One of my favorite jokes goes like this: Two economists are looking at a fancy car. One economist says “I’ve always wanted to buy that kind of car.” The other economist says “no you haven’t.”
The point being that if we don’t do something that we say we want to do, sometimes we really don’t want to do it. (Not always, of course).
I’ve been thinking about the concept of Mark Regnerus’ blog post earlier this week that mentioned how community life used to be stronger (Gemeinschaft if your playing along at home).
Countless times I’ve heard people lament that community ties aren’t as strong as they used to be, and it’s probably true. Why it that the case?
At the heart of it, I think that we don’t have as strong a community ties because we don’t need to. Many of the ties that we look back on fondly were there out of necessity. There was no internet, so if people needed to communicate, they would call or stop by. People had less money, so they would borrow more. Women had less access to jobs, so they had more time to volunteer. Etc…
Since about the mid-1990s, [Read more...]