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Is Switzerland A Role Model For Democracy?

June 16, 2011 by  

Is Switzerland A Role Model For Democracy?

The world economy is in a very fragile state, despite the fact that world gross domestic product is growing at a rate of about 4.3 percent this year. Most of the growth comes from emerging markets like China, Brazil and India.

While these emerging nations have a lot of economic potential for the coming decades, most of them will have to deal with their own specific problems in the years ahead. What differentiates these nations from the West is they typically have much lower levels of debt; most of them have accumulated large savings surpluses. This is in sharp contrast to the West, especially Europe and the United States, where governments have accumulated large deficits by chronic overspending on social security, all sorts of subsidies and/or military and defense costs.

This is a very dangerous trend that can’t go on forever. Actually, I think we are witnessing the turning point right now and that coming years will bring huge changes to these economies. This will most likely result in a severe devaluation of their currencies and socioeconomic tensions. Remember, the euro and the U.S. dollar make up almost 80 percent of the world’s currency reserves, a percentage that will have to drop significantly in coming years.

In a world of ideal economics, these nations would address their problems by making structural adjustments to their economies, making investments that tend to increase true economic value and cutting spending on things that don’t make sense and only destroy value. However, this might be wishful thinking. One does not need to be a genius to see that the sovereign debt problem will, at least partially, be solved by a forced currency devaluation, meaning that the central banks, such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. and the European Central bank in Europe, will continue their very expansionary monetary policies.

Despite the many advantages of democracy, there is tendency for politicians to overpromise, overspend and underdeliver in the long term. This results in huge deficits that must eventually be paid, either through higher taxes or significantly devaluing currency. In a democracy, governments eventually become too big and too powerful and spend too much money. Therefore, more and more people become directly or indirectly dependent on the government. That’s when a nation becomes a welfare state. The larger and more centralized a government becomes, the higher the risk that it will lead to a real disaster in the long run.

It is absolutely crucial that a democratic system maintain self-correcting mechanisms by keeping government size and control at reasonable levels. However, people must also be realistic about what they can expect from a government.

This is a long-term trend that can be observed in many Western countries with far-reaching consequences for people. From an investment-management point of view, currency diversification should be the key focus in coming years. It will be an almost ideal environment for precious metals and hard currencies.

In a previous article, I compared the performance of various foreign currencies against each other and against the two major currencies, the U.S. dollar and the euro. Many people say they do not understand currency markets. Keep it simple and look at foreign currencies like stock prices. The prices of currencies measure the performance of countries, just as the prices of stocks measure the performance of companies.

Looking at currency markets, especially their short-term volatility, people tend to forget about the main forces driving currencies. The chart below shows how the most common foreign currencies have performed in recent years. The best and most stable currency in the world has been the Swiss franc.

 

World Currency Comparisons

With a lot of money-printing going on in the world, it is not a surprise that the Swiss franc has kept outperforming all major currencies. The Swiss franc is, in my opinion, the strongest of all currencies. The chart below shows how much the U.S. dollar lost against the Swiss franc in the past 40 years.

 

In order to understand why the Swiss franc is such a strong currency, many factors need to be considered and understood.

Typically known for its famous chocolate, cheese and for being one of the world’s largest banking centers, Switzerland has much more to offer. Switzerland is a small country with a size of only 16,000 square miles. That’s only about one-quarter the size of Florida. With a population of about 8 million, it is also among the least-populated countries in Europe.

Despite being located in the heart of Europe, Switzerland is one of the very few European countries that have not become a member of the European Union. Because of that, the Swiss franc — not the euro — is Switzerland’s currency. Also, the Swiss National Bank is completely independent.

In order to understand why Switzerland has never joined the European Union, one needs to understand the culture and mentality of its people. Switzerland consists of 26 individual states called “cantons.” All of these cantons have a relatively high degree of independence, as do the smaller communities within each canton.

The roots of the country go back to 1291, when most of today’s territory was controlled by the Habsburg dynasty. Many people suffered under the Habsburg regime, since they didn’t have many rights and had to pay high taxes, usually in the form of agriculture goods, to their rulers. In 1291, three cantons started the Old Swiss Confederacy and began to fight for the freedom of its people and an end to the dark days of tyranny. More and more cantons joined the Confederacy.

In 1815, Switzerland’s independence was recognized by most other European countries. While the need for some centralized government was understood, Swiss people have always remained critical toward large, centralized governments. Democracy in the Swiss understanding means citizens and communities should act responsibly and take care of their own affairs.

Switzerland has also remained neutral during the world wars and kept a very large army for most of the past century. Today, about 100,000 soldiers serve in the army, which is still large, given the relatively small size of the country. The Swiss army is not and has never been a professional army; it is mandatory for Swiss men to join the army and serve the country.

I remember my days in the army. I was only 20 years old, and at that time I didn’t really like it or understand the sense of it. Only later did I start to realize what a great school of life my time in the army was, and how much it taught me about freedom and responsibility.

The events of recent years, especially the events in Europe, such as the war in former Yugoslavia or the increasing tensions among European countries, have made me realize things are a lot less stable than we would like. I think the strong sense for neutrality and freedom has remained one of the reasons Switzerland has always been so stable.

Another important factor is the kind of democratic system we have. The Swiss Parliament consists of two chambers, the Council of States and the National Council. The Federal Council, the “Bundesrat,” consists of seven members, each elected for a term of four years. What is unique about this direct democracy is that people can challenge any decision or law with a referendum — all it takes is for 100,000 people to sign such a referendum. This is a very important corrective mechanism in a democracy.

Switzerland was able to stay out of the two world wars by remaining independent. Despite the relatively large size of the Swiss army at that time, it would have been difficult to stop an enemy in case of an attack, especially from Nazi Germany. However, the Germans knew they would need to pay a very high price if they attacked Switzerland. Switzerland’s army was and is well-trained to fight and defend the country — especially in the mountains, which have hundreds of bunker systems, some so large that they look like little villages inside of mountains.

The fact that Switzerland’s infrastructure wasn’t destroyed in any of the world wars also meant the country had a competitive advantage during the rebuilding period after the war. Many large corporations established their international headquarters in Switzerland, and many have stayed here ever since. Today, the main advantages for corporations are the almost-perfect geographical location, a business-friendly tax system and the high level of internationalization in the economy. The tax system for corporations and residents is attractive no matter its level of profit or income. The European Union has called Switzerland’s low tax rates unfair, since taxes are much lower than in the European Union. How can a tax system, which encourages competition and ensures efficient use of taxpayers’ money be unfair?

This conflict with the European Union shows the fundamentally different approach Switzerland has taken. It is a country in which each canton and each community has a high degree of fiscal responsibility. It’s where people make the government, not vice versa.

I think many countries, especially large Western nations, can learn a lot from the Swiss system of democracy. Many Western nations are finding themselves in a difficult position today. The chronic overspending and wasting of tax money has resulted in a very heavy debt burden, which has become almost unbearable. Governments should always work in the best interest of their people and act diligently and responsibly when spending tax money. Governments should be lean and efficient, working for their people and not against them.

While it is in the best interest of any nation to have a social-security system that provides help to people who really need it, overextending welfare will give the wrong incentive to people who should never depend on a government to help them.

Daniel Zurbrügg

is the Managing Partner of Alpine Atlantic Global Asset Management, a Swiss-based independent investment management firm. The firm provides clients with independent investment management, asset protection and family office services and is the issuer of the global investment newsletter Echo From The Alps. With a global network of partners, Alpine Atlantic's aim is to provide clients with true "turnkey" solutions for global investing. Prior to setting up Alpine Atlantic, Daniel held various positions with other banks and financial companies. Daniel is a Chartered Financial Analyst and regular guest speaker at international investment conferences.

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  • Cawmun Cents

    If I hid my nation within a bank for the rich and shameless of the world,I could seem to represent the best of democracy too.It wouldnt be hard if everything around me was chaos and I always had order.But it is assumed that this is like all the other times before it,and no democracy is an island to itself.So there may be differing circumstances to Swiss efficacy,than in ages past.The rich and shameless might not be able to control the unruly masses this time aound.A non-professional army that hasnt done much fighting in the last 300 years,might be big,but it might not withstand a major assault either.That is the gamble you take when you make a nation about worldly bank security.Personally I hope they continue to thrive.-CC.

    • bob wire

      No kidding Cawawmunn Cents, ~ playing middle man to the world has advantages untold.

      It’s like at 63 and I look around me, ~ I know many people from all walks of life, attorneys, doctors , firemen, teachers, defense contractor workers, bakery workers, Coors employees, city and state government employees, carpenters, clerks, salesmen, ~ they all have one thing in common, money and what they elect to do with it.

      Most Buy houses, raise families, some skip the family scene and just buy any and everything. But you really never know whats going on behind those walls. You know only want you see, cars parked in the drive and their coming and going. You are left with your ideas and “appearances” often fail to tell the whole story.

      So I wonder why a nation as prosperous as Switzerland has such a high suicide rate. But it was a good well written title post and that Daniel included that it was his years in the Army and his experiences abroad that offered quandary and insight to how other people live as I came away with similar thoughts from my experiences in the Tropics.

      Life is all about what you devote your resources and attention on and America and American’s would do well to look around, at people and nations that have came and gone and the ones that’s still here with us today, China being the oldest by 5000 years.

