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USA and Switzerland: a subjective view of life in two countries 

What are the similarities and differences between the two rich countries - the United States and Switzerland. Anastasia Babenko, blog author adb_companion, described in detail her impressions of life in two countries.

Фото: Depositphotos
Collage: ForumDaily

Why the USA and Switzerland? For a while, my husband and I lived in Switzerland, then moved over the work of my husband to the United States, where we have been living for a long time.

In addition, it seems to us that for people who leave Russia, the main choice is between the United States and Europe. Switzerland is a unique representative of European countries - it has absorbed the peculiarities and culture of its (noticeably different from each other) neighbors: France, Germany, Italy and Austria. Today, there are practically no borders between these countries. Therefore, many things characteristic of Switzerland can be safely applied to other European countries. Of course, Switzerland has its own individual characteristics, and we will talk about this too.

I did not set the task to show that in one country life is better than in another, but I tried to reflect the state of things. Without subjectivity, of course, not done. Both countries are unique, they had different prerequisites for the formation and development, people with different mentality and convictions live in them. Each has its pros and cons, and everyone decides for himself where he is better.

General view

Switzerland can be described in a few words: miniature, safely, safely, strictly and cleanly.

I would describe the United States as follows: large-scale, contrasting, ocean of possibilities and unsafe.

In Switzerland, inevitably it is necessary to adapt to the rules and particularities of the local society. In the US (with some reservations), you can arrange your life as you feel comfortable.

Switzerland is very small. Cities in our understanding can be counted on the fingers (Zurich with 500 thousands of people, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne, Lucerne, and maybe Lugano with St. Gallen). In other cities, the center with multi-storey buildings can be bypassed in half an hour, and on the way you can meet grazing sheep and goats.

To meet grazing livestock in small towns and villages is absolutely not difficult. Photo author

Despite the fact that Switzerland is in the top ten in terms of population density in Europe, the majority of people (80% out of eight million) live in small villages and villages.

We are still in the city of Friborg. Photo author

By the way, hence the characteristic feature of Switzerland - active and regular movement around the country. It is in the order of things to live in Friborg, every morning to go to study in Olten, then in the afternoon to Neuchatel for other couples, then go to hang out in Bern and return home at night. Morning and evening trains between Zurich and Geneva, as well as other popular destinations, are often overcrowded.

The US is huge, period. Each state is like a separate country. In this sense, they are much more like Russia. But unlike Russia, there are several large centers of attraction for people and capital. I would highlight the West and East coasts, Texas and Illinois.

Times Square, NYC in the morning 5. Photo author

People living in megacities are very different from the rest of the population. In the centers there are a lot of visitors, a lot of diversity in everything, people are much more educated and cosmopolitan. In most parts of the United States live Kondovo Americans, most of them strongly divorced from what is happening in the world. They make up stories about them, and they also appear in high-profile news.

The USA is a land of opportunity. There are many world-renowned companies headquarters located here, attracting the best specialists from all over the world. In this country, it is relatively easy to obtain citizenship, in contrast to Switzerland (I will write about the immigration process separately).

Switzerland is a very clean, quiet and safe country. This applies to both cities and villages. The worst thing that can happen to you is the need to travel on the night train from Friday to Saturday, when all the young people go home after bars, discos and parties. Nobody will touch you, but it will be cramped, there are a lot of breaking bottles, noise and reds, puberty children and older children screaming in their dialects.

Teens waiting for the night train. Photo author

Crimes, of course, occur, but rarely. Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world. For example, in 2015 in Switzerland, the number of premeditated murders on 100 is thousands of people. was less than one (0.7). For comparison, in the US, this number is 7 times more (4.9 in the city of 2015).

We had a funny case: once my husband was removed from the seat of a bicycle, but instead he was put on an old, worn-out bicycle.

Homeless people do not exist as a class (they say that we recently had one homeless person in Friborg, but this was his personal choice). The streets are clean, the roads are in perfect condition, public transport and urban infrastructure are regularly updated.

In this there is some difference between Switzerland and neighboring countries. Contrast strongly catches the eye when you cross the border with Germany, Italy or France. It can be seen that it is not so clean that the infrastructure is much more worn out, and even people are more sullen and worse dressed.

