The Social Capital Project recently released a Social Capital Index covering every state and nearly every county in America. As we discussed in the accompanying report, states with high index values tend to be smaller than states with low values. Fully 56 percent of Americans live in the 40 percent of states with the lowest social capital values, while just 21 percent reside in the 40 percent of states with the highest values. In our report, population size had a negative correlation with both the state and county-level versions of our index (-0.34 and -0.15, respectively).
Social capital is almost surely an important factor driving many of our nation’s greatest successes and most serious challenges. Indeed, the withering of associational life is itself one of those challenges. Public policy solutions to such challenges are inherently elusive. But at present, policymakers and researchers lack the high-quality contemporary measures of social capital available at the state and local levels to even try proposing solutions that are attuned to associational life.

In an analysis last year, Volunteerism in America, the Social Capital Project found that rates of volunteerism have either held steady or risen over the past forty years—a rare indicator of the health of our associational life that has not worsened over the period. Our initial report, What We Do Together, also highlighted the increase in hours of volunteering per person over time.

How Taxation of Capital Affects Growth and Employment

Joint Economic Committee Hearing

Apr 17 2012

I am glad we are discussing this topic today because I believe strongly that our tax system is in great need of reform. Our current tax code is just way too complicated, biased against saving, and distorts economic behavior. Also, we have the unfortunate distinction of having the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Not surprisingly, this has not provided incentive for corporations to stay or relocate here – resulting in the flight of jobs and capital away from the U.S.