      I sometimes feel America is just too reactionary and in too much of a hurry in addressing other peoples business while ignoring their own. Just who gave us this “problem solving to the world ” position? “Might” doesn’t constitute right. With “might” should come benevolence. Benevolence is rooted in love and understanding, I’m not completely sure that we possess that balance yet.

      • Daryn Kent-Duncan

        We were not founded as a democracy. Our Founders specifically rejected democracy. Democracy does not protect individual rights; it is majority, or mob, rule. Our government was supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, with powers of government strictly limited. It is the violation of our Constitution and the protection of our individual rights that has resulted in every problem we have.

        • Vagabond

          so right Daryn. and the damned politicians are the greatest problem,

          • Richard Pawley

            But we keep electing them, over and over, the same Democrats and the same Republicans. It is up to us to stop what is going on while this is still possible. Our nation is broke, so broke they started just printing money last year to the tune of 70,000 MILLION Dollars a month. OK, they don’t even have to print it any more. As I said in “The Last Days of the Late Great United States and the Great Famine that Followed” they just enter numbers in a computer, or lots of computers. In 16 and a half months we have ONE LAST CHANCE TO CHANGE THINGS IN THIS NATION. I do not believe we can prevent the tripling of prices that all the previous spending of money we don’t have by congress is going to cause, but it could be so much worse, if we just keep spending money we don’t have. In my autobiography I called what is coming The Greater Depression and all I can suggest doing is that you start acting like the stores will soon be empty, and your money will soon be worthless. I don’t really expect that this year, and I hope not next (but some much smarter people that I are saying this will begin before the next president takes office). Since there is no downside to preparing those who are wise are doing what they can, and the fact that you can’t do a lot is no reason not to do anything. What’s that old saying, “Chance favors those who are prepared”?

        • Vigilant

          You’re absolutely right.

          And Mr. Zurbrügg would do well to understand that. While “Confoederatio Helvetica” is nominally a confederation, its government operates as a federal republic.

        • Lawrence Ekdahl

          AMEN!

          • FreedomFighter

            The return to constitutional based republic our founders designed, will result in unbounded economic success and social freedom for America and Americans.

            Progress in Advanced Robotics is about to revolutionize manufacturing, medicine and so much more. Americans can leverage this coming boom to be the manufacturing and tech center of the world again, and for the next 100 years.

            We only need the political will to do it.

            Laus Deo
            Semper Fi

        • Carlucci

          Exactly. Look what “democracy” has done to America, courtesy of the federal mafia.

      • Vigilant

        bob wire says, “Benevolence is rooted in love and understanding, I’m not completely sure that we possess that balance yet.”

        Try a little benevolence, love and understanding on the Muslim world and see how far that gets you.

        Historically, America has been, and continues to be, the most charitable nation on earth. Natural catastrophe or man-made, Americans have been more supportive of the afflicted peoples, and have contributed more charitable funds, than any nation on earth.

        • Vagabond

          Vigilant you might amend that to read ALL NATIONS on earth,

          • Vigilant

            Agreed.

        • bob wire

          “Try a little benevolence, love and understanding on the Muslim world and see how far that gets you.”

          No thanks, ~ I speak of the sane, a world of rational thought. There comes times , even inside your own family “Hard Love” is the only way out of a bad situation but this does not take away from my statement, with “Might” comes “Responsibilities” and benevolence is but one of them.

          The fact that we “could” is not now or ever been a validation that we “should”

          That the some Muslims take compassion as a sign of weakness is their failing and not ours, Men that will hide behind women’s skirts and shot at you are not men but lesser life forms and to react in kind is a place I personally refuse to go.

          Allow us to accept the fact the Muslim world community has a unique problem and take them on a “one on one” bases and not a one size fit all. To do otherwise, you punish all for the transgressions of the few and there is just to darn many of them to address the problem in such a way ~ as easy as it might sound and as bad as you might wish to “REACT”

        • Libertarian

          Really? On a % basis of the GDP, we are FAR behind the Scandinavian nations… please, check your stats, ok?

      • Marten

        Mankind has not yet evolved to a level of Consciousness, Compassion and Integrity to make what-ever succesful Transition is, like egoless World……

        • Libertarian

          That, my friend, will take time… which we might not be given the priviledge of having by the Globalists/Banksters/Shape-shifting Lizzards!

      • MaryofArizona

        @Bob Wire…wow, that was wonderful. Are you married?

    • Louise Z

      Right on, CC, I totally concur with all you said.
      I will add that, so far, the dictatorial EU (and the rest of the world too) has left the alpine haven relatively alone, since the “elites” of governments, business and crime need to stash the money, legally or unlawfully earned somewhere. That may change soon, especially in the EU, where cash-strapped governments will need to track every penny of avoided (or evaded) tax in order to survive, after Germany and the relatively few other “haves” will come to the conclusion that they must band together and abandon the other (failed) states.

    • http://www.blogspot.snowflakehell.com Ken Brody

      Switzerland is rich because of its policies, not because they were favored for largesse. They have skillfully positioned themselves to take advantage of their stability and neutrality. They aren’t rich in either population or natural resources. Their arable land is not large enough for export agriculture.
      If you compare Switzerland with Latvia, a country with similar natural endowments and talents, but lacking the form of government or the stability, you can see what worked for Switzerland.
      One thing is obvious: the further government gets from the governed, the more abusive and intrusive it will get. Local things must be handled locally. A New World Order can be nothing but semi-divinity for the rulers and hell for the rest of us.

      • Cawmun Cents

        Methinks Mr.Brody that you discount locale.You see,Switzerland is nestled conveniently between all of the major players in the European continent.Latvia however is not.Centralized location is the key to solving the riddle which you posed.It is WHERE,not how.The way to protect is to surround.Take the Vatican for example.Centralized in Rome for your enjoyment.Latvia is a Baltic country,and can be attacked by sea.This is where your vision is clearly clouded.The Swiss are located in an efficient area to make them who they are.Their proximity to all the most influencial nations in Europe make them the location by which all can be made happy….comprehende!

    • get right

      Question: Is this author recommending that we also have Universal Health care which is mandatory in Switizerland and the 2003 stats show it was then 11.5% of their GDP?

      • Libertarian

        The most fascinating part about this whole question is that it is the Military personnel, pensioniers and others who ALREADY GET the socialized medical care who oppose the extension of it for others the MOST…

    • Penny R. Freeman

      What is your beef with Switzerland? Are you jealous because citizens of other nations have left their government to politicians and allowed apathy to make them less involved and less aware of what is really going on in their governing bodies while Switzerland hasn’t allowed that? What about Israel, are you jealous of them as well? All citizens in Israel, men and women, are required to serve in their military and defend their nation. To be as tiny as that nation is and totally surrounded by enemies I think they’ve doing quite well. And to make one correction to the misconception about the U.S.A. this nation was founded as a republic, not a democracy. Yes there is a difference. In a republic the government is meant to be small and representative of the people. In a democracy, though it looks the same on the surface as a republic, the government is less representative of the people. Yes both forms elect their officials, but the U.S. government was intended by the founders to be small and more directly connected to the people. It was never intended that politicians in this nation make a career of government. And it wasn’t intended for them to spend months in D.C. trying to come to agreement on various issues that were intended for each state to set in their own laws. Our Constitution is supposed to be the document that set the law of the land. The tenth amenment is: The powers not delgated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. In other words if the power and responsibility isn’t set in the Constitution then it is to be something set by the laws of the various states and the people in those states. Does that sound like our legislature was meant to change the law set in the Constitution at will? NO! The government’s job in the U.S.A. is to ” establish Justice,provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” That is a direct quote from the preamble to the Constitution just like what is above is the tenth amendment, so don’t think I misspelled anything or incorrectly puntuated or used capital letters in places they shouldn’t have been. None of that says our legislature is to spend our monies anyway they please in order to get reelcted or spend their lives in government. And the tenth amendment reiterates that if it isn’t a power allowed to the U.S. government by the Constitution it is a power reserved for the states and the people, the people being the ones to directly influence their own state governments. If you are an American it would be in your best interest to actually learn what is in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence and what our country was meant to be as set by the founders before you show your jealousy of another nation. If more people actually learned what the Constitution says we’d be able to hold our legislature and president more directly accountable to the people of this great country.

  • http://none Floyd Hardee

    I see Dan got in his jibe at social security. He is wrong on that point. The government has not overspent their money. They over spent ours on programs we did not authorize. They think everybody who has a need, including government workers, and greedy congressmen, should be eligible to draw from the funds, yet not have to pay into them. Our troubles all stem from the tax and spend attitude our esteemed(just joking) leaders have taken over the years. They give themselves raises they don’t deserve while the country is getting deeper and deeper into debt because of themselves!It is not our fault, or social securities fault, we are deep in debt. It is their fault, and I have not heard a single one of them admit it! Have you? So what is their answer…cut benefits to those who have paid into social security, not eliminate those who did not pay into it, and who don’t deserve it. Will Rogers once jokingly said,”We have the best Representatives money can buy”. Sorry Will, if you were here now you would have to revise that statement, because we no longer have the best that money can buy….anyone can do a better job than what most of them are doing!

