AS I SEE THINGS: Too late shall be the cry
It is absolutely no secret that the economic performances of countries throughout the world reflect to a large extent a combination of domestic policies, regional developments, and shocks emerging from the global community.
Hence, from time to time, countries have to battle negative influences on their economies, while seeking to take advantage of positive developments that can stimulate growth and consequently reduce poverty and unemployment.
In short, the pursuit of higher levels of economic growth and development requires countries to face head-on issues that impede growth as well as those that promote growth. This is no easy task, particularly when the growth-retarding circumstances facing countries are extremely strong and difficult to overcome.
The scenario just described provides the rationale for countries all around the world to take the issue of violence, whether locally driven or of an international nature, very seriously.
Quite logically, in a world characterised by growing acts of violence, more financial resources would have to be dedicated to combating such activities and hence less is available to direct toward growth enhancing actions. And when that happens,
the performances of economies weaken and hardships begin to take a toll on the people.
Therefore, the time has come for the entire world to unite in the fight against Islamic State militants with the goal of reducing, if not ending, the severity of the violence meted out to many ordinary people who continue to suffer at the hands of those militants.
As it now stands, some pundits in the United States are calling on the Obama administration to take a lead role in bringing together countries that are willing and able to unite forces in an effort to take the fight to Islamic State with the aim of defeating the militants and putting an end to the atrocities now being committed by that group.
If the experiences of fighting two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have taught us anything, then we would all accept that any effort to defeat Islamic State would require a massive injection of financial resources, since large-scale military interventions are never cheap.
But the direct financial impact aside, the events of September 11, 2001 and the consequences for many countries’ tourism alone must always serve as a gentle reminder to all and sundry that violence which manifests itself in the form of international terrorism knows no boundaries and its negative effects will affect all countries whether directly involved or not in the immediate conflict.
As sad as that notion may appear, the reality is that we are living in a world that is becoming more and more integrated, and hence it is much easier for any type of social or economic distress, originating in one country or region, to negatively impact other countries throughout the world.
The message going forward is, therefore, quite simple: violence, especially of an international nature with far-reaching implications, has the potential to hurt all countries’ economic performances.
Therefore, however small, one and all should make an effort to contribute to ending such violence.
If we continue to turn a blind eye to this issue because we believe that we are not immediately impacted, then eventually too late shall be our cry as our economic performances further deteriorate!
Brian M. Francis, PhD, lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. Email: [email protected]