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Old 30.01.2011, 12:34
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What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

Hi,

Just had a couple of threads where rich and poor are being spoken about and I was wonding what you all think and appropriate definition of what a rich person is Switzerland is and what a poor person in Switzerland is?
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Old 30.01.2011, 12:42
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

Rich: Half of the spoilt, overpaid King Farouks on the EF who think it's impossible to live on less than 80k a year.

Poor: The miserable souls in the heart of Canton Congo whose houses look they are about to collapse, whose rusty shells of cars sit on bricks in the front yard and whose children, apparently, can't afford belts for their trousers.

It's all relative. I certainly wouldn't want to be even relatively poor here.
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Old 30.01.2011, 12:46
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

After moving from South Africa to London and having my income go up 12 times and my disposable income go up about 5 times, I found myself realising that often it is just as hard if not harder to be a low income person in a very wealthy place than being low income in a poor place.
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Old 30.01.2011, 21:46
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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Rich: Half of the spoilt, overpaid King Farouks on the EF who think it's impossible to live on less than 80k a year.

Poor: The miserable souls in the heart of Canton Congo whose houses look they are about to collapse, whose rusty shells of cars sit on bricks in the front yard and whose children, apparently, can't afford belts for their trousers.

It's all relative. I certainly wouldn't want to be even relatively poor here.
Those souls in the Canton of Congo are not as poor as you think

- Their houses look as being to collapse as waiting for some pro-agriculture and pro-mountain-people subsidies !
- Their cars just sit on bricks waiting for the cousin car-mechanic who on Friday evening takes the required tools and spares from the garage in Zurich, to do his work on Saturday without VAT and other outlandish notions, and then will take the tools back earliest on Monday morning
- Those children have just become too fat for their old belts, and the new one is to be bought in Zurich, when they in Congo have St. ....
like this one http://www.feiertage-schweiz.ch/st.agatha.php

and, ehmmm, compared to Mr Blocher, your ARE poor



while of course, people living on the Gold Coast (Gold-Küschte) are supposed to be rich !

Last edited by Wollishofener; 30.01.2011 at 22:12.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:00
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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Hi,

Just had a couple of threads where rich and poor are being spoken about and I was wonding what you all think and appropriate definition of what a rich person is Switzerland is and what a poor person in Switzerland is?
I wouldn't opt for a relative definition of poverty, the one that one common sees in newspapers (fraction of median). It creates perverse situations where everyone else gets richer if the richest guy leaves, or poorer if a rich person arrives.

Most likely I'd create a basket of goods for the poverty line. If you can't afford it, you're poor. If you can buy the big basket with the fancy car and caviar, you're rich. In between, you're middle income.

What's interesting about the poverty debate is that even the poorest Swiss people are wealthier than the wealthiest groups in quite a number of countries.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:10
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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What's interesting about the poverty debate is that even the poorest Swiss people are wealthier than the wealthiest groups in quite a number of countries.
Yup, but that is why I specifically am asking about Switzerland.
I went from South Africa from a poor (relative to 1st world standards) family to earning good money in the UK to now living in Switzerland (where, when I can get a bleeding job, I am hoping to earn what I would imagine is good money).
Having both begged for food and owned a very nice appartment in the centre of London (not at the same time) I like to think that I have a fair idea in my own head of what I class rich and poor as but would like to hear about what everybody else thinks and also see the differences here in Switzerland as my experience is still very limited here.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:22
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

Some people are poor here because they have invested all their resources in relocating to a better life. They start off behind the 8ball, as with the high cost of living here, and descrimination in the job market possibly stopping them finding decent work, they will never be able to save up much, and will spend the rest of their lives like a hamster on a wheel, keeping their heads above water. With a lot of hard work and sacrifice, hopefully their children will fare better.
Some people are poor here because they choose to come here with no papers, excluding them from making or receiving any real income. Earlier the chances of these folks meeting a native, marrying and getting registered were good, but the Immigration Department is on to that one.....
Some people are poor here because they have chosen a lifestyle that excludes them from society. Theoretically they can re-enter society whenever they want, this can be easier for punks than junkies.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:28
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

In my opinion; if you can afford to eat well here at every meal, own a car, don't have to stress about paying the bills, go out for dinner once a week, travel outside of Switzerland more than once per year and can save a portion of your salary every month... you're rich.
More than this is just 'levels of rich'.

You're poor if you struggle to feed and clothe your family or pay your bills, you can't save and you can't travel.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:33
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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In my opinion; if you can afford to eat well here at every meal, own a car, don't have to stress about paying the bills, go out for dinner once a week, travel outside of Switzerland more than once per year and can save a portion of your salary every month... you're rich.
No, I'd say that's middle class.

And, travelling outside Switzerland is cheaper than staying in Switzerland!

