The Costs of Terrorism

The human costs of a terrorist attack like the one at Mumbai are incalculable. Our hearts go out to the families that have lost loved ones and our prayers are with them and the city of Mumbai.

The indirect impact of such a dastardly act is on commerce. With shops downing shutters and people staying indoors, the fallout is on productivity and spending. At a time when consumer sentiment is at its lowest, this cowardly act only makes things worse. But then, we can count both on the common man's resilience and his compulsions, and expect our financial capital to bounce back, within no time. We pray for that too.

Its noteworthy to consider Becker-Posner's comments on 'Economic Development and Terrorism'; Sample this, 'It is helpful to think of terrorism as of other goods and services in demand and supply terms. There is a demand for terrorism, and a supply of terrorism, and the intersection of demand and supply gives the amount of terrorism. Terrorism is a political phenomenon, and the demand is driven mainly by political grievances, real or imagined. Often the grievances are related to foreign occupation. France in Algeria; the British in Palestine; now the Israelis in the West Bank; the United States in Iraq (and earlier in the Philippines)--though in the case of Islamic terrorism, the major factor seems to be the Western "presence" in the Middle East, rather than foreign occupation; even Israel's occupation of the West Bank seems a subsidiary factor. And the Baader-Meinhoff gang in West Germany, the Red Brigades in Italy, and Aun Shirikyo in Japan are examples of terrorist groups unrelated to foreign occupation. But it is the existence of grievance that is key, and often--probably typically--the grievance is political rather than economic.'

Read their posts here and here.


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