David Rose on Why Culture Matters Most

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Mike talks with University of Missouri St. Louis economist David Rose about his book Why Culture Matters Most. Topics they discuss include:

  • why democratic capitalism is the only reliable way to achieve mass flourishing
  • the relationship between culture, trust, institutions, and mass flourishing
  • small group vs large group trust
  • the role of religion in building a high-trust society
  • why trust in the system has been in such steep decline
  • how limited government helps to maintain trust in the system
  • what we can do to increase trust and strengthen our democratic institutions

Panel on Capitalism & Poverty (YouTube)

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2 thoughts on “David Rose on Why Culture Matters Most”

  1. The author when speaking about inequality uses the idea of Paleolithic man all doing the same thing yet now we have differentiated into different fields of work which cause different work to be remunerated at different rates yet the republican tax bill was giving money to people with inherited wealth. Why is it necessary to give people who didn’t actually work for the wealth that they have tax cuts? Wanting more equality isn’t about envy, it’s about the fact that longitudinal increases in wealth inequality lead to the ossification of society thus preventing the “equality of opportunity”
    That the author claims to care about. People wit massive fortunes don’t depend on publicly provided provisions and don’t interact with those who do. They only stand to lose in the short term by allowing these kinds of provisions to happen so they work hard to buy politicians and block this kind of funding.

    Claiming that we built trust in the system through religion seems laughable to me. We had bosses of businesses in the 19th century hiring private armies to shoot their workers when they went on strike. Slaves sure didn’t trust in society either. I guess if you just pay attention to middle class and upper class white people post WWII, this argument is correct though.

    1. I absolutely get what you’re saying, and that was my reaction when reading Why Culture Matters Most. I wrestled with this a bit and come to the conclusion that there’s something of a tension here. He may be right about government picking winners and losers leading to less trust in the system, but considering how government has aided in the systematic oppression of certain groups over time, it seems to me we can’t just say, “Well, no more of *that*!” and leave the playing field tilted. – Mike

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