GECON200-Topic #1: Jobs and 9/11

The 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks occurs this week, and it gives us the opportunity to look at how 9/11 impacted our economy over the past decade. At the time of the attacks, the U.S. economy was in a recession, and contracting. In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, New York City and the firms headquartered there entered into a crisis mode, with many firms doubting whether or not they would stay in New York City.

Following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. entered into war with Afghanistan in October 2001. The U.S. began the “Global War on Terror” (or now known as the Overseas Contingency Operation) has cost around a total of $1.3 trillion since operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere began according to Congressional Research Service . Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been formed, taking on the duties of the Immigration and Naturalization Services, the Customs Service, and other entities such as the Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA). The DHS annual budget is around $55 billion (2010), intended to combat the war on terror within the country’s borders. In the coming years, the costs of the war in Afghanistan are expected to wind down, while the conflict in Iraq is also in decline. However, the costs to prevent future terrorist attacks will persist.

One thing that the Global War on Terror has created is jobs. Jobs have been created in the military, homeland security, and military contracting. States like Virginia have benefited from the expansion of military and defense contracting. Military veterans have not fared so well once they have left combat however. The unemployment rate for veterans is higher than the average. President Obama is proposing to prevent cuts to veterans benefits, as well as providing tax credits to employers who hire veterans or wounded veterans. The extension of veterans benefits, and tax credits for employment comes at a continuing cost in the future that needs to be considered.

Questions you might answer (Do not answer all of these, just focus on one point):

  • Whether or not you agree with the war efforts of the last ten years, quantify the impact that the wars have had on the economy in some way. Whether or not the war has created jobs, cost Americans a ton of money, or led to escalating future bills, you should be able to pinpoint one way that the overall economy has been impacted. Avoid anecdotal evidence. If you don’t know what anecdote means, look it up.
  • Do you believe the tax credits proposed by the Obama administration will be effective at creating new jobs? Why or why not? If you respond to this question, you should think about the unintended consequences of targeting help at veterans over other workers.
  • Do you think the U.S. is safer as a result of the Global War on Terror? Why or why not? Examine the costs and benefits that have been incurred throughout the last ten years as a result of the war.
  • Feel free to answer any other questions you like, as long as it is related to the topic above. Think outside of the box.

64 thoughts on “GECON200-Topic #1: Jobs and 9/11”

  1. Before the Global War on Terror, the United States had a somewhat okay relationship with many countries in the Middle East. However, after ten years of scandals, war crimes, corruption of “allies”, and deaths of innocent civilians, a lot of peaceful Muslims now have a negative feeling toward the United States. The idea of winning people’s hearts and minds through aid programs and other peaceful means have been thrown to the wayside in favor of just killing the “evil doers.” The problem with this logic is that others will step up to take the place of the dead “evil doers”, as a result of our negative actions. Currently the Obama administration is pushing the use of Predator Drones. Predator Drone strikes have killed at least 45 civilians in Pakistan alone in the past year (1). Although we have managed to take out Osama Bin Ladin, the fact that we have spent $1.3 trillion on that along with killing other leaders that can be replaced is a waste of money. There is some truth to the fact that you can catch more flies with honey, than vinegar.

    Source:
    1. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/world/asia/12drones.html?pagewanted=all

  2. All anecdotal evidence aside, I think that American public opinion on the war in Afghanistan has grown largely in opposition over the past 10 years. To look at whether this disagreement has stemmed from the theoretical questions of how helpful or hurtful war spending is to an economy is too ambiguous. According to the Council on Foreign Relations (1), both the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress estimated the total long-term direct economic impacts of the war. The Joint Economic Committee, which “estimated a $3.5 trillion through the year 2017″, predicted that the war will “cost the average U.S. family $46,400” in increased taxes. This is costing the average individual about $11,627, which includes the U.S. interest paid on foreign debt to help finance the war. So while some families struggle to pay the bills here, we are spending about $8 billion dollars a month in Afghanistan.
    Although the total cost of a war should be considered in perspective, sometimes the economic consequences outweigh the effect of direct spending. So because the Global War on Terror has created many jobs in the military does not account for the amount of money and time this war has cost us. The American economy, the government’s budget, household spending, oil prices, and the national debt all continue to suffer by financing the war in Afghanistan.

    (1) http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/iraq-afghanistan-us-economy/p15404#p5

  3. Before the War on Terror began, the United States actually had a surplus that was in the hundreds of billions of dollars (1). However, it seems that 9/11 and the War on Terror, which are major historical events in our country already, have had a vastly negative effect on our economy as a whole. The economic troubles seem to have begun around the time of the Bush tax cuts that were enacted in 2001 and 2003. These cuts managed to decrease the government’s revenue, but they increased the countries deficit (2). If Obama continues cutting taxes we will only see ourselves dug deeper into debt. The worst part about these cuts was the timing of it all. The cuts began came around the same time as 9/11 and the start of the wars in the Middle East. With war, comes increased spending. As we have seen, spending for the war estimated at almost 2 trillion dollars since the beginning (3). This, in combination with the economic recession and the decreased revenue for the government, has led to a massive deficit which will take a long time to climb out of.

    (1)http://money.cnn.com/2001/10/29/economy/budget/
    (2)http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2010/09/17/Bush-Tax-Cuts-No-Economic-Help.aspx#page1
    (3)http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/

  4. The War on Terror has, and always will be, a war that cannot be won. Fighting against extremists that are willing to take their lives for their beliefs is near impossible and isn’t making any progress. The 1.3 trillion dollars spent on this war isn’t only absurd and uncalled for, but it came with another cost; thousands of lives. The amount of lives lost can’t be justified due to the nature and scary future this war may lead to. Our goal was to end terror overseas by going after the mastermind and plotter of the 9/11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden, however, is part of a Shia militant group known as Hezbollah that has much more leaders and followers than the US expected. Instead of fighting the war, we must persist to prevent terror, rather than seek and destroy it since it obviously is only stirring up the pot. Some food for thought on Dean’s comment about peaceful Muslims having bitter feelings towards Americans is that it goes both ways. Many Americans now have strong feelings towards Muslims, as well. The War on Terror has only created more hatred in this world and was a big mistake that we need to correct before things become worse.

  5. As a simple answer to the second question, I think that yes, Obama’s Returning Heroes Tax Credit will be effective in creating new jobs. I think that it will help the 1 million unemployed military veterans find jobs that they well deserve after fighting for our country. But, although creating new jobs sounds like a good idea, there are factors that need to be considered. This proposed tax credit will cost the United States $120 million on average (1), and seeing as our country is already in tremendous debt, this proposal to the budget needs to be considered. This tax credit also puts unemployed non- veterans that may have work skills and job experience at a huge disadvantage. All groups should be considered in the barrier of unemployment, not just military veterans.

    (1) http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-08-06/news/29857452_1_tax-credit-unemployed-veterans-war-vets

  6. There is no doubt in any American’s mind that the War on Terror and the events of 9/11 have affected day to day life of many citizens. Many industries are hurt as a result of war but others are stimulated. Numerous citizens know that one positive effect of war and wartime spending is an increase in the quantity of jobs, but not everybody takes the time to think of just how many jobs can be created. One industry that is stimulated is the food industry, specifically the corporations that send food to the military. The most obvious industry that will have the temporary boom is the equipment industry, producing an influx of guns and ammo. Other opportunities created are an increase in the need for soldiers, air traffic control, health-care workers, nurses, airline workers and many more availabilities. However, it is largely questioned if $1 billion spent on war creates more jobs and has an overall greater impact on job creation than $1 billion put directly into the economy and creating jobs. The current unemployment rate is at 9.1 % and if some of the $1.3 trillion spent during the war would have gone to stimulating local economies and creating jobs, maybe the shockingly high rate wouldn’t be so great today.

    http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
    http://money.cnn.com/2002/09/24/news/economy/challenger/index.htm

  7. Although the added security measures in America may seem like a headache on the surface, I think they have made our country safer. The additional measures have created a peace of mind in the general public which outweighs the cost of the programs. Admittedly, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, along with various other programs like the TSA, has been no small undertaking financially speaking. I can’t ignore the $8 trillion (1) spent to make our country more secure. But I feel government wouldn’t spend so much money if the benefits weren’t exceeding the costs. There have been a surprisingly frequent number of security breaches identified by TSA procedure which are not heavily broadcasted (2); terrorism was a threat before 9/11, and it still is 10 years later. While it might take longer to get on a plane now, it is comforting to know that actions are being taken to protect the American public. The goal of the precautions was to prevent another attack on America, and it has been achieved at a fair cost.