    • DaveH

      I think you misunderstood Will’s remark, Floyd. When he said “We have the best Congress money can buy”, he was talking about special interests buying influence.

    • Vagabond

      way to go Floyd. and so true,

    • armyvet

      Floyd, you are right. Starting with LBJ moving the SS funds into the general fund, they have stole the money and replaced them with worthless iou’s back by the National Debt. We not only lost the money but the interest it would have earned. Now, they insinuate it is our fault (seniors) and cut our benefits. Why don’t they cut their own benefits? Why don’t they shut off benefits to illegals who didn’t pay into it? We have scum in Washington. Time to do something about it.

  • DaveH

    Sure, we could learn a lot from the Swiss, but we could learn a lot from our own heritage, if, and it’s a big if, the Government schools would allow it. We had a system of Freedom like no other, but it was thwarted by power hungry Leaders like Alexander Hamilton, who, like all power hungry leaders, thought they knew best for everybody else. The propaganda to glorify the state has been going on a long time and has effectively suppressed most peoples’ desire for freedom, to the advantage of the Leaders who party hardy on our labor.
    A sign of the times is the tendency for Hamilton to be elevated as a great founding father and for Jefferson to be increasingly ignored.
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo196.html

    • Vigilant

      It’s exceptionally distressing that the wisdom of Jefferson has been assailed from both the left and the right.

      The Democrats, who once called themselves the party of Jefferson, threw him under the bus when they realized his small government philosophy was diametrically opposed to their dreams of statism and socialist Utopia.

      The religious right dropped him from the list of great 18th century revolutionary thinkers merely because he was a proponent of religious freedom. See http://www.aolnews.com/2010/03/12/texas-removes-thomas-jefferson-from-teaching-standard/

      Shameful, absolutely shameful.

  • http://www.diyyardandhome.com Dan

    If the US was a democracy then maybe it would be a good role model but we are not, we are republic and there is a big difference.

    • vicki

      There is indeed and we are the better for it. Had we been a “democracy” we would have long since devolved into an oligarchy. Though there is much evidence that we have indeed done that anyway since we seem to have abandoned the rule of law (The Constitution).

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4r0VUybeXY

      • Vagabond

        yes Vicki. our politicians have very well abandoned the rule of law and are prety well ignoring the CONSTITUTION which is the supreme LAW OF THE LAND, I am afraid four more years of this despotic regime there will be no constitution,

      • Vigilant

        Correctamundo! The democratization of America has led to socialism, a threat that was well known to the Founders. When socialism fails, as it has inevtiably done at every point in history, dictatorship has been the normal result.

        We are more than tending in that direction. The gradualism of this pernicious influence over the last 100 years has accelerated to a breakneck speed under Obama and a socialist congress.

        • Vigilant

          The deterioration of socialism into dictatorship may be playing out before our eyes in Greece as we speak. I somehow feel that as violence and civil disorder increase there, you’ll see “the Generals” return to run things as they have done in the past.

          • vicki

            Agreed. One question. Since Socialism is “any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.”

            How is it different from a dictatorship? 100% control by a small number or single individual.

          • Vigilant

            “How is it different from a dictatorship?”

            It’s “dictatorship lite.”

          • vicki

            May their chains rest lightly upon them. But chains they are. No such thing as dictatorship lite.

            There is such a thing as benevolent dictatorship but there is only one possible dictator I could trust for that. Me. :)

        • Libertarian

          Prior to Mr. Bush illigitimately taking office in 2000 there were budget surpluses which were projected to be over 7 trillion $ by 2010… his tax-cuts for the rich (funded by us, the poor and the middle class) & the phoney “war on terror” destroyed it for us, but were part of the bigger design to make sure the NWO gets implemented.

          BTW, the proper term to be used in this case is: “Fascism”, not “Socialism”. Please, go & find the definitions for the two terms, especially in relation to personal freedom, ok?

          • vicki

            Perhaps you should study more before claiming that which can not possibly exist. There was never a Clinton surplus. The facts are there for all to see.

            Since proof by bald assertion is not a good debate practice I shall include a cite to backup my assertion.
            http://www.craigsteiner.us/articles/16

          • vicki

            Since both facism and socialism depend on government control and the more the control the better I see no functional difference between the 2

            Perhaps you would find the following video clip enlightening on this.
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4r0VUybeXY

  • http://www.poorgrandchildren.com Poorgrandchildren

    What BS, talking about a good democracy. Our founders rejected democracy (mob rule) as the disastrous form of government it is and mandated a republic (rule of law) in Article 4, Section 4. In democracies, individuals have the right to vote and no others. The best organized mob in a de-mob-ocracy can say, “We won so everyone march in lockstep with us.” Our democracy got started about 1900 with the rise of the mislabeled “progressives”.

    • UPCHUCK

      Right poorgrandchrildren!
      Democracy has been described as 2 wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner. But I have a new respect for the Swiss. Last week, the subversive Bilderburgers were meeting in Switzerland and a couple of Government members of their Congress were harassing them to the point of their having to break up early. Would that our Government officials do likewise instead of being part of the organization.

    • Louise Z

      Churchill would not say anymore today “Democracy is the worst form of government… except all the others” but “Democracy is the worst form of government”, period.
      It’s one of the most holy terms used to mask the worst abuses committed in its name: the German Democratic Republic and the Congo Democratic Republic, were anything but. Hitler, Ahmadinedjad and Hamas, among others, were also brought in that way.
      As long as a majority of 50,0000001% takes the day, leaving the other 49,9999999% with no rights nor freedoms, civic deterioration will accelerate and bring us, the Western World, to our inglorious end.
      And what about allowing 18 year olds, still living at home and vaguely engaged in some dubious studies and/or menial jobs? Brainwashed by academia, the leftist elites and the media, they choose the easy path (at least they think so) to riches by helping to elect phonies and demagogues such as the current occupant of the White House.

      • Vagabond

        you got it Louise. the i8 year olds are the ones the democrats go after for that very reason. there are some very btight i8 year olds I met quite a few of them in the service. however the ones you describe out number them far too many,

        • karolyn

          And those irresponsible 18 yr. olds are the ones that don’t even vote. I’ve seen enough of them at the community college I go to. They could care less, so don’t worry about them!

          • Kate8

            karolyn – Socialists get college kids to vote by rallying them around single bleeding-heart causes, like giving equal status to illegals. They are led to believe that conservatives are evil and must be defeated.

            Some don’t care, but the youth are the easiest to stir up. If nothing else, they join in just for the comeraderie.

      • Daniel from TN

        Federal voting age was changed to 18 during the Johnson administration. Many states changed their voting age to 18 at that time as well. I was 16 at that time and I knew then that changing the voting age was a mistake. 18 year olds are more interested in their friends, what class to enroll in, the prom, dating, graduation, etc. They’re not interested in politics. Yes, a few teens are interested, but as a group they are not. When I was teaching I saw the Liberal influence embedded in the education system; an influence the teachers unions (NOT associations) will fight to keep. The public schools are producing good Liberals; not good citizens, something our country will need in the future.

        • Conservative at Birth

          Wrong! During the Nixon administration. Only done, mistakenly to quell the noise from the draft age people (of which I was one.

          • Andy

            And many places lowered the drinking age to 18 at that time for the same reason. Didn’t take long to figure out that was a bad idea. 18 year old voting is just as bad as 18 year old drinking.

      • Vigilant

        Tha’s why I say our attention needs to be focused much more on public so-called “education.” As time goes on, more and more of each graduating class of socialist programees will change the complexion of our government via the ballot box.

        We scrutinize each political candidate under a microscope while Rome burns. Unless and until we can eradicate this insidious disease in our schools, I’m afraid our children and grandchildren will be doomed to suffer a government that is a pure communist dictatorship. Sadly, Krushchev’s prediction is likely to come true.

        • Andy

          The only way you will change the schools is to take back local control. Do you think the Fed and their toadies at the state level will let that happen ?

          • armyvet

            The first schools in the USA were private schools. Most were provided by the early Christians, then local communities. The trouble started when the Fed Government took over. Ever increasing taxes to meet the Fed requirements and poorer education. Private schools who teach the truth, have a hard time keeping their heads above water, trying to meed Fed standards to be accredited, but not getting any of the tax money. Their sole support is from tuition and donations from people who also pay the taxes for public schools that their children do not attend.

  • Elevenarrows

    I agree with Poorgrandchildren! Thank you for pointing out we are a republic. I get so frustrated listening to everyone call us a democracy. Even our “leaders” do that.

    One other thought I wanted to add is that if Switzerland values independence so much, why did they go along with the UN and ratify the abominable Convention on the Rights of the Child??? That is a nice sounding name, but if you read it and if you observe what it has caused in other countries, you realize how horrible and damaging it is. Only Somalia and America have not ratified it. Hilary Clinton has said she intends to push ratification through. The UNCRC removes parental authority. It undermines the family. It is the catalyst behind ripping kids out of their homes and destroying families. If you are not aware of this dangerous piece of legislation, go to parentalrights.org and learn about it. Thankfully, there are still good men and women in Congress who are fighting to keep this from our shores. They need your support. I’m not at all impressed with the Swiss way of doing things since they have removed one of the fundamental rights for their people: the right to rear children and nurture them in a way the parents believe is best.

