"Rebuilding after Irene, especially in an economy with high unemployment and underused resources in the construction and building materials industries, will unleash at least $20 billion in new direct private spending-likely more as many folks rebuild larger than before, and the capital stock that emerges will prove more economically useful and productive.In what can only be described as a brilliant counterpunch, George Mason economist Don Boudreaux writes in his open letter to Peter Morici:
This is not to discount the direct costs to individuals by temporary and in some cases permanent displacements; however, when government authorities facilitate rebuilding quickly and effectively, the process of economic renewal can leave communities better off than before."
"I hereby offer my services to you, at a modest wage, to destroy your house and your car. Act now, and I’ll throw in at no extra charge destruction of all of your clothing, furniture, computer hardware and software, and large and small household appliances.The Grouch: Morici jumps the Krugman with his editorial and Boudreaux slams him right back with an up close and personal exploration of the Broken Windows Fallacy. Absolutely brilliant.
Because, I’m sure, almost all of these things that I’ll destroy for you are more than a few days old (and, hence, are hampered by wear and tear), you’ll be obliged to replace them with newer versions that are “more economically useful and productive.” You will, by your own logic, be made richer.
Just send me a note with some times that are good for you for me to come by with some sledge hammers and blowtorches. Given the short distance between Fairfax and College Park, I can be at your place pronto. Oh, as an extra bonus, I promise not to clean up the mess! That way, there’ll be more jobs created for clean-up crews in your neighborhood."