Denmark’s Social Capitalism and Switzerland’s Federal Democracy

With Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both mentioning Democratic Socialism in Denmark, it is interesting to read about what it actually is.

Here is one link with one persons discussion.

Denmark sounds pretty wonderful to me

Switzerland

I just returned from Switzerland which is not democratic socialism, but rather a federalist direct democracy centered on capitalism much like the US.

The Swiss seem to be doing many things right.

SOLOTHURN

The small city of Solothurn (pop 16,000) we stayed at had the following features. (Based on my visit, augmented by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solothurn)

A train, at least six bus lines and an electric trolley – for a city of 16,000!

Trains that runs on weekends almost as regularly as weekdays. Twice an hour on its two lines on Sunday mornings.

Hundreds (thousands?) of locals from the town using trains to get to the local cable car and go for hikes in the Alps on a Sunday morning in November.

23% foreign national residents

No driving in the center of the city. Only pedestrians or local residents and deliveries.

At least seven museums: art museum, rock carving museum, castle arsenal museum, nature museum, pinball museum, puppet museum, history museum

Trash containers every 100 feet along most public sidewalks.

Two pedestrian-only bridges across the Aare river (good crossword answer)

Bicycle parking for over 100 bikes at the train station.

No large supermarkets or malls that I saw.

 

WORK?

Unemployment rate of 4.6% in 2010.

Minimum wage of $20 to $25 depending on canton. In May a national referendum to raise it to the equivalent of $24.70 narrowly failed.

Only 40.3% of the people use a car to get to work (40% walk or ride a bike, while 20% use public transport).

Considered the richest country in the world.

 

TAXES?

Median tax rate for a single person earning > $150,000 is 22% in 2011.

8% value added tax (national) plus a canton rate.

.3 to .5% property tax (national) (notice the decimal point)

Corporate profit tax of 8.5 (national) with some more by cantons (= states)

Overall fiscal rate for Switzerland was 38.5% in 2002.

Health (from Wikipedia on 11/12/15) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland

Swiss citizens are universally required to buy health insurance from private insurance companies, which in turn are required to accept every applicant. While the cost of the system is among the highest it compares well with other European countries in terms of health outcomes; patients who are citizens have been reported as being, in general, highly satisfied with it.[151][152][153] In 2012, life expectancy at birth was 80.4 years for men and 84.7 years for women[154] — the highest in the world.[155][156] However, spending on health is particularly high at 11.4% of GDP (2010), on par with Germany and France (11.6%) and other European countries, and notably less than spending in the USA (17.6%).[157] From 1990, a steady increase can be observed, reflecting the high costs of the services provided.[158] With an ageing population and new healthcare technologies, health spending will likely continue to rise.[158]

 

Like Denmark, Switzerland seems to run on trust.

This all sounds pretty attractive to me. Why can’t we look at successes in Europe more and imitate them?

Post a Comment

Your email address is never shared. Required fields are marked *