Beyond the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund: Support for Any Future American Terror Casualties
and Ellen E.
a1 California State University, Sacramento
If a future terrorist attack results in casualties on American soil, what, if any, government compensation should be provided to victims? Despite the enormous attention given to the September 11, 2001, attacks and the near universal sympathy for their casualties, there is no apparent consensual answer to the above question among politicians, academics, or within society at large. While tens of billions of dollars in public funds have been allocated to preventing another attack, and tens of thousands of personnel hours have been devoted to simulations aimed at helping victims in the immediate aftermath, relatively little attention has been given to what support might (or might not) be justified to provide for longer term needs. Victim compensation remains off the radar screen for even the vast majority of people whose daily lives are significantly consumed by contemplating terrorism. a
a The authors would like to thank Michael Powers, Bruce Wolk, two anonymous referees for PS, participants in the PPA/Economics brownbag seminar, and Lascher's PPA 210 students for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this article.