When people are employed in jobs that compromise their own values, the fallout is significant not only for the individuals but for the community at large. Wouldn't a stronger safety net providing support and retraining lend itself to increased psychological health for the individual and an enriched stock of community assets?
Permaculturalist Bill Mollison writes, "In a world where such a great deal of work has to be done just to repair past damage, replace forests, secure soils from loss, house people, or build local self-reliance, unemployment is an obscene concept." So what keeps so many of us simply perpetuating the status quo?
While reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, I'm reminded of the question, how can we expect everyone to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps when prevailing systems have stacked the odds against many from the start? Think indigenous peoples. Think descendants of slavery. Think women or any other group whose freedom has been diminished by dominating others.
Even Utopian projects can fail miserably when involved participants refuse to look at themselves in the mirror to see how they might be contributing to interpersonal conflict. The Enneagram of Personality Types gives us a mirror for when we dare to dive deeper, but what keeps so many of us from daring?