This is IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
of your family or friends. How well would those relationships work without trust
-- or with a broken trust?
Forbes magazine declared Tiger Woods the first athlete to reach one billion
dollars in career earnings. That includes winnings, appearances, product
endorsements and more.
The Associated Press just voted him "athlete of
the decade." But more than half the votes arrived before his private life
hit the news.
The young golfer has admitted being unfaithful to his
wife and family. Public opinion of him has fallen. Some companies have removed
him from their advertising. Tiger Woods is now taking what he calls "an
indefinite break from professional golf."
also plays into much bigger issues, like reaching a climate change agreement or
reforming a health care system.
different researchers have recently studied the effects of trust within countries.
Ahlerup is an economics researcher at Sweden's University of Gothenburg. His research
suggests that trust between people is more important in countries with a weak
legal system. And in societies where there is less trust between people, the
quality of the legal system plays a larger part.
He says projects designed to increase
interpersonal trust can have a major effect in poor countries with undependable
legal systems. Earlier research has shown that countries with greater trust between
people generally do better in economic growth and other areas.
What about trust in government -- could
it even affect murder rates? A historian at Ohio State University argues yes in
a new book called "American Homicide."
Roth studied homicide rates over the past four hundred years in parts of the
United States and western Europe. The Justice Department says rates in recent
years fell to levels last seen in the middle of the nineteen sixties. Still,
murder rates in the United States have generally been among the highest among
Western democracies since the middle of the nineteenth century.
Professor Roth says poverty and
unemployment do not lead to higher murder rates. Nor do stronger punishments
and more police keep murder rates down.
looked at murder among unrelated adults and found four things that relate to
homicide rates. One is a belief that a government is stable and that the
justice and legal systems are fair and effective. Another is a feeling of trust
in government officials.
third factor is a sense of pride in country and unity with other citizens. And the
fourth is a belief that a person's position in society is satisfactory and that
getting respect does not require violence.
these feelings are strong, he says, murder rates are generally low. Rates are
higher when people do not trust their leaders or feel protected or connected to
society. But Professor Roth says even the best political leaders cannot unite a
country once a society's problems get out of control.
And that's IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written
by Brianna Blake. I'm Steve Ember.