The structure and functioning of contemporary society generates different types of violence (systemic, cultural, and criminal) that demand to be approached with a comprehensive methodology and, in their core, differentiated intervention treatments. One of the fundamental pillars to eliminate insecurity is to end with social inequality which includes productively and dignifiedly mobilizing the entire working-age population: full employment, socioeconomic effectiveness, fair incomes, solidarity values, responsibility. It is possible to achieve it, it is necessary to do so. A proposal with powerful inclusion mechanisms follows. The way contemporary society is structured and functions generates a diversity of different types of violence that surprise and frighten when they strike often without knowing their origin. In other articles we have made a distinction between systemic violence, cultural violence and criminal violence [[[Facing insecurity->http://opinionsur.org.ar/Facing-insecurity?var_recherche=insecurity ].]] and we pointed out that they are interrelated although it is worth differentiating each one’s specificity. In order to face the diversity of violence overlapping under a set of circumstances it is necessary to establish a comprehensive approach and differentiated intervention treatments.
This comprehensive approach does not imply simultaneousness or conditioning one action to the existence of others. Frequently the convergence of actions, in time and territory, generates important synergies but it is not easy to achieve. On the other hand, it also occurs that some initial strategic interventions usually establish better conditions so the other components of a comprehensive strategy can be effectively deployed. In these lines one of those strategic actions is presented which can be adopted under the current circumstances to tackle unemployment, inequality and insecurity.
Different types of violence and insecurity
Violence as a whole generates situations of insecurity, a real phenomenon that some sectors magnify because it is functional to their interests, whether for electoral purposes or to deviate attention from critical issues regarding the prevailing course and way of functioning that harm many and favor a few. Particularly, those who profit and attain privileges through the unbridled wealth concentration process find that by generating constant fear they manage to intimidate people deviating and sterilizing a good part of the social energy that could transform the established order. They do not mind the tremendous effects that concentration has on inequality, environmental deterioration, poverty and the sustainability of the collective march itself. Regardless, different types of violence exist and it is of the utmost importance to face them properly.
Circumstances that generate insecurity
Insecurity (real or perceived) does not come from nowhere but from very specific circumstances related to the relationships established between people [[There are also natural catastrophes such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, that generate different types of violence in nature, before which we can only anticipate measures and ways of reacting to prevent or ease their consequences, especially on the more vulnerable and exposed groups.]] . The type of relationships that prevail in a society will directly influence violence and real insecurity as well as the feeling of insecurity.
One of the most important factors, of course not the only one, is the economic and particularly the occupational situation. This means, if there were a high unemployment rate and if the incomes (monetary and not monetary [[Non-monetary incomes refers to the population’s degree of access to essential services such as education, health, social security, environmental care, recreation, among others.]] ) of those who are employed would not allow them to access a decent standard of living, there would be circumstances being established that facilitate the emergence of different types of violence.
Economic systems find it hard to eliminate unemployment and underemployment on their own. This causes a severe damage to millions of people who cannot meet their basic needs; a cruel, absurd and phenomenal squander of our countries’ development potential. There are many and diverse reasons explaining this almost structural situation in the entire world. At the same time, the solutions are diverse in nature, depending on each reality’s circumstances. However, a common denominator of the contemporary economic systems is the prevalence of a dynamic (and an underlying logic) that leads to the concentration of assets and incomes. Economic actors adjust their actions according to the maximization of revenues without fully considering the consequences and effects of their behaviors on other people and the environment. Those who concentrate wealth keep accumulating it at extremely high rates while the rest, the vast majority of the population, remains stagnated, moves backward or advances at a much lower pace; the inequality gap grows unceasingly.
The underlying logic (¨the best for me, for others I don’t know¨) explains why large companies leading productive or trade chains use their higher market power to add to the value they generate by themselves, other values they extract from suppliers, workers and consumers [[[Market power abuses->http://opinionsur.org.ar/Market-power-abuses?var_recherche=abuses].]] . On their part, medium-scale companies transfer the abuse they suffer downwards, towards the most vulnerable base of the productive apparatus constituted by small companies, micro-ventures, including the underemployed and unemployed.