    1) http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/07/has-our-security-since-11-been-worth-8-trillion/
    2) http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/Airport-Security-in-a-Post-911-World-129411303.html

  8. Hindsight is 20/20. Any pedestrian mind can now say that entering the War on Terror may have been a poor choice. Monetarily, the war has taken a grand sum of cash to launch and maintain — probably more than was ever intended or foreseen. Militarily, we have entered a war that is seemingly unwinnable. We are to the Redcoats of the Revolutionary War as our enemy is to the rebel colonists. We are a vast, organized, and equipped force. However, our enemy has no common face to fight. More an intricate network of different insurgent bands than an army, their knowledge of the local terrain and their ease of access to resources gives them a mammoth advantage over our forces. Worst of all, our engagement has no clear end. Now that we’re in, we’re in. There may be no turning back. We’ve made more enemies than friends, and that, from a global perspective, is the most tragic impact of this war. Domestically, the war has polarized the American population, leading to divisive party politics that are destructive to the functioning of the political system. Additionally, the debt incurred from this involvement will land on us, fellow classmates. Sure, the war created jobs. However, in absolutely no way does that benefit, or any of the benefits, outweigh the cost in lives, money, or relations. In the late 1930’s, a war helped pull this country out of the Great Depression. Now, this war might do just the opposite.

  9. It’s hard to say that the United States is any safer despite the $1.3 trillion worth of spending throughout the War on Terror and another $8 trillion spent on “security”. No clear evidence shows any improved level of safety. In fact, the exact opposite is seen in tests showing that private contractors working at air ports are both more efficient and cost effective compared to their TSA counterparts. This is one of many examples of wasteful spending resulting from the Global War on Terror and the government initiatives launched from it. On an international level, the war has resulted in a loss of life and a severe debt that the country cannot easily escape from while at the same time achieving little considering it took over a decade to kill Osama Bin Laden. While it can be argued that certain sectors of the nation’s economy have grown due to the war, I’m sure that if the close to $10 trillion had been invested more efficiently into our own nation and its citizens, the United States would be in a much better position than it is now. I find it hard to call America safer, while we spend so much money, bleeding out to the point of bankruptcy, exactly how Bin Laden wanted us to.

    http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/07/has-our-security-since-11-been-worth-8-trillion/

  10. In regards to the second question, if Congress passes these tax credits there is a very high likeliness that these tax credits will aid in creating more jobs for veterans because businesses will want to take advantage of this opportunity. The unemployment rate in America has reached its highest numbers in more than fifteen years (1). Everyday people struggle to make ends meet. But one comment made in the article about the unemployment of veterans may be fixed with programs already in place. The article stated how a lot of veterans face rejection from companies because their lack of higher education (2). It is becoming obvious in this society that to get a job the bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma. Yet, the government offers the well-known GI Bill which also has a section called “the Post 9-11 G.I. Bill” (3). This bill is offered for those who were honorably discharged for service or have served around the time of 9-11. This program should be taken advantage of by all veterans, not because they are not worthy of a job without college education, but because it is an opportunity to give them a more competitive edge in the work force, at a cost the government already has budgeted. Obama’s tax credits will inevitably give veterans an advantage over other citizens in the job market and although those who have sacrificed their lives for our country should have jobs, is the benefit greater than the cost that will hit our economy as a result? Not really.

    (1)http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/c/credit_crisis/index.html?scp=21&sq=umployment%20rates&st=cse
    (2)http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711
    (3)http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/index.html

  11. The facts, figures, and statistics reveal that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have had a negative impact on our economy and society as a whole.

    According to the Historical Labor Force, unemployment in the United States did not decrease. In fact it increased from 4% in 2000 to 4.7% during the dot-com crash in March of 2001 to 5.8% in 2002. And as one looks beyond that it has increased ever since. So the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan did not solve our major problem of unemployment because the unemployment rate in America was between 4 and 6%.

    In addition, the cost has added up to an exorbitant amount of money. The New York times article, Cost of Iraq, states that military ops, security, reconstruction, foreign aid and veteran health care costs the U.S. roughly 1.283 trillion dollars (2011). And to make matters worse, the DOD has increased its spending to another 50% (NYT). If this continues to happen, the U.S. government will have difficulty paying their Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security costs (entitlement spending) such as when our government almost shut down because they were running out of money.

    America needs to stop fighting like the lion (us) and start to fight like the flea (Al Qaeda). Expensive weapons, advanced equipment, and tightened security is not needed. These are extra costs that will not benefit us as evidenced by this decade-long war that the U.S. has not won yet.

  12. Most people would probably agree that the economy and job market right now are not good. However, the unemployment rate for veterans is extremely high. I think that the Returning Heroes Tax Credit will be effective in supplying more jobs for the veterans and hopefully lowering the unemployment rate. The men and woman who risked their lives serving our country can’t even support their families right now because nobody will hire them. Passing the tax credit will give businesses the incentive they need to hire the veterans. This could also make it harder for everyone else to get a job though. I have complete respect for people in the service but even young adults with graduate degrees or adults who have years of experience behind them can’t find a job. The unemployment rate in the United States is 9.1 % right now (1). Even though veterans need the jobs so do other Americans. Yes, there will be more jobs available, but will everybody have an equal chance of getting one? After looking for a job and not getting it, one veteran said, “it doesn’t make any sense” (2). Although this may be true, veterans are not the only ones who feel this way. People who spent years in college trying to obtain a better degree are having the same problems. When passing the tax credit we need to think about the United States as a whole.

    (1)http://www.bls.gov/
    (2)http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711

  13. The War on Terror has made America a more safe and secure place over the last ten years. Osama bin Laden was the founder of al-Qaeda, and responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Adding on to Dean’s comment, that since Osama the “evil doer” is dead, it does not change anything; there are others that will take the place of the dead “evil doers” and it is still very important to keep that in mind when coming to security issues.
    As far as security goes in airports, passengers are now asked to arrive hours earlier for their flights and there are random screenings that include hand-searching of bags. Over the past ten years, there has been quite a bit of money spent on security, and more specifically on airport security. A survey conducted stated that since 9/11, about 63% of passengers have found airport security more of a hassle. However, the question following that on the survey concluded that passengers are willing to accept the extra inconvenience or increased prices in order to feel more secure. Over the last decade security has cost over $400 billion to the United States, but the benefit of safety and security in everyday life outweighs that price tag.

    (1)http://dyson.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/gb78/wp/JLE_6301.pdf
    (2)http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/07/us-sept11-liberties-idUSTRE7860T420110907

  14. Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we have has the installment of the Department of Home Security and we have willing accepted them in our airports and at other major security checkpoint around the US. Even though the government thought that this would be a great department to help keep Americans safe, currently 46% of all Americans feel “somewhat uneasy or in danger”(1). Is it right to be possibly pouring 43.6 billion dollars (2) into a program where less then half of Americans feel safe with? I believe that having homeland security has definitely made American appear less threatened by terrorist to the outside world but I don’t think that if we had another major attack, nothing would significantly stop it ahead of time. I think that if people were more widely educated to look out for each other and other odd circumstances, then Americans would have a greater sense of personal security and possibly boost some moral. I think in order for American to truly feel safe we need to stop pouring billions of dollars into a color coded danger chart and start putting money into personal awareness education that will increase total security in public areas.

    1.http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/09/06/opinion/polls/main1975940.shtml

    2.http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Press.MajorityNews&ContentRecord_id=4a3e7cb0-5056-8059-76ec-297dd1acb4f7

  15. Though, through the efforts of the TSA and the other homeland Security agencies national security has become better and safer, it will not stay that way as long as the economy stays in the downward slope it has been in. With all of the job opportunities given to veterans from the Obama administration comes the economic crisis with the government’s budget. A looming furlough, or an unpaid period of government work, is afoot. Rumors from the Obama administration have accumulated in the past several months, especially in early 2011.

