I have a high opinion of micro-loans, coupled with teaching business skills. When I was in the Philippines, I had a companion who was always working with members trying to find ways to help them start businesses and earn, frankly, a lot more money than they were making growing rice. A lot of the opportunities were pretty convincing to me (people pay a lot for eggs, and chicken feed is cheap, so why not start an egg farm?) if you had the start-up capital and the self-discipline not to spend your principal for personal needs. My grandfather is involved in micro-business in the Philippines, too, and he says that's one of the major obstacles. As far as the army goes, it sounds like a terrific idea. Machiavelli would point out that fear is more reliable than love, but people fear unemployment as well as murder, or in other words hope is a powerful force too. Machiavelli just meant that it's unwise to rely on gratitude for past deeds.
[quoted from link]
(Suzanne Cronn Herald/Review) In the battle for Iraqi support, units are looking for people who want to rebuild or start businesses, so that local economies will flourish providing the population with some stabilization in their lives. To that end, the U.S. military has created a micro-grant process in which up to $2,500 will be awarded to approved applicants, said Lt. Col. R.J. Lillibridge. That is the amount he has authority to grant, additional amounts can be approved at higher command levels. [snip]
"Money is a weapon," he said, adding the right use of funds will negate al-Qaida in Iraq and other insurgents. [snip]
Saying each of his company commanders are looking for ways to help communities financially, with little direction from him, the battalion commander said there are many positive things happening, such as Charlie Company's drive to revitalize the poultry industry in their area.
But it is the micro-grants, which are aimed at individuals, that are equally important, Lillibridge said.
"The presentation or 'gift' of the Holy Ghost simply confers upon a man the right to receive at any time, when he is worthy of it and desires it, the power and light of truth of the Holy Ghost, although he may often be left to his own spirit and judgment." --Joseph F. Smith (manual, p. 69)
Be pretty if you are,
Be witty if you can,
But be cheerful if it kills you.