Trust: The Missing Element in Today’s Economy

Choosing_the_Wedding_Gown_vicar_of_wakefield_mulreadyMany people think that government stimulus packages are the way to produce prosperity since taxpayers’ money serves as a mechanism to jumpstart the economy. However, what really provides the basis for prosperity is trust. Trust gets things done efficiently and quickly.

Sociologist Robert Putnam explains:

“A society characterized by generalized reciprocity is more efficient than a distrustful society, for the same reason that money is more efficient than barter. If we don’t have to balance every exchange instantly, we can get a lot more accomplished. Trustworthiness lubricates social life. Frequent interaction among a diverse set of people tends to produce a norm of generalized reciprocity. Civic engagement and social capital entail mutual obligation and responsibility for action.” (Robert D. Putnam, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2000, p. 21.)


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