It is worth noting that with drugs in Switzerland, everything is not very good. 5 Swiss cities (Zurich, Basel, St. Gallen, Geneva, Bern) are in the top 10 European cities in terms of cocaine consumption. Zurich leads among the cities, only slightly giving way to Barcelona, ​​the cocaine capital of Europe.

Here, as in Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK, there is a program aimed at treating drug addicts from opioids, under which participants are allowed to use drugs under medical supervision.

In terms of US security, it is the exact opposite of Switzerland. The level of security can be judged by the regular news about shooting in clubs, schools and public places. As a rule, they are not terrorists, but simply embittered people with access to weapons. Weapons in most states are sold without any restrictions, even in liberal states like Washington, you can meet a civilian with a holster on his belt. Therefore, to be shot down because of a wallet or a parking space is many times easier than in Europe.

Gangs are an integral part of life in large cities, especially in the southern states. Drugs are also relatively easy to obtain. Marijuana is available as a medicine and is sold in specialty stores and it is quite easy to get help. Almost all young people have smoked it at least once, and most of them smoke regularly. A separate topic of conversation is the homeless, beggars, the mentally ill and freaks, of whom there are quite a few in the centers of large cities. In general, the Americans on the streets are very, very friendly, but sometimes it is not clear - this is because they are so cute, or because they are so afraid of each other.

Downtown Seattle, somewhere between 5 and 6 avenue. Although such views do not surprise someone who was, for example, in Los Angeles. Photo author

By the way, often visitors from Russia do not understand how dangerous the bad areas in the United States are. Crime there is massive, ethnic and organized. This is the rare case when Hollywood movies don't really lie. For example, our Indian friend’s brother was literally stripped naked in downtown Los Angeles near the campus where he was studying (University of South California). It is true that in some areas the police even prefer to call in. Here is an interesting video from an American policeman of Russian origin who worked for many years in Auckland. With him a whole series of videos was filmed, it is useful to look at:

In terms of silence and purity, the United States is very heterogeneous. There is probably no point in generalizing. If we talk about large cities like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago, then public property is dirty, underfoot trash and stench from garbage dumps, and private property (shopping centers, entertainment venues, restaurants, residential areas with a predominance of private houses ) - clean and beautiful. Since private and public property are closely adjacent to cities, the contrast is quite strong.

Urban areas are also very different, and a good district can be a stone’s throw away from the ghetto. You can get problems just by going to the wrong street.

Satellite cities and sleeping areas in large cities (mainly the private sector) are clustered according to the average income level. The richer the area, the cleaner, safer and better. For example, we went to take on the rights to the south of Seattle. There were four cars in a row with broken windows. For example, Bellevue and Redmond (Seattle’s neighboring cities), where Microsoft’s offices are based, look just fine.

Pretty sad about that. Nature is amazing both there and there, but, in my opinion, in the USA it is more diverse. Here and the desert

Bad Water, CA. Located in one of the hottest spots on Earth. Photo author

and incredible canyons

Фото: Depositphotos

stunning beauty of the forest, waterfalls,

Rain Forest, Olympic National Park, WA. Photo author

two oceans finally.

Santa Cruz, CA. Photo author

To cover at least some of the interesting places, it will take more than one year.

Due to the large scale of the country, the climate is very different from state to state: from hot southern states, where it is hardly comfortable outside in the summer due to high humidity and extreme heat, to northern states where several meters of snow can calmly fall in the winter, which paralyzes movement in the cities.

Switzerland is mostly eye-pleasing green meadows,

Grindelwald. Photo author

fabulous blue lakes

Montreux, a favorite tourist destination. Photo author

and breathtaking mountains.

Oeschinensee. Photo author

It should be noted that despite its microscopic size, the climate may differ markedly. For example, palm trees grow in Ticino, the temperature is above zero all year round and very sunny. And in the highlands and in the north, snow falls in winter. Therefore, in the cold months from winter to summer, you can get there by driving two hours by train. Until late spring, you can go to Zermatt or Saas-Fee to go skiing (although it will be very expensive).

Since Switzerland itself is very small, all its suburbs can be studied in detail in a couple of weeks (which we did). But from Switzerland it is very convenient to travel around Europe (and the world).

In Switzerland, it is quite difficult to assimilate and generally feel like a person if you do not know the main language of the canton in which you live. The Swiss cantons are divided into French-speaking, German-speaking (dialects of German), and there is one more canton of language. By the way, this is typical for other European countries. Here's a great video showing how much German can be different.