    A specific example of the furlough rumors occurred in March 2011, in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service in Washington D.C. As the Agency was about its work, several employees were quietly roaming the halls wondering if the next week or month, would occur without bank roll. As Homeland Security agencies have rumors and hints of this “government shutdown”, employees have the option of not showing up. Why would they, if they aren’t being paid? So security, though increased after the past several years following 9/11, can easily be tampered with due to the economic stand point of the government’s actions toward funding these agencies.
    As the Washington Post stated in the online article, Government shutdown: Potential furloughs for 800k federal workers, disruption of D.C. services by Ed O’Keefe, “As congressional negotiators pushed last-ditch efforts to agree on a 2011 budget and prevent a shutdown”. For now, the shutdown seems at bay, but as the economy sits, there are no easy answers or ways to find out if our agencies will be funded.
    O’Keefe also stated that a furlough shutdown “could stop everything from tax refunds to local trash collection”. And really, who wants to defend a smelly nation? Just a thought.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/government-shutdown-potential-furloughs-for-800000-federal-workers-disruption-of-dc-services/2011/04/06/AFRItOqC_story.html

    Interview with an NCIS representative

  16. I believe the tax credits proposed by the Obama administration will be ineffective. I am not saying that it will fail, but I do not feel that it will create the desired effect. Obama intends to not “balance the budget on the backs of the veterans” by proposing a Returning Heroes Tax Credit and a Wounded Warrior Tax Credit (a). For starters, looking at this situation from a business approach, would the benefits of receiving tax credits outweigh the cost of hiring a person who has no formal education but does have military experience? Another factor that I am considering is that for companies to take the initiative and hire these veterans the tax credits must be highly beneficial for them. Based on the state of the economy I do not see these tax credits as being great amounts to outweigh the cost of hiring a veteran over another applicant. This proposal would create unease with those who are not veterans and need employment also. I think it is safe to say that most citizens do admire and respect veterans for fighting for this country, but at the end of the day those who need help/jobs will be uneasy about veterans receiving special treatment. It is human nature to desire survival for oneself and ones family, and to have that hindered won’t sit too well with many who are in desperate need for jobs/help from the government.

    (a) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html?_r=1

  17. Critics argue that the post 9/11 War on Terror has been a waste of taxpayer dollars and it is a battle that cannot be won no matter the cost. The U.S. government has spent $1.28 trillion in defense of American citizens over the last ten years; $806 billion on Iraq and %444 billion on Afghanistan. Though possibly overwhelming, these numbers signify the cost of victory to a nation. Is there any limit to the price one is willing to pay for safety? In the case of the War on Terror all the money spent; to pay for troops, weapons, veterans, and most importantly the safety of the American public has been a necessary national burden. The money spent on the war effort was not in vain. Unimaginable things could have happened to innocent American lives if the money was not spent to suppress terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda. Therefore, in the sense of the U.S. expenditures on the war, the benefits of saving American’s lives exceed the costs of doing so, making it a good investment.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/02/osama-bin-laden-dead-war-on-terror-costs_n_856390.html
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2008/03/19/bush-iraq.html

  18. There is a definite problem with unemployment in America today; and many of the unemployed are veterans. These veterans have trouble finding jobs because although they return with admirable leadership and mechanical skills, employers don’t look past their lack of a college degree (1). President Obama’s proposed tax credits would provide an economic incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans (2). Sure it seems like a great idea to help veterans get jobs, but one must examine the cost of that benefit. The cost is that these “devices to stimulate the economy…would also worsen the budget deficits” (2). That means it will most likely be met with hostility from the Republicans in Congress who want to focus on controlling and lowering the deficit whenever possible. Instead of making solutions for unemployment for individual groups such as veterans, it would be more efficient to take the necessary time to come up with a plan that will help all the unemployed while benefitting businesses but without raising the deficit. This seems like the obvious and perfect solution, but it would be worth the time to figure it out.
    (1) http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711
    (2) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html?_r=1

  19. @Megan Kohanik
    So, are you say that we need to give every unemployed veteran a job? A new job created for them or old jobs so we take jobs away from other American citizens?
    I agree that its wrong that these men and women that sacrifice time, money, and their lives for our freedom, but what plans can there be to give them jobs?
    Should we give them pensions or do we not have the budget for that?

  20. It is evident that the events of September 11 impacted unemployment of many workers, not just veterans. Due to the increased unemployment rate, the government’s revenue was directly affected and lowered (48). This is an unfortunate consequence for the government because they are already struggling from debt while paying for the war. The unemployment rate was already high before the War on Terrorism, and now it is only increasing. Something needs to be done to help those who cannot support their families. It was reported that between September of 2001 and March of 2002, business owners called 462 extended mass layoffs that were caused directly by the 9/11 attacks (49). Although the Returning Heroes Tax Credit will possibly help veterans find jobs, Obama should also focus on the rest of the unemployed population of our country because many of those people have college degrees to back up their skills. Although the tax cuts that Obama is proposing are providing an incentive to companies who hire veterans, budget deficits would also worsen, which is tough price to pay (1).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html?_r=1
    http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL31617.pdf

  21. As a result of the Global War on Terror, I do believe that the United States has become a safer country. The implementation of the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Safety Administration has vastly improved the safety of American citizens. The primary objective of the U.S Department of Homeland Security was to… “(A) Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; (B) Reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; and (C) Minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States.” I believe that this act certainly achieved its goal in protecting America post 9/11. Even though, especially in the TSA, it is aggravating to travel ever since the attacks, the benefit does outweigh the cost. Yes, it certainly is a nuisance to wait in an endless metal detector line to simply board a plane. However, the United States government is only trying their utmost best to provide safety to the public. After 9/11, Americans and travelers worldwide were extremely cautious about flying. The TSA needed to be enacted because Americans needed to be reassured that they were protected. This act has restored a sense of comfort to the American public. Any cost is worth the safety of a nation.

    http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/laws/law_regulation_rule_0011.shtm

  22. The total cost of war in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 is roughly $3 trillion dollars. The war in Iraq was the second longest war and second most costly war in United States history. The war has not only been costing the country trillions of dollars, but it has leaving many of the veteran’s unemployed when they return home. For the veterans who served since 2001, about 13.2% of them were left jobless as of June. The job market has become increasingly worse for young veterans, many of whom are combat veterans. These men put their lives at risk to save our countries, and they should at least be guaranteed a job when they return home. The men and women do not always have an education because they enroll to serve their country directly out of high school. Employers, however do no worry as much about the degree, but about the veterans who could be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, other mental disorders, or may be recalled to duty. This makes it very hard for the Veterans to find jobs and is causing the unemployment rate to skyrocket.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/07/AR2008030702846.html

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711

    http://www.armytimes.com/news/2011/02/military-unemployment-veterans-january-020411w/

  23. Whether or not you agree with the war efforts of the last ten years, quantify the impact that the wars have had on the economy in some way. Whether or not the war has created jobs, cost Americans a ton of money, or led to escalating future bills, you should be able to pinpoint one way that the overall economy has been impacted. Avoid anecdotal evidence. If you don’t know what anecdote means, look it up.

    I do agree that the war efforts such as the Global War on Terror has created some advancements for our country, but not nearly the amount of advances needed when compared to the amount of money and time put into making these efforts successful. A quarter of a million people in the travel industry lost their jobs after the attack of 9/11 (2). Yes, it is true that the Global War on Terror has created many more jobs for Veterans in combat, but these very jobs have consequently created more unemployment for the veterans that eventually leave combat, which in a sense has created little to no advancements for employment rates as a whole.
    If we are supposed to feel safer since the attacks on 9/11, why is it that the war our government has put the U.S through has cost more American lives that the terrorists attacks themselves. I tend to wonder what good 55 billion dollars a year spent on Homeland Security means when we are sending Americans out to die in other countries anyways. I feel less safe in this country knowing that the government that protects me has killed more Americans than the terrorists did on 9/11 (1).
    Economically, the U.S debt has fallen to unimaginable numbers. In 2001, our total debt was 5.8 trillion. Since 2001, the debt has fallen to 15 trillion, nearly 100% of the GDP(1). The government has fooled us into feeling safer due to the billions of dollars spent on services to protect our countries borders. Subsequently, the government is spending even more and more money, money in which our country simply doesn’t have to spend. The more we go in debt, the weaker our economy and country is as a whole, and the weakening of the U.S is exactly what terrorists and countries we fight against prey on. So I do agree that the government took tremendously brave steps to rebuilding the country and making Americans feel safe, but these brave steps have caused for giant leaps of economic downfall and for the loss of Americans safety, exactly what the government intended to improve.

