Two days before Christmas I spent an hour watching a beggar. Would you like to hazard a guess at how many people gave to her? She was an old woman. She looked ancient but was probably only 50 or 60 years old. She was shriveled and doubled over to the extent that she took up little more than the space of an average TV set on one of La Paz’s busiest pavements. And her spindly wrist stuck out of this buddle desperately imploring passers-by to spare a coin or two. But no, hearts didn’t jump. Even in the peak of their Christmas generosity people were not going to jolted into giving by this pitiful sight and, in the end, out of the hundreds that went past, just six people stopped to drop a coin into her hand.