Pol­i­tics and So­ci­ety

Fed­eral Old Age and Sur­vivors’ In­sur­ance (AHV) is the new top-ranked con­cern of the Swiss, while co­ex­ist­ing with for­eign­ers is rated more pos­i­tively. Mo­bi­liza­tion is trend­ing in the US. A lack of equal­ity rep­re­sents a prob­lem.

Bulletin - - Credit Suisse Youth Barometer -

In­sti­tu­tional pol­i­tics and po­lit­i­cal par­ties may gen­er­ally be con­sid­ered passé → Chap­ter 3, but that doesn’t mean that young peo­ple are un­in­ter­ested in their coun­try’s prob­lems or that they aren’t en­gaged. So, what are the lat­est con­cerns in Switzer­land, the US, Brazil and Sin­ga­pore? → Chart 4.1

Old Age and Sur­vivors’ In­sur­ance (AHV) tops the list of con­cerns in Switzer­land, in line with the trend of the Credit Suisse Worry Barom­e­ter (see Bul­letin 4/17 and credit-suisse.com/wor­ry­barom­e­ter). There is a clear cor­re­la­tion to the pen­sion re­form ref­er­en­dum and its ex­ten­sive cov­er­age in the me­dia last year. De­spite the ur­gent need for AHV re­form, only 36 per­cent of re­spon­dents con­sid­ered the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the old and the young to be strained – down from 40 per­cent in 2010. So, that means ev­ery­thing is fine? Not so fast: Only 18 per­cent of those sur­veyed con­sid­ered the re­la­tion­ship to be har­mo­nious – the largest group took a neu­tral stance on the is­sue (41 per­cent).

Clearly, the topic of for­eign­ers and refugees has lost some of its ur­gency, while co­ex­is­tence was re­garded as more and more har­mo­nious → Fig­ure 4.2. In the words of Boris Zürcher, Head of the Labour Direc­torate of the State Sec­re­tariat for Eco­nomic Af­fairs, this re­sult demon­strates how the ap­proval of the mass im­mi­gra­tion ini­tia­tive gave “large parts of the pop­u­la­tion the sense of be­ing heard” (p. 63). Still, he added his as­sump­tion that “the topic will again be­come more rel­e­vant if im­mi­gra­tion in­creases again.”

In the US, Sin­ga­pore and Brazil, un­em­ploy­ment holds one of the top two spots in the prob­lem rank­ing – even though the data from the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ILO) shows that in some cases un­em­ploy­ment rates are lower than those in Switzer­land.

Re­tire­ment pro­vi­sion was a ma­jor con­cern, but nev­er­the­less only 36 per­cent con­sid­ered the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the gen­er­a­tions to be strained.

One pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tion is that job se­cu­rity in Switzer­land is slightly over­es­ti­mated in gen­eral. Or that, thanks to the well-es­tab­lished so­cial in­sur­ance, the Swiss feel more se­cure than their peers in other coun­tries.

In the US, Sin­ga­pore and Brazil, gen­der equal­ity is con­sid­ered one of the top five prob­lems (Switzer­land: 10th place). Ter­ror­ism is also ranked very highly in the US (2nd place) and Sin­ga­pore (4th place). For many years, cor­rup­tion has been per­ceived to be Brazil’s great­est prob­lem, and now it has de­buted in Sin­ga­pore’s rank­ing, com­ing in at third place.

In the US, where pol­i­tics have grown more rau­cous in re­cent years, this has had a mo­bi­liz­ing ef­fect. Com­pared to 2017, the pop­u­lar­ity of po­lit­i­cal demon­stra­tions grew from 16 to 33 per­cent, and calls for re­forms in­creased from 75 to 85 per­cent. For the first time, the sur­vey also cov­ered fake news and gun con­trol, which were both cho­sen by 18 per­cent of those sur­veyed. Young peo­ple in Switzer­land were asked where they felt they be­longed → Fig­ure 4.3. Re­spon­dents could choose from nine dif­fer­ent so­cial units. With only a few ex­cep­tions, the sense of be­long­ing has been de­clin­ing since 2015. Friends and fam­ily re­mained the so­cial units of­fer­ing the great­est sense of be­long­ing, while re­li­gious com­mu­ni­ties and on­line com­mu­ni­ties were those with the least. This gen­eral de­cline is thought-pro­vok­ing, al­though it may be an in­di­ca­tion of just how in­de­pen­dent and con­fi­dent this gen­er­a­tion is.

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