    (1)http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2011/09/07/how-america-has-underperformed-since-9-11
    (2)http://www.wwaytv3.com/9_11_attacks_changed_worlds_economy/09/2007

  24. After the U.S.’s entry into the war on terrorism in October of 2001, the demand for more soldiers definitely increased rapidly. This in turn persuaded more and more students to go directly from their high school graduation to their local military recruiter’s office. While this may have solved the problem of a shortage of soldiers, it only created a bigger problem for veterans after their military service. At the time of 9/11, we weren’t exactly in a recession, and most unemployment rates were relatively moderate. As we began spending more and more money to fund the war, other terrorist preventions, and increased national security, we slowly began digging a hole for ourselves economically. Now, with businesses going bankrupt and employees getting laid off, unemployment rates are on the rise; all of this at the same time as America is withdrawing troops and preparing for a time of peace. The obvious outcome of this situation is that in some way, shape, or form, America needs to develop numerous amounts of new jobs that will help to give new life to our economy.

  25. I believe that it goes without saying that the United States has been changed forever since the attacks on 9/11. With this being said, I also think that you cannot put a price on safety and freedom. To me, the war was not a mistake. My opinion may be slightly biased due to my personal involvement with it. My dad spent over a year overseas serving at a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Air Force spending time in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Qatar. Like many other people who have posted, I believe that it’s not possible to take out every extremist in the world; however, I do believe that it’s a cause worth fighting for.
    In my opinion, the development of the Department of Homeland Security was a necessary step (3). Although the expense is large, I find that the benefits and safety of US citizens outweigh the costs (2). I know that my father’s time overseas is not overlooked by the government because I receive the benefits of the “Post 9-11 G.I. Bill” (1). Although veterans are not receiving the overwhelming warm welcome back home that they expected, I do think that the government is taking steps to show their appreciation to the soldiers and families that were affected by the tragic events. With time, I feel that more opportunities and appreciation will be shown to the men and women who put their lives on hold to protect the freedom of our country.
    1) http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/index.html
    2) http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/preparedness.shtm
    3) http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/homeland.pdf

  26. Although wars do create jobs, the jobs created by this war aren’t too impressive. The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst estimates that spending $1 billion creates 8,555 jobs within the defense industry. The same $1 billion could potentially have created 17,687 jobs in the education sector [1]. As others have mentioned, the jobs created by war are also not very long lasting and the barrage of returning veterans looking for jobs once the war ends (and it’s bound to end eventually, nobody wants an eternal war) would be raising our already high unemployment rate to even higher levels.
    The other problem brought on by this is that we’re not only getting in debt for temporary economic gains but we’re also cutting away at our ability to pay off those debts in the future. Recall how we learned in class that improvements in science and technology can lead to more efficient use of resources to create more products, shift the production possibilities frontier, and make us be a more competitive market. Because of our looming debt, guess what we’ve been trying to cut?[2]. Improved early childhood education is another thing that has been cited as capable of improving the economy [3] but, once again because of the looming debt, thirty-four states have decided to cut parts of their k-12 education budget [4].

    [1] http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/working_papers/working_papers_151-200/WP151.pdf (table on page 6)
    [2] http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2011-03-02-scienceresearch02_CV_N.htm
    [3] http://www.epi.org/page/-/old/newsroom/releases/2004/10/041019EarlyChildhood-PR-final.pdf
    [4] http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1214

  27. The attack on the World Trade Centers cost the United States approximately 55 billion dollars in the toll and physical damages alone (1). This number includes the loss of the World Trade Center buildings, computers, furniture, cars, other buildings, PATH, subway, phones, electricity, injury, W.T.C and cleanup (1). However, after the attack of September 11th, this area of New York began to rebuild. The rebuilding of Lower Manhattan has been very beneficial to this area, especially in regards to economics.
    A significant amount of rebuilding has occurred since the tragic day in 2001. Thousands of new apartments have been built in more than 24 new buildings (2). New office buildings and hotels have risen out of the ashes (2). Although, 17 million square feet of office space was lost, 10 million square feet of new office space has been either started or completed in this area (2). Many places have also been converted into residential living areas (2). Many new businesses have opened their doors. Even population around the site of the World Trade Center has increased (2). This new growth has been made possible by tax breaks for developers and bridge and tunnel fares for commuters (2).
    Many of the damages can never be replaced, especially the loss of life. However, the fact that Lower Manhattan is beginning to rebuild and is doing so proficiently and on a large scale exposes the success of the efforts to rebuild the area. The true success can be seen in the fact that the population is rapidly growing in the area surrounding the site of the World Trade Center. The economic incentives have clearly encouraged the transformation of an area where such a tragic event took place.
    (1) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/08/us/sept-11-reckoning/cost-graphic.html
    (2) http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/09/10/us/sept-11-reckoning/downtown-graphic.html

  28. The war on terror, stemming from the attack on the United States in 2001, has had major effects on the economy as well as unemployment rates. Analysts have recognized that the war has created more jobs within the United States. However, statistics also show that the unemployment rate for veterans is higher than average. This point is daunting to many, and it seems cruel that veterans are finding it difficult to find jobs. The percentage is estimated to only increase as troops come home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Although all these points are true, the current unemployment rate of the entirety of the United States must be considered as well. In 2001 the unemployment rate was 4.7%. That percentage has only increased since then and is currently at about 9.2%. 9.2% is such a drastic change from pre 9/11. When comparing the unemployment rates of the total population to veterans, one can see that veteran’s rate is significantly higher. However, one must keep in mind that it is hard for almost anybody to find a job in the U.S., so why shouldn’t it be expected that veteran’s unemployment rate would be high as well? Overall, there are less jobs this year when compared to pre 9/11. I want veterans to have a job to come home to, just as much as the next person, but it is unrealistic to think that the veteran unemployment rate should be low. The fact is, there aren’t enough jobs, even for veterans, who have fought for our country. Veteran benefits, specifically those that go to employers of veterans, are only taking more money out of the country’s pocket and in my eyes are seen as essentially unnecessary.

    http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_wp_impacts_911.pdf

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html?_r=1

    http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000

  29. Financially, the Global War on Terror is a war that can never be won. Over the last ten years, approximately $1.3 trillion have been spent on the war (1). With so many funds being allocated to the war on terror, other economic areas are bound to take a hit. The United States is just recovering from the second recession since the 9/11 attacks, and any amount of money can harm the economy even more, especially when it is a monetary value that is so high. The combinations of these recessions, along with the debts that are produces as a result of the war, have been extremely detrimental to the economy. The increase in defense spending has attributed to these recessions. In the decade prior to the 9/11 attacks, this spending increased at an average annual rate of 1.1%. In the decade after 9/11, this rate soared to 11% annually (2). With more funds being directed to the military efforts, other areas of the economy are greatly impacted. This increase in spending has had an adverse effect on economy and is one of the reasons for the recessions in America.
    1. http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/
    2. http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/print-edition/2011/09/09/after-911-and-two-recessions-new.html

  30. @Sophia Sellars
    To expand on something Sophia said, a couple of months ago President Obama announced that 33,000 troops will be brought home by next summer (1). This will probably increase the unemployment rate even further for veterans. Therefore, trying to help veterans with unemployment will take even more of President Obama’s initiatives. Some of the initiatives he discussed include “creating new training programs for veterans and giving tax credits to companies that hire service members” (2).
    (1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-to-order-home-10000-troops-from-afghanistan-officials-say/2011/06/22/AGUuRCgH_story.html
    (2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/30/obama-veterans-unemployment_n_941819.html

  31. In deciding whether the War on Terror was worth all the money that was spent, the costs and benefits must be observed at the margin, just like any other economic decision. While quantifying the benefits of something like the War on Terror is difficult, it is pretty clear that the marginal costs of the War on Terror exceeded the marginal benefits.
    One of the reasons the costs outweigh the benefits is because the costs are simply so huge. 1.3 trillion has been spent overseas in wars, not including the 8 trillion spent on security-related organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security Administration. While the opportunity cost is hard to determine, and some of this spending was probably necessary, the U.S. economy may have been better off retaining some of this money.
    The War on Terror had benefits as well, although they do not outweigh the costs. Industries related to the war effort benefited from the War on Terror. The defense industry, steel industry, and many others may have gained something from the War on Terror. However, it is likely that the marginal costs of the war on terror http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/exceeded the marginal benefits, which would render the War on Terror a bad decision economically.
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/07/has-our-security-since-11-been-worth-8-trillion/

  32. I believe that the question to be asked is not whether or not the U.S. is safer as a result of the Global War on Terror, but whether or not the U.S. would have benefited as a nation if they had not started the war from an economic standpoint. To this, the answer would be yes because we can see that the cost outweighs the benefits. Although the war has created more jobs, even had we not entered into the war, there still could have remained in increase in jobs. Instead of going in and finishing up what happened in Iraq years before, I propose that they should have still created the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) while remaining out of war. By doing so, the U.S. would have saved the 1,000 lives that have been taken in and around Afghanistan since May of 2010 and the 1.283 trillion dollars that have been spent on the war. At the same time, we could have still created around 216,000 jobs with the emersion of the DHS which would have lead up to where we are now without more major attacks. In fact, it has been determined that “the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks.” So, it is likely that without the War on Terror we would have been able to cut back on the DHS budget saving even more money. In sum, we can now see that had we not jumped into this Global War on Terror we would have saved lives, money, and still created a increase of jobs in the United States.

