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What’s the Better Role Model, France or Switzerland?
Townhall ^ | 06/19/2013 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 06/19/2013 7:03:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

At the European Resource Bank conference earlier this month, Pierre Bessard from Switzerland’s Institut Liberal spoke on a panel investigating “The Link between the Weight of the State and Economic prosperity.”

His presentation included two slides that definitely are worth sharing.

The first slide, which is based on research from the Boston Consulting Group, looks at which jurisdictions have the most households with more than $1 million of wealth.

Switzerland is the easy winner, and you probably won’t be surprised to seeHong Kong and Singapore also do very well.

Switzerland Liberal Institute 2

Gee, I wonder if the fact that Switzerland (#4), Hong Kong (#1), and Singapore (#2) score highly on the Economic Freedom of the World index has any connection with their comparative prosperity?

That’s a rhetorical question, of course.

Most sensible people already understand that countries with free markets and small government out-perform nations with big welfare states and lots of intervention.

Speaking of which, let’s look at Pierre’s slide that compares Swiss public finances with the dismal numbers from Eurozone nations.

Switzerland Liberal Institute 1

The most impressive part of this data is the way Switzerland has maintained a much smaller burden of government spending.

One reason for this superior outcome is the Swiss “Debt Brake,” a voter-imposed spending cap that basically prevents politicians from increasing spending faster than inflation plus population.

Now let’s compare Switzerland and France, which is what I did last Saturday at the Free Market Road Show conference in Paris.

As part of my remarks, I asked the audience whether they thought that their government, which consumes 57 percent of GDP, gives them better services than Germany’s government, which consumes 45 percent of GDP.

They said no.

I then asked if they got better government than citizens of Canada, where government consumes 41 percent of GDP.

They said no.

And I concluded by asking them whether they got better government than the people of Switzerland, where government is only 34 percent of economic output (I used OECD data for my comparisons, which is why my numbers are not identical to Pierre’s numbers).

Once again, they said no.

The fundamental question, then, is why French politicians impose such a heavyburden of government spending – with a very high cost to the economy – when citizens don’t get better services?

Or maybe the real question is why French voters elect politicians that pursue such senseless policies?

But to be fair, we should ask why American voters elected Bush and Obama, both of whom have made America more like France?


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: france; switzerland

1 posted on 06/19/2013 7:03:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Switzerland is a better role model for everything...except maybe cuisine.


2 posted on 06/19/2013 7:05:46 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: EEGator

I’m not a huge fan of Switzerland, who have made their national identity into helping scoundrels worldwide to hide their stolen wealth. Arafat, Mugabe, Goering, Rich and thousands like them.


3 posted on 06/19/2013 7:12:14 AM PDT by babble-on
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To: SeekAndFind

Neither


4 posted on 06/19/2013 7:16:55 AM PDT by Sioux-san
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To: Sioux-san

So, there is NO COUNTRY in the world we can use as a role model? How about the good old US of A?


5 posted on 06/19/2013 7:18:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: babble-on

Certainly an understandable position. I figured you have to pick one of the two though.

At least the French did join in WW2. Switzerland never does anything. While I’m against nation building, you can’t just sit out of everything.


6 posted on 06/19/2013 7:33:29 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: EEGator

I’ve been to Switzerland. It’s pretty........pretty boring................


7 posted on 06/19/2013 7:41:06 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: SeekAndFind

8 posted on 06/19/2013 7:42:27 AM PDT by Hoodat (BENGHAZI - 4 KILLED, 2 MIA)
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To: Hoodat

Ahh but do they have the right to carry? Or do they just keep them at home?


9 posted on 06/19/2013 7:43:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Red Badger

After the last few years we’ve had here, who couldn’t do with a little boring?


10 posted on 06/19/2013 7:44:59 AM PDT by Eepsy
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To: Eepsy

Switzerland is the perfect example of “Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”.........


11 posted on 06/19/2013 7:46:03 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: SeekAndFind
These two Swiss women seem to have no problem carrying.


12 posted on 06/19/2013 7:46:17 AM PDT by Hoodat (BENGHAZI - 4 KILLED, 2 MIA)
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To: SeekAndFind

They are kept in a neighborhood armory, IIRC.......


13 posted on 06/19/2013 7:46:53 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Red Badger

How are the people?
Did you go to multiple Cantons?


14 posted on 06/19/2013 7:47:37 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: SeekAndFind

The Swiss are also famously isolationist, and they do now sign on to the vast majority of nonsense of treaty treacle that comes from the UN.