For a Russian-speaking person, this situation may be a problem, if only because we are taught in English much more often in schools than in other foreign languages.

You can work in English, but to communicate with local and solve everyday issues, it is advisable to know at least one of the above languages. This is especially true for the French and Italian parts of Switzerland, where only a very small part of the population even knows English. Francophone generally proud of their lack of English. In the German part of Switzerland, people speak better English. Zurich, Lucerne and Basel are exceptions, since almost half of the population there are visitors.

I, living in the French-speaking canton, was lazy and did not learn French. Therefore, coming, for example, to a clothing store, often faced the problem of how to ask for a larger or smaller size. When the salesmen heard that I could only speak in English with them, they immediately tried to politely get rid of me. Well, I could only explain on the fingers, what size I need. English was spoken a little better in tourist places.

In the US, to our surprise, ignorance of English is much easier. Spanish is here unofficially the second state language. You can take the rights in your own language (for example, in Russian). In hospitals and government offices, you can ask for an interpreter. In the end, there are a lot of national communities that live together (post-Soviet Brighton Beach and other Chinatowns are examples of this). In general, you can live well in the United States and at the same time do not use English at all.

Food

European cuisine is much closer to my taste, so here my heart belongs to Switzerland. Nevertheless, in terms of diversity and range, undoubtedly, in the first place the United States. It should be understood that only 8.5 million people live in Switzerland, almost 328 million people in the USA, so any variety of the US needs to be divided into 20 or even 30, and we get Switzerland. This applies to everything, not just food.

In Switzerland and the USA (I'm talking about the West Coast), food prices are roughly comparable, but, for example, the cost of meat is very different - in Switzerland it is much more expensive. But what a taste he has! Here, in the USA, I have not found such delicious beef even in expensive stores.

Let's compare prices for meat in medium-sized standard supermarkets in two countries (I took prices from the sites of supermarkets). In Switzerland, several common supermarket chains: Aldi, Denner, Migros, Coop, Manor. Take Migros as a strong middling.

In the US, the most common supermarket chains (West Coast): Safeway, Trader Joe, Fred Meyer, Costco, Target, Whole foods, Walmart. The middle price category includes: Safeway, Trader Joe, Fred Meyer. I will use Fred Meyer's prices.

In Migros, a beef steak (local producer) costs 5 dollars on average per 100 gr. If the steak was brought, for example, from the Netherlands, the price will be lower. Local producers are valued higher, their products are more expensive. In Fred Meyer (in Seattle), organic beef steak can be bought for around $ 3 for 100 gr.

In Migros, Migros mono brand chicken breasts cost 1.4 dollars for 100 gr. Breasts are better than the order of 3.5 dollars for 100 gr. In Fred Meyer (in Seattle) inorganic chicken breasts cost 0.4 dollars for 100 gr., Organic - about 1.3 dollars for 100 gr.

Fruits and vegetables in both countries are divided into organic and inorganic. By the way, fruits and vegetables in Switzerland are weighed in advance by the buyer, in the USA - at the box office by the seller.

In the US, I first learned that watermelons are yellow. Photo author

Interestingly, in Switzerland, the store sells boiled colored eggs all year round.

Photo by the author

and fresh mini cucumbers.

Photo by the author

As I said, in the USA there is an incredibly rich selection of everything. For example, there is probably a million different types of chocolate (local and imported).

Photo by the author

There are lots of strange combinations of flavors, for example, chocolate with sea salt and various additives to it (almonds, caramel, etc.) is very common. Nevertheless, the usual milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts sometimes you will not find a day in the afternoon.

Photo by the author

In Switzerland, chocolate lovers will not be bored either; several large world-famous chocolate producers are based here (Callier, Lindt, Frey, Villars, Nestle). The variety of fillings there is not so big, but the taste! This perfectly balanced and rich taste makes Swiss chocolate a benchmark.

Shop at Callier Chocolate Factory. Photo author

These factories are sometimes more than a hundred years old. We were at the chocolate factory Callier, where they showed the production process. Callier buys cocoa beans significantly more than it uses. From them the best parties are selected, and the rest is resold. Cocoa beans are ground for days until the chocolate mass is completely homogeneous. Swiss-like tremendous attention to detail and quality.