    (1) http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/
    (2) http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-military-casualties-afghanistan-pakistan-uzbekistan-exceed-1000/story?id=10698927
    (3) http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/executive-branch
    (4) http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/world/middleeast/24terror.html

  33. In regards to the second set of questions, morally I believe that yes, veterans should be treated better because of their contributions to this country. As Obama states in the article provided, that the country should be taking care of veterans, “as well as you’ve taken care of us.” (1). Although, economically, providing tax credits to firms to hire veterans may not be the smartest thing for our economy at this point in time, neither is it smart to squeeze another 100,000 jobs into the federal government like the president has in the past 18 months (1). If you figure that a veteran is one for one the same against another job applicant then yes, we can assume that the firm will hire the veteran for the tax credit, moral standards, or what have you. Conversely though, an unintended consequence that we are forced to see is that the firm in question may not be getting a properly educated or experienced worker, and instead just hiring a veteran for tax credit. If a veteran would attain the education necessary to work the same job as a higher educated worker then their unemployment would be lower. As the unemployment rate for veterans keeps inclining from 11.5% in June 2010 to 13.3% in June 2011 (2). We also see President Obama putting new jobs into the federal government for veterans alone. To be honest our government is already too large for our economic budget, so more creation of government jobs likely means more money that needs to be spent, but action on jobs might mean even more spending (3) to create those positions. This additional spending means even further borrowing which increases our deficit, this is very ill advised in our current economic climate. We could also see cuts elsewhere, which can also lead to further unemployment, and a direct link to less satisfaction of government workers who are more inclined then to find a new better paying job in the private sector.

    (1)http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711
    (2)http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html?_r=1
    (3)http://www.npr.org/2011/08/20/139805567/does-more-jobs-mean-more-government-spending

  34. @Karen Hamill

    On the note of there being a possible successor of Bin Laden, the Washington Post reports on exactly that (1). Just because one of the bad guys is dead, does not indicate that there are no more threats. Although the airport security has been a costly and somewhat inconvenient process, it is very important to keep our airlines safe, because 9/11 was unexpected, and any further attack should be prevented at all costs.

    (1)http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/national-security/zawahiri-faces-hurdles-as-bin-laden-successor/2011/06/16/AGJMY3XH_story.html

  35. The War on Terror is unwinnable and not worth the efforts of the past 10 years due to the impact it has had on our country’s economy and national debt. The 9/11 attacks cost much more than the immediate cost for repairs and damage and the loss of 3,000 American lives; they also led to the $1.3 trillion war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of 120,000 Iraqi and Afghan civilian lives (1), the erosion of our civil liberties back home with the passing of the PATRIOT Act, and a national debt of upwards of $14 trillion. We will also still continue to pay money for veterans’ medical care and disability costs long after we’ve completely pulled out of the Middle East, as much as $600-$900 billion through 2050 (2). Most of the funds for the war come from taxpayers’ dollars, and could have been spent on better areas of the budget such as education, infrastructure, or medical care. The war put us deeply into debt. This year, $925.2 billion will be spent on the defense budget, up from $335.7 billion in 2000. The defense budget, as a percent of the GDP, will have nearly doubled in that time (3.57% in 2000 to 6.17% in 2011) (3). This massive increase in military spending is certainly a major cause of our current debt crisis, especially since we went to war in 2001 while the Bush tax cuts were in effect. Many other costs, such as the the cost of the loss of human life, social distress in the families of the war’s casualties, costs for displaced Middle Eastern families to relocate, etc. are incalculable.

    (1) http://owni.eu/2011/05/05/the-war-on-terror-in-numbers/
    (2) http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20075350-503544.html
    (3) http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/budget_current_gs.php?year=2010_2015&view=1&expand=&expandC=&units=b&fy=fy11

  36. America has experienced turmoil immediately after 9/11 attack because the industrious New York plummeted economically.

    This caused a domino effect to America’s economy. First, about “70% jobs were lost, and 86% of the wages were lost.” (1) Especially because the World Trade Center consisted of top-paying jobs, it circulated the economy. The Dow Jones stock exchange decreased from roughly 10,000 to about 7000 in 2002. (2) Enterprises suffered, and to make it worse, the Global War of Terror led to government spending on warfare. Military expense as much as $60 billion had to be spent for services through federal income tax, which strained Americans even more. (3)Because the economy was going to a downfall, the government sold bonds/promise note to foreign countries for the war, which brought Americans to 4.5 trillion debt. For the past decade, money has been flushed down the drain. America is not struggling to pay for the interest quantity they had borrowed. America is just digging its own grave.
    How is the government going to pay for the debt?

    (1)http://www.nytimes.com/2004/06/30/nyregion/study-confirms-9-11-impact-on-new-york-city-economy.html
    (2)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stock_market_downturn_of_2002
    (3)http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/409192893/m/6380078872001

  37. @Jonny Crockett In response to Jonny’s post, I agree that there are benefits to going into Iraq and Afghanistan to suppress Al Queda there. However, I feel as though the cost outweighs the benefit when we are talking about 1.28 trillion dollars. If safety in the post 9/11 time period were this vital, wouldn’t it make sense to spend more of that money that we are using to stay in Afghanistan and Iraq on the Department of Homeland Security since that is the leading force behind protecting America as a country? Also, you talked about how at the end that we would be saving lives by being in the war. Although, if we placed more money in the Department of Homeland Security rather than in the war we would both tighten our own security even further than it already is and save soldiers’ lives at the same time wouldn’t we? It might even be arguable that that could open up more jobs across the country with more money in different areas of government.

  38. The 9-11 attack and America’s War on Terror has certainly had a visible impact on public security and America’s wallet. TSA has caused a huge amount of money to be spent on airline security, and it may not be worth it. According to numbers reported by Fox News, $8 million has been spent to make our flying experience more secure. They have taken over and hired security screeners that seem to be less effective than privately hired employees and are being paid three times more, only adding to the cost and inefficiency of government spending. (1) You have to ask, is this spending making life any safer? Although the value of security can really only be measured at a personal level. When looking at it at a more individual experience, there are many costs to the benefits received. It seems to be common knowledge that you must allot extra time before your flight for the new hassle higher security creates. There are long lines and waits, and some have to go through evasive screening. All those costs must be considered when evaluating the true value that the TSA and other organizations are adding to the security level. Is feeling safer on a plane and having piece-of-mind when flying worth all of the costs? Most, including myself, believe it is; unless you are picked for a two hour random screening process. Is it still worth it then?

