Current / Economics

Swiss Options

Before I dive back into the history of economics as it pertains to the last 60 years (that’s a mouthful), I bring back some suggestions from Europe.

To the United States of America—get off your butt and create a North American equivalent of the Schengen Agreement with Canada. Europe figured out that French, German, and Italian speakers living harmoniously in Switzerland for centuries meant the risks of dropping border checkpoints throughout most of continental Europe are about nil. Think of the increased tourism potential. While you’re at it, create in-transit areas so that international passengers don’t clear customs if they connect to another international destination. The only risk would be that the 17-year ordeal Mehran Karimi Nasseri experienced at Charles de Gaulle Airport could occur for real this time at JFK…think of the incre$ed touri$m potential$…$$$

Speaking of transportation, it’s high-time people realize Europe’s rail network isn’t the best because it’s the fastest (that distinction belongs to a Chinese train), but the most extensive.  Trenitalia seamlessly connects to OBB to DB to SBB–and no need to worry about immigration and customs hassles thanks to Schengen.  High-speed lines are destined to become white elephants (such as the California high speed project that is going stratospherically over budget) without extensive regional feeder lines.  Take a hint from Frankfurt, Zurich and Berlin when Brandenburg opens–build major railway stations at (or underneath) major airport hubs.  SMF, SFO, LAX, SNA and SAN should be prominent stations on the California HS line.

If I’m already dreaming this crazy rainbow dream, import everything good about Switzerland. The wonderful rail system, the drive to manufacture everything better, the decision to join the Schengen Area without adopting the Euro in place of the Swiss Franc…if Walt Disney did it once before when he opened Disneyland, why not again?

Just don’t follow Germany’s lead. We don’t need favelas circling our cities like they do in Berlin…


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