Underclass is needed everywhere.

swissinfo.ch: “Invisible workers” fight for recognition.

The children of these “invisible” workers are guaranteed a basic education up to the age of 17, but after that the doors of Swiss universities and professional training institutions remain shut.

Switzerland is preparing a future generation of “school-trained serfs”…

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8 Comments

  1. tim
    Posted January 26, 2009 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,24956534-1248,00.html
    I saw that and it reminded me of something you would post. 🙂

    This Swiss thing is actually kind of interesting. It will be interesting to see the approach to solving the problem. Unless they don’t really care about the non Swiss or whatever it is. Don’t you live there? I find it hard to believe no one in the gov cares about fixing this stuff.

  2. Posted January 26, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Frankly I was surprised by this piece. I had the impression that Switzerland, being sorta law-and-order police state, had very few sans-papiers; I thought that companies and even ordinary citizens would be severy punished for hiring illegals.

    Well, apparently I was wrong; if indeed they have 300,000 illegals in the country, that’s something like 4% of the population, about the same or higher ratio as the US.

    Minimum wage here in Geneva is about $20/hour plus the pension, vacation time, unemployment insurance, etc.; imagine the temptation to hire a dishwasher or mover for 10 bucks an hour straight.

    So, I don’t know, but I guess perhaps as far as the government is concerned maybe there’s nothing there to fix; every capitalist society including a communitarian sort like Switzerland needs an underclass, and that’s all there is to it.

  3. tim
    Posted January 27, 2009 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Yea, but don’t those illegals cost society money without giving anything back? Seems like they would want to fix that.

    btw , from what I’ve heard, 20/hr in geneva is probably goes as far as as 10 here, maybe even less the farther from the city you are. You sure don’t have to give people any benefits though.

    I almost want to make an argument about that underclass thing, but shit, I’m so sick of arguing with people. I’d probably lose anyway. (maybe that’s my problem, don’t know how to pick my battles)

  4. Posted January 27, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    It’s true, many things (though not all) are more expensive here, especially those that involve manual labor. You’ll pay $100 for an oil change, for example. Food is more expensive, but I think it’s also better, equivalent of those ‘natural food’ stores in the US.

    But what’s the cost to society, on the practical level? If someone is willing to do manual work for $10/hr where you would have to pay $30/hr to a citizen, and this person remains ‘invisible’ for all other intents and purposes – what cost is it to you? I just don’t see it, only the benefit.

  5. tim
    Posted January 28, 2009 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Not that I care, but it does make Swiss look racist. Actually, if had to think about it, it seems like a good kind of racism. At least for the Swiss. I’m no expert but I would bet that the average condition of Swiss life is pretty good. ha Swiss Swiss Swiss

  6. tim
    Posted January 28, 2009 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    Swiss ha is that even a word? 😀

  7. Posted January 28, 2009 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Yes, Swiss, that’s the word. I think the Swiss on average are just about as racist as everybody else. I was told that 30 years ago many shop windows in Zurich had the sign: no dogs or Italians. Apparently those days most of the underclass were Italians; nowdays Italians are good guys, so it’s some other group.

  8. tim
    Posted January 29, 2009 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    In Pittsburgh we call them Ohioans…


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