54

Comparing taxation across nations is not trivial, because different nations use different means of taxation; just because the VAT is low doesn't mean that the overall tax burden is. Since you asked about taxes in general, let's look at the OECD statistics for "Total Tax Revenue as % of GDP". Their summary report about Switzerland writes: ...


21

It really was not all that long ago (1990's) that banks were not really connected to each other and while they had computers to help track and calculate balances, the paper trails were the way changes to accounts were tracked. Before this it was much harder for criminals and honest businessmen to transfer their funds across borders. Through the World Wars ...


20

Absent international treaties on the matter, every country is free to decide what it has jurisdiction over. That's because jurisdiction just controls what that country's courts do -- American jurisdiction means that American courts are willing to try the person and American law enforcement can arrest them if they set foot in America, and the only time the US ...


20

I found historical diplomatic papers that may shed some light on this. The Swiss Legation to the Department of State On the other hand, attention should be called to the fact that in Article 28, Paragraph 1, of the Geneva Convention on the amelioration of the lot of the wounded and sick in armies in the field, of July 27, 1929, to which the United States ...


19

Traditionally, in politics, French and German-speakers use their own language and are expected to have at least a passive knowledge of the other. Top-level politicians frequently talk to the media in both languages, no matter where they come from. Italian can be heard in official contexts but Italian speakers are very often fluent in one or both other ...


11

Romantsch is a National Language but not a Language of the Confederation. It is therefore not used in the Parliament. Debates are translated simultaneously into German, French and Italian. (source)


10

As SJuan96 already pointed out in the comments, the EU does not forbid direct democracy. But of course there are certain rules that have to be obeyed when being a member of the EU - as is the case for a membership in any group. Acting against these rules and staying in the group will pose a problem (although reality shows that breaking the rules will be ...


10

It seems that this is about the Red Cross, and treaty obligations of the USA: Art. 28. The Governments of the High Contracting Parties whose legislation is not at present adequate for the purpose, shall adopt or propose to their legislatures the measures necessary to prevent at all times: [...] (b) By reason of the compliment paid to Switzerland by the ...


9

By joining the EU, the Swiss would agree to transfer legislative competence in certain areas to the European Parliament (in conjunction with the Council of the European Union). These areas are set out in Title I of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Anything not on this list remains within the sole competence of the member state, to be ...


9

Imagine your home country got invaded by the fictional superpower of Elbonia. The Elbonian soldiers burned down your house, abducted and/or killed several of your friends and relatives and kicked your dog. Now a self-proclaimed humanitarian help organization with their headquarter in Elbonia comes along and says: "Yeah, very bad what our government did to ...


8

Indirect election of leaders it's quite common. Sometimes it's more a technicality than a matter of political relevance, like for the President of the United States, sometimes it's an important aspect of political life, as in the case of parliamentary republics. The particularity of Switzerland is the directorial system, that is to say the collegial rule of ...


8

2nd EDIT: first polls give 2/3 rejection among population There are no polls for the moment. But the fact that the initiative got enough signatures pretty fast (116139 in less than 7 months; requirement: 100000 in 18 months) indicates that there is at least some support among Swiss citizens. The Swiss Parliament gave its feedback on 20 December 2019, ...


8

Population change is a function of birth rate, death rate and net migration. Birth rates have declined in both Germany and Switzerland (at almost identical rates), but Switzerland has had more immigration relative to its population than Germany (25% of the population of Switzerland if foreign born while only 15% of the German population is foreign born), ...


8

In the end, Switzerland is a very rich country and Swiss francs are fanatically strong as a currency. Even a lower rate can bring in more "purchasing power" (abusing the term here) for the government. This is a complex question with many factors that I can't address (but you definitely can find a lot of articles and potential explanations elsewhere ...


7

Switzerland is more demanding than many countries in that it has conscription. By comparison, the UK ended conscription in 1960, in France in 1996 and Germany in 2011. In these and other countries with no mandatory military service, one is permitted to be at home 7 days a week and there is no requirement for guard duty. In countries in which there is ...


