Sunday, September 24, 2017

Trust and Class Commonality

Are societal trust issues affected by widening differences in income level? As populations continue to sort both geographically and monetarily according to skill and merit, it becomes more difficult to coordinate basic time use functions across groups. Plus: When high income groups compensate low income groups for economic activities, doing so sometimes involves a degree of risk - particularly when time based services occur within one's home. Nevertheless, in part due to new digital means which make it simple to monitor the transaction, Walmart is now willing to offer at home grocery delivery, straight to one's refrigerator.

Walmart is betting that today's high tech reality, can generate sufficient trust so that strangers might enter when we aren't home. Their advertising approach includes an interesting low cost/low skill twist, given the usual appeals to trustworthiness so often observed. In countless television commercials, local service providers assure potential customers that services will be carried out by someone whose professional level is "top notch".

Yet the local service provider approach has proven effective for good reason: Commonality between those who hire, and those who would be hired, implies less risk involved in the transaction. People are most comfortable coordinating personal activities with those who share similar income levels and backgrounds, since there tends to be less reason for theft in these circumstance. Normally, whenever groups come together which hold wide variance in skill and income levels, public settings tend to be preferred, so that more eyes can see what takes place.

Hence shared preference for class commonality, suggests that a different approach to work coordination is ultimately possible. We could build upon greater class commonality, by coordinating a wide range of skill sets in our daily routines with others. Our openness to sharing the most sought after workplace challenges of our time, would make it possible to coordinate a wider range of economic activity at much closer range. When individuals and groups are willing to share a full range of skill levels that are related by proximity, group commonalities could eventually be constructed, that are more amenable to mutual trust.

Why might skills sharing be such an efficient approach? For one, it would greatly minimize today's commuting and real estate issues which otherwise increasingly stand in the way of multi skill coordination. Even better, the willingness to share a full range of skills sets with others, could be one of the best means we have, to restore societal trust.

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