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Food & Justice

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Michael Gibel

Food and Justice

Thrusday, February 10, 2011

Poverty Snapshot

Switzerland/Sweden

Switzerland-

Government- Federal republic, with parliamentary system and direct democracy.

GDP per Capita- $43,000

Climate- relatively moderate, not to extreme between seasonal changes, except in the mountainous areas.

Exports- primarily chemicals, and of course mechanical devices such as watches.

The Swiss Confederation consists of 26 cantons, or nations. The most familiar to us is probably Zurich.

Said to be one of the most capitalist economies in the world.

Ranks 15th of GDP per capita, in the world.

Swiss citizens are required to buy universal health insurance from private insurance companies, which in turn are required to accept every applicant. This system permits access to a broad range of modern medical services. The healthcare system compares well with other European countries and patients are largely satisfied with it. In 2006 life expectancy at birth was 79 years for men and 84 years for women. It is among the highest in the world. Also, around 11.5% of the average GDP is spent on health care, a number that is comparatively very high.

According the Federal Statistical Office, 3.3% of the country relies on welfare provided by the country.

Agricultural protectionism—a rare exception to Switzerland’s frees trade policies—has contributed to high food prices. Product market liberalization is lagging behind many EU countries according to the OECD. Nevertheless, domestic purchasing power is one of the best in the world. Apart from agriculture, economic and trade barriers between the European Union and Switzerland are minimal and Switzerland has free trade agreements worldwide. Switzerland is a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

Sweden-

Government- Unitary parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.

GDP per capita- $48,000

Most of Sweden has a temperate climate, despite its northern...