a self-employed web-developer. There appears to be very few professional web-design/programming firms in CH.
There are quite a lot actually. (They don't tend to have "Web Design" in the name though so I can see how someone googling for them might not realize how many there are.)
You might make a perfectly good living here, I'm not saying you won't, but for your own sake please don't underestimate the amount or quality of your competition.

120K is above average for Swiss households too, but not as far above average as it would be in the US. (Average for a married couple with one kid is something like 105K pre-tax.)

Social class is less a matter of money in Switzerland (and Europe generally) so I won't comment on that. As a foreigner you're pretty well outside the class system anyway, even once you naturalize. Where your grandkids will fit in might be an interesting question.

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It's difficult to even begin to quantify the mental infirmity of the vast majority of our population. It's not a stereotype that Americans are stupid. It isn't. Our Media has very, very efficiently seen to that fact.
Seriously? How did you get so smart then?

Sorry, but people are people the world over. They care about the stuff they urgently need to care about; if there's time left over they care about stuff they have a chance of affecting; and if they've any sense at all they try not to worry about the other stuff constantly or they'd drive themselves nuts.
(Like you seem well on the way to doing, not to put too fine a point on it.)

As for the police brutality: the US is a big place full of hyperactive media aggregators. It wasn't always this way. It used to be you'd know if anything bad happened in your town, or in your state if it was something really bad or happened to someone famous. If it happened to some random citizen in some far distant corner of the continent you wouldn't even hear about it. Now you do. I'm not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing. It's a different thing, and you need to take it into account when comparing countries.

If something bad happens in Spain we probably won't hear about it in Switzerland unless it's major news. Even if we do, we can sit here in Switzerland and say, "oh well, that's Spain for you. Yup, they've really got some problems, have the Spanish. Thank goodness that sort of thing doesn't happen around here." (and then of course one day it does happen here, and everyone is up in arms over it, as it "never happened here before"!)

If something bad happens in Michigan, which is much further away from you than Spain is from us, (1) you're guaranteed to hear about it, and (2) you process it as something that happened in your country, not somewhere else, not someone else's corrupt system or crime problem. This has advantages and disadvantages, but I hope you at least see that you can't reasonably compare national news reportage as a way of measuring relative crimeriddenness or police corruption or anything else. The US has 40 times the population of Switzerland, it should have a few more crimes and abuses of power; it'd be pretty shocking if it didn't; and a strong national media has the effect of turning the whole country into an echo chamber. That can't be helped. What are you going to do, forbid the national press from aggregating stories from local outlets? All you can do is realize that that's the case and try to keep your hysteria under control accordingly, and not make unfair comparisons with tiny little countries where all news is local and the fact that farmers expect slightly pinker veal next year can be front page news simply because nothing else happened today. (I am not kidding, that was the leading article tonight.)
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  #31  
Old 27.06.2011, 21:10
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Norway has been an option, as well as Estonia. However, being of German decent I don't feel an affinity for their countries as much as I do CH. Germany is not an option economically or socially. Their business climate is very unfriendly to foreigners, and our daughter is schooled by private mentors/instructors and a 1 on 1 basis, and homeschooling is illegal in Germany in any form.
Homeschooling, glad you brought that up. Like most everything else in Switzerland it varies from canton to canton.

In canton Zurich, you can homeschool but only with the approval of the school board, and you can't apply for that approval unless one of you is a qualified teacher.
In canton Vaud you can homeschool at will but the local school authorities have the right to come in and have a look, give exams, whatever they need to satisfy themselves that the child is getting an education equivalent to what the local school would provide. If they decide that she isn't, no more homeschooling for you.
In some other cantons it's allowed a bit more freely, in others it's totally forbidden... you get the picture. The cantons are like US states but the size of (non-Texan) counties.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:15
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Not sure homeschooling is allowed here either. Could be wrong. But the price of paying a one-to-one tutor would be really something!
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  #33  
Old 27.06.2011, 21:19
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Re: Greetings from Texas

I appreciate all of these replies, they are quite helpful.

