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Trump is not destiny. Here’s what is.

6 27 43

It’s time to take a brief break from President Trump. Whatever you think of him, there’s no denying that he dominates the news cycle. We seem to assume that the nation’s future depends on Trump’s fate, for better or worse. The reality is otherwise: The nation’s future also hangs on larger economic and social trends that no president can shape.

A new report from the congressional Joint Economic Committee (JEC) reminds us of this. The report examines the nation’s “social capital.” Now, social capital is an obscure academic term that, essentially, signifies the ability of people to work and play together — to cooperate and connect with others. The stronger a society’s social capital, the less isolated and powerless people feel. The news here is cautionary; our social capital is depleting.

The JEC study assessed social capital in four realms — family life, the workplace, religion and community — and found it weakening in all four. Here’s a brief summary of the report’s conclusions, which are based on scholarly studies and public opinion surveys.

●Family life: Marriages are down; out-of-wedlock births are up. In 2015, nearly a third of all........

© Washington Post