    • UPCHUCK

      Quite right Elevenarrows
      It takes a family to raise a village

    • DaveH

      I was watching a documentary about a family of three kids several years ago. The Government took the kids from the mother because they claimed she wasn’t feeding them right. They then split the children up to different families or orphanages. The lady being interviewed was looking for her siblings. She described how the foster home or orphanage (don’t remember which) would lock her in a closet until she would quit crying.
      My niece, who is a real piece of work, had two foster kids that were taken from their mothers for drug abuse. She can go from zero to bee-awch in sixty seconds while sitting on her fat butt and screaming at the children for every little thing. I don’t know what their life was like before her, but I wouldn’t wish their life with her on any child.
      Oh yeah, you gotta love the wisdom and compassion of Big Government.

      • karolyn

        Dave – Of course, there are bad foster parents who use the kids for money and don’t treat them right. However, they are not all bad; and there has to be somewhere for the kids to go when the parents are unable or unwilling to take care of them. People are not exactly clamoring to step up as foster parents. What can the state do? They can’t leave kids with parents who are leaving them home alone at 5 and younger while they’re out whoring around or partying. They can’t leave them in filthy, disgusting, dangerous conditions. Somebody has to take responsibility. What would you have the state do? What would you do?

        • DaveH

          Don’t kid yourself, Karolyn. There are many people out there that would consider you an unfit mother (or me an unfit father). It just depends on the roll of the dice whether you come under their control or not.
          Few people, for example, would have approved the way I raised my teenage rebellious daughter (she came to me that way as her mother was a control freak). I gave her complete freedom as if she was an adult, my only rule being that she had to pay for her own mistakes. She went through some rough years and many bad choices, but she had nobody to rebel against, so she learned from her mistakes and became a better person. She is a very well adjusted adult now with two children of her own.
          Society needs to be very wary when allowing those in Government to mess with other peoples’ families.
          To think that They’re from the Government, and They’re there to Help, is just downright naive.
          As Lord Acton said “where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

          • DaveH

            There are many of these examples out there, Karolyn:
            http://cpsasystemoutofcontrol.blogspot.com/2010/02/beware-child-protective-services.html

            You need to quit being so naive.

          • DaveH

            Who gets to make those subjective opinions about what is best for the children?
            http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/texas-supreme-court-return-the-children/

          • DaveH

            Here’s another:
            http://mises.org/daily/2967

            By the time justice is finally served (if ever), the damage has been done.

          • karolyn

            Dave – I certainly know what you’re talking about. My point is about those extremely obvious cases you hear about. Geez, there are people who lock their kids up in cages and tie them to trees! Somebody has to help those poor kids. You raised your daughter very wisely. She’s a lucky girl.

          • karolyn

            Dave – I really am not so naive. Early in my career I worked for the NJ State Division of Youth and Family Services. Of course, at that time, in the 70s, not enough kids were being protected. I am fully aware that there are extremes at both ends of the spectrum.

          • Average Joe

            I believe that Daniel Webster said it best:

            “There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.” Daniel Webster

            For Karolyn:

            A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures.
            Daniel Webster

          • Kate8

            There are lots of fine, decent, mostly Christian people who would take foster children just out of kindness, but the state doesn’t want them going to Christian homes.

            By offering money to people for taking them in, of course you will get a lot of people who do it just for the money, and will not properly care for the kids.

            Stop paying people to do it, and you get folks who really want them.

          • Karolyn

            Kate – In plain English, you’re full of crap! The “state” does not descriminate when it comes to foster homes as far as religious persuasion goes. Where on earth did that come from? I live in the bible belt. If they disallowed Christian foster homes, there would be none at all!

        • DaveH

          This is something everybody should read and think about, now that we’ve given almost complete control of our lives to the state:
          http://mises.org/daily/5376/How-I-Learned-the-Truth-about-the-State

          • karolyn

            Another incident of an overly self-important police officer, which happens so often these days. Personally, I would not have left the dogs by themselves in the first place.

          • DaveH

            Personally, Karolyn, I would have run your life much differently than you have. Does that give me a right to take control? Of course not.

      • Karolyn

        Dave – If I knew a foster parent like your niece, I would report her, plain and simple.

        • DaveH

          Shades of the USSR.
          You still don’t get it, do you Karolyn?
          That is/was my opinion. We all have one. I would not unleash a legal mugging on anybody who wasn’t just evil and well deserving of it.

    • Vagabond

      AMEN,

    • Don

      Elevenarrows, we had the draft in this country and most kids learned a little respect and discipline because of it, if you don’t agree just look around at what’s walking our streets today, if one of the parents could stay home and actually raise that child i might agree with you !

  • Abe

    Why do the rich and shameless of the world go to the Swiss – because they know their money is safe. Be that as it may – will the US ever have the political will to hold a referundum on its laws and see what the people actually think. In our form of representative government there is no say for the individual citizen. If his representative chooses to vote for something that the citizen does not believe in there is nothing that he can do but sit tight until the next elections. Unless the states have more freedom to function within the federal framework true democracy will be absent and in its place there will be a big autocratic government that bullies states and the people into submitting to its whims and fancies.

    • vicki

      Let me tell you a little story about Democracy. Not too long ago I had the opportunity to watch a pure democracy develop while watching the news. I watched as about 15 people got together and exercised their right to vote. They were voting on what to do with a pickup truck. They voted 14-1 to tear it apart. Having voted and passed their “will of the people” they tore the truck apart. But they were not finished. They next voted (14-1) to burn the truck. The truck burned. Still not satisfied they held one more vote. They voted (14-1) to beat up the driver. The driver was later taken to a hospital

      Democracy had come to the land of the Pharaoh.

      Let us instead stick with a Constitutionally LIMITED Republic such as we had back when those we elected actually honored their oath.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4r0VUybeXY

      • wayne937

        Vickie, this website was great to listen to. Thanks, It was explained very well and I learned something. I hope everyone listens to it.

    • Daniel from TN

      A lot of changes are needed in the way OUR government operates. I’ve stated for some time the states will have to produce these changes because Congress has no desire to change the status quo. I firmly believe we need another constitutional convention to address the current problems with the government and their solutions. I realize a convention could open a can of worms, but isn’t that what we have now, especiaaly with the current administration?

      • vicki

        A Constitutional Convention would be a disaster for our people. Due to the dumbing down of the people we have no chance of writing a Constitution anywhere near as good as the current one.

        Imagine just a new Constitution with all the articles in place and missing the first 10 Amendments. Think of the fun the Government would have with law then.

    • armyvet

      What we need is the right to re-call. When our Rep’s do not follow the will of his constituents, they should be able to pull him from his job and replace him with one that will.

      • vicki

        We HAVE that right. Have had it since the beginning. I presume you are suggesting being able to recall them right NOW vs every 2 or 4 or 6 years.

        And why do you think that would change anything? If they could be ousted at any time they would be 100% campaigning and never actually do anything.

        • Average Joe

          Actually, if they were doing nothing…we would all be much better off…just a thought….

          • vicki

            You have a good point there :)

  • Fazool

    The success of the Swiss nation is derived from UNITY!
    Despite some cultural differences in language (French, German, Italian, Romanch), the Swiss are unified in their support of their country. They don’t encourage “diversity”. There is no need to”assimilate” in Switzerland.Think it’s easy to become a Swiss citizen? HAH! Forget about “illegals”.You won’t see any flag burnings or the hoisting of other nations’ flags above theirs. They support (or learn soon enoughto support) their military. They do not engage in frivolous wars. There is no “pork barrel” mentality.I’m not a knee-jerk fan of the egotist Michael Savage,: but, he’s RIGHT- to succeed a country must have BORDERS,LANGUAGE, and CULTURE!

    • Carlucci

      Well, I’ve been to Switzerland a couple of times – Geneva and Zurich. It is a gorgeous country, great climate, good food, and for the most part, the people looked happy and prosperous. Of course no country is perfect. They were having issues with junkies shooting up in front of everyone in public parks, and my husband was solicited at least a dozen times in broad daylight from prostitutes calling to him from their window sills. But at least they weren’t doing that on the streets.

      I learned later that everyone in Switzerland is armed to the teeth. Smart people. Even smarter to remain neutral. As a matter of fact, when family discussions get heated and I’m asked for my opinion, I always yell out “Switzerland!”

      • Average Joe

        An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
        Robert A. Heinlein

        Enuff said…..

  • Former Walmart person

    Who would have thought that not engaging in sensless wars makes a nation more prosperous and actually more secure? Why isn’t al-CIA-da targeting the “soft target” Switzerland? According to the neo cons, switz ought to be ripe for terrorist warmongering!!!

    • DaveH

      Good point, Person.
      I suspect that Switzerland is in much more danger from the European Union or the United States.

  • eddie47d

    Most of the world will benefit from the rights of children. They are exploited all over the world and treated as property and labor for parents.The USA and the unions fought against child abuses in the workforce so maybe this convention isn’t needed here. Then again some states are loosening child labor laws and will allow children in the fields and factories. On the issue of Switzerland their people seem to work for the good of the nation and know if they don’t hang together they will be taken over and hung separately.They are similar to Israel in that matter. I don’t agree with their banking system in allowing dictators and thieves to hide their loot there. So would they survive without having this arrangement? A nation can sell only so much cheese!