However apart from the police brutality I've mentioned, there's no easy or brief way of detailing the depth and extent of the corruption of government/politics and business here. It's really, rather remarkably profound.

There's no-one that can argue that CH approaches the USA's corruption levels on even a superficial level. They are just simply in two wholly separate categories of discussion.

The UBS scandal doesn't even approach anything close to an appreciable percentage of the total corruption cases here in the USA. Not even a whole percentile.

So while I appreciate some of the expats here discouraging me from looking at CH (or any foreign nation) through rose colored glasses, I simply have to clearly state that there is no comparison between the decrepit state of the body politic in the US, versus anywhere in Central and Northern Europe. There is just simply no scale of comparison that applies.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:20
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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If that's your attitude towards US, while living in such a "small government" state as Texas, you'll not like it here where literally in the plains we live in 400 people per km2 average density, liteterally on top of each other.
There are no resources in this country, making it structurally unstable and dependent on other countries. Like Singapore, just a bit less :-)
This is an excellent point. Houses are small, yards are small, population density is high. Overall Switzerland has 487 people per square mile, about the same as Delaware.

Note that that's including all the steep snowy bits, you may have seen pictures of those? They're a really long way to carry your groceries uphill and so nobody much lives there. Remove those areas (and their meager populations) from the total, and you're left with upwards of 1550/square mile in the flat-to-only-moderately-mountainous regions of the country. We're talking Taiwan levels here, and that includes most of the agricultural land.

I'm not getting on Switzerland's case for this, they can't help it and anyway it's exactly what you need to make this fantastic public transport network feasible. But if a Midwesterner feels cramped here sometimes, I expect a Texan is going to have to go outsideover the border into Austria to change his mind.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:24
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I simply have to clearly state that there is no comparison between the decrepit state of the body politic in the US, versus anywhere in Central and Northern Europe. There is just simply no scale of comparison that applies.
Of course there's not!

(Now if you said "in the US, versus the entire continent of Europe" you might stand a chance.)

Well, if this corruption is un-quantifiable un-comparable un-explainable then I guess we'll just have to take your word for it that it exists and is as dire as you say it is... and I for one am quite happy to take your word over a lifetime's experience and that of a passel of assorted relatives.
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  #36  
Old 27.06.2011, 21:32
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Quite honestly, if it's social freedom you're after, you'd be better off going to London or Berlin.

I love Switzerland. I love the fact that it is so clean and safe. I love the view out of my living room window and the taste of a crisp, cold Appenzeller Holzfassbier. It's a very nice place to live.

But free? Not really. Especially not if you're a foreigner....
OK, I will provide a counterpoint here, because I can. I am an American. Been here over 20 years. Did the whole B-C-Citizenship route. Arrived single, now have a family. Mr Breakfast here has vastly over-exaggerated the experience. OK, it might happen once. Or twice. over 20 YEARS. It's not that bad, really. I know what I'm talking about. Just get a flat with a washer-dryer built in (most of them do nowadays). The rest will fall into place if you make an effort to speak German (or French, whatever, depends where you land).
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:37
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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I'd like to address the income comments firstly. $120k is upper middle class in the US, across the nation. In Southern Texas where I reside it's nearing lower upper class on par with general medical practitioners and an average lawyer. I feel confident that in CH I would be able to secure a handsome income as a self-employed web-developer. There appears to be very few professional web-design/programming firms in CH. I may be wrong, but my skills in IT are quite deep and varied, in areas of system administration, programming, and design. Therefore I feel I can diversify into other roles as needed. It seems the IT market in CH isn't nearly as competitive as here in the States for someone of my skill level. I'm still conducting research though, and if anyone has any further information on the IT scene in CH I'm very eager to review it.
And there are lots of very good, very unemployed web developers here. You're also a foreigner.

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Politically, the USA is bereft of any modicum of integrity. It's not as blatantly corrupt as say Russia, and the fabric of our society is strong enough that there exists at least a facile appearance of happiness and upward mobility. However, the people here are slaves without understanding. I would estimate roughly 90%+ of our population don't even understand the basics of how our government functions at any level. They understand nothing of the deep rooted influence of multinational corporations and the "revolving door" of private interests holding office at every level of our electorate and appointed offices. They care nothing for the complete sell off of public lands to energy companies who utterly destroy entire ecosystems with impunity. They care nothing for the fact that the USA's monetary policy makes them poorer by the hour, by debasing the USD at alarming rate through debt. It's difficult to even begin to quantify the mental infirmity of the vast majority of our population. It's not a stereotype that Americans are stupid. It isn't. Our Media has very, very efficiently seen to that fact.
Thank you for placing yourself on such a high pedestal. We couldn't see you before. Now we see you for the narcissistic self-important individual that you are who is one of the few sainted individuals to 'see things as they really are'. Trust me, son, you're not that special.

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I have traveled abroad to Canada, the Cayman Islands, and Costa Rica. Vacationing only, so no real exposure to the culture or realities of life there. I do however have close friends in Canada, and stay abreast of much of what transpires there. Unfortunately Canada is on a very disturbing spiral towards American style "fascism." I hesitate to use that word often, but there's very little else that aptly describes what's happening here.
Do you like anybody?

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You all are mentioning nosy neighbors and authorities checking in on foreigners as being something frustrating to deal with. I retort with the fact that in many parts of this nation, Police frequently invade homes without warrants which turn out to be the wrong residence, and in many cases such invasions end in innocent civilians murdered. We have police that routinely execute civilians who exhibit unusual health symptoms that prevent them from complying with police orders, such as diabetics with low blood sugar, the mentally retarded, and yes, even the deaf and the elderly.
How often have the police invaded your home without a warrant? I would guess 'never'. How frequent is this occurrance? Perhaps you'd like to back up some of your claims with some relevant statistics? Keep in mind your use of the words 'frequently' and 'routinely'. This means the occurrance of such events had better be pretty high.

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Police here abuse citizens with impunity and with disturbing regularity. Peaceful protesters are detained without just cause on a regular basis, and also frequently physically assaulted. Routine traffic stops frequently end in citizens being tasered and arrested simply because they had a frustrated or negative attitude towards the police officer. In one instance lately, an 80 year old grandmother was tasered to death in front of her grandchildren because she was angry at receiving a speeding ticket on the highway. She was not violent, and certainly not a threat to the officer, she simply refused to sign the ticket. She's dead now.
Again, please verify with data your opinion that these things happen 'regularly' and 'routinely'. Proof by anecdote is not sufficient. Also, please show that these things do not occur in other countries with roughly the same frequency.

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These are not rare occurrences. They are in local news outlets weekly.
Again, please verify this with some compartive statistics. Surely, an educated, computer-savvy, and 'worldly' man such as yourself can do that with ease.

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I know this sounds alarmist, but I assure you this is a reality of the USA, and it's well documented in the press for anyone to see who cares to look.
Again, please feel free to document your claims statistically or be honest and admit that you are an alarmist seeking escape from the boogeyman in the closet.

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This post could run on for pages if I really took the time to express the extent of the problems here. I could go on AT LENGTH about our prison industrial complex and the human atrocities surrounding it... And the sickest thing of all is that very, very few Americans see any issue with incarcerating or otherwise legally prosecuting close to 15%-20% of our entire population at some time in their lives. They hardly bat an eyelash to the recent stories of Judges being paid off by private prison contractors to sentence as many juveniles as possible to lengthy detentions, pretty much ruining the rest of their lives in the process, for things as petty as shoplifting and truancy!
Yes, you're the only person who sees any problems in the country. How could we have been so blind?

