I agree with @JP. Many people are missing the point. This is something I was struggling with deeply this autumn, trying to account for other forms of capital. You can buy the services a good social network (avoiding the family argument here for a moment) provides, but it's not cheap, and it's less resilient. This is because if the money flow stops, the service stops as well. Good social capital works in reverse, when times get tough the benefits increase. The best financial analog I can think of here is insurance, or maybe an annuity. Having a good social network provides a safety net similar to that of FI. It doesn't only provide life benefits when you are directly realizing some form of "gains". It significantly reduces daily life stress because someone else can always cook the dinner, give you a ride, pick up the kids, etc. This provides the stability and feeling of safety that allows for greater risk taking and experimentation, which intern leads to greater success. This is exactly what FU/FI does in the sense that you can always pay for a ride, a babysitter, or a cooked dinner. So you don't have to worry about it and are free to spend your time doing other things, when those other things are more important.jennypenny wrote: ↑Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:08 amI'm also not looking at social capital with scorekeeping in mind. [/b]People here project that ontoI think some of you are missing the finer points of the article. Brooks isn't arguing that extended/forged families are better because then you don't have to pay someone to watch your kids. That was only a side benefit. The point is that if other people help out with child care, the kids (and those adults) get social and emotional benefits out of the relationship. It's those hard-to-quantify bennies that are missing and why so many people struggle with loneliness and depressions these days.
I also tend to believe the science behind socialization and happiness is pretty overwhelming.(*) So on top of the insurance you also get a better, happier life. @daylen, Happiness is not overrated, you should try it
(*) Although there are always exceptions to the rule and we may have a higher than normal population cross section of those exceptions on this forum.
I'm not sure how many people here have experience across the US social classes. I have a lot of cross-social experience personally and professionally. @Jacob is dead on correct, IMO. It's mostly the middle class and upper middle class that transactionalizes social capital.
This is something I don't have experience with, I never had a strong extended family. I know people who do though, and they tend to complain about the expectations, restrictions, etc. So, I have to assume its a huge problem. I'm not sure this has to be a continuum though. With individualism on one end, and communalism on the other. Modern travel and communication have allowed the unprecedented ability to create one's own tribe. This is a freedom few people seem to take advantage of, maybe because they have to spend so much time making money to pay for the benefits a tribe provides. I believe the idea of crafting an extended family through a strong social network can allow for individualistic preferences and provide the source of community needed to actualize all the benefits it provides. It takes work though, just like FI, so most don't put in the effort.
Edited to add: @JP had an excellent point in another thread. Maybe the reason people do not place value on the idea of tribe/extended family is because we are not able to measure the benefits as easily as we can with a large pile of money, a 3%WR, and a monthly budget of services we purchase.