The Secret of Switzerland’s Success

July 26, 2008

Bern, Switzerland's capital

Bern, the Swiss capital, being sheltered by the Alps in the background

Quick question: What are the first three things you think of when you hear the word “Switzerland”? The most common answers tend to be The Alps, chocolate, and banking (with watches coming a close fourth).

Having lived in Switzerland for a year, I was shocked to see how rural much of the country is and by “rural” I mean rustic. I was always under the impression that Switzerland has wealthy for most of its several centuries existence but was shocked to learn that it was quite poor until this past century.

Being a strong admirer of Switzerland’s highly autonomous and decentralized political system that quite often relies on localized direct democracy, I learned that their system had much to do with their economic success. A highly skilled workforce combined with high exports, a stable currency and most of all, a stable financial/political regime has allowed Switzerland to prosper and become the envy of the world.

Could it all be thanks to the Gnomes of Zurich? John Fund explains the success story that is this alpine country in: Cuckoo for Switzerland.   Read the rest of this entry »


Hotel Palafitte – Neuchatel, Switzerland

July 21, 2008

Hotel Palafitte

Located on the banks of Lake Neuchâtel, the Hôtel Palafitte has 40 suites housed on stilts across the shallows. Designed by Kurt Hofmann for the Sandoz Family Foundation, the hotel is a haven for those visiting nearby Le-Chaux-de-Fonds.

Quite an original design :) Click on the link to take you to the website: Hotel Palafitte.

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