Skip Navigation Planning & Markets
Subscribe Submission Requirements Editorial Board Archive Links Search Home


  1. A Dallas-based immigration attorney notes that "increased security concerns and tightened immigration procedures are making it more difficult for foreigners who want to invest in the United States to qualify for permanent or extended residence, or ultimately become naturalized citizens." He goes on to note that "[a] greater strictness on immigration status after entry, moving from temporary visitor status to citizenship, and a heightened scrutiny of special visas are the main problems foreigners have to face. "In particular", he adds, "many foreigners who have occupied second homes in the United States are now faced with the need to re-enter, sometimes as often as every 30 days. Unless they can successfully resolve problem with visas and residence status, many will ultimately sell their U.S. property" (Moore, 2002).

  2. As a pertinent aside, some religious groups, especially Jewish charities and organizations, which tend to be concentrated in large cities, contend that insurance companies are unfairly targeting them with rate hikes (Insurance Day, 2002). Some of the affected groups reportedly have been forced to cut staff and services in order to pay the premiums (Goldsmith, 2002).

  3. We should acknowledge here that an extensive research record exists on emergency preparedness and response planning for natural disasters in urban areas (e.g., Kunreuther and Roth, 1998; Chang, 200; Tobin and Montz, 1997; Zeigler, Johnson, and Brunn, 1996; Suarez-Villa and Walrod, 1999). Some might argue that the lessons learned from such events can be used to successfully buttress preparedness for a terrorist attack. We are skeptical of the direct transferability of these lessons for the following reasons. Threats of natural disasters are, in large part, predictable not only in terms of geographical location (e.g., specific areas of the U.S. are known to be hurricane-, flood-, or earthquake-prone), but also periodicity (e.g., a hundred year flood), speed of onset, and human response (hypo-vigilant behavior typically characterizes responses to warnings of impending disaster) (Zeigler, Brunn, and Johnson, 1983). Because of their reliance on deception and surprise to kill innocent people, and disrupt, destabilize, or destroy the social, economic, and political fabric of U.S. society, terrorists are unpredictable on all of these dimensions and therefore are likely to create far more public anxiety than the threat of a natural disaster, which is typically viewed as an act of God. Prior research on hazards and disasters of technological origin suggest that, in terms of public perceptions and human response, a terrorist attack may be more akin to the threat of a nuclear reactor accident, which, as was observed during the incident at Three Mile Island in 1979, is likely to generate a high level of hyper-vigilant behavior, including spontaneous evacuation, owing to the high level of uncertainty and ambiguity surrounding the nature, magnitude, and geographic scope of the threat (Zeigler, Brunn, and Johnson, 1983; Johnson and Zeigler, 1983; Zeigler and Johnson, 1984; Johnson and Zeigler, 1986a,b). And finally, whereas the duration effects of natural disasters are usually short-term, we believe 9/11 will remain firmly etched in the minds of the U.S. public for years to come, owing to vivid repeated images of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center Towers. Further, we believe the fear of future terrorist attacks will remain great due to: (1) widespread public knowledge post 9/11 that over 300,000 U.S. landmarks are potential targets for terrorism; (2) highly visible symbols of heightened security at airports, seaports, office buildings, and vulnerable landmarks, which serve as constant reminders of the ever-present terrorism threat; (3) government intelligence gathering on potential terror threats and security breaches at U.S. facilities and border checkpoints, which will periodically prompt the Department of Homeland Security to elevate the nation's terrorism threat level; and (4) round-the-clock media coverage of terrorist plots and incidents in other parts of the world.

  4. Hart and Rudman (2002) contend that one of the greatest risk is that, "...only the tiniest percentage of containers, ships, trucks, and trains that enter the United States each day are subject to examination -- and a weapon of mass destruction could well be hidden among this cargo." Elsewhere, we have outlined a four-fold, comprehensive strategy, which will address this problem and other risks identified in the Council on Foreign Relations Report without constraining international commerce and trans-border population movements (Johnson, 2002a)

  5. For example, a Wall Street disaster contingency plan, developed by, "the Federal Reserve Board, Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Office of the Controller of safeguard the critical financial markets from future terror attacks or other disruptions," calls for the development of, "out-of-region backup sites that would be separated, at great distances, from New York locations." It has been estimated that, if this plan is fully implemented, 20-25 percent of New York City's financial services jobs would be lost (Feiden, 2002). Brenner (2002, p.8) reports that Manhattan-based firms are establishing four types of back-up sites outside of New York City: hot sites, which are ready to be used immediately in an emergency; sister sites, which are used by some employees but have excess capacity if an act of terrorism or a natural disaster disables the company's primary sites; warm sites, which have no desks, computers, or telephones, but have all the hook ups in place and can become operational in 24 to 48 hours; and cold sites, which consist only of a building shell and would take longer to be ready for use.

  6. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "among the workers laid off because of the terrorist attacks, 39 percent, or 44,756 workers, had been employed in the scheduled air transportation industry. An additional 28 percent, or 32,044 workers, had been employed in hotels and motels" (MLR, 2002).

  7. For a detailed discussion of the forces responsible for growing inequality in U.S. cities and metro areas during the 1990s, see Johnson and Farrell (1998) and Bobo, Oliver, Johnson, and Valenzuela (2000).

page 5

Index Continue

USC Seal

Main Page | Subscribe | Submission Requirements | Editorial Board | Archive | Links

ISSN 1548-6036

Copyright 1999-2000
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California 90089-0626