Government’s perennial job.

Catholic Fundamentalists understand that every government’s prime function is to keep people off the streets. Babylonians had huge irrigation works to keep people busy. Egyptians built pyramids. Greeks erected temples. Romans, roads. The Chinese built walls. America put a man on the moon. These activities kept a lot of people off the street. When we travel, the most memorable things we see are all the ways that governments kept, and keep, their citizens too busy to overthrow them.

People who aren’t kept busy make trouble. They have to be killed, put in jail, or be armed and sent to places to fight and kill other people who are being kept busy doing the same thing. The governments that could not do that are either destroyed by their own unemployed, or they are invaded and destroyed by others. So, governments learned that they had to have standing armed forces, to keep foreign ragamuffins from destroying them, and, at the same time keep people off their own streets.

When governments fail in their prime mission, wars begin. Governments that don’t keep their people busy, busy, busy are destroyed. Usually, their people are killed or enslaved.

People in freer countries are always inventing and making things to save labor, another name for money. When they invent dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, vacuum cleaners, corn and cotton pickers, assembly lines, and robots, ever more people are put on the street. Schools, colleges, and universities exist to keep many who would otherwise be unemployed off the streets for whole decades of their lives.

Governments hate labor-saving devices, because they know that more people will have nothing to do. At the same time, inventions like machine guns and atomic bombs have the ability to quickly remove large numbers of people from the streets. Governments whose people can invent and make things that keep people off the streets have a tremendous advantage, so smarter countries try to have at least a few smarter people inventing and making things.

It keeps them off the street.