I strongly advise you to visit this factory. The tour ends with a tasting, no one limits the amount of food eaten. Photo author

In the US, production is mostly handicraft (we were in factories in Washington, California and Illinois). Small factories buy chocolate already bricked 100% and melt it. With this approach, it is probably difficult to achieve high quality, therefore, they leave due to different tastes and large amounts of sugar.

Baking is much tastier and more aesthetic in Switzerland. In the US, baking is very simple: plenty of sugar, butter and chocolate drops. Sometimes there are really very strange things.

Fried bacon with chocolate? O_o Author Photo

Coffee, without doubt, steeper in the United States. There is a great variety of authentic craft coffee shops offering coffee from all over the world. In such coffee houses you will be offered drinks on the basis of espresso, Kemex, a French press and something else.

Portland and Seattle are famous for their coffee shops that are experimenting a lot, looking for new varieties, roasting options, ways to make coffee, and so on.

Inside an Egyptian coffee house in Portland, OR. Photo author

Egyptian coffee. Photo author

For unpretentious, there is Starbucks with so-so-coffee, but with fast service and a large number of lattes with various additives (Starbucks are very numerous in large cities. In New York Manhattan, they are probably in every block).

Switzerland was not lucky with coffee. Here coffee is brewed in the old way. It will be either Italian espresso (small and very strong), or renvers (in the French manner, espresso is simply poured with milk), or a scanty latte somewhere in the German part. In the Italian part, upon request for a latte, they will bring you a glass of milk (personally observed). There are few Starbucks and they are (!) Very popular. Interestingly, in Switzerland, a latte grande in Starbucks costs almost $ 7 (for 2017). In other European countries (for example, in Spain) it is about one and a half times cheaper, and in the USA - two times.

In the US, an incredible variety of junk food and added sugar in products. I would never have thought that sugar could be a separate ingredient in breadcrumbs. Bread without added sugar is much more expensive. But on the one with sugar, it is very easy to get hooked (this was the case when we first arrived).

The cheeses in Switzerland are, of course, amazing. The choice is much richer than in the United States, then what you will meet.

Photo by the author

The neighborhood with France, Italy and other gastronomic corners of Europe affects.

At the Gruyere cheese factory. Photo author

In the US, there are several large producers of so-so-cheese (like the Oregon Tillamook-a) and quite a few small producers. We experimented a lot, but did not find something cool. Good cheeses are mainly imported and, accordingly, more expensive (the same Swiss Gruyere and Comte, as well as French, Dutch and Danish cheeses).

Photo by the author

In Switzerland, as in all of Europe, they adore wine. The per capita consumption of wine in this small country (44.7 L. per person. In 2014) is 4 times the United States.

USA at 4-m place for the production of wine after France, Italy and Spain. The largest amount of wine produced in California, Oregon, Washington, New York and Texas. As with coffee in the US, they are experimenting a lot with wine, and, probably, now it is one of those wine-making countries where the most interesting things happen.

In Switzerland, wineries are concentrated around Lake Geneva, slightly north to Neuchâtel, and also east to Ticino. White and red wines are produced and there are exclusively local grape varieties. However, it is very difficult for local wine to compete with French or Italian. They gain in cost, variety (and let's be honest - in taste).

In late May - early June, a wonderful Open Cellars event is held in Switzerland, when local wineries open their doors to everyone. Pay 20 dollars, they give you a glass and a winery map. Then begins the wine adventure: go to the wineries, get acquainted with the owners, communicate, try for free the local wines. All this is very lively, fun and to the music, especially at the end, when you are already losing track of how many kinds of wine you have eaten.

Vineyards near Lausanne. Photo author

If in the USA people go to buy products on a production scale in Costco hypermarkets, in Switzerland - often to neighboring countrieswhere prices are much lower. Fortunately for the frontal cities (and this is Geneva, Basel, Lugano, Constance, St. Gallen, and others), another country is located across the bridge or at the other end of the street (the borders did not become when entering the Schengen zone). Swiss supermarket chains even wanted to lobby for the introduction of a tax on the import of people products from abroad.

I don’t have much to say about the national cuisine in Switzerland. For me, it is rather a mixture of kitchens in neighboring countries. The most famous dishes of Swiss cuisine include fondue and raclette (essentially the same fondue, only from raclette cheese and with a slightly different cooking technology). This is how the raclette is prepared. Elementary!

These dishes are eaten with the onset of cold weather. Usually eaten with white bread and potatoes.

