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Issues affecting nations economy


In a time of intensifying strains of faltering ideologies laded loyalties and crumbling institutions an ideology expressed in Islamic terms offered an emotionally familiar basis of group identity solidarity and exclusions; an acceptable basis of legitimacy and authority… By means of these Islam provides the most effective symbol for mobilization whether for or against a cause or regime (Bernard Lewis 2003)

For a long time Americans examined and interpreted social reality in political terms. In this case it ascribed social reality in terms of order and disorder, peace and war, the existence of a government or state, and/or a monarch. However with the introduction of industrial revolution and capitalism was the examination society’s structure from a political power to that of economic and social paradigm.  We then replaced the political paradigm by an economic and social paradigm; social classes, wealth stratification and social mobility. With new paradigm was the inception of cultural problems have assumed the center stage and become of such importance that social thinking must be organized around political decision-making. Scheuer, (2004), propounds the view that with this shift in societal examination, Americans must position themselves within this new paradigm in order to be able to identify new actors

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and new conflicts, which should be a clear representations of new ideologies that reflect collectiveness disclosed by a fresh look that reveals a new landscape before our very eyes.

            The search for the central point in this new landscape, immediately leads us to the examination of the impact of terrorism on the economy of America. In a free democratic society such as ours the constitutional provisions with regard to the fundamental freedoms are amongst those that are cherished.  But recent events of terrorism and widespread vocal and printed expression of hate groups motivated by racism, religious intolerance, and anti-government or anarchist views have awakened many Americans; including leaders in government to the reality that freedom isn’t free as such. One must pay dear price to gain freedom.

            Terrorism has existed and influenced the political and social structure of America. The word terrorism has since historical times been used to denote a wide myriad of negative and violent actions against the government and societies (Presley, 1996).  The United States Department of Justice views terrorism as the unlawful use of force or violence by a group of persons against persons or property to make them feel intimidated or in other instances actions that coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof in furtherance of such groups’ political or social objectives. Wesbury, (2000) on the other hand views terrorism as the adoption of means to political ends that show amongst other factors disregard for life, liberty and other human rights. Terrorist depict a character of extremism which is depicted by attempt to distort reality for themselves and others and as such, they discourage examination of their beliefs either by providing false logic, rhetorical trickery or some kind of intimidation to the public.Presley, 1996 however establishes that terrorists represent an actions that try to portray their private personal grudges or in other instances to rationalize the pursuit of special interests in the name of the public welfare.

            The inception of terrorism was justified as a means by the terrorist network as a facilitative tool of eliminating specific individuals from power or society as a means by which weaker states and non-states can wage war against far more powerful conventional forces of their enemies (Wesbury, 2000).  Bard O’Neil in Westbury’s book on Economic cost of terrorism classifies terrorism as an, act that was viewed by such groups as one of the warfare strategies. Unlike the other two strategies: guerilla warfare and mobile-conventional warfare, terrorism is largely dependent on environmental, cultural, economic and the moral dimensions of the conflict or political struggle.

Terrorism in American soil: the world trade center attacks

The September 11, 2001 attacks were a series of coordinated terrorist attacks that saw the crash of two airlines into the world trade centre resulting in the collapse of buildings and extensive damage to property.  The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians including nationals from over 90 different countries (Presley, 1996).

            This was followed shortly by Osama Bin Laden announcement in a videotape in 2001 that was to the effect that the September 11 attacks “struck deep at the heart of America’s economy,” but the US intelligence held the view that the economy was not adversely affected but scraped and bruised.  These sentiments are indeed true because despite an estimate of US$105 billion in damages was incurred, seven years later after the attacks the economy is on recovery.  According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the economy experienced recession in March 2001 of which the first three quarters of 2001 posted negative growth in the economy. Perhaps a look at the immediate effects of this attack will shed some light of the impact fealt all round (Wesbury, 2000).

The immediate economic consequences of 9/11

            The short-term impacts of the attacks were tremendous.  Total losses of life and property cost insurance companies an estimated forty billion dollars (Wesbury, 2000).Consequently, shopping centers and restaurants across the country were closed for twenty four hours posing a risk to trade and industry. High-risk office buildings were evacuated, planes grounded and the stock market ceased trading for four consecutive days thus causing a fall in the retail sells by $6 billion shillings .On the other hand, new orders for durable goods fell by $11.6 billion shilling with claims for unemployment insurance being on the increment by 50,000. recording the biggest monthly jump since August 1902.With regard to industrial production a decline of 1.0 percent was experienced with the 6$ P500 falling by 7.0 percent while the NASDAQ falling by 9.9 percent Industrial production had fallen for eleven constructive months and US stock prices had declined especially in the high-tech sector.  The real gross domestic product declined by -0.3 percent in the third quarter of 2001(Presley, 1996).

