Give hope, not dependency, to troubled young men — from Mideast to Missouri

August 26, 2014 

Cameron S. Schaeffer is a Lexington physician.

Central to the task of sustaining society is yoking young men to the effort. Where young men do not marry and work, one finds resentment, anger, criminality and generalized fear — whether in the Middle East or in Missouri.

In traditional Arab countries, many young men are unemployed, and an unemployed man cannot get married. Most of those countries have failed economic policies, so it is unlikely he will find a job. This double bind is a recipe for sexual frustration, anger, indoctrination and violence.

It is hard to fathom a despondency that ultimately leads a man to cut off another man's head with a knife, just as it is hard to imagine strapping on an explosive vest.

In order to decapitate a man or to commit suicide, you first have to be alive; these men are already dead.

It is no wonder that jihadists are drawn to pornography, homicidal nihilism and a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. They need jobs, wives and a legitimate sense of purpose.

In this country, widespread sexual frustration is not the problem. Federal policy facilitates fathering children without responsibility, though that creates another set of social pathologies, primarily children with no respect for authority or rules. Some of those children grow up to be 6-foot-4, 300-pound young men.

The Ferguson, Mo., facts are still unclear, but Michael Brown may have face-punched a cop in his cruiser. It is hard to imagine a better way to get shot.

Nearly three fourths of black children are born out of wedlock. By testing, only about 10 percent of black males graduate from high school with the skills needed to achieve at the college level. The No. 1 killer of young, black men is homicide.

Why are those things true? Electing a black president or getting lectured by the attorney general will not supplant the hard work of answering and addressing those questions.

Sociologic and economic data now prove that America's Michael Browns are not thugs. They are the creations and the victims of cruel government policy — the war on poverty, a racist criminal-justice system, stupid economics and bad schools. The uneducated child cannot grab the bottom rung of the economic ladder, artificially raised by the minimum wage, while the educated child cannot afford college tuition, artificially raised by government student loans.

Cops like Darren Wilson, the Ferguson shooter, are also creations of big government. These men fear the government-corrupted society they are asked to police, and the government arms them to assuage that fear.

In Boston, two guys and two bombs precipitated martial law-armored personnel carriers and machine guns in the suburbs, houses and people searched at gunpoint without warrants.

Big boys always want new toys, and little boys always want big boys' toys. Massive transfers of military hardware from the federal boys to the local boys have created a shovel-ready police state.

Israel will demilitarize when young, Arab men have jobs and wives, and it no longer fears its neighborhood. Likewise, America's warrior cops will set aside their fear and their equipment when America's young men have a reason to go to bed at night. Cops like Wilson can then start shooting hoops rather than bullets.

Capitalism is lifting the world out of poverty everywhere except in the Arab world. We cannot help those countries save their young men, but we can save our own by abandoning policies that fuel illegitimacy, lack of personal responsibility, unfair criminal justice, lousy schools, capital destruction and unemployment.

With our current batch of community and political leaders, black and white, expect little.

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