Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Poverty Breeds Terrorism.....NOT!!!

One of the left's favorite talking points regarding terrorism is that if they weren't so poor, they wouldn't be inspired to go all 'splodey on people. Apparently the idea for liberals is, "give them money, and they'll suddenly and magically like us". Well, our friends over at John F Kennedy School of Government have a different point of view. Thier findings indicate that terrorism is caused not by poverty, but by the level of political freedom. Gee, who'da thunk it? Where, oh where have we heard this one before?

A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.

Associate Professor of Public Policy Alberto Abadie examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks.

Abadie, whose work was published in the Kennedy School's Faculty Research Working Paper Series, included both acts of international and domestic terrorism in his analysis.

Though after the 9/11 attacks most of the work in this area has focused on international terrorism, Abadie said terrorism originating within the country where the attacks occur actually makes up the bulk of terrorist acts each year. According to statistics from the MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Base for 2003, which Abadie cites in his analysis, there were 1,536 reports of domestic terrorism worldwide, compared with just 240 incidents of international terrorism.

Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.

Please, indulge yourself and read the rest.