Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Broken Glass Everywhere (Art Carden)

Art Carden revisits Bastiat's (and later Hazlitt's) lesson of the broken window fallacy (I find it hard to understand why this simple lesson needs to be constantly re-taught, but it obviously does):

In his classic Economics in One Lesson, Henry Hazlitt applies Frederic Bastiat's "broken window" fallacy. Many still haven't learned the lesson, apparently: this article from the Boston Globe argues that this year's earthquakes in China will be good for Chinese economic growth and that disasters can be good for the economy more generally. Disaster-induced institutional change might lead to higher growth over the long run, but in general the proposition flies in the face of one of economics' simplest ideas: destroying resources makes societies poorer, not richer.

This is "The Lesson" of Hazlitt's classic Economics in One Lesson.

Read the rest

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