    • DaveH

      Don’t kid yourself, Eddie. Unions fought against the competition that would be offered by children.
      When I worked at a cement plant during the summers as a teenager, I was giving the Union members fits because they didn’t like me making them look bad. They were continually coaxing me to “slow down” “take it easy”. But I enjoyed working hard. And the money was ridiculously good. I would have just worked there for the rest of my life, but I have an aversion to loud noise (the mills), and sticky dust, and pushy Unions.

      • eddie47d

        There is a difference in enacting child abuse laws and enforcing them. We still have companies that pollute even though it is aginst the law.One way to have enforceable laws is to grow government and you know how that works.

        • wayne937

          Eddie47d, kids work harder when then play, then they do when they do actual work. It is just not the thing they enjoy, thats all. It does not hurt to make kids work for their money. This teaches them responsibility after they grow up. My brothers and I worked all through the years from 6 years old on up sawing wood with a 2 man cross cut saw, and then cutting and splitting the wood after sawing. Beside we had other chores, and other things to do on the farm. Another thing, when I grew up we did not have any running water, or any electricity. We had an outhouse. As you can see we grew up hard and learned at an early age to take responsibility for ourselves. Looking back through those years I know that this formed my life to be a Conservative Person and I am proud of it. I expect a little of this from the government, but I have never seen any constraints from our government to be responsible.

          • vicki

            I live in California. I was not allowed to work as a child. As a result I had few marketable skills when I entered the work force. One of the problems with child labor law is they never bother to ask the children.

            Forced labor? I agree with Eddie47d. It should not happen. But if children want to work (Yes they are out there) then they should not be blocked by government decree.

          • DaveH

            How about encouraged to work, Vicki, like those whose wise parents don’t just give them everything they desire?
            The only child labor I would be against would be that where the parents are taking most of the money from them that they worked for (kind of like our parents — the Government).

      • Dennis48e

        “, I was giving the Union members fits because they didn’t like me making them look bad. They were continually coaxing me to “slow down” “take it easy”. But I enjoyed working hard.”

        I had the same experience I left that job for a non-union job that paid just as much with better benefits and never looked back.

    • DaveH

      I enjoyed working as a child. In my adolescent days I would trim hedges, mow lawns, and water my aunt’s rentals for $5/month. It doesn’t sound like much, but in those days $5 could buy about 5 times what $5 can buy now. Most importantly, I could spend the money pretty much on whatever I wanted. Then in high school when I wanted to work I found that I had to get permission from the school for something I wanted to do. Even then, I thought “how ridiculous”. What business was it of theirs?
      And why would Government want kids not to learn a work ethic?
      It’s no wonder the kids these days are joining gangs and getting into trouble.

      • Conservative at Birth

        There are fewer jobs for young people because of the minimum wage laws, which is a socialist idea.

        • vicki

          Minimum wage. An artificial floor on the supply/demand equation. It can not possibly work. It merely forces a reduction in the supply of jobs because companies can only hire 1 able bodied person (if that) instead of 4 (for an example)

          The company produces less which they have to then sell for a higher price. It encourages companies to replace humans with machines that don’t have minimum wages. It encourages companies to build factories elsewhere. It encourages people to move to where they CAN work.

          • DaveH

            A real-life example. Decades ago, my wife and I were pondering hiring an in-house maid. We were willing to pay a good cash wage, but if you do that, later on they have the legal ability to sue for unpaid Social Security benefits if they worked in your home. And we didn’t want to fool with jumping through the Government hoops, so we dropped that idea, and some woman out there went without a job. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. No doubt, there are tens of thousands of people out there that go without jobs for similar reasons related to Government meddling.

      • Carlucci

        I started baby sitting when I was 13. I was amazed at how fast the word spread that I was a good baby sitter. I had more requests than I could handle, and when repeat business came from parents with ultra bratty kids, I was so busy, I was in a position to say no (or I would get my mom to answer the phone while I was standing there and she would politely say “Oh, hello Mrs. Betty Smith! How are you?” Mrs. Betty Smith (not her real name) had ultra bratty spoiled rotten kids and I learned my lesson the first time that I would never babysit for her again. So I would look at my mom and shake my head NO! and she would “check my calendar” and see that I was already booked with another family.

        I babysat until I was 19. Great job, and good money for a teenager.
        But it sure put me off of having kids. Never had any of my own.

        • Kate8

          When I was a kid we were always finding ways to make money. In grade school, we had lemonade stands, took care of animals, etc. In high school we helped in local stores, mowed lawns, and we’d pile on trucks that took us to pick strawberries or tomatoes every season(this was before illegals came).

          My kids were always enterprising, too. They’d put on yard sales and work in restaurants.

          Nowdays, these jobs are either taken by illegals or they are so regulated that kids can’t do them without permits and liability insurance.

          And we wonder why kids are aimless these days.

    • Vagabond

      eddie. as a child living on a farm I worked from the time I was big enought carry a hoe. yes I chopped cotton hoed corn and tobaco. then cropped tobaco and picked cotton and I fail to see a damned thing wrong wit children being taught to work, I worked on the farm in the summer and worked in the woods in the wniter from the time I was 11 till I joined the Army in 1951 at the ripe old age of 16. and I really dont think it hurt me a bit,

      • eddie47d

        I doubt if you were abused or unfairly paid and that would be an issue with children or even adults. Laws don’t come out of thin air. Someone had to do something wrong long enough to get the attention of someone who enacted the law. The issue shouldn’t be about whether they work or not but about those abuses. Some parents use to force their kids to work in dangerous factories and the owners took advantage of them.

        • karolyn

          I’ve seen pictures of children working in sweatshops in the late 19th, early 20th century.

          • DaveH

            You have been trained well, Karolyn.
            Have you seen pictures of Zimbabwe or Cuba or North Korea? I’m not talking about the pictures their Governments want you to see. I’m talking about pictures of what most of their people really live like thanks to the “benevolence” of Big Government.
            The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      • armyvet

        Vagabond, I too was raised on a farm and worked on it from the time I was able to carry a hoe. Fed the livestock, milked the cows, and all the jobs I grew into, until drafted in the military at age 19. I don’t regret it a bit. I learned to work. I am now 78 and have earned my own living, raised a large family without the Governments help. I taught my children a work ethic as well and they all have good jobs not dependant on the Government. If the government would back off and let us all alone, quit paying people not to work with the money from those who do, we would not have the economic problems we face today.

      • wayne937

        Vagabond, same with me. We were poor growing up, and had very little money. I worked at home cutting trees down for firewood and then chopping the wood up for winter time. After 12 years of age I worked on truck farms 9 hours a day for 5 1/2 days and they would let us off at 3:00 PM on Saturday. I made $2.00 per day. After tax I had very litte money left. I reckon by doing this is what made me a Conservative for which I am proud. I hate to see things wasted. I saw so much waste the 4 years I was in the U.S Air Force it made me sick to my stomach. If we could just eliminate waste from our government we would all be a lot better off. When I was in Japan we were selling our fighter jets to the Japanese Government for $1.00 each. I would also have to cut up brand new 20 MM machine gun barrels with cosmaline ( a grease like substance) still on the barrels. When I would work KP, I would observe the cooks throwing out containers after containers of food. Since I saw this in just a few areas here I was stationed, think of all the waste all over the country, and in foreign land where we had military bases.

    • Daniel from TN

      Swiss banking laws have changed in recent years. If a country can present evidence that money in a Swiss account is being used for criminal or terrorist activity the bank will put a hold on that account. The money stays in the account but the account holder cannot access the money. Money can be confiscated by another government but the procedure is complicated and requires several years to complete.

  • ONTIME

    The Swiss and the Isralies are both small, highly organized intelligent thinkers and if Israel had the mountanous protection of the swiss, I can just imagine how they too would thrive finacially and economically. The Swiss are business, they have had ties to the nazis in the past and the jews, they have banned for the wealthiest countries and people in the world and until recently managed to keep their information well protected. Crime and pressure from around the world has forced their hand in some areas and they still maintain that air of privacy for their clients.

    Mandatory army experience and the Vaticans Guard are notable, the country is pristine and the people are well schooled, they understand their past and their history. French, Italian and German is their make-up and the interspersing of this mix has led to a most industrious people willing to guard their fortune, the Swiss have a lot to admire.

  • Raggs

    And to think that the dumbass democommies cannot figure out why our economy is tanking in the US while every other nation is growing.

    REGULATIONS!!!!!!!

  • http://MSN.com Alice

    When I was in Switzerland I saw too many Muslims with women face-covering clothing in a Swiss Airport. I think Muslims is everywhere and they like live in Western Europe. Muslim women are segregating themselves” by wearing a veil yet 77 percent thought they should have the right to wear it.
    Although the Balkans and Eastern Europe have indigenous Muslim populations, most Muslims in western Europe are members of immigrant communities. “The issue of Islamic dress is linked with issues of immigration and the position of Islam in western society. “

    • Vigilant

      Alice, it’s difficult to go through any European airport without seeing a host of Muslims. Looks like it’s getting that way in the USA too.

