Idleness is the Seed of Unrest as Work is the Root of Stability

If one looks at all the social conditions that lead to crime, rebellion, and large-scale discontent, the common denominator is high unemployment where people have nothing to do but think how bad off they are and blaming it on others.  In contrast employed people, even if impoverished, are far less likely to be discontent because they are simple too busy or tired to think about their predicament as well as receiving compensation to help with living conditions.

Keeping people occupied results in far more social stability whereas high unemployment is the breeding ground for social unrest and political instability.  Crime is highest where unemployment is high.  These are tinderbox of unrest as in the riots in Oakland after the shooting of Oscar Grant by BART police.  In Palestine where much of their infrastructure is destroyed the unemployment rate is about 50% making it ripe for violence and recruitment by Palestinians factions against Israel.

So how can widespread violence and discontent be mitigated?  Perhaps by keeping people employed.  This feeds back into itself by improving the standard of living of those employed leading to even further contentment and stability.

One functions of humanitarian organizations such as the United Nations is to provide for the needs of the destitute and temporary safe havens for those being persecuted by their government or militant groups.  Traditionally they do this by supplying food, supplies, medical aid, and establishing refugee camps to provide a safe place to live.

Sometimes they use people being aided to help with these services but most of these destitute people have little to do.  This leaves people idle with little real purpose in life. Why not invest the time and effort to find things for everyone to do?  Why not organize people into work details to do things that make overall living conditions better?  One idea is to devise a portable manufacturing facilities or tent for them to work in and giving them a wage or some other compensation for their work.  These products can then be sold on the open world market to make money for compensations and for building more such portable manufacturing facilities elsewhere.

For example a portable flashlight assembly facility could be developed.  A flashlight could be designed that would be easy to assembled with simple tools.  Large tents with assembly benches could be provided for assembly.  Parts for the flashlight could be stored in warehouses somewhere in the world and shipped to these facilities just like food and medical supplies are sent to camps or other locations.  Then these people could be hired to assemble flashlights.  Workers would be paid a wage or provided with extra food or other compensation to make life more comfortable.  Later a permanent manufacturing facility could be built and owned and managed by trainees trained for these positions.  At that time parts can be sold to the new company and the finished product sold through already established markets.

Another idea would be providing practical training so people can learn to do useful jobs.  For example people with some education could be trained to become teachers then be provided with classrooms for teaching children.  Perhaps a school and classrooms could be constructed by people taught how to construct buildings.  Others could be trained with accounting skills and given responsibility for distributing aid items such as food and supplies and keep an account of what they distributed.  Some could be taught to dig ditches used for latrines and other things.

It is important to engage idle people into helping themselves and their community.  Practical trade training and job creation should be a major part of humanitarian aid organization to help destitute people rise above their situation by providing them with the tools needed for contributing to a better future.  Providing everything for them only makes them more dependent and unproductive.

This entry was posted in Life's Lessons, Personal Perspective, Social Issues, Society and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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