Finally the whos who of the world at the Davos economic forum are discussing an issue I have long felt threatens the relative peace we have in the world today. Youth Unemployment. For many this is not an issue given many of you dont have kids or are in retirement but you do have grandkids that at some stage have to find a place in the world.
For me the numbers are enormous and the problem far greater than what might be perceived by many. Its not just a matter of a job or providing them with job opportunity. They fundamentally have a very different outlook. I see this in my two boys and in my view they have had life easy maybe way too easy.
We have commented on and off about how difficult it is to work with the next generation things like merely having them show up being one issue never mind the rest. But in demographic terms they represent a significant percentage of the population and would be future contributing citizens. The problem does not reside in a single country or even group of countries its universal in our global economy.
And in case anyone has forgotten what happened in the UK a few years ago when riots broke out across the United Kingdom it ended up in enormous pandemonium as youth went on the rampage burning and looting.
So its good to hear people like the CEO of Coke being interviewed and hearing that hopefully the talk about the subject is moving to action amongst the big and powerful. Check out the video in this link from Bloomber Business Week.
If you have any doubts about how this issue can lead to instability take a note of what is happening in South Africa today.
The Platinum Mine miners have gone on on strike for better wages, they looking to move up from around $500 per month to what they would like to see is double. But what is significant that few observers are noticing in my opinion, is the age profile of the miner there today versus years back. Its a much younger group and with very different outlook. They are far more militant than ever before.
What you may not know is that South Africa sits on 80% of the worlds platinum.
In parts of Europe ie Spain and Italy for example youth unemployment is in the realms of 40% and this is the western world being referred to not third world or developing countries.
I have some rather hard line views of what could be done to get this lot working but i dont think they would go down to well in the modern day nanny society. It would interest me greatly to hear others views of what could be done.
Part of me feels we have gone to far in destroying the merits of working with your hands and schools should be changing to bring back modernized programs of the ones we all went through like Industrial Arts. Not everyone is suited to a service industry role in a cubicle behind a desk and computer.
The other part of me thinks we should have conscription again but with a leaning to making different use of the conscripts and different training. I think it sure would not hurt to have the generation learn like i did in the military to take care of oneself and the immediate surroundings.