            In view of the tourism sector, major airlines immediately canceled schedules flights by 30 percent and even with fewer fights, planes were not full. As a result, hotels experienced an increase in vacancies and the economy shed 1.1 million jobs in the final four months.  Through December 29, 2001 the Bureau of labor statistics established that 408 major lay off events were experienced. Causing direct or indirect result layoffs in the air transportation and travel industries. A decline in public goods shipments by $9.2 billion which was occasioned by transportation havoc was experienced thus increasing the shipping costs.

.       While these data points to the fact that a new set of potential weaknesses exist within the America economy positive indicators were depicted such as the fall of unemployment claims, housing activities remained strong and inventory levels remained low.  Analysts hold the view that compared to losses sustained in previous wars the costs of the September attacks are small (Touraine &Elliott, 2007). As a result the American economy bounced back and within days, the citizens ranging from consumers to businesses were back up and running. It is estimated that the automobile manufacturers instituted 0.0 percent financing and auto sales secured.  Auto sales fell from 16.4 million units to 15.9 million units but was later boosted by initiation of other incentives and later secured to 21.3 million units Retail sales which fell by 1.2 percent in September and was rebound by the same 1.2 percent in the proceeding months and years.

            It is however note worthy that the world trade organization attacks not only caused an effect on the American economy but the economic repercussions were felt all over the world.

The 9/11 Attacks and its impact on Global Economic Progress

            The repercussions of the 9/11 attack trickled down through every layer of the global economy.  These attacks have had worldwide economic consequences felt even in those countries that are not likely to become terrorist targets. This laws due to Americas f shift of focus from most important issues that relate to other states, with its energies being geared towards establishment of counter-terrorism measures thus resources diverting from economic development through out the world.  This as a result adversely affects the all countries with specific reference to third world countries. Perhaps a look at the impact created on other countries would shed some light on this situation.

The 9/11 Attacks and its impact on European countries

             The September attacks lead to reduced consumer confidence in the American goods and services.  Concerns about further terrorist designs on air travel have sent Europe’s airline industry into decline in finances and operalization. For instance the Belgian carrier Sabena was declared bankruptcy.   Major carriers in Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavian reduced flight capacity scrapping certain routes that lead to American states and as a result lay off tens of thousands of employees On the other hand, the stock markets throughout Europe increased two fold not only because of investor uncertainty but also the engagement of insider trading in that Al-Qaida speculated that the attacks would devastate the airline and insurance industries in Europe they thus profited from ‘put options’ negotiable bids when the prices of certain airline and insurance stocks declined within a short time frame.

The 9/11 Attacks and its impact on East Asian

            The above attacks lead to a decline in US consumer spending which among other things adversely affected the Japanese auto industry since United States buys about 40 percent of Japanese exports. Reduced US consumption thus implies decline in Japanese exports, production, employment and capital investment.  Tourism also dropped with over 100,000 tourists canceling their trips in after the attacks for an elongated period of time. Todate as we speak about US $3.5 billion worth of debt refinancing is already in question in East Asia.

The 9/11 Attacks and its impact on Latin America and Caribbean states

            The post attack economic climate is creating negative impact in the tourism industry in Latin America.  Aero Mexican and Mexicana airlines Export industries in Mexico and Central America are reeling from reduced consumption in the United States, which is also reflected in many commodity prices.

The 9/11 Attacks and its impact on developing countries

            Development focus was blurred since numerous conferences addressing economic development were postponed or derailed concerns about further terrorist attacks delayed gatherings of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, The UN food and Agriculture Association and a summit.

          The forgoing has provided ha guideline of the impact the terrorism attacks on the World Trade Center has had on not only the American citizens but also the world at large. It is now the world’s challenge to examine new paradigms that would address this issue, as it is evident that attacks on the American soil imply attacks on the whole world.

Work Cited

Touraine. A & Elliot G (2007) A New Paradigm for Understanding today’s World, Polity (2007)

Scheller M., Imperial Hubris Why the West is losing the War on Terror,

 Brasseyis (2004)

Presley M S., Rise of Domestic Terrorism and Its Relation to United States Armed forces (1996)

Wesbury S.B. (2000) the Economic Cost of Terrorism, Stephens & Thompson Inc (2000)


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