      According to Wikipedia, about 5% of the Swiss population is Muslim. “In the wake of the Wangen minaret controversy, a popular initiative was passed with 57.5% of the popular vote in November 2009, introducing a ban on the construction of new minarets.”

  • Dan az

    I give the Swiss credit for staying out of the NWO European Union.And the fact that they are only one quarter the size of Florida makes sense that a democracy would work to their benefit.But they had better watch out for the big industry guys.Iceland was doing good until they moved in.I’m also glad that they are awake of the fact that the bilderbergs and rothchilds of this world are using their country to destroy nations and that they refuse to let them do it on their soil.I feel though that they too are not immune to what is taking place around the globe and they had better be ready,its only a matter of time.You cant have world order if there is still a rogue nation that refuse’s to play.

  • steve in AZ

    Strictly out of curiosity, what ethnicity are the Swiss, anyway? Or do they share any ethnicity with each other?

    Do they have their own language? Their own food? Do they really exist? Has anyone ever actually SEEN a swiss, other than a cheese?

    Are they the ancestors of the Wisconsin cheese-heads,perhaps? I know! they are world -famous for their beautiful women! No?

    I reckon I may just have to head over there and track down a swiss or two. They might be good barbecued. Woops – can’t do that without leaving the western hemisphere. I’m out.

    • Vigilant

      As Fazool mentioned above, they are primarily French, German and Italian.

      Travelled through there by train in 1986. Since they don’t belong to the EU, they probably still check passports at the border.

      The German-speaking contingent has a reputation for being calculatingly cold and aloof. Don’t know if that’s true or not.

      But I can say this: a beautiful country it is if you like scenic views.

      • armyvet

        I traveled through Switzerland a couple times, 57 years ago. I found them friendly at that time.

      • Kate8

        Haven’t the middle eastern Muslims settled in large numbers in Switzerland, as well?

      • Al Sieber

        Who Fazool?

    • Palin12

      I stayed in Switzerland for one night during a European tour in 1996. I asked the lady at the hotel if she spoke English. She said Yes I speak French, German, Italian, and English. I asked “and Swiss of course”? She got a good laugh and informed me there is no Swiss language.

  • http://Personalliberty Tony

    To Steve:
    The Swiss are a mixture of Germans, French, Italian, and even English. It depends upon what section of Switzerland you’re in depends
    upon the language spoken with culture. The Swiss do have excellent foods such as cheeses, sausages, pastries, chocolate, most importantly
    fondues. Next, i agree with the idea of getting 100,000 signatures to
    petition to recall politicians or laws that are unfair. Hopefully, in my state, Wisc., maybe recall petitions will get rid of the crooked gov. along with legislature that’s becoming an embarrassment. Farewell
    !!

    • Conservative at Birth

      You obviously are a communist sympathizerr, or you would not call the current Legislature and Governor crooks.

      • http://Personalliberty Tony

        To Conservative at Birth:
        Knock off the Mccarthyite accusations for you sound silly. Thank You!!

      • 45caliber

        Conservative – Tony’s union – which is a type of socialism all in itself. Perhaps not communism but close.

  • 45caliber

    I talked with a Swiss tourist a few years ago. He told me several interesting things about their country.

    All houses are to be built to standards by law that allow them to last for several hundred years – not the twenty or so our houses last. It is expensive – but they also give 100 year loans to the family. It isn’t expected that one person will pay off the loans. Most houses are over 300 years old.

    Cars are maintained for vacations. The rest of the year they walk, ride bikes, or take public transit. He told me that he didn’t know of anyone who lived further than 1/2 mile from their work site. The only time the family car was out of the garage was when they went to another country on vacation so they seldom bought gasoline.

    Every male between 18 and 56 has a gun and ammunition in the house. They are expected to practice with it AT LEAST every six months but most go at least once a month. There are firing ranges all over the place and ammo is free. Most have frequent contests. Women shoot almost as frequently as the men do.

    • independent thinker

      “There are firing ranges all over the place and ammo is free.”

      As I understand it only their official practice ammunition is free if they shoot more than that the citizens have to purchase their own ammo.

  • stevor

    Well, is becoming a money-laundering nation a “good plan” to follow? No, I don’t think there’s enough money to be laundered to keep the US afloat that way.

    • Libertarian

      what do you think sustained the BIG banks in the late 80′s, 90′s and into Bush era?

  • http://n/a Terry

    The fed res is the cash cow of the super rich, a small collection of bankers. And some of the cash, obtained by collecting interest from the govt, whose income is from taxes collected from workers, or from printing money which the govt and only the govt can do–if the debt limit is not exceeded– in large amounts makes it’s way into the coffers of the political parties. There it is used to operate, fund, hand picked candidates who toe the line, the party line that is, essentially meaning the candidates are appointed by the powers that be.

    And if most of us had a job, oops position, with a nice salary, office space furnished by taxpayers, unlimited travel privaledges and obscene other benefits would we be willing to give it all up for some principle? Like obeying the Constitution? Living and legislating and judicating within it’s restraints and limitations, on elected officials? Citizens have rights, the restraints are on govt. That is the beaauty of the Constitution, before it was disfigured by the cash cow! I dare say no, but this is not an effort to justify our rotten, with PC and money, really big money, is our govt! Maybe this is why all the power elite seem so afraid of Sarah? My understanding is she took on the establishment in Alaska and won some real reforms?

    The establishment really does not want reform, and defintely do not want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, or to kill the cash cow! All these bonds and other govt interest bearing instruments are really just a form of welfare for the really rich who probably do not want to have to work for a living, and invest their millions in WS where they just might lose some or all of it? Govt interest is a sure thing, no risk! For them, sure income, for workers, taxpayers, one of the two guarantees in life, taxes! But not much else!

    • armyvet

      Let’s elect Sarah Palin!

      • steve in AZ

        I would elect Sarah to go gold prospecting with me in the outback. As my President, I reckon not…

        VOTE RON PAUL 2012!!!

        • Al Sieber

          Steve, are you a prospector? that’s what I do for a living, but I use heavy equipment, and work for other mining Companies? are you looking for a job in the mining industry?

          • Al Sieber

            I’ll second that for Ron Paul.

      • wayne937

        I agree, armyvet. A lot of people don’t like Sarah Palin, but they cannot give a good valid reason why they don’t like her. I think people are just jealous, or the Liberal Media is rubbing off on them.

        • karolyn

          Do YOU know where she stands on all the issues? Does she have a strategy? All she brings is her folksy conservatism but nothing of substance. She is adored just because she’s the “girl next door” and isn’t liberal! She didn’t even know the real story of Paul Revere! Look up videos of her followers being interviewed on YouTube. They don’t have a clue either!

          • 45caliber

            I have relatives who live in Alaska. When her name was first brought up, I asked them about her. They told me that they liked what she had done and was doing there and so did their Democrat friends. She cut their spended a lot, got rid of some perks like a private airplane for the governor, and had gotten rid of a lot of corrupt people – most GOP. So I’m willing to give her a try. After all, she certainly can’t do any worse than Oblama and does have more experience than he did. The only thing I have against her is that she resigned although I know why she did.

          • DaveH

            Who does, Karolyn? I doubt you do. We only know what Big Government taught us in the Propaganda Schools.

        • Average Joe

          It isn’t that I dislike Sarah Palin, it’s that I like Ron Paul much better…I have followed Dr. Paul for over 15 years and he has been consistent in his views and moral fiber….never flip-flopping on issues and certainly not saying the popular things…just to get a vote…. the same cannot be said of the other mainstream candidates…..So, My loyalties will remain with him…Ron Paul 2012!

          • Al Sieber

            I’ll second that also Average.

          • DaveH

            Me third.

  • Raggs

    Maybe everyone should donate to obabas re-cough-election campain.

    Word has it if you raise $200.000 or more you will have a permanent job as a CZAR / Ambassador or someother high ranking position with a lifetime of benefits and a salary of $14 mill a year.

  • http://ewebsmith.com/info Emmett Smith

    There is no way to get Democracy right. Democracy is rule by the majority and the majority may decide to take away all of your property and all of your rights as an individual. The U.S. founding fathers hated the idea of a Democracy and formed a Constitutional Republic instead where the individual’s rights and property are protected by aq Constitution that the government agreed to.

    • 45caliber

      The only democracy that I know that sort of worked (other than the one we have in our country – and we do have one here despite the republic) was the one that Marx installed at his village experiement. NOT COMMUNISM! Their system had no one owning anything. EVERY decision had to be voted on by everyone, including what to buy when someone went to get groceries. It didn’t last long.

      • vicki

        We do NOT have a democracy here. We have the tattered remains of a Constitutionally LIMITED Republic. We use democratic principles for some of the functions but we are NOT a democracy.

        For instance even if 55% of the people wanted to abolish freedom of speech and we got 70% of the Congress to go along (to get votes :) we still could not delegate that power to the (federal) government because the Constitution explicitly forbids congress from making such laws.

        Just a reminder of the difference between a Democracy and a Constitutionally LIMITED Republic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4r0VUybeXY

        • Raggs

          So…. When was the last time or should I say the first time obaba referred to the constitution to make any of his decisions?
          We can start with obabacare if you like?

          • DaveH

            Yep, with a Constitutionally ignorant electorate, they can get away with most anything they want. Arrogant deceiving leaders have been subverting the intent of the Constitution almost since it was written.