    (1) http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/07/has-our-security-since-11-been-worth-8-trillion/

  39. Shortly after the attacks of 9/11 the U.S. has been involved in the War on Terror against hostile militant groups in the Middle East. Although the “$1.283 trillion” cost of the war has been monumental, it came with the benefit of job creation (1). Numerous amounts of military personnel have been required to carry this out. The U.S. Government also established Homeland Security, which now encompasses “22 different federal agencies, with the idea of unifying homeland security efforts” (2). Domestic private sectors are also included; “Colt Manufacturing (Hartford, CT)”, “United Technologies (Stratford, CT); and General Electric (Lynn, MA)” have been utilized to manufacture assault rifles and Black Hawk Helicopters (3). These companies and agencies employ a significant amount of American workers, and the top five companies in the United States gross “$118,470,000,000 in revenue” annually (4). Although there has been such a large increase in defense spending; this can be looked upon as somewhat of stimulus. The government has spent large amounts of money, and a portion of it is given back to American workers and soldiers. Employment rates as well as GDP may have been significantly lower had it not been for this war. Although this country usually prospers greatly during times like these, our economy could have suffered a much more fatal blow had it not been for this conflict.
    (1) http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/
    (2) http://www.npr.org/2011/09/11/140367706/homeland-security-remains-an-agency-in-progress
    (3) http://www.army.mil/factfiles/ (If specific weapons systems are clicked on the information is provided)
    (4) http://www.top10stop.com/social/politics/which-countries-produce-the-most-arms-and-military-equipment-top-10-list

  40. Sure, the War on Terror has created jobs. The government and elected officials can say many jobs have been created due to the war efforts. How many profitable, private sector jobs have been created, though? The government is a non-profit organization, which spends way more than it makes, hence the massive deficit we have accumulated. Homeland jobs and military jobs do not make the country money. In very simple terms the funds come from tax payer money and China. Granted, the respective organizations need to buy equipment from the manufacturers for their missions and work, so those orders create some jobs in the manufacturing sector. Actually, the government is probably one of the clients keeping the American manufacturing sector viable. The point is, the government is not a private sector, profitable company that can create pure tax-paying jobs. The jobs it creates make no profit because they are used with taxed money. In very general terms, we are in a cycle paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for unprofitable jobs. We need private sector manufacturing work to make money, not more government work.

  41. The War on Terror seems to be a largely unwinnable war. We are not fighting against a specific country or even a group. Some might say Al-Qaeda is the group we are fighting against but they are not the only ones as there are many other smaller groups of extremists. We should all think back to the Vietnam War. We did not exactly fight a specific country there. It wasn’t as simple as North Vietnam versus South Vietnam as we like to think. We were fighting the Vietcong, a group which was not exactly representing the whole country. Because of that we had to back out of the war before we lost more of our soldiers’ lives and even more money spent on it.
    Our situation in Vietnam can be compared to our current situation in the Middle East. We are not fighting a country but small little terrorist groups hidden within them. We are using billions of U.S. dollars and losing soldiers to fight people who we cannot tell who they are and they cannot be stopped. Extremists have always been around and as soon as we defeat one group another will pop up. Our fighting in the Middle East seems to control it enough but does that mean we need to keep so many soldiers over there? I say we keep a few over in the Middle East to control the amount of terrorists groups and to keep our own country safe. However, we need to pull back a little bit from the Middle East because we are spending so much money and risking too many soldiers’ lives.

  42. As of right now, our government has spent about $1.3 trillion in the War on Terrorism, and this number could rise to $1.8 trillion by 2021, if 45,000 troops stay in Afghanistan from 2015-2021 (1). All of this money was used to kill one man, Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on New York City, and to capture some of his top leaders. In response to the terrorist plots, Congress has created several new security divisions, including Homeland Security and the Transformation and Safety Administration. These two entities were designed to make sure that the homeland does not come under attack and to make sure that people are not bringing things onto an airplane that could be a threat. Good measures right? Wrong. Even though they are designed to help make this country safer, they really aren’t doing such a great job. John Stossel of the Fox Business Network says, “In one of its own tests [TSA], its screeners in Los Angeles missed 75 percent of explosives planted by inspectors” (2). How could this country be that much safer if the people of this department cannot even come close to passing their own test? TSA members are being paid almost five times more than the security inspectors prior to them and they still do not do their job well. Homeland security is not doing much better. “The department [of homeland security] spent billions on things like special boats to protect a lake in Nebraska, all-terrain vehicles for a small town in Tennessee and 70 security cameras for a remote Alaskan village” (2). If anything, both departments are creating fear and quite possibly even frustration among Americans by setting up extra security measures, which make no sense to deploy, and cost millions of dollars. America is not safer, though it is not an unsafe country. If anything, the United States just has installed more security equipment to make the country seem safer, when in reality nothing has changed.
    1. http://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/international/cost-iraq-afghanistan-terror/
    2. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/09/07/has-our-security-since-11-been-worth-8-trillion/

  43. Veterans are finding themselves jobless because businesses want employees with college degrees that many veterans do not have since they enlisted in the military immediately upon high school graduation (1). But, will Obama’s tax credits (2) encourage employers to create new jobs? Probably not. Businesses are not going to waste their time and money to invent new positions for work that was already being done. The costs to businesses would be greater than the benefits unless the government planned to make the tax credits extraordinarily high. Rather, businesses would be more likely to fill pre-existing positions with veterans, and again, that is only if the perks are deemed worthwhile. And, for that matter, how high would the tax cuts have to be for veterans with less education and fewer skills to be a more enticing option than college graduates? Businesses would start hiring less-than-qualified veterans simply to fill quotas, and the tax cuts would receive much of the same criticism as Affirmative Action policies (3).

    Consequently, people need to reconsider their priorities. If securing a job is of serious concern, high school graduates should consider furthering their education before enlisting in the military so that they do return home with the education levels sought by employers. Or, if dead-set on serving in the military first, veterans should utilize the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill (4) to gain more marketable skills, instead of competing for jobs immediately upon their return home. As a result, regardless of the state of the economy, veterans will be significantly more prospective job applicants because they will have higher education as well as the advantage of military experience. With further job skills, military experience then becomes an asset rather than a liability to both veterans and their employers. To win the jobs, people need to start upping their antes.

    Sources:
    (1)http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul/11/business/la-fi-veteranjobs-20110711
    (2)http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/31/us/politics/31obama.html?_r=1
    (3)http://www.balancedpolitics.org/affirmative_action.htm
    (4)http://www.gibill.va.gov/benefits/post_911_gibill/Post911_changes.html

  44. Well, personally I think that the United States is safer in the sense that we are taking more precautions towards all possible attacks on us. The security has been very important to the US ever since 9/11. The Department of Homeland Security was created to protect the United States from possible terror attacks. The FBI has changed is main focus to preventing future terrorist attacks, and other international operations (FBI — Brief History of the FBI). Although on the other hand, the global war on terror has cost the United States a lot. There have been plenty of soldiers who have died due to the war on terror. The United States has spent approximately 1.2 trillion dollars being involved in Iraq and Afghanistan and seems the number seems to keep increasing (Wihbey). Since the death of Osama bin Laden the security is more heightened due to Al Queda vowing to get revenge on the United States.

    “FBI — Brief History of the FBI.” FBI — Homepage. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. .
    Wihbey, John. “Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan and Anti-Terrorism Operations – Journalist’s Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center.” Journalist’s Resource: Research for Reporting, from Harvard Shorenstein Center. 03 May 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. .

  45. With all of the costs the war on terror has taken, is it really possible that the war is helping our economy? It was reported that nearly 550 billion dollars had been used on the war up to 2008 with another 70 billion budgeted for the next year. Past wars have increased or at least helped the US economy to come out of recessions. In this case more jobs have been created because so many troops have left the country and other people have filled in for them. Ultimately, the war will create a massive problem because if the president brings back the troops there will be an even worse unemployment rate. In this case the people of the US are most likely going to struggle more economically. Jobs are hard enough to get as it is.

    The best thing that will and has come from the war on terror is how we have changed protection and security in our country. 9/11 did not just change airport security. Now companies across the entire have protocols for similar terror related situations. Safety is a major priority of this country, but before the towers fell Americans lived in a much more isolated carefree life style.

    Sources:
    1. http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/iraq-afghanistan-us-economy/p15404#p4
    2. http://www.alternet.org/world/79988/

  46. Though the War on Terror was only declared post 9-11, the United States has been heavily involved in the Middle East for nearly 60 years. (1) The estimated 3 trillion dollars that were spent from 2003 to 2008 doesn’t even begin to express the amount we have spent there since Operation Ajax in the 1950s. When the Bush administration estimated a budget for this war they estimated billions, not trillions . (2) I think this goes to show how our interference in the Middle East is taking a heavy toll on our economy. Moral obligation aside, whether one supports the efforts in the Middle East or not, from a financial standpoint, the war is draining government funds. Yes, the War on Terror did create a brand new scheme of job opportunities. With our intensified security measures we have given thousands of people the chance of employment. However, all of these new positions (for the most part) are Government jobs. Government jobs are paid from taxes. So yes, while there are new jobs and people putting money back into the economy, the average Joe still feels the effect of this war by paying those dreaded taxes. I think people often forget just how large scale this conflict truly is. We are putting more money into this war than we will ever receive back. However, this is where the numbers go out the window and we figure out how much we ‘value’ our nation free of terror attacks and our ‘willingness to pay’ to ensure it remains that way. At that point the calculators and number crunching aren’t necessary.

