Here's one version of the story and a bit of it below:
These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.So what? So, a lot.
Forty years later, a record high of nearly two-thirds say "you can't be too careful" in dealing with people. These days, only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. Half felt that way in 1972, when the General Social Survey first asked the question.
Interpersonal trust (or lack thereof) has consequences. One that comes immediately to my mind, because I'm in the middle of doing research on it, is that people who are less trusting of others are more likely to believe in wacky conspiracy theories -- either from the left or the right. Basically, less trust means you're more likely to believe in complex, insane explanations of major events that involve vast conspiracies.
Such trust has been found to be related to better health, better self control, less depression, and makes you more likely to engage in collective actions to solve problems. Read that last one again. Sound important? Like something we could use today? Sound remarkably unlike our present Congress?
So, less trust can lead to less collective action, which can easily be extended to resulting in a less functional democracy.