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  #1  
Old 27.06.2011, 05:55
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Greetings from Texas

Hello All,

I'm a self-employed Texan looking to immigrate permanently to Switzerland within about a year. I have a wife and a very young daughter that will be accompanying me.

I'm a web developer/programmer/designer. She works as a medical transcriptionist. As a business owner, I conduct roughly $120k USD of business per year, of which I take a $50k USD salary from.

My wife and I are currently at a basic level with German, French, and Italian. We plan to be conversational in all three before we consider relocating. We both identify very strongly with the cultural & political underpinnings of Switzerland, and have zero affinity for America in any capacity.

We're very glad to have the opportunity to meet native Swiss and Swiss residents through this forum, and welcome private messages from anyone. We're interested in anything from casual conversation about any topic, to practicing German/French/Italian with you.

Thanks!
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Old 27.06.2011, 07:30
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Re: Greetings from Texas

hello and welcome to the forum
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Old 27.06.2011, 10:58
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Welcome to the forum! If you need any help, don't hesitate to ask!

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Hello All,

I'm a self-employed Texan looking to immigrate permanently to Switzerland within about a year. I have a wife and a very young daughter that will be accompanying me.

I'm a web developer/programmer/designer. She works as a medical transcriptionist. As a business owner, I conduct roughly $120k USD of business per year, of which I take a $50k USD salary from.

My wife and I are currently at a basic level with German, French, and Italian. We plan to be conversational in all three before we consider relocating. We both identify very strongly with the cultural & political underpinnings of Switzerland, and have zero affinity for America in any capacity.

We're very glad to have the opportunity to meet native Swiss and Swiss residents through this forum, and welcome private messages from anyone. We're interested in anything from casual conversation about any topic, to practicing German/French/Italian with you.

Thanks!
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Old 27.06.2011, 11:18
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Hi Synaptic, welcome to the forum.

Three languages in a year? You are either crazy or a family of language geniuses
Never mind, if you find yourself at loose ends after seven or eight months there is always the fourth official language, Rumantsch.

Fortunately you don't need all three/all four of them to live here, or even to pass as Swiss. They are spoken in separate regions of the country so depending on where you settle, one of them will be really, really useful to you and the others much less so.

As for the "cultural and political underpinnings" of Switzerland... I'm not entirely sure what you mean to be honest. The main cultural underpinning of Switzerland, the thing that really unites all the Swiss and makes them proud to be Swiss, is that it isn't part of Germany, France or Italy. But I reckon if that resonates strongly with you, you could be just as happy living in one of a hundred other countries that aren't Germany, France or Italy.

If you're a libertarian (and nothing specific you've said makes me think so, it's just a wild guess because I've known others who were keen on Switzerland at least before they visited the place) you might want to have a read of the threads in this list. I think it's hard to get a good picture of what modern-day Switzerland is like from so far away. I know I certainly didn't have one when I moved here. Too much history, too many personal preconceptions in the way.

Have you lived abroad before? (especially in a non-English-speaking country) I hadn't, and it was definitely an eye-opener. Immigrant life is full of ups and downs - yes, I know life in general is, but immigrant life ten times more so. It's frustrating, it's exhausting, it's also immensely rewarding: I'm not trying to put you off the experience, just make sure you get into it with your eyes open.

1) It's very hard work. Harder than you think. You've no clue how overwhelming simple tasks like grocery shopping and dealing with your mail can be.
You need a fluorescent light bulb, where do you buy one?
You've got an orange payment slip in the mail with a letter attached: is it a bill, a charitable solicitation or have you won the Nigerian Lottery again?
The kitchen sink's backed up: do you call a plumber and notify the landlord that you've done so? do you call the landlord and have him call a plumber? Either way it's going to cost you a trip to the dictionary first as you probably won't know the word for plumber or kitchen sink the first time it happens to you.

2) It can be quite isolating. I like foreign languages and don't mind a bit people chattering away around me in them - but man is it weird sometimes. Feel like you're walking around inside a bubble, can't understand a word anyone says unless they're actually speaking to you, slowly and clearly. Are you ready to deal with days, weeks, months of this? Is your family? (NB: It's even more isolating for a stay-at-home spouse. I don't know what your wife's work situation might be - surely she can't do medical transcriptions in German just yet? - but something to bear in mind.)

3) Even as a prestige foreigner, prepare to feel culturally and politically marginalized, more than you would ever be in your native country. People simply don't care about many of the issues you want to talk about - or they do care but are approaching it from a completely different frame of reference, and your arguments make no more sense to them than theirs do to you. It's not even a matter of being wrong, it's a matter of you each not having a clue what in the world the other person's on about. Eventually you stop volunteering an opinion at all. If you moved here for the democracy that's a real downer.


