Bowling Alone - by Robert D. Putnam

30.08.2014 02:25

 

FACTOIDS

We are bowling alone. More Americans are bowling than ever before, but they are not bowling in leagues.

Quitting smoking or joining a club, it's a tough call which would improve your life expectancy more.

Joining and participating in one group cuts your odds of dying over the next year in half. Joining two groups cuts it by three quarters.

The internet didn't cause our civic disengagement. We were well on our way to civic disengagement when Bill Gates was in grade school.

We're not experiencing a Springtime of volunteering, but an Indian Summer, propped up by our nation's seniors -- who have been more civic throughout their lives.

Each 10 minutes of additional commuting time cuts all forms of social capital by 10 percent--10 percent less church-going, 10 percent fewer club meetings, 10 percent fewer evenings with friends, etc.

The best predictor of tax evasion is the number of times annually that one gives the finger to another driver, and social capital is the best variable to successfully predict levels of tax compliance state-by-state.

Social capital is the best variable to successfully predict levels of tax compliance state-by-state.

TV is the only leisure activity where doing more of it is associated with lower social capital.

Decline factoid...

  • Family dinners and family vacations or even just sitting and talking with your family are down by one third in last 25 years.

  • Having friends over to the house is down by 45 percent over last 25 years.

  • Participation in clubs and civic organizations has been cut by more than half over last 25 years.

  • Involvement in community life, such as public meetings is down by 35 percent over last 25 years.

  • Church attendance is down by roughly one third since 1960s.

  • Philanthropy as fraction of income is down by nearly one third since 1960s.

If you had to choose between 10% more cops on the beat or 10% more citizens knowing their neighbors' first names, the latter is a better crime prevention strategy. If you had to choose between 10% more teachers or 10% more parents being involved in their kids' education, the latter is a better route to educational achievement.

All the net growth in female employment over the last two decades is due to more women working because they have to financially; none of it is due to more women working for reasons of personal satisfaction.

If you had to choose whether your child was born into a poor state or low social capital state, the low social capital state is worse for the child's outcomes according to the Annie Casey Foundation's Kids Count Index (low birthweight babies, unwanted teen pregnancies, teenage drug use, etc.).

The number of socially isolated Americans have more than doubled over the 2 decades from 1984-2004 from 10% to a quarter of all Americans.

Civic engagement and volunteering is the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that's free to join and miraculously improves both your health and the community's through the work performed and the social ties built.

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