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By Cafe Hayek (Reporter)
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People Believe the Damndest Things

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(Don Boudreaux)


Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:


Your reporters write that “[e]conomists say that rebuilding after a disaster can have a positive effect on a country’s economy, stimulating growth through construction and other spending” (“Beirut Explosion Brings Lebanon to the Brink,” August 6).

Not so. While incompetent economists make headlines by predicting riches from ruination, every respectable economist rejects this nonsense.

Rebuilding following destruction necessarily consumes resources that, were there no destruction, would have been used to produce other valuable goods and services – valuable goods and services that, because of the rebuilding, will never be produced and consumed

As for those “economists” who continue to insist that ruination paves a path to riches, let them prove the sincerity of their belief by fire-bombing their own homes and automobiles. If they refuse to do so, your reporters – and everyone else – should refuse to take them seriously.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA  22030


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    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 3 comments
    • Slimey

      Ummm, not really. You are just exchanging energy and resources for another reason. Another “valuable goods and services” Instead of consuming you are now building, creating jobs that otherwise would not have existed. And isn’t that what the economy is about. Exchanging goods for services?

      But you are right. There ARE incompetent economist. :wink: :idea:

      • tracy

        OH WAIT SLIME…its true! just saw on the website of NTEB that the president of france is the antichrist. i go there for laughs but this is fing crazy! WTH is he snorting? the guy wants to fly away so bad he making up shit. but then…he say he fly as a bird before antichrist comes. talk about confusion and leading people to the wrong side of the gulf. what a fruitcake!

        • Slimey

          Hmmm…. people want fruitcakes instead of doughnuts. BAD sign! :cool:

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