  • http://n/a Terry

    She didn’t even know the real story of Paul Revere.

    +++++

    O doesn’t even know how many states are in the union. But then he may not even be an American?

    Instead of a democracy we have a Saddamism type govt now, where Obamaism is a more appropriate name with unilateral actions by the faux president SOP! He seems preoccupied with gathering votes from everyone in the world except American voters.

  • karolyn

    Weiner resigned today.

  • DANNY

    Having been to Switzerland, I can see first hand how the attitude of the poeple make the country what it is. Hard work, and a simple God fearing lifestyle with pride of Country. Seems to work for them.

  • Earl

    Mr. Virgilant,
    thank you for your comments and I agree that America is the most generous philantrophic country the world has ever known. Capitalism is the winner and America is the father of Capitalism. Marx people thought they had the answer, but after killing over 100 million people (ie. Russia, China, etc.,) they finally discovered that the answer was to let their people be free to market and sell in a free market. Letting the market set the price for their products. What did the Marx philosophy accomplish? Murder, killing and the installation of state run totalitarian governments. Dictatorships! Is this what the left wants? What did killing 100 million people accomplish? Dictatorship!! Lets not silp into dreams of an egalitarian world. It will never happen. “To all according to their ……..” and you know the rest of Marx dogma.

    • DaveH

      Neither Russia nor China have anything close to Free Markets. We don’t even have Free Markets.

  • http://GOGGLE vaksal

    Quite an article by mr. zurbrugg,but this is a misleading article from a person that lives in a nation,that has been one of the worlds known biggest piggy banks for the worlds biggest criminals and hide and go seek bunch of tax evaders,then the part about democracy,mr.zurbrugg,evidently doesnt know about this nations founding.we are founded as a sovereign republic,which has always been a better government system in protecting citizens rights. and the part of india and china,well the president (MR.clinton) sold this nations jobs out to every country around the world via (NAFTA) the worlds biggest yard sale,well look at the disaster these misgiuded educated morons have caused the american people,no fault of the normal citizen,but made and engineered by the know it all masters of the universe bunch,then the india crack,mr.zurbrugg must be a hype master that thinks americans are dumb and dummer,india got most of americas,telecomunications jobs,and has become a major player in the world market in this field alone,but are taking more american jobs daily,why? because it was cheaper to do those jobs overseas because the government here put so many rules on bussiness here,they were forced to move overseas,and the big benefit,its called hide the profits,the benefits are tax breaks here for them for overseas investments,and who gets the bills for all these breaks,its every american here that lives here,then the fact is all the folks that made this total cluster F**K, then point the finger at every citizen here for causing this collaspe to the economy here in the U.S.A. what a crock,then on one side the liberal communist bunch that want to turn this nation into a police state and on the otherside the spoiled flithy rich that want to cut the heads off the very countryman that have fallen on hard times,it makes no sense , it seems like two armed camps trying to destroy the american citizen and turn us into worthless robots,personally i love this great republic and being 65 yrs. of age,i truly can say that this nations citizens have been taken for a ride,by all the hype masters that try to sell the biggest lies ever told,of course,what do i know? is america in a total depression or not? and guess what,the american people did not cause it,the trilateral commision caused it long ago,thanks (MR.ROCKEFELLER)a real genius at destroying a nation.well guess what noone asked me what i thought about giving away americas industrial BASE then trying to sell the big lie its our fault rich or poor alike,AND as far as mr.zurbrugg,no sale on your view point,it holds no water in my book it stinks to high heaven. the the truth is what does this person really know about this great (REPUBLIC) the answer is nothing.the facts speak for themselfs.no economy here and jobs that pays the tax bills.

  • BimBam

    One good reason not mentioned by the writer is that Switzerland has no blacks or minorities, or very few of them and only in the background.

    Bring minorities to your country and it will eventually go downhill as with what is happening to America.

    • DaveH

      It has nothing to do with minorities and everything to do with leaders buying votes and spoiling people.

      • BimBam

        Nahhhh! I don’t believe you!

    • Libertarian

      wow! really? I guess, you -BimBam- are one of the few Indigenous Americans this land was stolen from, right?

      • BimBam

        Nahhh, I don’t believe you. The Indians gave it to us, now they want it back. Ever heard of the term “indian giver”?

        It’s like that everywhere. They give it to us, we make it worth something and they want it back.

        Only exception is Israel, it was always their land, now they have made it worth something the squatters want it back. It was never theirs from the beginning. The Koran never mentions Jeruseleam.

  • chuckb

    bimbam, you’ve got it right. we have diluted the country with third world mentality. barry is still opening the door for the muslims. after all he is a minority and his mind set moves in that direction. we either wake up and admit the problem or we will be in the same category as zimbabwe.

    • BimBam

      Yeah! I believe you!

  • Raggs

    A lot of us here see what things are being done in order to make the world as a collective. A collective society has and always will fail regardless of the intensions… The intensions are always the same, to redistribute “wealth”.. But that in itself is a lie when only the string pullers gave themselves that power… Well anyway.. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you that America will fail!

  • Tom Raines

    Why is it always social security and medicare,things that actually help people who cant help themselves,this is just the rich wanting this share of cash where they can get and use it to give them more money than they can spend in 10 lifetimes.
    These anti-social security people are worse than the gun control nuts,they will never give up until they have thier elders that have gotten too old to work and the disabled and those that are to sick out in cold-heat and rain ,so they will get sick and die,but thats all right they cant get up any more and go and work like a dog for min. wage and do the work to make those elites that are doing the complaining rich,while they sit in some fancy hotel on the riviera or on some cruise ship sipping cocktails.
    How much money have those republicans spent on wars and then after on nation building after,how many million dollar bombs did they explode in the last ten years and when they finally leave that region things will go right back the way they were before we arrived,
    how much money do they give to countries that hate us when we have people rihgt here at home that could use it.
    They wont stop those things because thats where gov,t lines those peoples pockets. there are at least 10,000 other places you could cut spending,leave our retirement benifits alone,you greedy,hard hearted republicans.

    • Raggs

      Sorry to break the news to you buddy, but maybe you should think about taking care of yourself INSTEAD OF LEACHING FROM ME!
      So go hump yourself and your socialism… BTW have a nice day idiot.

    • DaveH

      At what point does theft become benevolence?
      If you want their money, do something for them, the old fashioned honest way. While Government keeps your green-eyes focused on the money of the rich, the Government helps themselves to that money and then they consume it, whereas the rich would put that money to productive uses, buying capital equipment to produce more goods, and employing people in productive jobs.

  • Tom Raines

    look those between 15 and 65 can usually work as I did 18 hours a day ,spending months away from home and my family,missed my little girl growing up because the republicans and thier greedy corporate buddies were sending all the good paying steady jobs overseas.
    So I had to drive a truck for 28 years paying in to my profit sharing then in the 80s when the dot com bubble burst me and my brother lost 30,000 a peice in one shot .and then in 2007 i had to have brain surgery was off over 12 weeks and lost my job and because I was disabled I had to use the rest of my savings to keep from loosing everything I had,now you want to take the fica I paid in all my life and most times it was more than my federal income tax and state put together,you want to tell me you just want to take that now and my only hope of health insuraunce,where if I have one more set back with my health and have another long stay in the hospital I loose all I have had to fight to keep,when greedy hospitals and doctors start sueing me and ruining what little credit rateing I had.
    I dont usually pray for bad things to happen to people to get even with them but I hope and pray all you heartless people out there who are spouting All this venom tward people who are down on thier luck,and as bad as I feel I have had it,there are people a lot worse off than I am.

    • Raggs

      Oh come on… Why the hell are you trying to front the blame on a “party” ?.. You my friend are a socialist pig wiping scum bag!

      If you need to know why you are being left behind just look up some of your buddies socialism / collective / progressive / communist / neo-nazi parties propaganda cry baby babble BS… Shake hands with obaba… Stupid !

    • DaveH

      Heartless people? We just want to keep our own money. Just like you. But the Heartless Liberals want to steal it from us. Your loss was voluntary. If you had learned your economics from mises.org or similar austrian school libertarian sites, you would have known that the bust was coming. I lectured my son almost daily during the bubble. Fortunately that time he listened and got his money out before the bust. I can’t feel too much sympathy for the greedy people who listen to Democrats and then get burned. The ones I feel sorry for are those who did everything right just to find out that the Federal Reserve and Big Government have inflated the dollar to the point that their cash savings are becoming worthless.

  • i41

    BinBam, if you want to see productivity go to hell, start with a couple of union minority democrat members, on a crew. Their motto is they don’t sweat on company time, or s–t on their time. When I had been on any crew wheather pushing them or working with them. Their pissy scowling attitude of having to work by them selves on a project, get pretty irratating.

    • Tom Raines

      well if your so tough why dont you just do the job your self,bet you are one of them that sets in an office drinking coffee and eating a twinkie under the air conditioner ,while you look down your nose at the people who are actually out thier doing the work in the heat and doing the sweating,day in day out doing the same work everyday,they doing the work to pay your salary and when they have a bad day you jst want to get the whip out and smack it across thier backs.
      If I had to bet you are the lazy one who dont ever pull your weight.