The neo-cons in the US would never allow the US to be isolationist. To them, there cannot be a moment or situation in which we should not meddle.


15 posted on 06/19/2013 7:48:20 AM PDT by NVDave
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To: Hoodat

One thing I noticed when I got off the plane, the cops all carried Uzis, I think, and people in the airport were getting their tourist pictures of themselves standing next to them..........


16 posted on 06/19/2013 7:49:39 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: EEGator

The people were very nice and friendly, most helpful in directions and stuff like that. I was only in Zurich, though........


17 posted on 06/19/2013 7:51:15 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: EEGator

Most everybody speaks multiple languages. French, German, English and Italian are common, so you can usually find someone who speaks your tongue........


18 posted on 06/19/2013 7:55:07 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: Red Badger

It’s a different form of German though...right?


19 posted on 06/19/2013 7:57:02 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: SeekAndFind
I spent a summer working at a large bakery in a small village in Switzerland many years ago.

It is one of the best times of my life, much like living in Disneyland for a young country boy.

I have great respect for the Swiss. They are a clean, conservative, hard working, law abiding people. Their country is beautiful & they work hard to keep it that way.

I admire their national neutrality & prior respect for the privacy of those who invest there. I am saddened that they have ended that privacy, giving in to world corruptocracy & the nanny state taxation thieves.

20 posted on 06/19/2013 8:28:53 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Mister Da

RE: I admire their national neutrality & prior respect for the privacy of those who invest there.

What is their immigration policy?

How many people from Africa, the Middle East, etc. do they take in a year?


21 posted on 06/19/2013 8:36:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; All

Take a look at Singapore. Who knows how well it would scale though.


22 posted on 06/19/2013 8:44:58 AM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: gura

RE: Take a look at Singapore.

You don’t mind living in a country with these laws:

* It is against the law to not flush the toilet after using it. Again, that’s common sense, but in Singapore you might be getting a large fine for that, too, as the police officers randomly check on public checkrooms.

* You Litter You Pay-Big Time. A litter law dating from 1968 is the country’s way of keeping clean. Disregard the law, drop trash on the ground in this Southeast Asian city, and you’ll pay $1,000.

* Don’t walk around your house naked. In Singapore, pornography is illegal, and anything to do with it may result in imprisonment or hefty fines. Along the same lines, the country thinks that nudity has to do with pornography, too, so better watch out carefully when you dress for bed — someone might see you. Also, make sure you don’t hand anyone a Playboy magazine. It’s the same.

* Connecting on unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots means hacking. Need just “some” Internet to read mail or reserve some train tickets? Better go to an Internet cafe shop rather than logging in on an unsecured network. In Singapore it’s called hacking and you could end up in jail, or if lucky you’ll be paying a pretty huge fine.

* Homosexual acts may lead to imprisonment. Kissing between men, for example, is illegal.

* Racial harmony is carefully promoted. Racial slurs, such as those you might hear in football chants could actually wind you up in jail

* Singapore does have the death sentence and it is used for narcotics offences


23 posted on 06/19/2013 8:57:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: EEGator

I speak a very limited German, tourista version. They all sound alike to me........I would suppose that Austrian-German is spoken in the Swiss vernacular......


24 posted on 06/19/2013 9:16:51 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: EEGator

A side note, I asked a German friend of mine if they had the equivalent of ‘Rednecks’ in Germany, and he said, “Yes! We call them Austrians.”.............


25 posted on 06/19/2013 9:18:53 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Google your own name......Want to have fun? Google your friend's names........)
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To: SeekAndFind
The Swiss take a hard line on muslim colonization, unlike the EU. Minarets have been banned by national vote. Obtaining citizenship is difficult, requiring language skills & knowledge of laws & customs.

Switzerland is a federation of states of 3 primary cultures, German, French, & Italian. Most authority is decentralized to the states. Referendum & initiative by national vote are common in Switzerland.

26 posted on 06/19/2013 9:34:07 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Red Badger

LOL, the Terminator would be angry...Hitler too.


27 posted on 06/19/2013 10:02:37 AM PDT by EEGator
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To: SeekAndFind

But that wasn’t one of my choices. Even if it were a choice, the USA that I know and love isn’t living up to its own good reputation. If we are trying to figure out which Big Govt./HIgh tax model to follow, I go with None of the Above.


28 posted on 06/19/2013 1:00:13 PM PDT by Sioux-san
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