Dolists were the poorest members of Havenite society.
They were given a Basic Living Stipend, part of the Economic Bill of Rights, as a way to ensure social justice of a kind. Many believed that this removed any motivation to work and so accounted for the substantial number of Dolist whose parents had also been Dolists, such as Axel Lacroix and Ninon Bourchier. The general ineffectual structures of the People's Republic, such as its educational system, caused economic stagnation which contributed to unemployment and to the size of the Dolist segment of the population.
The BLS was insufficient for a "middle class" lifestyle, resulting in widespread poor diet, poor health care, etc. Minimal cost housing was, not surprisingly, slum like, and Dolist sections of town were in effect ghettos. This was due to the poor maintenance and bureaucratic mismanagement of the housing, most of which was publicly owned. The need to maintain the BLS led to the creation of the DuQuesne Plan.
Politically, the Dolist population was important as it was a large voting block, and those who could control its votes had a certain amount of political power, even in the hereditary Legislaturalist government. Those who had mastered the required skills were commonly referred to as Dolist Managers. (HH1)
In 1900 PD, the Dolists were growing more resentful towards the government due to low living standards and the decreasing purchasing power of the BLS. They even started to organize anti-government groups. (HH1)
Dolists made up the majority of enlisted crew members in the People's Navy. Some Dolists were able to rise to commissioned rank. For example, Alfredo Yu's family had been Dolists since the beginning of the 19th Century PD, and Thomas Theisman had been born in a creche and never knew his family. It was unusual that someone from a Dolist background could gain a good enough education or qualify (or be admitted to) the Republic of Haven Naval Academy, like Yu did. Unlike some Navies (eg, the Royal Manticoran Navy) there was not a substantial tradition of enlisted earning a commission via Officer Candidate School. (HH2)
By 1904 PD, about two thirds of the population of the planet Haven were Dolists. There was growing tensions between the Government and the Dolists over the Basic Living Stipend being limited due to the rise of inflation, this would have effectively frozen its buying power. (HH3)
- David Weber's comment on the origin of Bolthole and the BLS in the Infodump