Myth– Poverty Causes Terrorism

This foolish idea, long debunked by facts and empirical evidence, has perhaps seen its most severe challenge in the “UK Doctor’s Plot”.  A group of well educated, well paid physicians conspired to commit mass murder for “religious” purposes.  Princeton Professor has a different theory, as reported in the Wall Street Journal:

excerpts:

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