Abating unemployment and underemployment demands reversing that logic concentrating efforts at a macro, meso and micro economic level so that every economic actor can get the value it generates without others who have not generated it ending up appropriating it in their own and exclusive benefit. The State here plays a critical role in several fronts such as (i) establishing and ensuring the application of necessary regulations and controls in order to avoid market power abuses by stronger actors over more vulnerable ones, them being suppliers, workers or consumers; (ii) adopting income redistribution mechanisms, mainly through tax and public expenditure policies of progressive nature that meet society’s social, productive and environmental requirements, especially looking after the less privileged sectors.
But there is another level where the action of private actors, public sector (national and local) and the diverse universe of communitarian organizations converge. It is the concrete, specific, singular territorial space. In this space the following proposal is inscribed: the establishment of an efficient support system with the necessary scale to productively mobilize every sector of the population without exclusions.
It is about backing micro, small and medium scale producers, existing or yet to be established, with a very effective support system of massive reach that will accompany them in the strategic issues they could require: structuring ventures, integration into promising value chains, modern management, identifying strategic partners, instruction and training, operational financing, investors, technological development, commercialization, regulations. The initiative aims to simultaneously eliminate unemployment, vulnerability, loss by appropriation of generated value and social inequality, factors that generate different types of violence and insecurity.
It is worth making it explicit that the existing redistributive policies are important and must be maintained but it would be best to include a strong component of democratization of the productive process. This means, promoting initiatives that integrate unemployed and low income sectors in very effective productive ventures, if possible of medium scale which implies adopting some associative modality. If public expenditure were to be limited only to relief aid (which is also much needed) we could always end up running behind the concentration process, making up for some of the inequalities it generates but without transforming it. To dismantle the concentration process it is essential to also act over the way assets and incomes are generated and preserved.
This proposal includes a trilogy of transformational mechanisms: leading groups and organizations of diverse nature to establish inclusive ventures, specialized developers that promote and assist them, and inclusive trust funds that finance those ventures. It is an initiative that is part of, and at the same time encourages, new courses and ways of functioning oriented to achieve the entire population’s full inclusion.
The innovative projects emerging in our countries are not few. Those projects have been opening spaces through which a new social economy can develop. However, there is an enormous unresolved gap between the magnitude of the required efforts to materialize them and the scarce available supports; this is why just few initiatives are capable of overcoming the experimental phase and that, in turn, many efforts remain at a demonstrative level, lost among other events that are imposed upon us as more pressing or relevant. But listen up, those ground-breaking, innovative experiences, valuable in more than one way, are available to be replicated or used as references and inspiration if there were an appropriate support system. Today we need to take a major scale leap so that the experience that has been accumulated can be greatly boosted until it acquires macroeconomic significance. This means, mobilizing not just small groups but hundreds of thousands of workers so they can participate in productive activities based on equity, effectiveness and responsibility.
To materialize this leap in scale new support instruments and a decisive public and private involvement are required. Because it will be necessary to expand the activity of thousands of existing ventures and create as many, all of them capable of sustainably operating in the reality of our countries and the global economy.
This effort to massively incorporate the under and unemployed population in productive ventures requires for each venture to have an appropriate scale, excellence in management, adequate technology, fairly distributing revenues among those who participate, achieving a favorable integration in value chains, accessing diverse markets to diversify risks and, especially, exercising environmental, tributary and full social responsibility towards their communities.
The challenge is how to achieve it, a matter that inevitably has many answers and options since the realities and moments are always singular. This proposal is open -due to design and conviction- to a diversity of ways to act. That is why we focus on transformational mechanisms and not just on specific organizational formulas. Nevertheless and to exemplify how it would operate in a concrete level, some of the organizational engineering that could be used are mentioned.
