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July 12, 2007

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JH

Aren't you simply referring to one form of social capital (culture and institutions being other facets)? Much development literature recognises the importance of such capital, along with natural, physical, and human capital. So, yes many would agree that social capital/friendship leads to better economic outcomes.

arthur

Isn't the Marxist in you going to kick in and tell everyone that capitalism will turn all relationships into economic ones?

Laban

I know how you feel. I don't think I've ever seen a night so dark. Even the moon's just gone behind a cloud.

cityunslicker

surely it depends far more on who your friends are and how they could help.

How would having a bunch of heroin addcits as friends be a plus over being lonesome?

dreamingspire

Clearly you are not involved in a company that tries to sell to the public sector, because then you would need to know all about equal opportunities employment legislation and MEAT (the rule about accepting the Most Economically Advantageous Tender). Clearly you also don't take account of the argument that the growing gap between rich and poor damages the fabric of society. I agree with you about not wanting to be saddled with a cowboy builder, and indeed when I need a builder or plumber I look for someone who comes well recommended - so we need transparency, i.e. obvious and trusted ways for businesses to demonstrate competence.

Workshy Fop

Are you the balding chap in the 'London' network?

dearieme

Get a cat.

dreamingspire

Me? Nah. Used to have 2 cats.

Paulie

Dreamingspire's comment about how this isn't reflected in public procurement is interesting. If a politicised civil service were able to award contracts to it's mates, I suspect we'd all benefit from better cheaper services, and we'd be able to vote out politicians who didn't command suppliers effectively.

On the wider point, Chris, the question of how our actions diminish other people's social capital is one that's not considered very seriously except for the 'authoritarians' in new Labour. As technology creates new rights that liberals then quickly sweep into the 'inalienable' pile, we all get poorer.

Paulie

Oh, and if you're quoting C&W lyricist for fantastic examples of lonesomeness, try Patsy Cline's 'Walking after midnight' song...

"I see a weeping willow,
Crying on it's pillow
Maybe it's crying for me?
And as the night turns gloomy,
The nighttime whispers to me,
I'm as lonesome as I could be."

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