7

Process 1: Propose UBI without amount. Voter like me (who isn't wholly opposed to low level UBI if done right) thinking: If the proposal passes, chances are proponents will then work the system - either right now or over time - to make UBI too high to be reasonable. Yet, since the referendum passed, nothing can be done. I better vote "no" since the ...


7

Because people asked or would ask. If you don't propose amounts, then people arguing against it could pick their own levels. For example, they could set the basic income at the median or average wage and point out how ridiculously expensive that would be. Or they could set the basic income as having a small total cost and point out how that wasn't ...


6

I wouldn't call the Israeli army non-demanding, and yet... Many soldiers serve 5 days a week, with free weekends (except when you're on guard duty). Mostly, these soldiers are not in combat units. In combat units, the norm is more like a free weekend every two or three weeks. Cooks used to serve week on - week off. I don't know if it's like this today. ...


5

Because most green parties are left-wing parties. Environmentalism isn't their only political position. For that matter, few parties have only one political position, and some positions may (seemingly) be in conflict with each other (reducing the deficit and increasing military spending or building an expensive wall would be an example from the right). ...


5

Historically, Geneva has the condition of being in Switzerland, which is a country where international treaties are signed in the modern history. After the Napoleonic wars and joined the Helvetic Confederation, here celebrated most of the international treaties, which have huge impact in the Western World; Starting in 1863 when Henri Dunant founded the ...


5

Actually, Swiss banks are far from unaccountable nowadays, smart people started moving their money to places like Singapore 10 years ago. Since the mid-1990s, the mood has changed and some provinces (canton/Kanton) elected public prosecutors like Bernard Bertossa much more willing to satisfy requests coming from abroad. Switzerland's export industry (...


5

A few reasons: Voting in the Swiss system is tied inextricably to military service: according to the 1848 constitution, paragraph 18, if you can vote, you must serve. Bad timing. By the time the universal suffrage movement took off, WWI happened. Then when it tried to start again, WWII happened. Then when they finally got things good and ready for women to ...


4

To put the information from the comments and elsewhere into an answer: According to this website, there is a journal that deals with debate on basic income and studies on it. According to the description for the journal, there have been an increase in academic discussion of the issue which I imagine includes economic studies on the ramifications of the ...


4

Yes; May 26th - the date on which the Swiss Federal Council declined to sign the Institutional Framework Agreement (IFA) - was also the deadline for the renewal of the mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between the EU and Switzerland on medical devices. This came about due to the Medical Devices Regulation (EU) 2017/745 coming into full force on that date; ...


3

Technically, perhaps not. Since they're appointed rather than directly elected by the people, they don't fall under the definition of a republic: A state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch. The Federal Council are not elected representatives....


3

Because you look in the wrong direction. Personal income taxes are rarely relevant for the state, there's more populism (and preventing middle class from having savings). Yes, Switzerland has a low income and VAT tax, and low corporate taxes but... The average income is high. So even 'low' percent tax produces big number. There are a lot of companies having ...


3

This is a bit of speculation but it might answer the reason. I remember seeing after the 2008 financial crash that the Swiss Franc was causing problems for Switzerland because it was getting too strong, being sought as a currency to take refuge in. Keep in mind that the US dollar, despite the US's role in starting the 2008 crash also appreciated quite a bit,...


2

To complement Bregalad's answer, note that this Einbürgerung is related to the concept of naturalisation you are familiar with. In Switzerland, the federal authorities merely issue an “authorisation” to become a Swiss citizen but (unlike just about any other central government I know) they are not empowered to make the final decision themselves. That's ...


2

A referendum “about the law” is simply a referendum to challenge a law that has recently been enacted (i.e. the type of referenda referred to in the last paragraph you quoted). There is no counter-proposal, no opposition to pieces of the law, no reformulating, you simply get to say yes or no to the whole statute or treaty, as published. That's also why there ...


2

There are 2 factors that I can think of: Higher frictional unemployment. When companies go out of business because they were mismanaged, disrupted by better technology, or can't compete with international trade the unemployment is called frictional unemployment. This is generally seen as 'good' unemployment; without this kind of unemployment stone tool ...


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