The saying the "idle hands are the devil's workshop" may be particularly apt in the case of Islamic rioters and terrorists.
Tony Snow, writing at Townhall.com, makes an important point about Mohammed cartoon riots: The violent rioting is carried out mostly by unemployed men who have little else to do with their time.
"The mayhem has centered in four nations: Afghanistan, Lebanon, Pakistan and Syria. Each has a double-digit unemployment rate, and poverty rates between 32 percent and 52 percent. All have large pools of idle men who can show up for a mob activity at a moment's notice. In short, they're havens for losers, uniquely equipped to stage such spectacles."
Another consequence of unemployment is that the people doing the rioting have little to lose from engaging in mayhem. It's not like they're going to lose their livelihood if they torch an embassy
The phenomenon is also frequently observed in the Palestinian territory. Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs documents on a running basis the phenomenon he has dubbed the "car swarm." It happens again and again: A terrorist is killed in Gaza. Hundreds or thousands of Palestinian men gather around the burned-out car, tear it apart, dance on top of it, and generally create mayhem. Why not? What else is there to do? When you're bored and directionless, any excitement -- or incitement -- will do.
Although I have not stopped to study the causes of unemployment in any of the countries Tony Snow mentions, we do know that handouts from governmental agencies are one way to guarantee high rates of unemployment by reducing the need for work. In the Palestinian territory, this may be a factor. Reportedly, many entire extended families live on one "payroll" check from the Palestinian authority. That suggests to me that even the supposedly "meager" salaries being paid by the Palestinian authority are too high. They clearly are not getting their money's worth. If their payroll checks are supporting extended families, then the able-bodied men in those families should be put to work.
Perhaps they could be put to work cleaning up the messes left by homicide bombers and car swarmers.