(unless you go to Corsica)

Tom
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Old 06.02.2011, 03:57
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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In my opinion; if you can afford to eat well here at every meal, own a car, don't have to stress about paying the bills, go out for dinner once a week, travel outside of Switzerland more than once per year and can save a portion of your salary every month... you're rich.
More than this is just 'levels of rich'.
.
Damn! No car. Does travelling outside Switzerland at least once a week, by bicycle, week make up for that? I like to feel rich.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:26
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

Rich is earning enough so that you can spend some of your time doing what you want to do rather than what you need to do.

Poor is... not realising what you have.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:28
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

Now there's a line I can't wait to use on all of my poor mates.
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...Poor is... not realising what you have.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:32
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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Now there's a line I can't wait to use on all of my poor mates.
I don't think that's the kind of line to be "shared" with others, but it can be really quite useful to quietly keep in mind.
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Old 30.01.2011, 13:42
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

I have a Swiss climbing friend who works in a bar; he is very intelligent, went to college, fluent English, around mid-thirties. He was mentioning his hourly wages, I don't remember, but I thought it was quite low and might qualify him as poor by monetary measures (I think he works in a bar by choice).

However if you look at his lifestyle, I think he is rich. over time he has accrued a decent set of equipment, he knows places where for very little money he can have amazing climbing holidays. He also smokes pot or some such things, he is really a fun guy to be around. I think he has friends who sponsor his trips, because every year or so he manages to make a climbing holiday to Yosemite in the US.

Likewise I know of a friend's friend who is a truck driver, makes very little money, but has enough knowledge and friends accrued over years, with which he manages to climb big mountains spending almost no money...seen some of his pics drinking and sharing his whiskey on a summit

I am sure there are cyclists, skiers or pianists who likewise live a rich life despite modest means here.

So I think, at least in Switzerland, you can be poor in monetary terms, but live as rich and fun life as you want to make out of it.
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Old 02.02.2011, 13:20
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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Rich is earning enough so that you can spend some of your time doing what you want to do rather than what you need to do.

Poor is... not realising what you have.
I disagree: poor is realising what you have, and still managing to get through the month!

Definition of poor in Switzerland varies slightly between cantons due to the variations in medical and housing costs.

In Bern you start to receive social security when your income is below 2'000 per month for a single person, plus 600 for each child. You can easily live on that, but there are no holidays and no cars.

The beggars in the cities would be entitled to the 2'000 but of course that doesn't pay for the drugs.

For me to be rich would be to be able to take 3 weeks off work and go anywhere in the world for a holiday with all the family.
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Old 02.02.2011, 13:43
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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I disagree: poor is realising what you have, and still managing to get through the month!
..
In this case, would this person call themselves poor?

The mother a kid at the local school, buys milk from the farmer and makes her own yoghurt, because she says the stuff in the shops is too expensive. They rent a 2 bedroom flat with 3 kids, both parents are sickness beneficiaries. She doesn't call herself poor, she knows she is better off than "others she knows".

Other friends feel they are "living it rough" when the kids have a clothing item that hasn't been bought in the "right" shop. They consider themselves "struggling" in their 3 bathroom house, when they have to reduce the cleaners hours...

"getting through" .... hummm...
That also has a wide scope of definition.
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Old 30.01.2011, 14:04
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

If I (we) didn't have 4 young children living with us here in Switzerland we would be rich!
Unfortunately the fact that we do have 4 young children means we are only middle class although some months it does feel like we are poor.

Everyones list of necessaries are different. For me, things like childcare for the younger 2 children and English reading lessons for the older 2 are things I'm not willing to give up. I would rather go without holidays and have these paid for. Yes I could have more money each month if I forgo these but just like some go drinking every week it's what is important to each individual person.

It really is all relative. Whether it be a student on $120 per week or $1200 a week job the money is NEVER enough!
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Old 30.01.2011, 14:19
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

So far there seems to be some consensus that rich and poor are things that are not nessisarily definable by the amount of money that you have coming in or the amount that you end up spending.

If we were to ask more directly in monetary terms, what would you say? How little would a family of 4 living in an average situation in Switzerland need to earn to be considdered rich or poor?
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Old 30.01.2011, 14:31
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

How strange when talking about rich and poor, everybody jumps on the money.
I have traveled a lot, in fact a very lot. Maybe I have seen too much real "poor" I tend to think being able to live in relative peace with a fulfilled life, a few pounds of food a day and access to clean water makes me rich, a beer or two and Slammer is happy.
Watching my kids grow up safely (even if they are not here) makes me rich.
Money doesn't enter the equation.
I do not have a lot of money and some months I just can not make ends meet. (Don't ask me about January) But generally it works.
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Old 30.01.2011, 14:33
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Re: What is your definition of Rich and Poor in Switzerland?

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How strange when talking about rich and poor, everybody jumps on the money.
Slammer, while I agree completely with the sentiment that you expressed, the question was specifically about money. I wanted to get to a good definition of the monetary side of things so that it can be easily answered and thus in some situations removed from the discussion.
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