The international index shows that Switzerland has little willingness to help. This editorial team recently reported that poor Eva M. In the matter, things are different.
Eva M. – His real name became known to the teachers – recently She tells her story here. He is in his late 50s, his marriage ended in divorce in 2020 after 37 years, and he has nothing financially after the divorce. Eva M. Despite 40 years of working and paying taxes in Switzerland, our social safety net has not proven sustainable. Help came from our readers.
After a difficult time that plunged her into a psychological crisis, she moved on: Eva M., who seemed surprisingly young at heart after all, had a permanent 80 percent job as a cashier in a supermarket. Currently her meager income of around 2,500 francs disqualifies her from receiving social assistance – she has more than 60 francs a month in her pocket – but it is not enough to live on; And certainly not for “extras” like an urgently needed dentist. Eva M. He feels threatened financially, physically and mentally.
Our system always leads to such situations. Therefore, experts propose various changes, such as raising living standards under the Social Welfare Act, to reduce poverty, debt and the risk of poverty, especially to help borrowers find a way out of the negative spiral. .
In turn, our readers, in more than 400 comments on the article, have repeatedly shown what research has long said: We are, fundamentally, a compassionate and helpful species.
One study found that the higher the per capita income, the lower the willingness to help.
Research by developmental psychologist Robert Hebach (University of Oxford) shows that two-year-olds have an innate need to rush to help people when they can – for example, they help spontaneously and without hesitation when someone drops a spoon. Social norms and “cost-benefit calculations” are only effective in helping behavior by age three, and unreflective spontaneity declines. Finally, adults often avoid the diffusion of responsibility and do nothing.
Robert Levin, a prominent American friendship researcher and social psychologist who died in 2019, found a systematic correlation between low population density, small populations, slower walking speeds of passers-by, and greater willingness to help. In general, according to Levin, people in Latin American cities — even big cities — were more helpful than those in Anglophones. One of the most important aspects is per capita income: the higher it is, the less willingness to help.
Not surprisingly, Switzerland is not in the top ten of the latest World Giving Index, which is used each year to show a country’s philanthropy. In fact, our country ranked 76th in the 2022 report, and even last (115th) in the category of “helping the foreigner”. The report is based on representative surveys of whether you volunteered, donated money to a charity, and yes, helped a complete stranger in the previous month.
Eva M. is among the 1,244,000 people considered to be at risk of poverty in Switzerland.
Coincidentally, in the last survey published, Indonesia ranked first for aid and generosity for the fifth year in a row, which researchers attribute primarily to the cultural and religious norms there. Kenya is second, but the United States is third, followed by Australia and New Zealand — none of which count among the poorest countries. At the bottom are Cambodia (119) and Japan (118).
“Long-termism” is an attitude that currently has rich, tech-savvy people like Elon Musk standing up for the poor. The term itself is also referred to as the “Philanthropy Keyword 2023” and has a sort of science fiction perspective behind it. Considering the future population – which long-termists assume will be greater than today’s – all such humanitarian efforts are aimed only at the future. Accordingly, more money will be spent on future space colonization than on improving the living conditions of current beneficiaries or exploiters. Others have strongly criticized this idea.
Of the 1,244,000 people in Switzerland considered at risk of poverty, Eva M., who lives in a one-person household on more than 30,200 francs a year, is very frugal, as are nearly every seventh person. And trying to cover all ongoing expenses, including his credit card loan installments. It was a complete surprise to her to receive so much encouragement from strangers that even the figures above gave little reason to believe.
In fact, nearly half a dozen readers contacted our editors directly and asked Eva M. They provided concrete material and non-material assistance. At the time this article was written, Eva M. had already been assessed 4800 Swiss Francs. They are managed by the Community Advisory Service. Eva M. Says: “I want to thank these people from the bottom of my heart. It’s a great gesture, I have no words to describe it!”
Dear Alexandra He works as a cultural teacher in the field of life. He writes mainly on drama and social and educational policy. Studied German, English and Philosophy at Constance, Oxford and Freiburg.More info