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On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City by Alice Goffman
And the woman is not only free from legal entanglements—she likely works in the formal economy or receives government assistance, whereas the man makes his sporadic income in the streets, doing things for which he could be arrested. There is also an age divide—overwhelmingly, it is young people who are mired in legal entanglements, not older people. And third, there is a class divide, for it is most typically unemployed young men without high school diplomas who are dipping and dodging the police, who have probation sentences to complete and court cases to attend. Dirty people are likely more aware of their status than clean people are of theirs, much in the same way that Black people may think about race more often than white people do, or gay people may think about sexual orientation more often than straight people do.
Initially I assumed that Chuck, Mike, and their friends represented an outlying group of delinquents: the bad apples of the neighborhood. After all, some of them occasionally sold marijuana and crack cocaine to local customers, and sometimes they even got into violent gun battles. I grew to understand that many young men from 6th Street were at least intermittently earning money by selling drugs, and the criminal justice entanglements of Chuck and his friends were on a par with what many other unemployed young men in the neighborhood were experiencing. By the time Chuck entered his senior year of high school in 2002, young women outnumbered young men in his classes by more than 2:1. Going through his freshman yearbook years later, when he turned twenty-two, he identified roughly half the boys in his ninth-grade class as currently sitting in jails or prisons.3 ON BEING WANTED In 2007 Chuck and I went door to door and conducted a household survey of the 6th Street neighborhood.
It was this second wave of less refined residents, George felt, that set his daughter, Linda, down the wrong path. By her own account, Miss Linda’s father had spoiled her hopelessly as a child, especially after her mother left. She came of age at the height of the crack boom and dropped out of high school during her junior year. The men she dated worked at the bottom of the crack business, which at the time offered decent wages and even the promise of wealth to unemployed young men growing up around 6th Street. Many of her boyfriends also shared her addiction. During a decade of hard living, Linda gave birth to three sons: Chuck in 1984, Reggie in 1987, and Tim in 1991. By this time, the ghetto Mr. George had worked so hard to escape seemed to have grown up around them. By the late 1980s, the neighborhood of 6th Street and others like it had a heavy police presence.
The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: And Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer
“They’ve let the Pakistanis know they’re not welcome,” one American official had told me in Bamako. Salafis from Saudi Arabia—fundamentalist Muslims who extol a return to the Islam practiced by the Prophet and his original followers, the Salaf, or ancestors—had constructed Wahhabi mosques both in Timbuktu and other desert communities, founded orphanages, and lavished cash on local charities. “The north is huge and impoverished, with lots of unemployed and angry young men,” the American diplomat in Bamako had told me. “The potential for the exploitation of disenfranchised youth definitely exists.” The imam of the new Wahhabi mosque in Timbuktu, a member of the local Sorhai tribe, had succeeded in attracting two dozen residents of Timbuktu to Friday prayers, my driver, Baba, told me, including some young men who had proudly displayed Osama bin Laden T-shirts after the attacks of September 11.
The military pilot circled twice, at low altitude, over warrens of flat-roofed, dun-colored buildings a few miles south of the river. Then they touched down on Timbuktu’s tarmac airstrip, to an official greeting from the mayor and many civil servants attired in turbans and flowing traditional Malian gowns. Timbuktu was beginning a tourist boom, but Wald couldn’t help noticing how backward the place was: unpaved streets, tumbledown mud-brick houses, and, it seemed, many unemployed young men. He toured the Ahmed Baba Institute, the government library funded by UNESCO that, thanks to Abdel Kader Haidara, now contained one of the world’s largest collections of medieval Arabic manuscripts. Then Wald visited Timbuktu’s Djingareyber Mosque, a mud-walled trapezoid with two limestone minarets, designed and built by one of the medieval world’s great architects, Abu Es Haq Al Zaheli, in 1327 on a commission from Musa I, known as Mansa Musa, the emperor of Mali.
He had money—at least 400,000 euros provided by Abou Zeid’s Tarek Ibn Ziyad Brigade of AQIM—and influence as the leader of the 1990 Tuareg rebellion, and his Islamic fervor struck a chord with several hundred members of his clan. In the following weeks Ghali created a new militia, including disaffected Tuareg members of the Malian military, restless former freedom fighters who had never adjusted to peace, and unemployed young men in Kidal. This force would be marching under the black banner of jihad. Ghali named his army “Ansar Dine,” or Defenders of the Faith, and he called for the implementation of Shariah law in the territory that it controlled. In November 2011, Ghali and the two commanders of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali, Mokhtar Belmokhtar and Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, sat down to parley in the Zakak riverbed.
I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish
The spirit of Gaza is in the cafés where narghile-smoking patrons discuss the latest political news; it’s in the crowded alleyways where children play; in the markets where women shop then rush back to their families; in the words of the old men shuffling along the broken streets to meet their friends, fingering their worry beads and regretting the losses of the past. At first glance you might think everyone is in a hurry—heads down, no eye contact as people move from place to place—but these are the gestures of angry people who have been coerced, neglected, oppressed. Thick, unrelenting oppression touches every single aspect of life in Gaza, from the graffiti on the walls of the cities and towns to the unsmiling elderly, the unemployed young men crowding the streets and the children—that December day, my own—seeking relief in play at the beach. This is my Gaza: Israeli gunships on the horizon, helicopters overhead, the airless smugglers’ tunnels into Egypt, UN relief trucks on the roadways, smashed buildings and corroding infrastructure. There is never enough—not enough cooking oil, not enough fresh fruit or water. Never ever enough.
A Schoolmaster's War by Jonathan Ree
Schwander, Abbé Henri (1913–1943): priest and leader of OCM in Montbéliard, arrested 27 July 1943, died of suffocation in a crowded railway truck while being deported, 18 September. Schwimmer, Marcel (1913–1944): saboteur from Belfort, arrested at Café Grangier, 27 January 1944 and executed by firing squad in Besançon, 26 February. Simon, Jean (‘Claude’, 1921–1944): worked in a bank at Saint-Claude after leaving school, but by 1939 he was presiding over a Christian organisation (Jeunesse ouvrière chrétienne) that worked with unemployed young men in the Jura; in 1941 he turned against Pétain and the Vichy regime, and by 1942 was working with Pierre Larceneux in Lons; early in 1943 he received an order from the STO to go and work in Finland, to which he responded by going underground and helping Robert Paris to protect a maquis at Montmalin near Vadans, where he was recruited by HR, becoming his guide to the region, and one of his closest comrades, later following him to Montbéliard; after the arrest of Starr on 16 July he transferred John Young and Diana Rowden from Saint-Amour to Clairvaux-les-Lacs; he organised parachute drops and sabotages for HR, as well as the execution of Pierre Martin, and was murdered at the Café Grangier, Sochaux, Montbéliard, 27 January 1944.
Affluence Without Abundance: The Disappearing World of the Bushmen by James Suzman
access to a mobile phone, agricultural Revolution, back-to-the-land, clean water, discovery of the americas, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, full employment, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, means of production, Occupy movement, open borders, out of africa, post-work, quantitative easing, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, We are the 99%
Pitted against them are the Skoonmakers (the “Cleaners”), a mainly Damara-speaking gang that has a reputation for hassling the more isolated households of the Herero section. And then there is the Herero section gang, the Skoffels (the “Shufflers”). They happily harass everyone. Most of the gangsters in Epako, though, are more feathers than claws. But occasionally things turn nasty. Groups of unemployed young men with knives, alcohol, and the searing November heat do not always mix well. The Skoonmakers are the most feared of the township gangs these days. Last time I was there, there was gossip about how they had castrated a G-Force boy before throwing his mangled testicles to the township dogs. All the gangs pick on Ju/’hoansi. Ju/’hoan pensioners now travel in packs for safety on pension day or have to sneak back home with their money or the food they purchase to avoid being robbed.
Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs
agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population
The youth bulge of high-fertility countries—measured as the share of youth (aged fifteen to twenty-four) in the entire adult population (aged fifteen and above)—should be a matter of national concern. The evidence, summarized in powerful reports by Population Action International (PAI) and by the demographer Henrik Urdal, is that a youth bulge significantly raises the likelihood of civil conflict, presumably by raising the ratio of those who would engage in violence relative to those who would mediate disputes. Most directly, unemployed young men become prime fodder for militias, raiding parties, terrorist groups, and armies. In PAI’s analysis, three kinds of demographic stressors are related to the likelihood of civil conflict: the youth bulge, the shortage of arable land per capita, and the rapid growth of urban areas. All, of course, are related to the persistence of high total fertility rates. Urdal summarizes the results of his own research on civil unrest as follows: The results of my internal armed models suggest that the presence of youth bulges increases the risk of conflict outbreak significantly.
Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade
Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, white picket fence, women in the workforce
More than a thousand urban residential foreclosures occurred every day.23 Throughout America, the homeless and unemployed collected in tent cities,hobo jungles,and Hoover Heights. World War II improved the situation greatly, as 16 million young service men and women shipped out to the European and Pacifi theaters. But this improvement was only temporary. After demobilization, the situation worsened again. In Chicago in 1946, for example, the housing crisis was so bad that over 100,000 veterans—mostly unemployed young men—were homeless.24 In their book Picture Windows: How the Suburbs Happened, Rosalyn Baxandall and Elizabeth Ewen eloquently illustrate just how acute the housing crisis had become:“In Atlanta,2,000 people answered an advertisement for one vacancy. A classifie ad in Omaha newspaper read, ‘Big Ice Box 7 by 17 feet. Could be fi ed up to live in.’”25 In 1933, under FDR, the federal government responded to the crisis with a series of experimental moves that would ultimately render old techniques and styles of housing construction obsolete.
Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are Thekeys to Sustainability by David Owen
A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, delayed gratification, distributed generation, drive until you qualify, East Village, food miles, garden city movement, hydrogen economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, linear programming, McMansion, Murano, Venice glass, Negawatt, New Urbanism, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, placebo effect, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, unemployed young men, urban planning, urban sprawl, walkable city, zero-sum game
From an environmental point of view, we need to apply ourselves to making city life appealing and life-enhancing, not to wishing that doing so were unnecessary. As Richard Louv and I and millions of other American children of our generation discovered in our youth, pulling up the survey stakes next door doesn’t work. On a radio program I heard in 2008, an environmentalist who was being interviewed advocated the reactivation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, an extremely popular Depression-era federal relief program that put unemployed young men to work on a broad variety of conservation-related maintenance and construction projects all over the country, primarily in state and national parks. The program ended officially in 1942, but it lives on through dozens of similar state and federal programs, most of which also employ young people and many of which descended directly from the original. The environmentalist on the radio argued that reviving the CCC would both perform a useful environmental service and create jobs at a time of high unemployment.
Dancing in the Glory of Monsters: The Collapse of the Congo and the Great War of Africa by Jason Stearns
Berlin Wall, business climate, clean water, colonial rule, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, technology bubble, transfer pricing, unemployed young men, working-age population, éminence grise
On April 6, 1994, Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana’s plane was shot down just before landing in the capital Kigali, ending the fragile cease-fire that had halted the civil war.1 Preying on the population’s fear of the Tutsi insurgents, Hutu extremists in the Rwandan government deployed killing squads and popular militias, who rallied others, saying they must kill or be killed. The two largest and most notorious of these youth militias were the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi, ragtag bands made up mostly of unemployed young men, which were affiliated with two radical Hutu political parties. They drew up hit lists and manned roadblocks, checking identity cards for ethnic identity or just looking for stereotypical Tutsi features: a slender frame, high cheekbones, an aquiline nose. It mattered little that the Hutu and Tutsi identities themselves were historically as much class-based as morphological and that a rich, cattle-owning Hutu could be promoted to become a Tutsi.
McMafia: A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld by Misha Glenny
anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Firefox, forensic accounting, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, joint-stock company, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Skype, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, trade liberalization, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile
During the 1990s, Spasojevic had established a monopoly on the heroin trade in Belgrade so that according to the local police, “he was processing about 100 kilograms of hard drugs monthly—this was bringing him in tens of millions of dollars.” The chaos in Serbia at the turn of the millennium was mirrored by instability elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia. With a decade of brutal wars coming to an end, the region was now full of testosterone-fueled, unemployed young men, who were often well armed. The conflicts had also created hundreds of thousands of refugees, a majority of whom went to Western Europe, establishing efficient distribution networks for the illicit goods transiting the Balkans. Naturally, cigarettes were not the only commodity traded across the Balkans and into the European Union. Neither did the Serbs and Montenegrins have a monopoly on these activities.
Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide by Joshua S. Goldstein
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, business cycle, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, failed state, immigration reform, income inequality, invention of writing, invisible hand, land reform, long peace, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, selection bias, Steven Pinker, Tobin tax, unemployed young men, Winter of Discontent, Y2K
Another gendered aspect of conflict prevention is the potential for women to see conflict coming, if only the relevant officials or peacekeepers would ask them. In Sierra Leone, “women watched as arms were shipped in overnight along the river,” and wanted to warn peacekeepers but had no access to them. Conversely, the emergence of more violent concepts of masculinity may predict war, as when unemployed young men in Serbia “were readily recruited by hypernationalists into ‘soccer teams’ and indoctrinated with ethnic hatred,” later morphing into the “militias and armed gangs that terrorized the region as the war spread.” After a war, women have until recently found themselves sidelined in disarmament programs, because combatants were assumed to be men. Women kidnapped by rebel organizations and forced to fight have often been left on their own to try to reintegrate after the war.
The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 by Selina Todd
call centre, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, credit crunch, deindustrialization, deskilling, different worldview, Downton Abbey, financial independence, full employment, income inequality, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, Red Clydeside, rent control, Right to Buy, rising living standards, sexual politics, strikebreaker, The Spirit Level, unemployed young men, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, young professional
His father, a labourer, was ‘non-union I suppose’ and told Alf to keep his head down. Alf’s seven brothers and sisters relied heavily on his wage, and in 1926 ‘if you had a job you was doing well’. With so many people desperate for work in Bristol, Alf and his colleagues ‘had to be careful in all ways; you could be victimized if they didn’t like the colour of your eyes.’18 In several cities, unemployed young men were among those who volunteered, primarily in order to earn a few shillings, though some of them also expressed a conservative patriotic fervour. In Glasgow strikebreakers included members of the Billy Boys, a violent Protestant street gang who provided protection for local Conservative Party meetings throughout the 1920s and 1930s.19 But most of the volunteers came from far more privileged backgrounds.
Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman
air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
Starvation was averted, and millions lived to beget millions more. Today, 60 percent of those Pakistani millions are under thirty. The wells and rivers that watered the Green Revolution and gave them life are now giving out, leaving one-third of Pakistani children chronically malnourished. Unemployment, in double digits, grows along with the population, and the percentage of those underemployed is even higher. Unemployed young men grow frustrated, and angry. A nation filled with angry young males is not a stable place, especially when they are tempted with paid opportunities to commit mayhem, including international mayhem. A shaky nation with too many people running out of water and driven to mayhem becomes an entire planet’s concern. Especially when that nation happens to be a nuclear power. Yet again, the explosions have subsided in Lyari Town.
Small Wars, Big Data: The Information Revolution in Modern Conflict by Eli Berman, Joseph H. Felter, Jacob N. Shapiro, Vestal Mcintyre
basic income, call centre, centre right, clean water, crowdsourcing, demand response, drone strike, experimental economics, failed state, George Akerlof, Google Earth, HESCO bastion, income inequality, income per capita, information asymmetry, Internet of things, iterative process, land reform, mandatory minimum, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, natural language processing, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, statistical model, the scientific method, trade route, unemployed young men, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey
The argument for employment reducing violence is often shored up by the common observation that higher-income countries (and even regions within countries) tend to have less insurgent violence. It also draws support from broadly accepted theories linking unemployment and poverty to recruitment and support of rebellions. Following that line of reasoning, gainful employment and a route out of poverty should reduce violence—because poor, unemployed, disaffected young men make up the recruiting pool for insurgencies. If these men were given jobs, a shot at prosperity, and a place in society, the rebellion would weaken. President George W. Bush articulated this position in 2005, referring to Iraq: “Unemployment is high, which fuels popular dissatisfaction and may generate sympathy for the insurgency … [and] makes some Iraqis more vulnerable to terrorist or insurgent recruiting.”10 President Barack Obama echoed this sentiment ten years later, in broader terms: “There are millions, billions of people who are poor and are law-abiding and peaceful and tolerant.… But when people—especially young people—feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities … that feeds instability and disorder, and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment.”11 In this chapter we will examine the literature that informs such thinking, reviewing the evidence base: a wide variety of studies on economic conditions and insurgent violence.
That sense of relative deprivation then leads to frustration, which, through a well-documented psychological mechanism, makes people more aggressive and thus easier to motivate to fight. Gurr therefore concludes that “the potential for collective violence varies strongly with the intensity and scope of relative deprivation among members of a collectivity.”15 The idea that relative deprivation stokes insurgency is widely accepted; we imagine that unemployed people—mainly young men—become so frustrated with their actual (versus their ideal) capabilities that they turn against the state. Grievances are often cited in the literature as drivers of insurgency. Relative deprivation is one type of grievance, but for clarity in this chapter, we’ll use the term “relative deprivation.” Analogously, gratitude is sometimes cited as a mechanism by which development programs reduce violence.
Collapse by Jared Diamond
clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, prisoner's dilemma, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men
The results of these transparent connections are genocides such as the ones that already exploded in Bangladesh, Burundi, Indonesia, and Rwanda; civil wars or revolutions, as in most of the countries on the lists; calls for the dispatch of First World troops, as to Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, and Somalia; the collapse of central government, as has already happened in Somalia and the Solomon Islands; and overwhelming poverty, as in all of the countries on these lists. Hence the best predictors of modern "state failures"—i.e., revolutions, violent regime change, collapse of authority, and genocide—prove to be measures of environmental and population pressure, such as high infant mortality, rapid population growth, a high percentage of the population in their late teens and 20s, and hordes of unemployed young men without job prospects and ripe for recruitment into militias. Those pressures create conflicts over shortages of land (as in Rwanda), water, forests, fish, oil, and minerals. They create not only chronic internal conflict, but also emigration of political and economic refugees, and wars between countries arising when authoritarian regimes attack neighboring nations in order to divert popular attention from internal stresses.
The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post Cold War by Robert D. Kaplan
Berlin Wall, clean water, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Honoré de Balzac, mass immigration, Peace of Westphalia, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, trade route, unemployed young men, Yom Kippur War
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men
The results of these transparent connections are genocides such as the ones that already exploded in Bangladesh, Burundi, Indonesia, and Rwanda; civil wars or revolutions, as in most of the countries on the lists; calls for the dispatch of First World troops, as to Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines, Rwanda, the Solomon Islands, and Somalia; the collapse of central government, as has already happened in Somalia and the Solomon Islands; and overwhelming poverty, as in all of the countries on these lists. Hence the best predictors of modern “state failures”—i.e., revolutions, violent regime change, collapse of authority, and genocide—prove to be measures of environmental and population pressure, such as high infant mortality, rapid population growth, a high percentage of the population in their late teens and 20s, and hordes of unemployed young men without job prospects and ripe for recruitment into militias. Those pressures create conflicts over shortages of land (as in Rwanda), water, forests, fish, oil, and minerals. They create not only chronic internal conflict, but also emigration of political and economic refugees, and wars between countries arising when authoritarian regimes attack neighboring nations in order to divert popular attention from internal stresses.
Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men
But given that the fruits of so much foreign assistance are currently destroyed by armed conflict, RCPS can be seen as a natural complement to these investmentbased forms of assistance. Once we recognize that a central element of Africa’s economic mess stems from armed conflict and other forms of violence, we should further target RCPS toward those most willing and able to participate in armed violence, to keep them out of trouble. Unemployed and poor young men have traditionally filled the ranks of criminal gangs (like Mungiki 151 CH A PTER SI X in Kenya) and armed rebel groups (as in Niger). Temporary public works job creation for the young and disaffected might cause them to think differently about the cost-benefit tradeoff of taking up arms in countries threatened with crisis. A more ambitious approach, and one well-suited to reducing the scourge of witch killing, would provide rainfall insurance for all poor farming households, disbursing aid funds when the rains fail, to keep stomachs at least partly full until the next harvest season.
Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion by Gareth Stedman Jones
anti-communist, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, fixed income, invention of the sewing machine, joint-stock company, land reform, land tenure, means of production, New Journalism, New Urbanism, night-watchman state, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, unemployed young men, wage slave
Karl’s future brother-in-law and ‘aristocrat comme il faut’, Ferdinand von Westphalen, told Karl that such a course of action would make people in Berlin ‘particularly vexed’.61 Before they parted company, Bauer and Karl ‘rented a pair of asses’ to ride through the city. ‘Bonn society was astonished. We shouted with joy, the asses brayed.’62 4. THE RHEINISCHE ZEITUNG With the definitive dismissal of Bruno Bauer, Karl lost all hope of academic employment. Like a growing number of educated but unemployed young men in Vormärz Germany, however, he had an alternative: he could turn to journalism. Despite censorship, this was an occupation in which opportunities for employment were increasing; and for Karl himself a particular opportunity had opened up in the Rhineland, the prospect of writing for a new liberal newspaper, the Rheinische Zeitung, which was to begin publication early in 1842. The Prussian government desired the establishment of a moderate pro-Prussian newspaper in the Rhineland because of a concern about the loyalty of its Catholic population.
Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Black Swan, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, defense in depth, desegregation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, endowment effect, Ford paid five dollars a day, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, lateral thinking, linear programming, loose coupling, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mental accounting, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Torches of Freedom, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, unemployed young men, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game
-led coalition’s lack of troops to manage what soon became a deteriorating security situation. Out of the minority Sunni community, which had provided the key figures in the old elite, came the hardest resistance. The Sunnis gained support from those humiliated by Iraq’s occupation and fearful of the loss of their power. Their numbers swelled with disbanded military members and volunteers from the many unemployed young men. It included “former regime elements” and a strong al-Qaeda group led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was as keen to foment civil war with the majority Shiites as he was to expel the Americans. Although Shiites were the natural beneficiaries of the toppling of the Iraqi regime, radical elements from within this community, led by Muqtada al-Sadr, also turned on the Americans. The struggles faced by American forces after such apparently effortless victories demonstrated that victory in battle did not necessarily result in a smooth political transition.
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin
"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War
Meanwhile, as one American general warned, “the liberators” were coming to be seen as something else—“occupiers.” By the autumn of 2003, a new, more difficult phase was beginning. In due course, some would call it a civil war; others, an insurgency. As events played out, it would be both—a civil war between Shia and Sunnis, and an insurgency manned by Baathists and other Sunni activists, increasingly conjoined with foreign jihadists, abetted by unemployed young men (who, for a hundred dollars or even fifty dollars, could be hired to open fire on the Americans).18 By the spring of 2004 it would become a war against the occupation. Private militias were battling each other. Foreign jihadists were infiltrating into the country. Killings and revenge killings became a daily occurrence. Roadside bombs were becoming increasingly lethal. Car bombs were going off outside restaurants and offices.
