Princeton Economist Says Lack of Civil Liberties, Not Poverty, Breeds Terrorism

[Wall Street Journal] David Wessel - "Each time we have one of these attacks and the backgrounds of the attackers are revealed, this should put to rest the myth that terrorists are attacking us because they are desperately poor," says Princeton economist Alan Krueger. "But this misconception doesn't die." "As a group, terrorists are better educated and from wealthier families." The Sept. 11 attackers were relatively well-off men from a rich country, Saudi Arabia. Examining 781 terrorist events classified by the U.S. State Department as "significant" reveals terrorists tend to come from countries distinguished by political oppression, not poverty or inequality. The conventional wisdom that poverty breeds terrorism is backed by surprisingly little hard evidence. The 9/11 Commission stated flatly: Terrorism is not caused by poverty.

2007-07-06 01:00:00

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