Ten Years Ago -- September 11, 2001
For the past few weeks, the remembrances of 9/11 have been airing almost 24/7 on TV, e.g., the George Bush interview. On I-95 between DC and NYC, various acts of remembrance have occupied the road in addition to the end of summer traffic to head to the beach one last time or to take junior to college for the first time.
Many of us will have our own memories of that fateful day. Mine will include a beautiful morning as I went off to teach an early morning class with a first year PhD student, Pete Leeson, as my teaching assistant, and hearing the news in that classroom full of students. It also included shock as I saw the twin towers I had been in hundreds of times as a visitor, in fact, buildings I had worked in for a few years teaching night classes, fall to the ground. I will remember the concern for my former neighbors in Middletown, NJ, who I commuted with on NJ Transit to and from work for several years. And I will remember the concern I had for the safety of my new neighbors in Fairfax, VA who worked at the Pentagon. And I will remember the concern I had that day, and expressed that day, that the gains in personal and economic freedom that we had experienced in the previous 20 years would be reversed due to fear and a sense of lack of security.
But the consequences have been far greater than the initial shock of the attack on our psyche. The reality is that we have been a nation at war ever since that day in an explicit sense, even if we were implicitly already a nation at war. And that has severe implications for the economic policy and ultimately on the economy.
Joe Stiglitz has published an op-ed looking at the price of 9/11. What do you think of his analysis? Where would you agree with him, and where would you disagree? Does the agreement or disagreement turn on economic analysis or on value judgments beyond the realm of economic analysis?