The War on Normal People: The Truth About America's Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income Is Our Future by Andrew Yang
3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Ben Horowitz, Bernie Sanders, call centre, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, falling living standards, financial deregulation, full employment, future of work, global reserve currency, income inequality, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Narrative Science, new economy, passive income, performance metric, post-work, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, supercomputer in your pocket, technoutopianism, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unemployed young men, universal basic income, urban renewal, white flight, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator
Cape Town After Apartheid: Crime and Governance in the Divided City by Tony Roshan Samara
conceptual framework, deglobalization, ghettoisation, global village, illegal immigration, late capitalism, moral panic, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, structural adjustment programs, unemployed young men, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, working poor
The Despot's Accomplice: How the West Is Aiding and Abetting the Decline of Democracy by Brian Klaas
Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, citizen journalism, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, global pandemic, moral hazard, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Skype, Steve Jobs, trade route, Transnistria, unemployed young men, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game
Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq by Francis Fukuyama
Berlin Wall, business climate, colonial rule, conceptual framework, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gunnar Myrdal, informal economy, land reform, microcredit, open economy, unemployed young men
Setbacks in the occupation of Iraq derived as much from faulty execution of policy as from poor planning or ﬂawed strategy. An early decision to demobilize the Iraqi Army was taken without ﬁrst implementing any program for the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of its members, thereby complicating efforts to rebuild an Iraqi military and creating a large pool of armed, unemployed, and disgruntled young men. A sweeping de-Ba’athiﬁcation decree was issued without putting in place a mechanism to review and adjudicate cases of individuals not personally guilty of serious crimes or human rights abuses. Six months went by before money for reconstruction was requested of the Congress, during which critical programs to equip and train new Iraqi security forces languished for lack of direction and funding.
Imagining India by Nandan Nilekani
addicted to oil, affirmative action, Airbus A320, BRICs, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, distributed generation, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, knowledge economy, land reform, light touch regulation, LNG terminal, load shedding, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, market fragmentation, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, pension reform, Potemkin village, price mechanism, race to the bottom, rent control, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, smart grid, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population
Through the 1960s and 1970s, unemployment served as the main trigger for Indian militancy movements—the Naxalites attracted support and fighters with the rallying cry of “land and jobs,” unemployed men were fodder for the recruiters of the Shiv Sena, and the All Assam Students’ Union targeted its violence at migrants coming to the state to “steal our jobs.” Throughout these years, masses of unemployed, desperate young men mounted frequent riots against governments both ineffectual and too broke to create investment or jobs. The numerous labor protests and the massive railway strike in 1974 also led Indira Gandhi to announce the Emergency. She had been watching these strikes with growing irritation, and the first thing she did with her newfound power was throw labor leaders into jail.1 In those years, as India’s economy tottered and unemployment grew, the government automatically responded by tightening labor laws and promising to expand government employment.
Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker
agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey, zero-sum game
Not all MPs accepted this – ‘I did not dream that we should remonstrate downward, tell stories to the people, and talk of the king as of a third person’, as one MP put it – and after 14 hours of bitter debate, it passed the Commons by only 159 votes to 148. Nevertheless, Pym made sure that copies were available for purchase the following day, 24 November 1641. On the 25th Charles entered London, escorted by over 1,000 soldiers from the recently disbanded northern army.85 For the next six weeks ‘popular tumults’ rocked the capital. Gangs of unemployed young men roamed the streets of London shouting ‘Down with the bishops, hang up the popish lords’. The king responded provocatively: he ordered the Lord Mayor to ‘kill and slay such of them as shall persist in their tumultuous and seditious ways and disorders'; he commanded his courtiers to start wearing swords; and he built a barracks just outside Whitehall Palace to accommodate the soldiers he had brought with him from Yorkshire.
