the rich get richer and the poor get poorer
those who "think" that about Israel's actions. Couldn't resist this one because it illuminates some of their faulty "thinking" on economic theory too.
A Disproportionate Response?
In economics, "transaction costs" are defined as the non-monetary expense associated with a trade in goods or services. For example, when the corner grocer sells an apple, he has to consider not only his direct cost per unit for apples, but also the associated costs he incurred in transporting his apples to market, stocking his apples, maintaining a store to conduct the transaction, and so on. Then there's the additional cost of unmarketable product -- bad apples. If our friendly neighborhood grocer is to stay in the black, all of these factors -- these transaction costs -- are factored into the price paid for the apple.
The concept of transaction costs (and of bad apples, for that matter) is not limited to economics. There are plenty of both in politics too.
Nowhere is this reality seen more clearly than in the Middle East. Here, for nearly sixty years, the democratic state of Israel has been pressed to barter with Sunni Arabs, Palestinians and most recently Shi'ite Persians -- their would-be "trading partners" -- for a solution to the "Middle East Conflict." Among the other morally enigmatic names we're told to use for this trade, we might add "Land for Peace," "the Roadmap to Peace" and, of course, "the Dayton Accords."
Regardless of the blame-free nom de paix, the economic pattern behind Middle East violence is markedly similar: Israel is attacked or threatened with attack by those intent on annexing Israeli territory. Israel raises the transaction costs by retaliating in proportion to the threat (what's currently known in international parlance as a "disproportionate response") ...