Saturday, March 29, 2008

Following the Swiss Example

Here is a good article about the Swiss socio-economic model titled "Cuckoo for Switzerland" by John Fund at The American magazine's website.

While America is still the cat's meow in this blogger's humble opinion, we could learn a thing or three from little Switzerland. The article mostly focuses on the laissez-faire Swiss economy, but also mentions it's semi-direct democracy and federalist system (with powers divvied up between Swiss cantons rather than just accumulated at the national level).

Other Swiss policies that look good to us libertarians, but not mentioned in the article, include:

  • Foreign Policy: Strictly neutral, Switzerland has no need to hemorrhage blood and treasure into foreign lands. Don't get the idea that they're isolationist though. The Swiss have lead the way in international charity (ever hear of the Red Cross?), humanitarian work, and as a neutral arbitrator between warring countries. Also, don't let this fool you into believing the Swiss are pushovers. They may not fight you in your country, but they'll damned sure fight you in theirs. Even Nazi Germany shied away from invading this hornet's nest.

  • Right to Keep and Bear Arms: Part of the reason they weren't invaded is because the Swiss people are armed to the teeth. Gun rights supporters like to point out that even automatic weapons are kept at home and yet Switzerland has some of the lowest crime rates in Europe.

All in all, Switzerland is an island of classical liberalism (the good kind of liberalism) in a European sea of socialist pussies. Let's hope that that sea never rises to Swiss peaks.

Link to article

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