Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Capitalism Soldiers On

Osama bin Laden threatened to bankrupt the United States. And, as recently as two days ago, al Qaeda’s deputy leader al-Zawahiri said he was going to force our economic collapse.

Well, reality presents a far different picture. The U.S. and the world economies have prospered mightily since September 11, 2001.

The bulk of this credit goes to the ingenuity, entrepreneurship and stick-to-itiveness of Americans who go to work everyday. These hardworking men and women are an optimistic lot. They possess a great deal of faith in our nation, in our future, and in God.

Federal policies to cut interest rates and tax rates set the backdrop for this economic recovery and growth. Since that fateful day five years ago, non-farm payrolls have increased 4 million. 7.7 million more people went to work according to the household survey, which registered a declining unemployment rate.

Real GDP, total business investments, and household consumption all increased around 15 percent.

Inflation has run slightly above 2 percent. Household net worth has grown by 32 percent. American trade with the rest of the world increased 61 percent.

While fundamentalist Islamic radicals vehemently hate capitalism and freedom, and are doing everything they can to destroy our markets and economy, both have prospered worldwide despite these murderous hatemongers’ wicked goals.

Robert Samuelson of Newsweek correctly points out that terrorism has been unable to slow the world economy. On the contrary, global trade has risen over 30 percent since 2001. Similarly, the world economy has expanded by more than 20 percent, with developing countries tallying a 30 percent gain.

Mr. Samuelson rightfully observes: “Terrorism so far has been an economic blank.”

Interestingly, world stock markets have boomed during this 5-year terror period. The broadest U.S. average—the DJ Wilshire 5000—is up almost 30 percent. Even more fascinating, emerging markets around the world have gained over 200 percent. Even the stock index of the Arab gulf states has soared about 250 percent

Of course, the greatest story since 9/11 is that there have been no more 9/11s. Smart American security policies and the hard work of dedicated counterterrorism agents are successfully responding to this evil's potent challenge.

It is precisely this security that has enabled American workers and investors to prosper mightily and harness the economic and political freedoms the totalitarians hate so much.

The fact is, while terrorists have increased their attacks worldwide, they have been unable to stop the forward march of free market capitalism and globalization. These two powerful, resilient forces have produced extraordinary new wealth and increasing living standards worldwide.

This remarkable economic and stock market advance of the past five years clearly points to the fact that radical Islam and its murdering militants are completely isolated and doomed to failure.

Freedom, capitalism and prosperity roll on.