Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Economics as it Applies to Human Life

This AP article says five more people have been killed in "tunnel collapses" while smuggling "contraband" into Gaza.

First, those "tunnel collapses" were caused by explosions. Second, the "contraband" was, in this case, fuel.

AP writer Ibrahim Barzak writes:
The five were bringing contraband goods from Egypt into Gaza when an explosion collapsed the tunnel, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the information had not been cleared for publication.

Two bodies were located shortly after the explosion Tuesday and the rest were removed early Wednesday. Three smugglers survived and emerged on the Egyptian side, where police arrested them, an Egyptian security official said. The three told police they were smuggling fuel.
Gazans blame the Egyptians for blowing up the tunnels but the Egyptians deny it. Everybody is under a lot of pressure here. The Egyptians are being pressured by Israel to stop the flow of weapons to Hamas through these tunnels and by the Arab world to stop doing what Israel says. The Israeli people are pressuring their government to prevent the resumption of daily missile attacks by Hamas. And Gazans are being pressured by their pesky children for a daily supply of food.

Daily I tell you.

Since the start of the year, 45 people have died in tunnel collapses and, in one of life's cruel ironies, a similar number of people have died as a result of the shortage of goods the tunnel operators were trying to solve. This loss of human life in the prevention of the loss of human life is a bit like our consumption of oil or mass produced food. The energy output exceeds the gain.

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