From University of Maryland "economist" Peter Morici
"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.
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."
From what can only be described as a brilliant economic smackdown from George Mason economist Don Boudreaux, in his open letter to Peter Morici:
"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.
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."
MP: Don, can I offer to help?