The public relations propaganda campaign to convince the ignorant masses that Sandy’s impact on our economy will be minor and ultimately positive, as rebuilding boosts GDP, has begun. I’ve been hearing it on the corporate radio, seeing it on corporate TV and reading it in the corporate newspapers. There are stories in the press that this storm won’t hurt the earnings of insurers. The only way this can be true is if the insurance companies figure out a way to not pay claims. They wouldn’t do that. Would they?
It seems all the stories use unnamed economists as the background experts for their contention that this storm will not cause any big problems for the country. These are the same economists who never see a recession coming, never see a housing collapse, and are indoctrinated in Keynesian claptrap theory.
Bastiat understood the ridiculousness of Kenesianism and the foolishness of believing that a disaster leads to economic growth.
Bastiat’s original parable of the broken window from Ce qu’on voit et ce qu’on ne voit pas (1850):
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation—”It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?”
Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.
Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier’s trade—that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs—I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.
But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, “Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen.”
It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.
Economists and MSM faux journalists don’t want you to think for yourself. If you just consider some basic situations that are happening or will happen to average people throughout the Northeast, you’ll understand that this storm will have a huge NEGATIVE impact on the economy.
- Small stores, restaurants, and thousands of other businesses were shut down for at least two days and some will be closed for a week or more. These businesses employ hundreds of thousands of hourly workers. These businesses earned no revenue, therefore their profits were reduced. The hourly workers did not get paid. Therefore, they have less money to spend for clothing, tech gadgets, food, etc. Both the businesses and the workers will pay less taxes to the government, increasing the national debt.
- The reduced revenue at retailers due to being closed and reduced spending by customers will cause them to layoff more workers or in the case of smaller retailers, go out of business altogether.
- The damage caused by the storm will result in insurance companies providing billions in claim payouts. This will reduce their earnings, causing them to layoff employees in order to meet their quarterly earnings expectations. Some smaller insurance companies may go out of business.
- Anyone with a tree down in their yard, damage to their fence, roof damage, flooded basement, etc. that is not covered by insurance will have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on fixing the damage. This is money they won’t spend on Christmas presents next month.
- Many people do not have the savings to fix the damage to their houses. They will put the costs on their credit cards paying 15% interest to the criminal Wall Street cabal.
- States and municipalities are required to balance their budgets on an annual basis. They are already faced with $2 trillion of unfunded pension and healthcare liabilities owed to government union workers. These states and municipalities are now faced with lost tax revenue, lost transit revenue and a tremendous amount of unbudgeted capital and personnel costs related to this storm. The long-term result will be more government worker layoffs, higher taxes for the citizens of these states, and the acceleration of municipal bankruptcies due to an unsustainable financial dynamic. These bankruptcies will wipe out the retirement savings of government workers across the Northeast, with the predictable result of more pain and suffering for senior citizens already being screwed by Bernanke’s ZIRP.
- Politicians and government drones will declare we must rebuild and help those in need. They will approve $20 billion of “Federal” disaster relief. But, we all know the $20 billion does not exist in a government bank account. It will be borrowed from future generations. It will just be added to our current $16.3 trillion tab. We will pay interest on this $20 billion FOREVER. The true cost of the $20 billion relief will be $30 billion after decades of accumulated interest. It’s like an ignorant American taking a $20,000 vacation, putting it on their credit card and making the minimum payment for eternity.
You may realize that the only beneficieries of this tragedy will be the issuers of debt. That’s right, the criminal Wall Street banks will earn more interest as desperate Americans have to use credit cards to survive. The destroyed automobiles will be replaced with autos financed by Wall Street. Businesses and homeowners will go further into debt making repairs.
Considering the country has been in recession since June, this disaster will be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. The powers that be will try to keep the broken economy fallacy going as long as they can, but anyone capable of thinking realizes the country is in the shitter. The mood continues to darken. The storm clouds continue to swirl and a bad moon is rising. But don’t worry, unnamed economists say everything is just fine. Fix that window and boost the economy.