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The list goes on. It is a veritable litany of corruption at every level.
You, sir, are in for a rude awakening. You seem to be under the mistaken impression that you are aware of how things are in other countries.

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And I have yet to touch on SO MUCH of what is wrong with this country...I mean, even beginning to talk about it now feels akin to what it must be like for a severely abused child to begin admitting to someone what they've suffered at the hands of their sick parents.
How could you stand to take advantage of living there for so long, I wonder? Just wait until you realize that just because you don't live there anymore it doesn't mean you don't have to pay any US taxes.

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I'm sorry if this all seems depressing, alarmist, or overblown, but it's a verifiable reality here.
Seriously. You think?

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I will happily accept some nosy neighbors and the frequent attention of authorities checking up on a foreigner in their Land. I will happily accept a population of people who actually care for their country and environment, for the trifling difficulties a foreigner must face.
You're not the first foreigner to paint a black picture of his home country and a rosy idyllic picture of some far off land. You won't be the last. There are rules here and cultural attitudes about things that you can't possibly imagine...and won't find out as a tourist. Things that would make the skin of any self-avowed 'libertarian' crawl.

So, rather than discourage you, I encourage you to move post haste. We need more self-important doomsayers who are one of the priveleged class who see things as they really are. Don't forget the brown sugar.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:38
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Of course there's not!

(Now if you said "in the US, versus the entire continent of Europe" you might stand a chance.)

Well, if this corruption is un-quantifiable un-comparable un-explainable then I guess we'll just have to take your word for it that it exists and is as dire as you say it is... and I for one am quite happy to take your word over a lifetime's experience and that of a passel of assorted relatives.
To retort, maybe you shouldn't look backward with rose colored glasses, the same as I shouldn't look forwards.

Also, your thinly veiled discrediting of my claims is really rather naive. Even on the very surface we could talk at length about the recent financial crisis, and that could go on for quite some time and uncover a deep and disturbing degree of corruption of business/government.

Agribusiness/UDSA.

Big Pharma/FDA.

Big Bankers/Federal Reserve.

Those are three very easily researched examples of big business completely controlling their associated governmental regulatory authorities. COMPLETELY controlling. Not just your pithy briber here or there, I mean very clearly the complete and unfettered control of. And I make no exaggeration.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:41
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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OK, I will provide a counterpoint here, because I can. I am an American. Been here over 20 years. Did the whole B-C-Citizenship route. Arrived single, now have a family. Mr Breakfast here has vastly over-exaggerated the experience. OK, it might happen once. Or twice. over 20 YEARS. It's not that bad, really. I know what I'm talking about. Just get a flat with a washer-dryer built in (most of them do nowadays). The rest will fall into place if you make an effort to speak German (or French, whatever, depends where you land).
I'm just glad we don't do web programming. I couldn't stand to have another nattering nabob of negativism whinging constantly about everything bad and evil back home every time the news is on or someone brings it up in conversation. We already have one of those at work. He's not very popular.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:41
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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To retort, maybe you shouldn't look backward with rose colored glasses, the same as I shouldn't look forwards.

Also, your thinly veiled discrediting of my claims is really rather naive. Even on the very surface we could talk at length about the recent financial crisis, and that could go on for quite some time and uncover a deep and disturbing degree of corruption of business/government.

Agribusiness/UDSA.

Big Pharma/FDA.

Big Bankers/Federal Reserve.

Those are three very easily researched examples of big business completely controlling their associated governmental regulatory authorities. COMPLETELY controlling. Not just your pithy briber here or there, I mean very clearly the complete and unfettered control of. And I make no exaggeration.
Sorry, I couldn't help it, this made me laugh.

You do know your examples are EXACTLY the three biggest, hand-in-glove-with-government-est industries in Switzerland too, right? (Well, those three and the Sacred Grocery Duopoly.)

I am really curious why you think big industry does not carry the same sort of influence everywhere it goes.
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