    1. https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/csi-studies/studies/vol48no2/article10.html
    2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/03/AR2010090302200.html

  47. Most people assume that the War on Terror has put a significant dent into the United States’ economy due to the great amount of expenditures the war has cost us. However, compared to past military budgets of the United States, it seems that our spending habits on the Global War on Terror are modest. Instead of counting in dollars, we compared the levels of spending by their percentages of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). Before the Vietnam war, just defense spending only was already 9.3% of GDP. The cost of World War II was four times as much at 37.8% of GDP. Today, defense spending comes out only to 3.7% of GDP. Even after accounting for the expenditures just for the Global War on Terror, it’s about 6.2% of GDP. People automatically think that we are spending too much money on the war due to the fact that we see billions of dollars being used up for military spending, but in perspective with our past spending on wars historically, we have the ability and resources to spend more money now.

    1. http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/iraq-afghanistan-us-economy/p15404

  48. There is absolutely no question that we are safer due to this war on terror over the last 10 years. There has been a serious and long-lasting blow to the economy with regards to the expansion of the debt and the almost 93.8 billion dollars spent in Afghanistan in 2010 alone. However, if the question is solely over the costs of safety, then we are talking about a dramatic overhaul in the way the FBI and other law enforcement agencies operate. Over the last 10 years, the FBI has almost doubled the number of analysts in its forces and shifted its focus towards a more preventative strategy rather than a reactionary one (1). The cost of this expansion has been significant, but the benefits of being a more aware and safe state have to outweigh the economic costs. Another benefit is the creation of new organizations such as Homeland Security, which saw the creation of over 170,000 jobs (2). One of the most important changes that the government has created is its awareness of these threats and the idea that now, as opposed to 2001, the FBI and Homeland Security and other various agencies are prepared to handle the kinds of threats that have come to our attention.

    (1) http://www.fbi.gov/news/testimony/ten-years-after-9-11-are-we-safer
    (2) http://www.usnews.com/usnews/9_11/articles/911home.htm

  49. @Leisha Martin
    With regards to Leisha’s comment, I agree with the idea that it has been much longer than just a 10 year “war on terror” in the Middle East. Our foreign policy since 1948 when the state of Israel was created has intertwined us with the politics of the region and led to continual intervention to support our interests. More people need to understand that this has been an ongoing conflict, one that has been sapping our finances for over 50 years.

  50. On the particular issue involving the high unemployment rate for both veterans and Americans, I have a difficult time believing that President Obama’s proposed tax credits are going to fulfill the goal of job creation for veterans. John Boehner claimed “the president’s proposals are a poor substitute for the pro-growth policies that are needed to remove barriers to job creation in America…” (1) The “barriers” that are in the way of creating jobs are unlikely to be raised high enough to see a difference through tax credits for business who employee veterans; not to mention the amount of money that could possibly be added to the deficit if the plan did not meet expectations. Even democrat Nancy Pelosi said “any tax reform must also reduce the deficit…otherwise all of the debit reduction would have to be accomplished by putting government spending…that’s not fair.” (1) Job creation is an issue that needs to be of concern, but any possible solutions should not involve the possible risk of a large amount of money just being added to the deficit. Similar details from Obama’s current plan can bring back some of the not so good memories of the stimulus bill as well. According to house majority leader, Eric Cantor “anything that is akin to a stimulus bill is not going to be acceptable…over half of the total dollar amount is so called stimulus spending, we have been there, done that, the country cannot afford more spending like a stimulus bill.” (2) Even if the president’s plan was put into action and made a difference, the unintended consequences of veterans getting jobs over possible higher educated Americans could cause an issue because the business could hire a veteran and as a result the business would receive a tax credit. I truly feel that tax credits are not going to make a significant difference; however, I strongly feel that something has to be done to fix the unemployment rate for the men and women who defended our freedom because after all without their courage and strength, businesses would not be operating like they are today in the United States.

    1) http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-09-15/boehner-asks-debt-panel-to-take-on-tax-breaks-reject-hike.html
    2) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904353504576566802250477510.html

  51. The Global War on Terror had a profound impact on the economy. It effected tons of people and there families as well as a wide range of industries, those most effected were airline and travel industries. Transportation as a whole has changed drastically as it now involves some of the most advanced airport security and although this was necessary to reduce the risk of terrorist activity, it has cost the government severely. Another way that this industry was effected by September 11th, is that it caused four of the major airline companies to declare bankruptcy, and due to severe losses the government has also had to offer much relief, too (2). It has also caused the major leaders in the industry to come up with new ways of surviving such as mergers. US Travel Association says there has been a 40% increase in travelers taking long trips, while the US has seen less than 2% of its share of travelers. And if tourism had kept at the rate it was going it would’ve created almost 500,000 jobs (1). This was most likely caused by the increase in cost to travel, as well as everyones favorite part about airports “airport security”. September 11th has changed the airline industry forever and it may never regain its former glory as a good provider of jobs, a more effective alternative for travel, and a great help to the economy financial.

    1) http://www.marketwatch.com/story/911-aftermath-costs-still-permeate-us-economy-2011-09-10?pagenumber=1

    2) http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/09/08/911s_impact_on_aviation_industry/

  52. The 9/11 attacks on the United States started the Global War on Terror, which a lot of people in the country disagree with. Two of the main reasons that citizens disagree with the war are cost and casualties. The cost of the war as of August, 2011 is over $1.25 trillion dollars (1). We could be using this money to create jobs or help stimulate the economy. The other main cost of the war is casualties of American soldiers. From the start of the war in 2001 until August, 2010, over 6,000 American troops have been killed in the Global War on Terror (2). However, there are benefits to the war, also. One benefit of the war is the creation of jobs. The military needs more Americans to fight in the war, which creates more openings in factories and corporations. Also, small businesses will prosper due to the need of vehicles, clothing, and equipment for troops (3). The main reason of the War on Terror is to protect the country from further terror attacks. With the war, terrorists will be more hesitant to threaten the United States which increases the security of the country. As our troops are fighting overseas, most Americans now feel the need to be more supportive of the military, which increases the unity of the nation. In conclusion, the 9/11 attacks were awful and tragic but the Global War on Terror has increased the security of country which will, ultimately, prevent further attacks on America and keep the citizens of our country safe.

    (1) http://costofwar.com/en/
    (2) http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html
    (3) http://www.fff.org/comment/com0405i.asp

  53. I believe the United States is a safer place as a result of the Global War on Terror. Recognizing the threat the terrorists imposed, President Bush took action to protect Americans. He gave the U.S. military the resources it needed to fight terrorism and meet the challenges of the 21st century. President Bush put into place institutions to fight terror, such as the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA), and the office of Director of National Intelligence to enhance our safety. I think the U.S. is also a safer place as a result of the Global war on Terror because we were able to take down the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein. He was a dictator who continued to develop and posses chemicals and biological weapons, who actively sought out nuclear weapons and had no problem using them. He also supported and harbored terrorist organizations. As a result of the Global war on Terror, al Qaeda has been weakened, Bin Laden has been killed, other top al Qaeda terrorists have been captured through high national intelligence and military action. Since 9/11, there have been no more attacks on American soil, there have been terrorist plots around the world that the U.S. and our allies have stopped, Iraqi people have been liberated, and our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan have helped to promote democracy in the Middle East. The monetary costs of the global war on terror are astronomical; however, how can you measure the costs versus benefits when you are talking about a nation’s security and the security of individuals? I think everyone feels a lot safer today than we did a decade ago. Unfortunately, things such as airport security has become tedious and inconvenient but I, personally, would rather have to go through that than have to be in a flying bomb.

  54. There’s no doubt that people have strong opinions over the “Global War on Terror and whether they think is has been beneficial or not. Has this war really made our country safer? This is a controversial issue especially over the question if the benefit has exceeded the cost of the war.

