America's Economy Is Growing, But What About Our Nation's Social Capital?
Looking at the economic indicators, our country is doing pretty well. But based on a different set of metrics, we have some pretty incredible issues that we have to deal with right now. Our jobs and money situation are on improving, but our communities are falling apart from social isolation and various addictions.
Senator Mike Lee of Utah wrote an article in The Daily Signal discussing how a social capital crisis exists in many U.S. states, with families breaking down, community members falling to addiction and living in isolation. More Americans live in states that are in the bottom 10 than in the top 10 of success metrics.
"Genuine human connections are the foundation of a happy life. They occur at home, but also in the community in churches, civic groups, neighborhood gatherings, and workplaces.
"Social scientists refer to these connections as "social capital" to illustrate that they are a resource every bit as precious as money. Indeed, more precious. Just as social capital is important for each of us as individuals, so too is it important in the life of a community."
Social institutions like family, churches, and civic groups have formed the backbone of American society. These institutions have taught us how to govern ourselves, to solve our own problems without government taking over. Without these institutions being fully functional and intact, freedom only has so much longer to live.
Utah was the top state for social capital, so its residents are doing something right. Perhaps there's something that other states and communities can learn so that we can increase our social capital along with our monetary capital.