Noah denkt™  -
    Project for Philosophical Evaluations of the Economy
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Only Switzerland is in a league of its own
Report on a drive through Euroland, drafted on Dec. 3, published on Dec. 4, 2012

We seem to remember that
Jim Rodgers sold his book the “Adventure Capitalist” arguing that it is more important
to actually visit a country and see the everyday life there with your own eyes than to rely on economic statistics
when deciding on whether to invest there or not. Well, Noah denkt™ has heeded this advice and taken these last
couple of weeks off to visit the heart of Euroland in order to establish first-hand whether the common currency
does have a future or not.  Or, to put it differently, our goal was to figure out whether the standards of life and
prosperity in Germany, France, (Northern) Italy, Belgium and Luxembourg are so dramatically different that it is
really hard to see how these countries can continue to operate under the same currency regime. And here is what
we found:

  • If you compare the above mentioned countries to one and another you will, certainly, find that there are
    notable differences between all of them with respect to economic wealth, standards of living, quality of
    infrastructure, commitment to the common good, acceptance of international realities, efficiency of public
    administration and so on. But although the changes are quite obvious once you cross from one country to
    the next one, the differences you will find are not so gigantic that they would overshadow what all these
    countries otherwise have in common. After all, they do have comparable levels of prosperity, similar levels
    of operational procedures, related political philosophies, comparable levels of education and similar ideas
    of law and order and so on. Our experience, hence, reaffirms our earlier take according to which it isn’t as
    far-fetched as it may occasionally seem to subject all these different countries to one common monetary
    regime. If, however, there is a common base that is solid enough to have the EURO survive the current
    turmoil then this has also a lot to do with the fact that the reality of life in Germany is not as brilliantly
    superior to that of the others as economic statistics might have you think it is. Because in Germany, too,
    you will find, that the maintenance of public roads is somewhat wanting, that the landscape often times is
    pretty unkempt and that drivers’ behavior can occasionally be quite coercive.

  • So if you want to find a country that is truly different from the rest of Euroland, you should not go to
    Germany but you should visit Switzerland. Because here you will find a level of prosperity and a rigor of
    administration that by far exceeds that of supposedly strict and stiff Germany. Because in that country you
    will find a degree of dedication that can only be described as forensically diligent. It, therefore, shouldn’t
    surprise anyone that we found ourselves thinking that all those who never fail to accuse Germany of
    imposing its rigid standards on to others***  don’t really know what they are talking about. Because if they
    would have the faintest idea of what public discipline, social responsibility and superior competitiveness is
    all about then they would stop finger pointing Germany but go to Switzerland in order to learn how much
    terrain they still have to make up. It, hence, seems to us that anti-austerity protesters in Greece and
    elsewhere should ask themselves why it is possible that a country whose population is divided by four
    different languages and whose landscape is interspersed with some of the highest mountains in Europe
    can be so state of the art when others with less heterogeneous heritage have such a hard time to get their
    act together. After all, even an earlier Ottoman occupation can’t really justify why speed limits are recklessly
    being ignored, why security distances are not being kept and why pedestrian rights are next to non-existent.

  • What really has us worried though these days is not the difference between Switzerland and everybody
    else but what really concerns us is the future competitiveness of France. Because this wonderful country
    with such a proud history and heritage seems to be losing its edge fast. And you do not have to point to the
    embarrassing leadership struggle in the UMP or the less than glamorous stewardship of its newly elected
    President to understand what we are talking about.**** You just have to look at the fact that French
    restaurants to this day seem to have a hard time to offer separate and modern bathroom facilities for men
    and women, in order to grasp that something is profoundly wrong in the state of France. Now, the question
    obviously is if there is any hope that things will change soon there? – And unfortunately, the chances for
    that to happen are not exactly overwhelming. But if you are a regular reader of this site you will know, that
    hope is one of the last things we are willing to surrender.


Footnote***:  See all the talk about the German diktat in El País and elsewhere

Footnote ****: See also the “
Barrez-vous”- campaign by Felix Marquardt and others  
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appropriate or suitable for him. And to leave no doubt as to what this means we urge our user to also note our extended

future of the Euro, visiting the heart of Euroland, standards of living in Euroland,
prosperity in Euroland, cultural base in Euroland, social cohesion in Euroland, civil
standards in Euroland, Competitiveness of France, Competitiveness of Switzerland,
Competitiveness of Germany