    September eleventh was an eye opener that changes needed to be made to protect our country. As a result of this tragic event in U.S. history, we have become a safer country. Rather than being blindsided to such threats, major changes were made to ensure that nothing like this would happen again, such as increased intelligence and security. The Intelligence Community or IC has made a number of changes and additions to its seventeen organizations that work together to create a safer country. The Department of Homeland Security is just one added department that has “worked to build and strengthen a homeland security enterprise that mitigates and defends against dynamic threats, minimizes risks, and maximizes our ability to respond to – and recover from – attacks and disasters of all kinds” (1). Though threats have been made, nothing has happened since the attack in 2001. “Put simply, by the evening of 9/11 it was clear that the threat of Islamic terrorism was real, urgent and growing, and that it would require from the Bush Administration a serious and sustained response, both on offense and defense” (2). This has most certainly been done and as a result, our country is safer.

    Still, some argue that the war was too costly for the U.S. and was not worth it. Though the war costs has such high costs, it has created jobs and increased intelligence and securities capabilities in our country. The peace of mind that has been given to us as well as the assurance of knowing an attack like this would be extremely difficult to replicate, is well worth the cost that tagged along.

    (1) http://www.dhs.gov/files/9-11-ten-years.shtm
    (2) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904716604576544782122408382.html?KEYWORDS=US+economy+safer

  55. Many things changed after the 9/11 attacks, such as homeland security, warfare, the relationship with Middle East countries, and unemployment rate. Personally, I believe that the US air airline industry has been affected by 9/11 the most. A decade after 9/11 attacks the airline industry is still recovering and there are still a lot of problems that still need to be fixed. For past 10 years, airline industries have lost a total of $55 billion since 2001 and major airlines have downsized cutting an estimated 160,000 jobs since 2001 accruing by Business Insider. The airline industry hit rock bottom when the US declared war with Afghanistan and Iraq. Due to the war in the Middle East oil prices have skyrocketed and the cost of security in airports have reached astronomical numbers. These two factors have both negatively impacted not just the airline industry in major ways but the U.S. economy as a whole. In conclusion, I believe we should have spent the past 10 years to rebuild our economy, lowering the unemployment rate, and offering better support and benefits to the families and people who suffered because of the 9 /11 attacks.

    sources:
    1) http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-us-airline-industry-has-changed-since-911-2011-9?op=1
    2) http://www.bizmology.com/2011/09/13/airline-industry-still-recovering-ten-years-after-911/

  56. Not only has the War on Terror affected the U.S. economy because of the cost, it has also affected oil prices. Iraq has been estimated to have the second highest amount of oil and alterations of the country’s production can have a global impact on oil pricing (1). Iraq accounts for approximately 3 percent of oil production globally and therefore problems in Iraq can affect global oil prices thus having an impact on the U.S. economy (1). Crude oil prices have been increasing since the beginning of the war.
    (1) http://www.cfr.org/afghanistan/iraq-afghanistan-us-economy/p15404

  57. At least 919,967 people have been killed and 1,739,547 injured in Afghanistan and Iraq since the United States invasion. (1) Additionally 1.3 trillion dollars have been spent on The Global War on Terror. (2) When examining these numbers, one must ask them self if the cost, both in dollars and in lives, is worth the benefits of this war. Some might say that the country is a safer place now. Homeland security have taken extra precautions to protect the US, such as increasing security at airports, which seem to be working considering we haven’t had another successful attack against the US since 9/11. The US has also eliminated two of the most dangerous and powerful figures in the world: Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden as well as helped Iraq become a democratic state.
    (1) http://www.unknownnews.net/casualties.html
    (2) http://econstudentview.aneveu.com/

  58. @Alex Bureau
    I agree. If our country chooses to become engaged in a conflict, the costs are going to be immense. When government spending goes up radically, taxes need to either remain the same or increase in order to help fund the projects. It’s also important that there are no cuts or loopholes for the rich, and they stay consistently proportional to each individual income.

  59. Simply speaking terrorism will never stop. The U.S. is doing all it can to cut away at the terrorists groups but radicals will always remain. The U.S. is spending far to much on a war that isn’t as productive as we intended. The US has been suffering a major economic blow. As well as many deaths. The war isn’t stimulating the economy but is draining away at funds. Overall the war on terror is a negative politically and economically. The U.S. has spent massive amounts of money on this war and not much security has been regained. If anything our country is worse because it added to our already falling economy. The war has had positive points but they don’t outweigh the extreme economic issues created. Jobs are being created from the war but the major issue is that veterans are finding themselves unemployed and the government can’t really help them because the economy is still problematic.

  60. Ever since I can remember, the United States has always been a country with pride and integrity. We have been a country to retaliate when one strikes us, so when President Bush sent us into the “Global War on Terror” I was completely behind the idea. But after noticing some similarities between Vietnam and this war my mind shifted. In vietnam, we weren’t able to clearly spot our enemies because they blended in as civilians. This is much like the scenario in the middle east and it is a problem that results in too many American and innocent civilian deaths. Fighting an enemy we cant depict is never good, along with of the 3 trillion dollars the US has spent since 2001 hurts the economy. Our unemployment rate already is horrible and we still have thousands of soldiers that are going to come back expecting a job. I believe the proposes by President Obama on tax credit and employment for veterans is a good idea but could have negative consequences. Other factions of people in poverty would be upset at the government for not giving them the same benefits. Regardless i stand by these proposes and feel that they give the soldiers the level of appreciation that they deserve.
    (1)http://econstudentview.aneveu.com/

  61. It has been ten years since tragedy has struck America. Ten years since we decided to go to war, and to fight this evil called terrorism. Over the last decade we have lost many good men and overthrown a regime in Iraq. We have killed the man reportedly responsible for the attacks on the twin towers. What does the US have to show for all of this? 1.3 trillion dollars of debt. The US has created different organizations and used various resources to “fight terror”, but has all of this money, time, resources, and good men that have been lost for this pursuit, made any impact? Each day more and more money is being spent on cleaning up the Middle East. President Obama claimed he was going to bring the troops home, only to take until July of this year to start doing it. So what has changed in 10 years? Nothing has changed, except a growing debt, a reputation as the world’s police, and two dead leaders. The war on terror is not over, and it probably wont be for a while.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/8939-has-anything-changed-since-the-911-attacks
    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/01/obama-promises-to-bring-troops-home-from-afghanistan-beginning-july-2011/

  62. What is the price of security? People secure their homes with home defense systems, banks are federally insured, and police patrol the streets keeping everyday citizens safe. All the amenities cost money, as does the War on Terror which began following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The attacks, executed by the terrorist group Al Qaede, killed thousands of Americans in a single day. In response to the tragedy, President Bush responded swiftly, sending troops to the Middle East. At the time, all Americans were united as one and were ready to retaliate against the attacks. Yet the war, as all wars are, was to be expensive-perhaps more expensive than many originally thought.
    Ten years later, the War on Terror has run up a bill of some $3.7 (1). The cost, however, reaches far past a dollar amount. Soldiers have lost their lives, families have lost husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. Despite the human cost, many do focus on the financial cost. Many feel that too much money has gone and still goes toward the war, leaving other aspects of live bare. Schools, retirees, and the like are left with little funds while millions are poured into an overseas conflict (2). But again, what is the price of security? Would Americans be willing to stop the War on Terror, remove troops from the Middle East, and risk having terrorists organizations recover and plan new attacks? Although the war has been costly, is has been a decade since terrorists have attacked U.S. soil. While the United States was no wrought with attacks prior to 9/11, nothing as monumental as the WTC attacks has occurred since. The cost of the War on Terror may be high, but it has protected Americans and provides future protection. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

    (1)http://www.infowars.com/the-true-cost-of-the-war-on-terror-3-7trillion-and-counting/
    (2)http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_1c6bcff2-975a-11e0-8d5e-001cc4c03286.html

  63. The war on terror as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has certainly helped in America’s defense against terror. The question that initiated mass debate and has plenty of mixed opinions is whether or not the effort was worth 1.3 trillion dollars. Now it’s easy to sit here in retrospect and say that it wasn’t worth the effort, but there’s no way of telling how many innocent lives were saved or how many potential disaster were stopped from happening because of the money spent on the war on terror. On a definitive note, the war on terror provided more jobs to Americans. The decision to initiate a war on terror required jobs from fields including: international affairs, health, transportation, and of course military.
    The issue that I think most people had a problem with is not paying attention to veteran’s needs after they came home and instead continuing to pour tons of money into the effort overseas. It was practically unfair and almost unbelievable to read that the unemployment rate for veterans was higher than the national average. Not only should they have had the highest preference over other workers, they should have also have had other military benefits in the workplace and also be offered plenty of compensation after retirement.

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