Why the unemployed are not to blame for unemployment

​Editor, I agree with Gerald on most of the issues mentioned in the letter, "Local investors are key development partners" (The New Times, November 26). However, one of the constraints the jobless - which most of us have faced at one point in time - face is linked with an economic system that we have all helped to build over the years and yet cannot catch up.
Graduates seek job opportunities during a Job Day event on January last year. (File)
Graduates seek job opportunities during a Job Day event on January last year. (File)

​Editor,

I agree with Gerald on most of the issues mentioned in the letter, “Local investors are key development partners” (The New Times, November 26).

However, one of the constraints the jobless – which most of us have faced at one point in time – face is linked with an economic system that we have all helped to build over the years and yet cannot catch up.

Our economies are shadows of the western idealistic concepts, which unfortunately have not settled well with our own traditional communal agro-based systems. For many, the examples about tycoons and factories are a dream far beyond reach.

What most unemployed are looking for is a simple backyard shop to conduct small scale business, a contract to supply tomatoes in a flourishing supermarket, or a job as an askari. And most of these human beings are university graduates. Hope is a great healer, especially for those who have faith.

Whenever we write excellent articles or make good speeches on job creation, personal motivation, etc, it often stays on paper, giving us (the employed) personal satisfaction how we are great orators. In the meantime, the unemployed (father or mother of seven children) remain unemployed and frustrated that they cannot create or get that job.

I do not agree with some writers that in the employment vs. unemployment equation we are our own enemies. The system we have inherited contributes 90 per cent of our unemployment status while our personal responsibility plays the 10 per cent.

Politicians have always looked for the easiest to believe explanation to an impasse; and when it comes to unemployment the easiest answer is to point a finger to the individual and the micro-system that constitutes his life space.

In an effort to justify that 90 per cent of the employment vs. unemployment status lies on the individual journalists will cite exceptionally successful people showing how they started from scratch to build empires.

The social ecological theory gives us some answers how the interaction between different layers in society determine our wellbeing, development, perception, way of life and future (Bromfenbrenner 1979). The interaction between the micro-system, meso-system, exo-system and macro-system will determine to a great extent who are we, what we value in life and our career path.

So the tycoon who started from scratch started in a totally different social and political context and his success story should be thoroughly analysed if the unemployed humans are to benefit from his “job creation” experience.

Blaming the unemployed for being unemployed is being myopic to the social structure and social injustice that generations have inherited over the years.

Daoud