Oh, the other minor detail, salary. It's a very expensive place to live: 50K for a family of 3 is actually right about on the poverty line. Here's a thread with more information on cost of living.


Whatever you decide I would definitely recommend a good long visit before moving here. Let me know if you do, I'd be happy to meet up for a coffee and a chat.
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Old 27.06.2011, 11:18
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Have you find out if you are legally allowed to inmigrate to Switzerland? as far as I know Americans can not inmigrate to Switzerland with out the right visa. I think it will be good if you check that before you go very far with your plans
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Old 27.06.2011, 13:08
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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!
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Old 27.06.2011, 13:20
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Quote:
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!
Just to add ...

+ Nice, pleasant weather.
+ Clean surroundings (generally speaking, of course)
+ Minimal crime
+ Efficient public transport system
+ Lots and lots of green
+ Mountains & Lakes & Streams & Woods & Trails & ...

- Shopping hours are ridiculous.
- Prices during the said shopping hours even more so.
- Things that DB mentions, of course.

Have fun and welcome to the forum.
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Old 27.06.2011, 16:58
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Welcome from a fellow Texan who probably shares at least some of your affinities. Kudos for having laid such a comprehensive foundation in language skills!
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Old 27.06.2011, 18:40
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Thank you for the warm replies everyone!

At the present time our language skills in all three languages are very simple, such as asking for directions and other very basic communication of prime importance. Within a year we hope to be basically conversational on a small talk level. Our main focus is on German, and that will likely be the only language we become fluent in, but since we plan to travel Switzerland and bordering countries, we know it will be useful to at least have a rudimentary command of French and Italian.

As for salary, the cost of living here in Texas is incredibly low. You can buy a 5 bedroom house on an acre of land in a nice area for about the monthly payment of a moderately decent flat in Zurich. Hence, the salary I pay myself is plenty for my cost of living, and made purposefully low to avoid the very high self-employment taxes here; The rest is reinvested into my business as capital, even though my actual business expenses are virtually non-existent. So technically speaking, I do make $120k-$130k/yr for my labor. In CH, I would of course charge the equivalent nominal rates in CHF.

I am actually quite libertarian leaning, but mostly in the social sense. I believe that as long as your actions cause no harm to others, they should not be legislated against or criminalized. Cannabis is a prime example. Homosexuality as well. I also believe in a strong capitalist market, however in America our companies and governments are so thoroughly corrupt that it's difficult to believe in any system of governance. The political conditions here in America are a prime reason for leaving. The USA has quite literally become a corpo-fascist police state, and while that accusation seems extreme, I'm a very moderately minded person and it's just simply that bad here now. It's really, quite disturbing.

CH appeals to us because of the opportunity of participating in a direct democracy after 12 years. It's quite worth the wait in our opinion. We believe in the Swiss people, who to us seem very independently minded. We can only contrast with Americans, who are generally quite stupid and thoroughly ignorant of even the basic realities of their country, culture, and environment. Again, I'm quite a moderately minded person, but the ignorance and stupidity of our people in America is so pronounced as to be almost unbelievable. I could discuss this at length, but I digress.

Overall we view CH as a country of people that care about the integrity of their government, their culture, and their natural environment. To us, CH is the USA done correctly. Please correct us is we're wrong!
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Old 27.06.2011, 18:54
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Please correct us is we're wrong!
That is a typo, I hope.....
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Old 27.06.2011, 18:57
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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That is a typo, I hope.....
Lol, yes, obviously.
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Old 27.06.2011, 19:56
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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Overall we view CH as a country of people that care about the integrity of their government, their culture, and their natural environment. To us, CH is the USA done correctly. Please correct us is we're wrong!
I have a Texas client who made 600% on the sub-prime blow up. He promptly gave up his US citizenship for Panama and moved to Zug on a tax agreement.

You sound 100% like him only you make 1:1000 what he makes.

He left in 6 months.

1). He isnt allowed to own guns. Only locals as they dont trust foreigners.
2). Depite having plenty of money he was unable to find a house in Zug for less than CHF12,000 per month. That pist him off because he had his mind set on OWNING a home.
3). He found everyone here racist. And thats in Zug!!!! Which is by far the friendliest place in Switzerland, by a very large margin.
4). His wife was very upset that Switzerland only gets 75 days of sunshine a year. She was a weather person as she was raised in Texas. Its not like the US mid-West where even during the cold winters they still get 5 days of sun per week.
5). They were constantly hounding him at the local Geminde about hiim giving up his US citizenship. They would not allow him to keep his bank accounts. He was given 10 years AFTER he gave up his citizenship to be able to open accounts. The local governments do basically what the US government asks of them.
6). Neighbors who were constantly watching was the biggest complaint from day one. Privacy is good here on a general level. But on the neighborhood level you are subject to the daily microscope.
7). "being treated like a Mexican immigrant" was the way he and his wife termed it. Feel free to use your imagination on this one.

I can certainly see why you would move here. But I dont know too many Swiss people who care about their "integrity" as you put it. We are one of the largest arms dealers in the world, mercenaries have historically been out biggest export (before cheese became popular) and we help un-savory people hide money (even if we have to help them move it to the Caymans or Monaco). Infact, I think they dont actually care what any of us foreigners think.

But I think youre going to have a WILD ADVENTURE that you and your wife will be able to tell your friends about. So I say go for it! But dont discount the US before you have seen just how green the other side actually is.

There is always NZ or Australia?

The only advice I would offer is to start looking for IT consulting jobs here in CH before you get here. $120,000 is what a normal barber makes here. Its not much. So try to make some business contacts in order to hit the ground running.
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Old 27.06.2011, 20:33
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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. You say you're prepared to wait 12 years before being allowed to vote. That's a long time to be left without a say on local and national affairs. During those twelve years, you will be scrutinised to a degree you can't possibly imagine all the way over there in Texas. Your neighbours will be looking to see whether you've put curtains up yet. They will be complaining to your landlord because you left your shutters closed two days in a row. They will be leaving snotty notes on the washing machine, or taping envelopes of dryer lint to your door. They will be checking to see if you've put glass bottles in with the general rubbish, or put the right stickers on your bin bags.

Meanwhile, the government will be tracking your movements wherever you go. Every time you move, you will have to register at the new community. You will have to reapply for your residence permit from time to time. To do this you will have to produce evidence of not being in debt, of not having used social services, of never having had a criminal record. You will have to produce your foreigner ID every time you want to collect a parcel from the post office, any time a police officer stops you, any time you want to apply for a job.

If you live in a village, you will go to the butcher's one day for a piece of beef, and be asked two days later whether you enjoyed it - by the cashier in the supermarket.

If, after twelve years of having your every move watched and commented upon, you still wish to apply for citizenship, you will be investigated at great length by the authorities, who may even contact your work colleagues and friends to ask what kind of a person you are. They are under no obligation to grant you citizenship, even if you tick every box you could possibly imagine might need ticking.

In short, you will be a foreigner, an immigrant, a person to be tolerated, perhaps, but certainly not to be trusted or liked.

In Berlin or London, on the other hand, you'll just be another bloke with funny ideas and a spliff in his hand.

To help us to help you, perhaps you'd like to describe in more detail what you believe Switzerland is like, and why you would fit in here?

Have you visited Switzerland before? For how long? Do you know any Swiss people? If not, what are your main sources of information about this country?

It is possible you might love it here, but it's important to understand exactly what you are getting into.
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Old 27.06.2011, 20:45
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Re: Greetings from Texas

You know, I have been running some back of the envelope numbers here based on my personal experience. I live here in Switzerland part of the year thus I wish to keep my bills low.

So I think to give you a simply idea about what your costs will be I will run you through what we pay monthly.

$2,100: We have a 2bd 2bth that we rent out to some nice girls for this.
$1,600: Mandatory insurance (you have to pay this) for a fam of 3.
$600 for gas (or two monthly train passes)
$300 for Swisscom (internet and handy)
$1,600 for food
$1,200 for kindergarten.

Figure you will pay $25,000 per year in taxs. And since youre an American they wont allow you to set up an AG because you cant open the bank accounts. Thus you wont be able to "minimize" your taxes legally in CH. If they think you are spending more than you are declaring (living off of foreign sourced income and not paying taxes on it) you will be deported back to the US.

Thats a conservative $7,400 per month + $2,083 for taxs. That doesnt include what you will pay for a car if you choose to buy one, or for week long vacations to Milano etc.... Its more expensive here than you can comprehend.

I bought a bloomberg Terminal for my house in the Caymans. Cost me $1,700 with 2 monitors. Here in CH, with the same size monitors it cost me $3,200. Little stuff adds up.

I would suggest coming out for a month with your monthly income budgeted and see how long you can live comfortably off of it.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:13
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Synaptic,

All this (perhaps) negative-sounding feedback is meant for good, I'm sure. You're not the first person from the US (or even Texas) to announce an intention to relocate to CH, and most have received the same or similar warnings. I don't think it's to discourage you from making the move at all, but to make sure you're well-informed about what you're getting into.

You mention that you identify very strongly with the cultural & political underpinnings of Switzerland. Would you care to elaborate in more detail on what you perceive those underpinnings to be?
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:16
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Synaptic, please read the list of threads linked by Mathnut, and please take the comments here to heart.

From what you have written, it would seem you are attracted to a Switzerland that only exists in the imaginations of the US press. For some reason, the US media - of both political extremes - seems to be fixated on a myth of a libertarian, individualistic, gubmint-wary, gun-totin', plucky little Apline country - a myth largely made out of whole cloth.

