A better way out of debt

Christian Science Monitor
by Paul Lamb

07/16/09

Can social capital redeem our financial souls? At a time when financial markets have clearly let us down, we can’t afford to breathe new life into a carcass. Social capital offers the solution we have been looking for. What is social capital? It refers to the worth of our social networks, individual skills, and even things like the time we invest in volunteering. For example, the time I put into helping a neighbor paint a fence (free of charge) is a form of social capital. Its value equates to the time I spent and the ‘worth’ of an enhanced relationship. In traditional economics, the nonfinancial contributions we make are basically worthless. Financial transactions and our monetary net worth are all that really matter. Sadly, we have sunk to measuring our individual and national value through debt, surpluses and productivity gains. But what if we looked beyond investments and financial capital and began taking social capital seriously?

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0716/p09s02-coop.html


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