      • DaveH

        Pool your money with like-minded Liberals and start your own companies. It should be easy. After all you are the ones with the intelligence. That way, you can give away your product, and pay your workers exorbitant wages to your heart’s content.
        Oh, but you don’t want to jump through the Government hoops that you helped create, do you? It’s much easier to vote to take the money away from those who made the effort.

    • BimBam

      You are correct. What you say is what I constantly hear about unions from many people from different eras, sources, etc. Seems a common thread runs through it. Yep, the demoncrap party.

      Demoncrap Party – Name says it all.

  • Tom Raines

    I hope and pray you get down and broke,with no where to turn.

    • Raggs

      That happens when the people to the likes of you steal from everyone else that ACTUALLY works for a living… Imagine that…. You really need a wake-up

    • Raggs

      Thats a bad thing to say Tom…
      You have no metal in your soul…. all hot air and no care.

      • DaveH

        No Raggs. Tom is very benevolent,
        with other peoples’ money.

  • Tom Raines

    I havent voted democrat in 30 years but these greedy people that think they are above and better than anyone else and push pure phiscall social policy with no give or bending can go do what ever immoral act that they would spew to thier selves is enough to make me vote dem

    • Raggs

      If that is what it takes to make you vote dem than you have a good start voting for the things that you hate.

    • Raggs

      Tom, pardon me but I find you stupid… government dependancy? oh really… No freakin wonder nobody can find a job… Oh if it is OK with you and big boy obaba I will now try to take care of myself for a “CHANGE” something you should be doing instead of sitting on your duff. We can always give you a trip to China I hear the unemployment rate there is well below ours.

    • Raggs

      Tom .. your buddy ole pal oh friend oabab has just put us in YET another illegal war.. That should look really good on your pay check.
      Anything you want to add?

  • Raggs

    Tom is watching way too much cnn. The bad thing is he believes them.

  • Raggs

    Why are people so stupid?

  • Tom Raines

    Theirs no need of arguing with fools it gets to hard to tell witch is witch ,but after the 1929 stock market crash I believe it was in april but after that day the next morning millions of people who were million aires woke up the next morning paupers ,farmers who owned thousands of acres where homeless,your too young to remember the tent cities that popped up and the soup lines that where feeding people who the few weeks before where CEOs of large corps and bankers that banks closed.
    well I could go on because I know what it was like to drag a big long cotton sack behind you in the 1960s and being glad for the 5 or 10 dollars a day I got for it,then when the factories started going overseas and agriculture jobs dried up,so I had to unload trucks in the heat and freezing cold on third shift,
    Then drove over the road away from my family for the next 28 years so do not preach to me about hard work and socialism ,
    But I have a feeling that in the next few years when the bottom falls out of this economy and you see a depression that will make 1929-1941 look like a cake walk,you will probanly be down on your knees crying like a baby ,wishing some one would give you a hand up,but guys like you will be the ones who will not make it ,cause you just dont have it.well this is my last post because like I said it doesnt do any good to argue with a fool ,because it gets hard to tell witch is witch,Good day sire

    • Raggs

      Tom… I respect what you have done..
      I think a lot of us have a lot of built up anger me included and sometimes that has to be let out…
      My problem is that more people are being government dependant in which only serves the master… People need to help each other and forget what shakles we have.

    • Libertarian

      Tom,
      you have a point & there is No amount of energy you need to expand to explain it any further. As you said, it was YOU who worked 18 hours a day for 28 years, not some of the people that describe your experiences.

      As it stands, the “system” is designed to pit us against each other, while the Globalists/Banksters/NWO Pharaos of this world benefit from the fruits of our labour. What MUST happen is the awakening of the Sheeple from their slumber and retaking what’s rightfully ours! It is: “We, the People”, not “We, the Federal Reserve owners”, right?

  • Elevenarrows

    A little late, but in response to Kate8 earlier, She’s right about it being difficult for decent, Christian people to foster parent. I know ones that have tried. My sister also worked with juvenile delinquents in our city and I got to see “second-hand” through her experience how pathetic the foster care system is…remember, in FL, you get misplaced, lost, etc.

    I think it odd and sad that the system cares more about making sure each child has plenty of square footage than about whether or not the child will have loving parents. We know families that couldn’t meet the requirements because they had multiple children in one bedroom. Hello, has anyone else wondered why people keep manufacturing bunkbeds?! I have a very large family and we have large rooms with as many as 5 kids to a room. I also don’t think the military is providing one bedroom per soldier! It’s crazy and the kids are the ones that lose in the end.

    Many parents also want to help these children heal from difficult, neglected pasts and they understand that the gov’t schools is not the best place for these kids so they want to home educate them, but try telling that to Child Protective Services! No, they would rather them go to gov’t school and learn to use condoms, swear like a sailor, disrespect their teachers, be a global citizen….they certainly do NOT want them learning about love, discipline, reading, writing and all the other things they could learn in a healthy family environment.

    My husband and I would love to share our blessings (financial and otherwise) with foster children, but my husband is unwilling to jeopardize the security of our family by intrusive “inspections” and mandates from the Child Protective Services. So, like Kate8, I agree that many kids stay in a broken, failed system because the gov’t WANTS it that way.

    Don, I am not sure what you meant in your response to me about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child….maybe it is because I’ve had a hard day and I’m tired. Sorry…..

  • i41

    Tommy Boy, I usually had to do it over when they stood around a smoked and jived. As a boss, I never told someone to do a job I couldn’t do, sometthing the beltway bastards have never done, or the niggardly marxist muslim who has never even run a lemonade stand. That is why Bachman, Palin, Cain, or even Romeney, has moree business sence than any democrap puke in office, well unless you count be a pervert and a rapist, the dems have several point lead over any Rep, who usually have the sicko resignation in a few hours and definitely same day. As for not pulling my weight, that was after my first operator’s job at 20, I was crew pusher in 3 months. I couldn’t stand sitting in a office, but I have punched out a few desk jockey who over loaded their alligator mouths. Since yoyu democraps think everyone needs a college degree. A PHd means perfectly happy and dumb as most lawyer lerech beltway pukes are.

  • Albert W. L. Moore, Jr.

    Paul Erdman, part Swiss himself, has remarked that the Swiss are the world’s most amoral people.

    Check out his novels; interesting and entertaining.

  • Albert W. L. Moore, Jr.

    Once while waiting for a flight at the Basel airport (which is in France) I browsed Neue Zuericher Zeitung and noticed on the front page an article about my old mentor Henry Kissinger landing in Zuerich in Air Force One to mediate a dispute within the Swiss executive branch.

    Well, I thought, that’s pretty cheeky. Not just meddling in the internal affairs of a foreign country, but getting right into intra-government disputes.

    Finally I noticed the date of the paper: April One. They got me.

  • Alfredo

    Very nice to live in Switzerland but they don’t even come close to the problems we have and I will mention just two of them. No borders with Mexico in other words no illegal immigration in the millions, also no problems with the terrorist Muslim or domestic. And guess what I almost left out they don’t have a military because we protect them, therefore saving them a ton of money.

    • Libertarian

      Alfredo, please enlighten the rest of us how is it that “we protect them”, especially when “we” were NOT in the II World War yet at the time when “we” began “protecting them”? Maybe, the analogy would be that of kicking 50,000 off voters’ list in Florida by Bush’s bro in 2000 as they WILL become fellons in the future, wouldn’t you say?

      Seriously, it seems like too many of us have succumbed to the main stream media mind F**K! Honestly, it is a case of Sheeple policing the Sheeple and the Rothschilds/Rockefellers/Globalists being able to implement thier own agenda!

  • http://mail.com Joe

    I am 63 and realized what we need to do whether Cristian or not we need to elect people with morals and “right thinking” like doing the right thing. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, and all those others that show they are putting the country ahead of personal gain, not saying that they don’t get personal gain by doing the right thing. It does not matter what party ,it matters what person and do they beleive in the Constitution of the U.S.A. and what it stands for. We should get back to the Gold standard even f a dollar is worth .30 cents

  • Word

    time to think, write and talk in a real world paradigm. The Feds must go. They are solely responsible for wrecking the worlds economies. Why do all the press accept this insane paradigm..well I really know the answer to that but I’ll let you figure it out.
    Nafta, Gat and any other legislative sell outs to the new world order should be repealed and industrial and manufacturing incentive to produce products from start to finish here in the good ole USA must be put in place to make it unprofitable to manufacture products outside the U.S. Simple solution to most of our problems. End the FED and take back control of our money in Congress backed by gold like Switzerland does. This phoney banker derivative debt must be canceled like a bad government program. The debt is made up by the banksters to take control of our country and the world. Send all the Feds, Rockefellers, Rothschilds, JP Morgan and chase etc.. and their minions to Jail on an island somewhere and let them kill each other to exercise their belief that the world is too populated and they are the ones to choose who lives and dies.
    End all free trade initiatives designed to move manufacturing out of our country.
    End the military industrial complex and its control of our foreign policy. End all wars and bring the troops home. All these wars are created to destabilize the world to consolidate power.

    Kick the UN out and end the police state grid that is fast taking over our lives.

    Return the Senate to its original design of being appointed by our local congressman.

    the list goes on and on but you get where I am going with this…simple common sense ideas that have their foundation in the Constitution of the United States of America.

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