Certainly the picture painted is quite unlike the reality of Switzerland today.

Before you even think of attempting to immigrate, you really need to learn about the real Switzerland (or Switzerlands, as the various regions have distinct characters). Start by throwing out your preconceptions.

I am an American, have lived here for almost 14 years. Trust me, living in what is a very... ahem... communal... culture here is unimaginable to most Americans. The community trumps the individual every time, the individual has little in the way of rights. This can be a good thing if you are absolutely lock-step in thought and deed with your neighbors, it can be soul destroying for many of a more individualistic nature or upbringing.

Coming from Texas, do think long and hard about how you will adjust to living in a fish bowl. Even if you are lucky enough to buy a house rather than rent a flat, a quite 'large' house here - costing 1-2 million, btw. - only has 6.5 rooms and is built on ca 500m2 ground... yep, 1/8 of an acre is all you are likely to find. And even that you can't really call your own, as you need your neighbor's permission to plant a tree, put up a fence, or throw a party.

And do study the financial side. Switzerland is a very expensive county, and getting more so all the time. The weak dollar against the strong franc makes it downright painful for Americans. You will need much, much more than the amounts you have mentioned if you want to come anywhere close to replicating your US lifestyle.

Switzerland has many good points, no question. It is clean, the mountains are glorious, the trains run on time. (Except the S13, and connecting trains along the silver coast. ) I love many things about Switzerland, I have had some very good times here. I speak the language, own a home here, I am probably as integrated as the Swiss allow a furriner to be.... yet I am leaving because of pressure from my neighbors. The mobbing has simply worn me down.

So first - take off the rose colored glasses, come and visit for a few months several times, see Switzerland for what it really is. Hopefully the reality will make you as happy as the myth seems to.

And then, look at permit possibilities. It's not easy for a non-EU citizen to up stick and move here. Some make it, many don't.

Wishing you all the best as you explore your options.

---

Oh, and don't forget that you will still have to file, and likely owe, US taxes when resident abroad.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:25
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Re: Greetings from Texas

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.

Now, as for politics and culture:

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.

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.

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.

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.

These are not rare occurrences. They are in local news outlets weekly.

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.

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!

The list goes on. It is a veritable litany of corruption at every level.

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.

I'm sorry if this all seems depressing, alarmist, or overblown, but it's a verifiable reality here. We pretend and not talk about it because "it could be worse!" and other arguments like "Well look at Africa/Mexico/whatever country is worse off," anything we can think of to keep us from facing the reality that we're the only First World country in the Western world that is basically a Third World country dressed up in a lot of glitter and make-up. Harsh, but essentially, true.

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.
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:34
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Re: Greetings from Texas

OK. So that's what's wrong with America.

So what's so wonderful about Switzerland?
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:34
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Re: Greetings from Texas

Could you send me a link to your local news outlet with its frequent reports of locally occurring police brutality, please?

Weird to think that my relatives all just happen to live in the only remaining nice bits, populated by people of mostly average intelligence.

Or is your argument that average intelligence simply isn't enough to penetrate the veil of corpofascist mystery these days?

(Average Swiss people are of average intelligence too, by the way.)
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Old 27.06.2011, 21:38
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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.

Now, as for politics and culture:

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.

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.

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.

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.

These are not rare occurrences. They are in local news outlets weekly.

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.

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!

The list goes on. It is a veritable litany of corruption at every level.

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.

I'm sorry if this all seems depressing, alarmist, or overblown, but it's a verifiable reality here. We pretend and not talk about it because "it could be worse!" and other arguments like "Well look at Africa/Mexico/whatever country is worse off," anything we can think of to keep us from facing the reality that we're the only First World country in the Western world that is basically a Third World country dressed up in a lot of glitter and make-up. Harsh, but essentially, true.

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.
If youre this bitter about these events in the United States then you my friend will be scared of every place in this entire planet.

Certainly these events are horrific, but when in the history of the world has anything been perfect? Never......

There was a 17 year old girl raped last week in Aargua, here in Switzerland, and it took the police 2 hours to show up. Now certainly brutality is a horrific thing, but so is the 180 degree opposite side of the spectrum. Police are very non-active here. They let the neighbors slowly destroy any self respect you might think you have left.

How would you like to have the police called on you for folding a neighbors laundry? I had this happen to me the first place I live here in CH. I didnt want to be rude by taking their things out of the dryer and throwing them into a heap.

Trust me mate Switzerland is going to be a black swan for you if youre moving here to escape monetary policy (we have had 0% interest rates for the last 20 years) and police who taser deaf kids (if some one rapes your child they wont go after him until they find out if he is deaf or retarded).....
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