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Thank God for Switzerland

Updated on March 3, 2011

Business Owners Get to Vote Twice

Every day news broadcasts across the globe are fixated on the current political situation of the Middle East. Unrest is obviously not a new issue in this region where religion and politics frequently intertwine. From the Facbook revolution in Egypt, to those standing against mercenaries occupying the streets of Libya, the scope and methodology being implemented to fight tyranny is, nevertheless, new and innovative. The general thread seems to be a totally fed-up populace rising in massive numbers to challenge corrupt governments that offer little in regard for personal rights. At the base of this discord is the internet where information and free perspectives can be shared which makes the control of political thought nearly impossible. The politics of isolationism and protectionism are vanishing.

Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and many other nations are facing a different type of political crisis but individual rights are at risk here as well. These countries averted a total economy meltdown several years ago and now must feel their respect way through the aftermath. No easy task for politicians whose bloated budgets and tendency for self-indulgence help lead to the problem in the first place. Both on a local and national level these governments are frequently dealing with issues of cutting vital services in order to survive. It is not popular and certainly not pretty.

Times are desperate for bureaucrats which have them running scared - never a good thing for business. Tax fishing expeditions are popping up everywhere habitually targeting international business owners and investors. Lead by people unfamiliar with global competition, a wrecking ball approach is being implemented to every corner of the world in search of the very last tax dollar. Instead of cutting services back to the bone, they seek to ease difficult decisions by chasing a perceived untapped revenue source and then justifying it by demonizing international business. These missions have collateral damage. The rights of hardworking, risk taking, tax paying entrepreneurs are frequently being trampled while disincentives are created for the marketplace. This is blatantly wrong. You cannot aspire to be a world leader and yet scorn international business while painting it as being unpatriotic. Tyranny comes in many forms and unless you participate in global growth – a nation simply will not prosper.

Political havens such as Switzerland protect our freedoms and discourage bureaucrats and rogue politicians from becoming despots. In addition to protecting personal privacy the Swiss have among the most progressive anti-money-laundering laws in existence. Your financial dealings remain confidential unless a criminal investigation is imminent – as demonstrated by freezing the assets of Libya strongman Muammar Quaddafi and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. As citizens of the world, we should praise locations like this tiny European country that still protect personal rights and provide safe harbor for families being persecuted. For entrepreneurs it offers a different type of harbor. Switzerland is not a tax haven for US citizens but it certainly offers a business friendly environment and the prestige of one of the world’s largest financial centers. Business owners get to vote twice – once at the voting polls – then a second time with their wallet.


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