Diary

A Country to emulate

Emulate means to match or surpass; imitate.

Switzerland. A little country surrounded by a sea of socialism. Since WWII, this country has been the world’s archetype example of how to run an economy. Year after year, decade after decade, this country seems immune to the so called “business cycle”. They’ve experienced no recessions, no excessive booms or busts and no bubbles. In the midst of all this, their unemployment rate stands at 4.5% (1.7% in 2000) compared to all of their neighbors whose unemployment rates are chronically in the double digits.

No Keynesians need apply here, though, because the unemployment rate for Keynesians is 100%. Their Constitution forbids deficit spending and they have no foreign debt or debt service to speak of. This country is debt free.

When speaking with hard metal investors, many will tell you to just buy Swiss Francs because the value graphs are nearly identical to gold. The Swiss Franc is as good as gold. And why don’t the Swiss use the Euro? You do the math.

Rated the most capitalistic country in Europe and probably the world, their federal government is similar to ours except much more power is invested in the States (cantons);and the President serves only a one year term of office. This is why you’ve probably never heard of the President of Switzerland.

Being capitalists mean that they don’t educate anyone and they rape and pillage the environment, right? Wrong. Switzerland has one of the most successful educational systems in the world. This is a place where the average citizen speaks three or more languages fluently. They have 12 universities for 8 million people. 96% of their power is produced by hydro and nuclear meaning that they have a nearly CO2 free electricity generating network. They also have one of the best environmental records among developed nations. Switzerland is one of the top recyclers in the world with 66% to 96% of materials being recycled. Citizens have to pay per bag of garbage as it is collected. This gives an incentive to recycle as the recycling is picked up without cost.

Capitalism though produces a small percentage of rich folks and a huge number of poor folks. Well, no… not here. Switzerland is ranked 15th in the world in per capita GDP and has by far the highest per capita income in Europe even exceeding that of Japan.

More later….