Disaster Economics 101
Could House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have spilled the beans, laid bare her party’s vision of economic growth in one offhand utterance?
A terrible tragedy in impoverished Haiti. An earthquake. The scope of the damage staggers the imagination . . . and spurs outpourings of charitable aid from America, and across the globe.
And this is where Mrs. Pelosi chimes in. As if she had never heard of the Broken Window Fallacy, she just blurted it out, hazarding that Haiti “can leap-frog over its past challenges, economically, politically, and demographically in terms of the rich and the poor and the rest there, and have a new — just a new, fresh start.”
Over 70,000 dead, Haiti in ruins, and she’s talking about hope for a “real boom economy.”
Now, I know, politicians like to spend money. They think it does a lot of good — though in Haiti’s case, the billions spent, previously, have sure fizzled. But Pelosi isn’t just arguing that the aid is going to remake an impoverished country. She thinks that scurrying about rebuilding is a net positive.
If you wonder why politicians so like economic booms, even the most artificial ones, look no further. They cannot distinguish between real progress and the frenzy of making up for disaster.
Perhaps that’s why they are so nonchalant about the disasters their own taxes and regulations so often cause.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.