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales From the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks
airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, clean water, cognitive dissonance, continuation of politics by other means, different worldview, disruptive innovation, drone strike, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Markoff, Mark Zuckerberg, moral panic, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, personalized medicine, RAND corporation, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Turing test, unemployed young men, Valery Gerasimov, Wall-E, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks
We couldn’t bring ourselves to believe gloomy predictions that looting might take place, and we convinced ourselves the Iraqis would be better off if we could just oust senior members of Saddam Hussein’s Baathist party from the government and disband his army.34 But instead of bringing peace and democracy, early U.S. decisions in Iraq led to chaos, revenge killings, a government that could no longer provide the most basic services, and millions of angry, unemployed—and armed—young men. It only got worse. The continued American presence sparked an insurgency and brought al Qaeda to Iraq.35 While the Iraq War’s civilian death toll remains disputed, it was certainly stunningly high.36 Violence began gradually to subside after 2006, for reasons that probably had more to do with the internal changes in Iraq’s Sunni community known as the Sunni Awakening than with the U.S. troop surge, and in 2011 we finally slunk off, tails between our legs.
Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America's Wars in the Muslim World by Nir Rosen
The measures taken in Iraq were neither democratic nor successful, but their ramifications will be felt for years. America’s relationship with Iraq did not begin in 2003. The U.S. encouraged and helped Iraq go to war against Iran in 1980. It was a war that devastated both countries. The U.S. and its Gulf allies also helped support Iraq’s massive army, which encouraged the adventure in Kuwait and which later, after the Americans disbanded this vast army, led to such a large group of unemployed armed young men in 2003. The American project in Iraq resembled and was sometimes even consciously modeled after other colonial endeavors in the region. The act of occupying a country, dismantling and rebuilding its institutions, economic structures, and even its political identity, is not a new feature in the modern history of the Middle East. But occupied Iraq has rarely been studied as a colonial case.
The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East by Robert Fisk
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Farzad Bazoft, friendly fire, Howard Zinn, IFF: identification friend or foe, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, Ronald Reagan, the market place, Thomas L Friedman, Transnistria, unemployed young men, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War
If they could not always strike at the Americans, the insurgents would produce their Wal-Mart suicide bombers and destroy those they deemed collaborators. On 28 July, for example, hordes of impoverished would-be police recruits were massacred, up to a hundred of them in the Sunni city of Baquba, as they lined up unprotected along a boulevard in the hope of finding work. The bomber—identity, as usual, unknown—drove his Renault car into a mass of 600 unemployed young men looking for jobs in the police force, detonated his explosives and cut them to pieces. The bomb left a 7-foot hole in the road and wounded at least another 150 men and women, many of them shopping in a neighbouring market. It would be the last summer when it was still possible to move on the roads of Iraq with some hope of not being killed or kidnapped and decapitated. I took a boat out on the Tigris, where the boatman, a former Iraqi soldier called Saleh, who was wounded in the Iran–Iraq War, offered to take me to Basra.
Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein
"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, affirmative action, airline deregulation, Alistair Cooke, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, death of newspapers, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, energy security, equal pay for equal work, facts on the ground, feminist movement, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shock, open borders, Potemkin village, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, traveling salesman, unemployed young men, union organizing, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, wages for housework, walking around money, War on Poverty, white flight, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game
In 1964, he had been exiled to Iraq after criticizing a treaty granting U.S. military personnel immunity from Iranian law. But his sway over regime critics only grew. It derived not merely from the ulama but from another, more ironic source. Tens of thousands of the kingdom’s best and brightest had been sent abroad to train in foreign universities. At home, the number of students doubled. College graduates multiplied faster than even the most dynamic economy could provide for—and unemployed, educated young men had always made for history’s most fertile recruiting soil for revolutionaries, most especially in authoritarian countries where outlets for legitimate political expression were few. The dynamic intensifies when a traditional society sends its children abroad. In cities like Paris and New York, Ann Arbor and Austin, the lonely, alienated children of a secularizing middle class found in the religious traditions of their homeland a psychic balm.