So Much Stupid it Hurts

Our old friend the broken window fallacy made a guest appearance on MarketWatch:

That said, the effects of the storm have the potential to boost the fourth quarter’s GDP by this much and more. This is because the need to clean up and rebuild will create numerous jobs — especially in the construction industry, which, as you know, is languishing from lack of activity in housing, shopping centers and office buildings.

Add to this spending on flashlights, batteries, generators, plywood and tools that would otherwise have not taken place. As these items are restocked, this will add to the GDP, as will the wages paid to construction, maintenance and utility workers.

You know what Mr. Kellner, I think your community needs economic stimulus. Would it be all right with you if I were to come over to your home, smash all of the windows in your house, and set fire to your car? Just think of all the work my arson will create for Home Depot, the local glazier, and the automobile company you’ll buy your new car at!