FAILED ECONOMY

Ours is a survival of the fittest economy

In Summary
  • Many work with the fear of losing jobs not for the satisfaction of it
  • Most of the jobs do not guarantee some level of stability in income
A jua kali artisan in Embakasi
A jua kali artisan in Embakasi
Image: FILE

Presently, like any other Third World country, we have a youth unemployment crisis and a lot of breakdown in discipline within this group. Obviously, a failure in the economy directly impacts on the people.

That we have had a difficult economy in various cycles for decades means there are people who have paid a huge price at various times. Bad economies breed poverty, and a lot of social breakdown that includes crime, drugs, illicit sex and inevitably a lot of diseases, including mental ones.

Getting any job (formal or informal) now involves cut-throat competition. Many work just for survival to escape the extremes of want. Many work with the fear of losing jobs not for the satisfaction of it. Fraud is now commonplace in many jobs as most people probably don’t see a future in what they are doing while others are simply greedy. This is also why we have so many land disputes.

If we have to build a decent country we have to figure out how best people can give their best in work and with discipline. Lately, some have complained about President Uhuru Kenyatta giving civilian roles to military men. The military officers work with precision and discipline.

Civilians deployed in the same roles have failed or have been accused of endless corruption. Indiscipline, corruption, tribalism, recklessness and a lackadaisical attitude have destroyed so much in our country. The choice of military personnel is aimed at trying to instil some level of discipline in civilian public service.

We should also be worried that a huge portion (about 90 per cent) of new jobs are in the informal sector. Many informal sector jobs and enterprises are merely for survival for the time being.

The failure rate of many of the small enterprises is just too high. Most of the jobs do not guarantee some level of stability in income. This essentially makes it survival of the fittest economy.

You only need to research the matatu industry to learn just how cut-throat getting and performing some of these jobs are. The same goes for the boda boda industry. It is easy to blame them for their extremely bad behaviour, but this is as a result of a failed economy.

Commentator, Nairobi