quarta-feira, outubro 31, 2012

Furacões e Janelas Partidas (1)

3 Stupid Responses to Hurricane Sandy - and Every Other Disaster You Can Think Of por Nick Gillespie:
1. This is Going to be Great for the Economy!
It's just a shame that we can't have a massive disaster every season. And boy, let me tell you: Pompei is really going to be something once the dust finally settles!

This is a variation of what's known as the "broken window fallacy," which was formulated by the Frenchman Frederic Bastiat in the early 19th century. The mistake here is that it confuses short-term spending with long-term economic growth. As Reason's Scott Shackford pointed out, Morici jitterbugs around the broken-window fallacy by talking about a time horizon that is ever-so-slightly longer than the immediate present ..

The ultimate example of broken-window lunacy comes from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman. On September 14, 2001, Krugman used his New York Times column to lecture Big Apple residents about the upside of the utter destruction of the World Trade Center and a good chunk of lower Manhattan just a few days earlier: "Now, all of a sudden, we need some new office buildings...the destruction isn't big compared with the economy, but rebuilding will generate at least some increase in business spending."

Given that Frederic Bastiat's That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen, which includes the broken-window bit, has been available in English for over a century, there's really no good excuse for this sort of repetition disorder.
2. The Feds Should be in Charge of Everything!
The feds are good at throwing massive amounts of money at problems, but they remain pretty bad at actually fixing things. Part of the reason that the response to Sandy was so robust (and proactive) is that major local and state politicos in the affected areas .. all had experienced major weather-related SNAFUS in recent memory. These guys were on top of things because the last time around - during 2010's blizzard for Bloomberg and Christie, and last summer's freakish electrical storm for O'Malley and McDonnell - they were caught flatfooted and caught holy hell for it.
3. This Latest Event Confirms Everything I Have Always Believed In!
On Monday's Morning Joe, Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University's Earth Institute underscored that Hurricane Sandy was evidence that man-made climate change needed to be addressed pronto ..
.. hunches are bad ideas at the race track, at a singles bar, and for rogue cops who play by their own rules but deliver results, dammit! They're not all that much better when it comes to proposing massive geo-political restructuring of global energy production and use.
It may just be that especially in times of catastrophes, zipping your mouth for a couple of minutes may be the smartest course of action. And the most comforting to those who are actually in distress.

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