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Who do you think will be the next president of the United States?

 
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 04:16 pm
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:

Trouble is, you overstate the economic impact of 9/11 enormously. For example, the planes devastated lower Manhattan, yet New York City's unemployment rate only went up 2% in the following year. If New York City is only hit that much, the affect on the rest of the country can't be considered significant at all. The idea that enormous nationwide economic consequences ensued is just false.


Two of your statements depend upon your definition of "enormous," which it seems varies depending upon the point you wish to make.

In any case, I've overstated the impact, I've simply stated it. If you choose to define it as something less than "enormous," that's fine but there are plenty of economists (and citizens) who might disagree with you.

An increase of 2% in any unemployment rate is significant. In a city the size of New York we are talking about thousands and thousands of jobs. Commerce ripples outwards from large metropolitan centers. A significant shock to the NYC economy is far greater in impact than one of proportionally the same size to Paris, Texas.

As well, the impact on the airline and travel industries were not limited to NYC, nor were the reduced liberties that resulted from the legislative response to the attacks.

My contention is not that all terrorists attacks (including 9/11) are an existential threat to the nation, but that their impact is far greater and far more widespread than deaths by lightning, dogs or pencils, and therefore it is inappropriate to consider the peril they pose in a similar manner.

maxdancona
 
  4  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 05:55 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
but that their impact is far greater and far more widespread than deaths by lightning, dogs or pencils


Why do you think that is Finn?

There are certainly a greater number of deaths in the US by dogs or pencils then there are from terrorists. And death is death whatever the cause.

Why does death from terrorists have a greater impact? It seems to me that being rational... so that terrorism is less terrifying... would be a good thing.



cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 06:01 pm
@maxdancona,
The math seems to escape most people. Just the stats on gun violence in the US should be of greater concern. How often does a child have access to a loaded gun and kill a sibling or parent.
0 Replies
 
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 06:51 pm
@maxdancona,
Quote:
Why does death from terrorists have a greater impact? It seems to me that being rational... so that terrorism is less terrifying... would be a good thing.


Humans mainly are not rational see the current election cycle for an example of that fact.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 07:31 pm
@maxdancona,
From a purely logical standpoint it doesn't make sense, but then we are not wired to be purely logical.

Dead is of course dead, and death due to dogs, lightning or pencils is probably pretty unpleasant, but very few people have fear of dying from such encounters, unless they are actually faced with them (well, may be not with pencils).

I'm sure someone like Steven Pinker can explain it far better than I can, but it is the case, and simply insisting that people stop thinking that way isn't going to be of any help.

I would go so far as to suggest that when the people who the public rely on to protect them insist that they have little or nothing to worry about, it pisses off a lot more people than it mollifies. Part of it is trust in these people. If you don't trust someone responsible for protecting you, you're not likely to welcome them telling you not to worry. When stories appear in the news about the government refusing to allow reviews of the FB pages of Visa applicants, it erodes trust.

Obviously this is not to say that people should be encouraged to panic or that efforts to point out the low probability of anyone dying from a terrorist are not appropriate. (If I had small children now, I would be doing so with them). However, I don't think Americans are only concerned about their personal safety and that of their loved ones when it comes to terrorism. Ultimately, it's at those levels that the rubber meets the road but I would not deny or dismiss the outrage and grief that Americans thousands of miles away feel when terrorists gun down innocent fellow Americans. It's much more than fear.

Recently President Obama, I guess in an attempt to reassure Americans, made that the statement that ISIS can't destroy America. Putting aside what terrorists with a nuclear bomb can do, I don't think anyone believes ISIS can destroy America so it's not very helpful to tell them something they already know about a risk they weren't fearing.

There are ways to deal with people's fears (rational or otherwise) and while I'm not certain of the best way to address fear of terrorism, I have a pretty good idea of what doesn't work.

What's not helpful at all is to ask people to take risks that are not warranted. Those in favor of allowing 10,000 Syrian refugees into this country need to explain why the risk is warranted. Denying there is a risk is foolish and insulting and even more insulting is to suggest to someone who is not inclined to take the risk that their unwillingness is born of xenophobia and irrational fear. It would be irrational to assume all 10,000 of the refugees were agents of ISIS, it is not irrational to assume that some of them are. If only 10 refugees are ISIS agents and only 1 of them is successful in killing 14 Americans and wounding 17 (as was the case in San Bernadino) then someone will need to explain why the lives of 31 Americans was worth bringing in 10,000 refugees. Before we allow them in I would like to hear proponents explain why even one American death would be worth it.

The answer that we need to take these people in because it someone sends a message to ISIS or is an effective means to combat them is not, at all, compelling. The answer that we need to take the risk because the alternative is not acceptable to our values is not compelling either because the alternative is not surrendering them to the tender mercies of ISIS, or even dooming them to live in squalid refugee camps in Jordan.

As I stated previously I am all for helping these people. Thus far I don't think we've helped them enough. I just don't think the only way, or even the best way, to help them is to bring them into this country. The issue needs to be discussed without assumptions of negative intent, and without dismissing out of hand the concerns of millions of Americans.



Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Dec, 2015 11:33 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote Finn:
Quote:
An increase of 2% in any unemployment rate is significant. In a city the size of New York we are talking about thousands and thousands of jobs. Commerce ripples outwards from large metropolitan centers. A significant shock to the NYC economy is far greater in impact than one of proportionally the same size to Paris, Texas.


Specifically, 156,000 jobs lost over the course of two years in a metropolitan area of over 6 Million jobs. Or in other words, 3.6% of all the jobs in the NY-NJ Metropolitan Area. Not exactly devastating, is it? No, it is not.