We propose to establish in each and every one of the regions of a country, the following trilogy of transformational mechanisms:
(i) Promoting inclusive ventures
Inclusive ventures can adopt multiple forms and organizational modalities including ground cooperatives and cooperative holdings, domestic and export trade consortia, people-based franchises, locomotive agro-industries, companies of workers, service centers, among others. What counts is for the inclusive venture to reach an appropriate operational scale, integrate a promising value chain, adopt effective management mechanisms, fairly distribute revenues among those who participate and ensure an appropriate share of profit reinvestment. A broader characterization of the concept of inclusive venture and the context it is originated in can be found in Inclusive ventures to abate poverty and inequality http://opinionsur.org.ar/wp/inclusive-ventures-to-abate-inequality-and-poverty/?lang=en.
Very diverse actors can promote their emergence; from development organizations, local authorities, universities and technology institutes, groups of companies, grassroots movements, among several others. Promoting the appearance of groups of people interested in being part and managing an inclusive venture is a critical phase of this initiative, which would be facilitated if the two following components of this trilogy of transformational mechanisms were present.
(ii) Inclusive venture developers
These developers are specially formed units to assist in the establishment of inclusive ventures. They can be structured as private or public-private partnership entities, closely related to the scientific and technologic community. It is lead with high professional standards by a reduced team with experience in the business world and ability to work in multicultural contexts. Their job is to identify promising economic opportunities and organizing the way of making the best of them focusing on favoring low income communities.
The Developer studies the local potentiality, explores market niches in search of opportunities that can be used by the inclusive ventures and elaborates ways of establishing them. Its goal is to integrate small scattered producers into an efficient medium scale economic organization.
A more detailed characterization of the developers, on how they are established, financed and managed, can be found in [Inclusive Venture Developers->http://opinionsur.org.ar/Inclusive-Venture-Developers?var_recherche=developers].
(iii) Inclusive trust funds
To complete an effective support system for inclusive ventures it is critical to count with an investment source that is especially devoted to the sector. This source could adopt the FIGURE ((shape)) of a trust fund authorized to receive contributions from public and private capitals which would be allocated in inclusive ventures under different investment modalities (shares, equity stakes, among others). Its investments would be held in the chosen ventures until they are consolidated and able to re-purchase the received resources. For the purposes of this article, we call the trust fund FIDEIPYME.
The FIDEIPYME would be financed with a contribution of, for example, between 0.1 and 0.5% of corporate profits depending on the tax payer’s size. That contribution would be approved by national law and it would not constitute a tax but a solidarity investment in FIDEIPYME for which they would receive quota shares of the trust fund, its results being freed from paying taxes. Each quota share would not be redeemed prior to three years from when it was acquired; by the end of which the investor can decide to maintain it or be reimbursed in the amount of the contributed capital plus the proportion corresponding TO the FIDEIPYME’s profits during that period. The investment in the trust fund would be registered in each of the contributors’ balance as a financial investment.
The FIDEIPYME would create territorial chapters though which it would approve the investments in the chosen small and medium size businesses. It would use investment criteria that are consistent with the need to transform and grant greater sustainability to the national and each region’s productive matrix. In each case the demanded investment’s socioeconomic and environmental viability would be assessed, then proceeding to approve or reject it. Investment applications would be presented accompanied by the respective region’s developer that would help structure the investment and a suitable business plan. A FIDEIPYME investment would reinforce the credibility of those who receive it when facing third parties facilitating access to credit from public and private financial entities.
Each chapter of the FIDEIPYME would establish priorities for its activities jointly with developers, industrial and agricultural technology institutes, universities and other development institutions familiarized with the local productive potentiality and the markets’ demand.
FIDEIPYME would be managed by a Board formed with representatives of the public and private sector with the needed qualities to manage this type of initiative.
A final reflection
As it has been pointed out, the significant unemployment and underemployment prevailing in several countries is an important factor that generates different types of violence which give way to insecurity situations. They affect large segments of our societies; therefore the answers must be consistent with the scale of the challenge of achieving full employment for everyone.
The proposed support system constitutes a public-private way of acting that seeks to solve intrinsic inconsistencies in traditional decent employment and income generation programs: how to ensure within large scale initiatives that, at the same time, their operations have the realism and effectiveness that productive activities require, the most underprivileged sectors are mainly favored, social and environmentally responsible actors are formed and that the initiative, far from being limited to a bureaucratic activity (public or private), is sustained in local leaderships of excellence.