20 December 2015

Liechtenstein: World's Most Curious Country or the Future?

Liechtenstein might be the most curious country in the West.

It disbanded its army in 1868 and hasn't had a military since. Then, in 2007, the Swiss army accidentally "invaded" Liechtenstein after they got lost. The Swiss infantry unit conquered nothing during their brief invasion and later sent an apology.
Andreas Kieber, last surviving soldier of Liechtenstein, posing in the Vaduz Castle in the 1930s. The country abolished its armed foces in 1868. [From reddit, found on historicaltimes]

Liechtenstein  has put its trust in corporations instead of the military and the result is a remarkable ratio. Because it offers a corporate tax rate of 12.5% and made it easy to incorporate, about 73,000 corporations have incorporated there. That's not remarkable until you realize that this works out to 2 corporations for each citizen: Liechtenstein's population is only 36,000.

By putting their trust in corporations rather than traditional armies, Liechtenstein has done well. It's per capita GDP of nearly $90,000 is the third highest in the world and its literacy rate is 100%. (Imagine the pressure you'd feel if you were raising the one child in this small country who just couldn't get the hang of reading.)

No army for nearly 150 years, 2 corporations per citizen and 3rd highest per capita GDP in the world. It's not a formula that could work for everyone, or at least not until the popularization of entrepreneurship has gone much further than I've previously imagined. For the world to do what Liechtenstein has would mean that each person is, on average, running two corporations (presumably with robots). There was a time, of course, when the idea of two cars per household was unimaginable so just maybe ....

No comments: