Saturday, September 01, 2007

Terrorism's Real Effect on the Economy

They dedicate their lives to the destruction of the West. They foam at the mouth when they see our power. They hate us because of simple envy and greed and therefore spend every waking hour of their finite lives wasting it by scheming a way to bring about our end. And in their greatest hour they manage to really do...nothing.

I noticed on the GDP per capita chart I posted last week that if you look at it, you see in the grand scheme of things, the terrorists have utterly failed. If their goal was to some how "destroy" the US or "hurt" us, all they managed to do was make us hiccup. For the last "recession" we had was the weakest in recorded history (and by definition couldn't even be considered a recession because of its weakness). And as the 9-11 attack came and went, the US continued on a stratospheric climb in increased prosperity and standards of living furthering the gap between what Western civilization can achieve and what radical Islam offers. In other words the terrorists did absolutely nothing to us, though I say this not to trivialize the loss of 3,000 people on September 11th, but to trivialize what the terrorists did, for they utterly failed.

And sadly, for the terrorists they can't even claim to have even caused that economic hiccup. Chances are that "recession" was due more to the collapse of the Dotcom Bubble than it was the terrorist attack, making the attack more like a mosquito bite than a wasp sting.

Regardless, I just wanted to point this out to all of you aspiring, junior, deputy or otherwise terrorists out there. You have a choice, you really do. You can go ahead and subscribe to this "hero" syndrome and go on some epic crusade to "kill the infidels" which basically means you're going to throw your life away for no purpose aside to give the West a hiccup, or you can go and live your own life and do what you want.

Who knows, you might even find out you like life and enjoy it.


Disposable Info said...

Here, I'll back you up with some numbers:
(Real GDP growth 2000 - 2004)

2000: 3.7%
2001: 0.8% increase
2002: 1.6%
2003: 2.5%
2004: 3.9%

So the "recession" was an increase in GDP. Of course, the quarterly figures are slightly more telling, and we did have some little recessions for a couple of quarters in 2000 - 2001 [Q3 2000, Q1 2001 and Q3 2001]

In fact, the quarter ending in Sept. of 2001 was the last time we had negative (real) growth.

If you don't adjust that quarter for the inflation of the period, you'll get +0.06%, which makes your point pretty well, I think: "The Hiccup" resulted in people working, producing and spending just a little bit less than they normally do, but still more than they did (in aggregate) the previous quarter - enough for inflationary pressure.

So, most people, as you'd expect, assumed that anyone crazy enough to hijack planes and fly them into buildings posed no credible threat to the U.S. whatsoever - Which, all things considered - They didn't, because they died in a plane crash...

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts on this. I agree we are economically strong and most of the world depends on us (the USA) to sustain their efforts to grow their economies.

However, I think we are fragile in other areas such as unity of purpose and moral strength. Our success bring great decadence and weakness at a time when the global neighborhood is getting tougher.

All the money in the world isn't worth much if your health fails.