Justin Marshall of the Mackinac Center tries to teach Florida reporters that mobile homes in flight and roofless businesses are not good for the economy, no matter how much money is spent on repairing the damage left by a heavy hurricane season.
As one reporter from the St. Petersburg Times summed it up, "Construction creates thousands of jobs, insurance provides for billions in consumer purchases, and new facilities built to higher standards might help offset future storm-related losses."
But reality isn’t that kind. Together, all four hurricanes caused tens of billions of dollars of damage. This money is lost forever. The capital spent on reconstruction is money that in the absence of hurricanes could have been used to invest in new businesses, not merely new buildings for old businesses.
He also offers a very progressive idea for politicians and others who believe this kind of thing:
It would indeed be a wondrous thing if we could destroy our way to economic success. Imagine: Each town could have its own rogue band of "economic stimulants." These individuals could engage in vandalism, arson and theft. No matter the activity, as long as it harmed and destroyed, there would be a need to treat, repair and rebuild, and the economy would be better off because of it.
Sad that so many of my high school hooligan friends were arrested for doing so much for the local economy. If we just let them out of jail, they could go right back to their civic duty.