Poverty despite of Wealth 

Wednesday, 16. October 2013 | 9:15 Uhr


Ueli Mäder


University Basel


Professor Ueli Mäder of the Sociology Department of the University of Basel remarked that Switzerland is one of the richest countries in the world. However, the wealth is distributed very unilaterally. According to the Global Wealth Report by Credit Suisse (2010), one percent of private taxpayers dispose of more net assets than the other 99 percent. And he added: “After the Second World War, the material living conditions of a large part of the Swiss population improved. Important social institutions were established: insurance for old, widowed and disabled people. Social inequalities decreased.
In 1972, there were only 106 unemployed people in Switzerland. With full employment, the previous material poverty seemed to be over. But that changed with recessionary slumps. Thousands of people lost their gainful employment.
And since the end of the 1980s, a financially capitalistic regime prevailed, which forces capital gains, legitimizes social opposites, and further streamlines production. When machines replace human labor, we might end up with more time and money. The problem, however, lies in the distribution. Therefore, many people living alone, single parents, and families with children end up in distress.”
In conclusion, Ueli Mäder quoted various wealthy people. Some of the statements provided food for thought, others made participants smile – such as this one: “Those who work have no time to earn money.”

Ueli Mäder

Born in 1951; matura certificate with commercial focus, studies in sociology, psychology and philosophy
Basic training in psychotherapy
Management of a development organization
Teacher at the School of Social Work (FHNW)
2001-2004 Associate Professor at the University of Fribourg.
Since 2005: Full Professor at the University of Basel. Former Dean of the Faculty for Philosophy and History. Director of the post-graduate studies “conflict analysis and conflict management”

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