Special small potatoes, very tasty. In the US, you can also find a similar, but the taste is completely different. Source: https://produkte.migros.ch

You can also add pickled vegetables: gherkins, small onion, mini-corn. In supermarkets, at this time, they make whole stands with fondues, special forks, fondue mixes, devices for heating and cutting a racquet and other gadgets.

Of the purely local features, I know the Friborg Moutarde de Bénichon (mustard, flour, wine, sugar and water jam)

Source: https://www.patrimoineculinaire.ch

and give birth - boiled potatoes passed through a coarse grater.

Source: https://produkte.migros.ch

Back in Switzerland there are a lot of Michelin-starred (and simply cool) restaurants with exquisite dishes. In the French part of the food fit with great attention. For example, in the dining room at the university where my husband worked, at times they served crocodile cheeks, camel meat, game, steaks, tartare, and other delights.

Here, as in most parts of Europe, it is not customary to leave a tip in cafes and restaurants. You can leave the 1-2 franc, if you really liked it very much. Tourist spots in this regard - an exception.

In the US, tipping is already part of the culture. People often leave some minimum amount for tea, even if everything was not tasty and bad at all.

The national cuisine of the United States is known to everyone - apple pie, burgers, barbecue, hot dogs, French fries and other fatty, sweet, high-calorie and unhealthy.

In Switzerland, as well as in the USA, burgers are very popular. But comparing Swiss burgers with American ones simply makes no sense. Swiss burgers are a restaurant-quality product with excellent fresh meat and aromatic buns.

Swiss burger. Photo author

The American burger is fatty, salted meat with an unknown date of death, a tired tomato, and a questionable lettuce leaf. A roll of those that are sold in plastic packaging of twenty pieces per pack and never go bad. Of course, there are good restaurant burgers of much higher quality, but the prices there will be noticeably higher.

American burger in excellent burger. It looks very similar to Swiss, but the taste of meat is very different. Photo author

Crime

In Switzerland, it is much safer than in the USA, and this thesis will not surprise anyone. However, if you dig deeper, you can see the interesting details of each country.

Security level

The greatest impact that crime has on people's well-being is manifested through a sense of vulnerability. How to assess the level of their own safety and security? For example, the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) offers evaluate two indicators: a sense of security when walking alone at night and the number of murders on 100 thousand. in year. Here are the values ​​of these indicators for Switzerland, the USA and OECD averages for countries.

Prepared by the author based on data from the source: http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/safety/

The first indicator is intuitive, but very subjective. By the way, the safest people walking alone in the dark feel in Norway (87%).

A more reliable indicator of the level of security in a country is the second indicator (homicide rate), because homicides, unlike other crimes, are usually always reported to the police. Strangely enough, the UK has the lowest homicide rate (0.2 kills per year per 100 thousand population).

When comparing the values ​​of indicators, it should be borne in mind that the same indicators in different countries can be counted in different ways. For example, above, when calculating the homicide rate, the US takes into account both intentional and reckless homicides, while Switzerland only includes intentional homicides. Therefore, let's take a look at more detailed information within each country: for the cantons of Switzerland and the states of the United States.

Crime level

Switzerland

In Switzerland as a whole, there is a very clear trend: the crime rate is higher in the border cantons and Zurich. It is also interesting that more than half (53% in 2016) of criminal offenses and 45% (2016) drug offenses were committed by citizens without a Swiss passport. This suggests that a significant part of the criminal elements are “imported” into the country.

Most Visitors live just in the border cities, as well as in Zurich and Zug. Here in the first place are Geneva (42%), Basel (36%) and Vaux (34%), where crime goes off-scale, as we will see below.

The following figure shows the distribution of homicide rates across the cantons of Switzerland in 2017:

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://www.pxweb.bfs.admin.ch

It is worth explaining where the burgundy spot from cantons in the center of Switzerland came from. Statistically, the homicide rate in these cantons is the highest in the country. In fact, they were killed by 2 (in all cases unintentional), but due to the fact that the cantons are very small in terms of population, the number of murders on the 100,000 population pushed up to maximum values. For comparison, 11 homicides occurred in Geneva, but the relative “homicide rate” is lower, since the population in this canton is much larger.

Well, the homicide rate in Switzerland is very low; fortunately, they almost never happen. Therefore, each new incident can significantly affect the statistics.

Next, I consider another type of violent crime - robbery. Robbery is a crime involving an attempt to steal someone else's property using or threatening to use force or intimidating a victim.

Let's see how things are with robberies (robbery) in Switzerland (2017):

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://www.pxweb.bfs.admin.ch

Here everything is as expected - the darkest areas near the border (Geneva, Basel, Vaud) and in Zurich.

Here is an interesting breakdown of violent crimes in the largest cities of Switzerland.

Source: https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home/statistics/catalogues-databases/publications.assetdetail.4522209.html

We turn to property-related crimes that constitute 67% from all crimes in Switzerland. Here I considered burglary and regular theft.

If with crimes in the category of “brutal” in Switzerland everything is more or less well, then with the crimes related to property, the picture is somewhat worse: the values ​​of the indicators jump many times over.

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://www.pxweb.bfs.admin.ch

Finally, go to the usual thefts.

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://www.pxweb.bfs.admin.ch

Thus, most of Switzerland is very calm and secure. As I wrote above, the statistics are “spoiled” by the cantons bordering on France and Germany (Geneva, Vaud, Basel), and also Zurich, where the crime rate is much higher.

USA

In the United States, everything is not so simple. In general, crime is higher in the Southern and Southeastern states, as well as Alaska, Nevada and the District of Columbia. However, sometimes other states are unexpectedly brighter than anyone else. The quietest are the central and northern states.

In Alaska, for example, a high level of alcohol and drug addiction. The state is in a recession, so finding a good job is becoming more difficult. If you are not a fan of nature and heikov, then there is nothing special to do in your free time. Also in the state of soft laws regarding weapons.

I will start with maps reflecting statistics on violent crimes (murder and robbery).

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-us

The "recruiter" is the District of Columbia, which recorded the highest value of the indicator (20.4), while in all other states the homicide rate is maximum 12.

Why? District of Columbia is essentially one large city, the capital of the United States. There is really a very high crime rate, to which, as supposedis influenced by many factors. The District of Columbia is on the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States, but it is far from the first place. It's just that in other cases, the map shows averages for the states, where there are also large cities with a high crime rate and small ones, where the crime rate is much lower. For example, Baltimore, Maryland, has the highest homicide rate in the country - 56 people. per 100 thousand population, and the average murder rate in Maryland is 8.

If you look at the USA and Switzerland, then on average Switzerland is less likely to be killed in 4.

We turn to robbery.

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-us

DC shines brightest again. But here the situation is similar to that described earlier. As I said, the crime rate, in this case of violent crime, is higher on average in the Southern and Southeastern states, as well as in Nevada and the District of Columbia.

If we compare the US with Switzerland, then the chances of being robbed in Switzerland are 6 times lower.

This is followed by property related crimes (burglary and theft). Property-related crimes, especially ordinary thefts, are reported less often to the police than to violent crimes. It is impossible to find out the real level of the same thefts, so it remains to rely on official data.

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-us

The picture is about the same, but Washington suddenly "lit up".

By the way, on average, the chances of being broken in and robbed are almost two times lower in Switzerland than in the United States.

What about the thefts?

The map was prepared by the author based on data from the source: https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-us

As a Washington resident, I wondered why, with a relatively low level of brutal crimes, the level of property-related crimes began to stand out sharply against the general background in the country? Unfortunately, I could not find a clear answer to this question. I suppose that one of the reasons may be a large number of homeless people. Maybe some of the readers know?

If we separately consider the center of the state of Washington, Seattle, then among the 50 of the largest US cities, Seattle is 8-m place on burglary on 7-m according to the usual thefts and on 19-m on car thefts. However seattle far from the most dangerous a city in the state of Washington, where the list is headed by Pumpkin and Tacoma.

Source: https://www.roadsnacks.net/most-dangerous-cities-in-washington/

A real story from the life of a friend, which, probably, many people living in the United States in private homes have encountered. Her family lives in a nice neighborhood in a great home in Seattle. There is a security system, cameras and signs announcing the presence of all this. Two days have passed since they moved into the house, their parcels were stolen. The thief parked so that the license plate was covered with a tree, rang the doorbell to make sure no one was there, then emptied the boxes and left them at the entrance. They called the police, arrived within 3 minutes, gave them the video - silence. Another package arrives, again left at the entrance. She did not have time to lie there for half an hour when some cyclist picked her up and drove off into the distance. More police, video, silence again. The officer added cheerfully while watching the video: “Oh! I do not know that! We have permanent ones here, but this one is apparently some kind of guest performer. " The police really have more important things to do, the main thing is that no one was attacked or maimed.

