Home > Facts and Figures, History Repeating Itself > The Broken Window Fallacy Goes Nuclear

The Broken Window Fallacy Goes Nuclear

First of all, I apologize for the long gap in between posts. I’ve been out of town, and since this is currently a one-man show, that means that the blog is out of town too.

Second of all, as a welcome back of sorts, I can think of nothing that I’d rather post than this article by Sean Corrigan on England’s Cobden Centre, called “The Great Wave.” 

It is a fine rebuttal of the propagation of Bastiat’s “Broken Window Fallacy” in the context of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.  As frustrating as it is to see headlines touting destruction as an agent of positive economic growth, including this splashy front-page idiocy from USA Today (slogan: “All the News That’s Fit for Retards”), it is refreshing to know that there are those out there who are not fooled about what it is that makes us wealthy:

If you go to the trouble of cooking yourself a dinner, only for the dog to snatch it from the sill where you placed it to cool, do you congratulate yourself on your own good fortune as you troop back to the larder to begin again? If a sudden hailstorm strips bare the groaning ears of your wheat crop the day before you were due to harvest it, do you cheerily go about preparing the field for replanting, content in the knowledge that your doubled labour is being duly recorded in the plus column by a mindless government data-gatherer?

Once again, rising GDP does equate to rising wealth – if it did, nuking the whole world would be a net positive.

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