The Fruits of Civilization (29-2) Trust


Trust is essential to economic activity. Implicit trust is the only reason that anyone conducts an economic transaction besides barter, when the goods exchanged are at hand.

Virtually every commercial transaction has within itself an element of trust. ~ American economist Kenneth Arrow

Competition in most every quarter of social life cuts against trust. Morality is readily cast aside when there is something to gain by guile. Such is the state of the world’s societies.

Competitive markets by their very nature spawn deception and trickery. ~ American economists George Akerlof & Robert Shiller

The 2008 recession was almost as much a shock to the societal trust system as it was to the economy. Lack of trust retarded recovery.

The government’s ability to fight the recession was substantially constrained by the fact that its credibility was in tatters. ~ American economist Justin Wolfers

Beyond blind eyes, a saving grace to capitalism is folks’ short memory; that, and the powerless of most of the population to change their fate. The competition for the future has already been won by those with the wealth to purchase outcomes – in that you can trust.

It is the loss of social capital at all levels of community that most threatens the world’s stability and future prosperity. ~ American journalist Roger Cohen