Interestingly, with a high level of crime, the United States leads in the number of prisoners per thousand people in 100 (655 people) when prisons are full 104%. The number of prisoners per thousand population in the US in the US is not only higher than in Switzerland (81 people, 92%prison capacity), but also with other developed countries: Germany, France, By italy, Canadaand Russia.

What does the crime rate depend on in general? There are a number standard causes such as unemployment and poverty, education, mental disorders, drugs and alcohol, etc.

There are also various studies that establish, establish more exotic causes of crime. For example, the crime rate may vary depending on temperature: in warm weather, people tend to spend more time outside than in cold weather, which consequently increases the likelihood of committing a crime. Perhaps, among other factors, this may partly explain the fact that in the southern and south-eastern states the crime rate is on average higher?

Weapon

Prepared by the author based on data from the source: http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/compare/178/rate_of_civilian_firearm_possession/10,11,66,69,192,194,88,91,40,172

Americans, making up 4% of the global population, own 46% of world civilian firearms stocks. Oddly enough, among the leaders are also Switzerland and Austria. Moreover, if in the US 73% murder (2015) is committed using firearms, in Switzerland only 23% (2009). I note that the overwhelming majority of incidents in this category in both countries are suicides.

By the way, from drugs and alcohol in the United States dies factor of more people.

However, why do people die of firearms in Switzerland three times less than in the USA? In Switzerland, there are quite strict laws related to the storage and carrying of weapons.

In Switzerland, citizens are allowed to own weapons, but not automatic ones. In the US, this is a little more complicated; here it may depend on the laws of a particular state. Also, people have an automatic weapon in their hands since the time when it could be freely purchased.

In Switzerland, almost no one can carry weapons in public places. To do this, you must obtain a separate permit, which in most cases is issued to persons whose work is related to security. The exception is also hunters. In the US, in most states, carrying weapons in public places is legal, but restrictions may apply in individual states.

More often men use the weapon. In Switzerland, service in the army, where they learn to use weapons, is mandatory for the male population of the country (unlike in the United States, where military service is contractual).

These are the main, but far from the only differences in the legislation of the two countries regarding weapons.

Cannabis

Switzerland

On 2015 8% Swiss residents (2 times lower than in the United States) uses at the age of 15-64 years.

Officially, the use of this product is prohibited in Switzerland, and its storage in small quantities (up to 10) is punishable by a fine of $ 100. Some cantons tried to allow its free use and cultivation, but in 2012, this initiative was canceled by a federal court.

Zurich, Basel, Bern and Geneva also took the initiative to launch the so-called cannabis clubs with a limited number of participants in order to allow members to use the club in limited quantities without fear of being fined. It was assumed that such clubs will include adolescents and adults suffering from severe addiction. However, this initiative was also canceled.

However, it is still possible to consume weed in Switzerland if the content of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, has a psychotropic effect) does not exceed 1%. Such a product is called cannabis light or CBD cannabis (from the name of one of the active ingredients - cannabidiol, CBD). You can get it in almost every tobacco shop.

CBD cannabis also is grown in quite a production scale in the country and sold to other European countries.

This substance may also be used for medical purposes. To do this, people are issued licenses for 6 months. with the possibility of extension. However, such people are completely Little among the total number of those who consume.

In Switzerland, the oldest cannabis fair in Europe, CannaTrade, is held, where the jury selects the producers of the best varieties.

USA

Order 16% (2015 g.) US population at the age of 15-64 years used at least once a year. The highest level of consumption was observed among young people aged 18-25 years - 33% (2016 g).

This type of drug is the most common illegal drug in the United States, because it is not legalized at the federal level.

It is a well-known fact that in many states the use of weed is allowed for recreational and / or medical purposes.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis_by_U.S._jurisdiction

Hemp farms grow like mushrooms. A whole promising profitable industry is forming around this product. Currently, this business is most widely distributed in Colorado and California. Farms also open up actively in Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Massachusetts and other states.

In the United States, as in Switzerland, hemp exhibitions are held and mass celebrations are held. Recently, for example, such a festival was held in Seattle.

Photo by the author

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