From the title of Pat Buchanan's current column, Did The Brothers Tsarnaev Fail?, I thought he might answer a resounding "No!" because of the relatively huge economic hit the brothers inflicted on Boston with their Islam-inspired mayhem.
Well, Buchanan does answer "No," but for other reasons: The worldwide attention the Tsarnaevs' merciless exploits drew and the inspiration they may have provided for improvised lethal mayhem to come.
Nevertheless, the economic-impact question is an obvious one, and, indeed, I saw the round figure of "$1 billion" bruited somewhere online in the last several days.
So here's a rough calculation: Boston's population is about 625 thousand, its "urban" area has about 4.2 million, and its "metro" area has about 4.6 million. So use 2 million as an estimate of the number whose Friday (April 19) was effectively nullified, economically-speaking, by the city's "lockdown."
Current population and annual Gross Domestic Product of the United States are about 316 million and $16 trillion. Then using 250 for the number of business days in a year and doing simple arithmetic, we get:
Impact = (2/316) X $16.4 trillion/250 = $405 million
That's a rough number. Maybe the correct result would be twice this, because Boston is probably a "high-productivity" city, with highly productive people. On the other hand, some of the commerce "lost" on Friday surely shifted to later days (including weekend days not counted in my 250) and wasn't irretrievably lost.
Still, $405 million is quite a significant return on the investment of a few hundred dollars in bomb-making materials. And suppose they'd had coordinated collaborators in, say, ten other cities last Friday ...
A few days after the Islamic crimes of September, 2001, columnist Fred Reed, in Where Is It Going? And How Much Are We Going To Like It?, made much the same point:
Because bin Laden or someone else has done us irreparable harm, people, or some people anyway, spend much air in calling him, or them, cowards, criminals, and mere terrorists. ... Our enemies are not mere anything. They have demonstrated that with a $2 box-cutter and an airliner full of fuel ($250 from any travel discounter: good price for a 757) you can do damage hitherto possible only with sustained attacks by heavy bombers. They've mangled the stock market, humiliated the United States, seem to be putting airlines out of business, cost hotels billions, grounded our crop-dusters, caused massive lay-offs, and seem to be, because of the stock market, about to keep a lot of kids from going to college. ... All this for, presumably, under a thousand dollars. It is probably the best return on investment in military history.
(Actually, 19 airfares would have been involved as well as living expenses in the U.S. for months beforehand, bringing the cost of the 9/11 operation to at least several hundred thousand dollars, but that's still peanuts compared to the damage delivered.)
The numbers above are just the direct costs associated with those events. We can also anticipate steady, niggling costs and inconveniences arising from enhanced, but mostly useless, "security" measures to come—just as getting to the airport early, since 9/11, means at least hundreds of millions of hours per year of passenger inconvenience.
Thus VDARE.com readers who instantly recognize the centrality of immigration to these terror events should also quickly recognize these fallout reactions as unbilled costs of immigration.
In 2006, the late Lawrence Auster focused upon the society-draining and -dispiriting effects arising from Muslim immigration:
We will have terrorist attacks and threats of terrorists attacks and inconvenient and humiliating security measures and the disruption of ordinary activities FOREVER, as long as Muslims are in the West in any significant numbers. The Muslim terrorists are part and parcel of the Muslim community. According to a survey reported in the Scotsman, 24 percent of Muslims in Britain (I never describe them as "British Muslims") believe the July 2005 London bombings were justified. Imagine that. Not only do these Muslims in Britain support terrorism against Britain, they’re not afraid to say so openly to a pollster! The unchangeable fact is that wherever there is a sizable Muslim community there will be a very large number of terror supporters and therefore—inevitably—actual terrorists as well.
This is our future, FOREVER, unless we stop Muslim immigration and initiate a steady out-migration of Muslims from the West until their remaining numbers are a small fraction of what they are now and there are no true believers among the ones that remain. Travelers from Muslim countries must be tightly restricted as well. Muslims must be essentially locked up inside the Muslim lands, with only carefully screened individuals allowed into the non-Muslim world.
The enemy are among us, in America, in Britain, in the West, and will remain so until we remove them from the West and indeed from the entire non-Muslim world. As extreme as this sounds, it is a no-brainer. There is no other solution. All other responses to this problem add up to meaningless hand-wringing. The hand-wringing will go on FOREVER, along with the terrorist attacks and the threat of terrorist attacks, until we take the ONLY STEPS that can actually and permanently end the threat.
[capitalizations in the original]
And, no, the Brothers Tsarnaev most certainly didn't fail.