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Friday, June 1, 2012

Why Bonn Is Not Athens #tcot

May 31, 2012  By Victor Davis Hanson

Rudesheim, Germany — This week I am leading a military-history tour on the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland, to Amsterdam. You can learn a lot about Europe’s current economic crises by ignoring the sophisticated barrage of news analysis and instead just watching, listening, and talking to people as you go down river.

Switzerland, by modern standards, should be poor. Like Bolivia, it is landlocked. Like Italy, it has no real gas or oil wealth. Like Afghanistan, its northern climate and mountainous terrain limit agricultural productivity to upland plains. And like Turkey, it is not a part of the European Union.

Unlike Americans, the Swiss are among the most homogeneous people in the world, without much diversity, and they make it nearly impossible to immigrate to their country.

So Switzerland supposedly has everything going against it, and yet it is one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Why and how?

Read the rest…

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