And taking your stone dropping in a pond analogy, the greatest wave is the first circle surrounding the stone, then the waves get progressively less severe the farther they get from the epicenter of the shock. If unemployment going up 2% is the initial shock at the epicenter, then most of the United States was barely economically touched at all by 9/11. New York would have to get hit much, much harder to have anything like the impact you claim 9/11 had.

Check the stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They effectively shoot down your contentions of a massive economic shock.
http://i1382.photobucket.com/albums/ah279/LeviStubbs/911%20Impact_zpsuy7c8ayj.jpg
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 11:44 am
@maxdancona,
I think it cuts both ways. Yes, the response to terror (and any exotic death) is not rational, and we should mitigate the overreaction whenever possible. At the same time, we understand human nature well enough to realize that some of the overreaction is inevitable, and thusly terror attacks represent a greater threat than their death toll indicates.

Sure, that is the whole point of the strategy, to cause greater fear than their actual power should be capable of causing, and no we shouldn't play into that. But because some of this overreaction is unavoidable terrorism will always have a greater cost on a society than it should and those of us who rightly point out that the risk of terrorism is negligible must also acknowledge that the impact of terrorism that we decry is partly inevitable.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 11:53 am
@Robert Gentel,
True; death from terrorism is very small compared to other causes, and causes many to over react to it. Compared to auto accident deaths, it's negligible.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 12:44 pm
@Blickers,
Again it depends upon your definition of "enormous." That your view differs from mine is duly noted.
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 09:36 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Okay, then just give me an approximate figure as to how small the New York job loss or increase in unemployment would have to be before you would admit that they were not "enormous" enough to be responsible for a countrywide recession.
maxdancona
 
  3  
Reply Wed 23 Dec, 2015 10:41 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
There are two separate questions here that should be considered separately.

1) What fears are irrational, what fears are rational, and how do we tell the difference?

2) What do we do when Americans have irrational fears?

Let me address the second question first. I do not believe it is good policy for the government, or for society at large to mollify irrational fears with irrational actions.

We are not a primitive society. We are a modern society with strong institutions and a stable government. This isn't the 1500s with its witch hunts and superstitions. In the 21st century we have near universal literacy and a strong tradition of science.

We are being pressured to do things that are costly and go against our values, when these thing do absolutely nothing in actually reducing risk... it is frustrating. We are spending tens of billions of dollars on anti-terrorism measures that every expert will tell you are meaningless. This is not to mention the cost of the meaningless reactions to irrational fears about Ebola and there are many other examples.

It is in our best interest, as a society, to have a government that is run on expertise and science, rather than on irrational fear and reaction. Let's have leaders that rather than playing to primal fears, actually lead according to reason.

I don't buy the idea that playing to people's fears, at the cost of tens of billions of dollars with no real increase in safety is worth it. If we want people to feel better... let's just give them each a teddy bear (the cost would be much lower and the results exactly the same).

The government should be in the business of providing real solutions to real problems. Let leaders lead, they should consult the experts look at the evidence and explain to the public what needs to be done. They shouldn't base their decisions on the irrational fears of the public.






BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 07:40 am
@maxdancona,
An if the government leadership begin to act in a rational manner going too far again the desires and fears of the people the next election cycle would have Trump and Trump like clones fulling all the elected positions in the land.

Politic is the art of the possible as we do not have a Plato ideal government of Philosopher kings in place at the moment.
engineer
 
  5  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 07:48 am
@BillRM,
When something happens like a terrorist attack, it is reasonable to be fearful. What is not reasonable it politicians who tell us to be more fearful. The role of leadership is to put things in prospective and guide us in intelligent directions. Politicians who play to our fears may get some votes, but they are failing the country.
BillRM
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 08:10 am
@engineer,
Quote:
Politicians who play to our fears may get some votes, but they are failing the country.


You are talking about a tiny tiny sub-set of politicians call statesmen that year after year is getting smaller that care about the nation.

Do you think for a second Trump for example care for anyone or anything but for Trump?
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 05:54 pm
@Blickers,
Give it up Blickers. I made my point and you made yours.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 05:55 pm
@maxdancona,
You are a true progressive max
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 05:56 pm
@engineer,
Would you agree that Democrat politicians play the fear card?
0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Dec, 2015 07:09 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Nah. I think you stated your point, but you didn't prove it by any reasonable standard. 9/11 was a huge human tragedy, but it did not touch off a countrywide recession at all.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2015 10:31 am
@Blickers,
Blickers wrote:

Nah. I think you stated your point, but you didn't prove it by any reasonable standard. 9/11 was a huge human tragedy, but it did not touch off a countrywide recession at all.


Considering that I didn't state that 9/11 touched off a countrywide recession, you comment is irrelevant.

What I did state was that it prolonged a recession, and this is something I got from economists.

If you prefer to think the impact of 9/11 was limited to those killed or wounded, fine.
Blickers
 
  3  
Reply Fri 25 Dec, 2015 09:59 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
A 2% rise in unemployment in the New York-NJ Metropolitan Area is not enough to extend a nationwide recession two years. You should remember that the Twin Towers were not by themselves the center of the financial industry, they were surrounded by blocks and blocks of smaller buildings chock full of people who did the same job-stock and bond trading-as the people who died in the WTC. In fact, if you look at some old movies set in New York in the forties, fifties and sixties, you see that the financial world was thriving years before the WTC even went up. That's why the New York Stock Exchange was able to open up in its old home, the Empire State Building, a week after the destruction of the WTC.
 

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