The Terrorism Lottery

“In 1948, The New Yorker published what would become one of the most famous short stories in American literature. This was The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, which told the tale of a community that, once every year, selected a citizen to be stoned to death in order to ensure a good harvest. Jackson was flooded with hate mail after her story was published. Some readers thought the story represented a real situation and others were offended that anyone could imagine such a scenario. Although the story was meant to depict only the idea of mindless violence and apathy in human society, in the 21st century it has become a reflection of the general attitude toward terrorism. Consider the crimes of 9/11. As in The Lottery, on a bright, summer day, people were selected to die by means of their presence at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and on the hijacked flights. They weren’t stoned to death but they were killed by willful ignorance. That’s because much of the public never wanted to know the truth about previous terrorist incidents and simply accepted dubious government accounts.

Click below to read on.

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: