I wouldn’t presume to be smarter than Hank Paulson, Elaine Chao, or Bob Gates; however, I believe we can solve most of the social & economic issues on the planet by providing full-time employment opportunities to men ages 18-25.
- We don’t need to provide aid to the Palestinians.
- We don’t need to arm the Chechens.
- We don’t need to defend Iraq from Islamic jihadists.
We need to provide young men with opportunities to earn a living and have a purpose beyond themselves. We need to arm our young men with skills & knowledge — not dogma — and set our expectations high. Nothing short of full-time employment or national service is acceptable.
- A man with a job is a man who doesn’t have time to riot.
- A man with a job is someone who is engaged in a legitimate economy.
- A man with a job is focused on the future and not caught up in the stress that often leads to violence — both domestic and global.
You remember what happened when L Paul Bremmer disbanded the Iraqi army, right? All those men, all those guns, and all that free time. The decision to eliminate the Iraqi army was stupid and short-sighted. We foisted a plague onto Iraqi civil society. We’ve ruined a generation of lives in that country.
I say that we need a government (& global?) policy: one man, one job, one set of high expectations. Hold these men accountable. Put them to work on projects that rebuild our infrastructure, our schools, and our economy — or have these chumps fill the potholes on my street. F’it, we had a few sheep & goats get loose in my neighborhood. Put these young guys on Round-the-Clock Neighborhood Sheep Watch and pay them a living wage.
There is no excuse for the social problems that come with unemployment, economic uncertainty, and the erosion of the middle class. We need to stop accepting intellectual poverty, laziness, and general malaise in our society. Employment equals enfranchisement, and I believe that we’ll be pleasantly surprised if we provide employment opportunties and hold our young men accountable for meeting and exceeding our expectations.