Wer hilft den Armen?

PARIS – Während sich die Wirtschaftskrise verschärft und sich die Möglichkeit einer weiteren Rezession am Horizont abzeichnet, wird die zunehmende soziale Ungleichheit ein immer dringenderes Thema. Wie kann man in einem Land den Sinn für Solidarität und Verantwortung stärken? Wer schützt die Schwächsten der Gesellschaft?

Ich erinnere mich an eine Diskussion, die ich vor mehr als zehn Jahren in Berlin mit dem deutschen Theologen Hans Küng und Teilnehmern aus Amerika und Asien geführt habe. Das Thema war “Globalisierung und Ethik” – darunter ein Vergleich der Methoden, mit denen Europa, die USA und Asien die jeweils schwächsten Mitglieder der Gesellschaft schützen.

Alle Beteiligten waren sich einig, dass in den USA private Philanthropie, in Asien die Familie und in Europa der Staat zuständig ist. Aber alle stimmten überein, dass diese Modelle ihre Grenzen haben: In Asien war die Familie nicht mehr so zuverlässig wie früher, in den USA spielte der Staat eine größere Rolle als erwartet, und in Europa konnte er seine Rolle oft nicht ausreichend erfüllen.

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