Sandy could be good for the economy


I realize that Sandy will prob cause billions in damage to the eastern seaboard, and the lost work will not be great for the GDP, but perhaps the resulting building boom will provide the boost the economy needs?

the result of this storm will be massive spending by the feds and (hopefully) insurance companies.  no wealth will be generated but construction activity will see a giant increase.

any amature economists have a better theory?

Oct 29, 12 12:51 pm

The stuff that will blow off isn't real architecture anyways. Home Depot will see a boost. Commercial architecture can stand up to much worse. Whenever a storm blows through Florida, all you see is footage of mangled trailer parks. The glass skyscrapers were designed with hurricane impact tests as a backbone. 

What we need to do is destroy every copy of the building code and burn Chicago to the ground again. IF we were to go with your stimulus package idea.

Oct 29, 12 1:14 pm

How about we come over to your house and burn it down to "stimulate" your personal "economy" instead?

Before answering, pls google "broken window fallacy".

Oct 29, 12 1:14 pm

The Connecticut  Gold Coast will be awash in  new Mc Mansions built on stilts...As with the water levels it is sure to take just about anything  currently sitting on the ground.

Oct 29, 12 1:31 pm

"Before answering, pls google "broken window fallacy"

Someone has their knickers in a knot.

Think of 'broken window' as a trickle down. The key is to break fancy windows owned by people who are money hoarders. The money that would not have been spent otherwise.

Be a creative hooligan Sandy!

Oct 29, 12 1:52 pm

How does a company pay their employees for this day off? insurance?

Oct 29, 12 2:11 pm

as the son of a financial planner I'm very famillar with the broken window theory and actually googled it shortly before posting.  In this case I believe that (one of) the biggest drag on the economy is the construction industry.  Getting these people working would be good for all of us. even if little design work is required.

the money would come primarily from the govt.  I don't want the national debt to grow more than anyone else, but interest rates are at historic lows, may as well borrow to improve infrastructure for the next generations while the costs are low.

For there to be a real benefit to the economy it would take damage to infrastructure already in need of replacment.  Not just replacing single family homes and trailer parks.

don't think there are a lot of indivuluals sitting on piles of cash, but lots of corperations are, it's be nice for them to spend some of it.

Oct 29, 12 2:37 pm

illiad, they can pay for it with the tax cuts Romney and Ryan keep supporting.  maybe they can pass balanced tax law like kansas did.

I'm pretty sure wishing harm on others for a financial windfall is very bad karma.  so, instead of googling 1850 economic theory based on the potentially false assumption that the 'wealth creator' would spend their money elsewhere if not repairing their structure, and that the glazier has other profitable places to be, google "karma."

here is another link

and a lolcat

Oct 29, 12 4:17 pm


Great! We'll be right over to burn your house down. I assume it's not brand new, so it's in need of replacement. So glad you're willing to contribute to reviving the construction sector by destroying your real capital.

In other breaking news, architects are apparently still completely ignorant of basic economic concepts.

Oct 29, 12 4:47 pm

" still completely ignorant of basic economic concepts."

you are confusing observation with public policy and economic intent.

" burn your house down"

and you're also confusing statistics with human interest stories.

the only people worse than ignoramuses of 'basic economic concepts' are the dodos who think they know everything.

Oct 29, 12 5:05 pm
i r giv up

everyone here is pretty fucking dumb.

just thought to add my 2 cents, bros.

Oct 29, 12 5:19 pm

the only people worse than ignoramuses of 'basic economic concepts' are the dodos who think they know everything.

and then i r felt compelled to post as if pulled by some cosmic challenge of who can pretend to be smartest without saying anything remotely thoughtful or intelligent.

and then i felt compelled to post.  damn.

still, lolcats are awesome.

Oct 29, 12 7:36 pm

woe is the insurance companies who will have to fart out an 'unfiar' share of their money to cover damages.
woe is the infrastructure which will need repairs
woe is the public tax dollars who will pay for it
woe is the architects who will have some work to do.
woe is the impetus to update the capital stock and adopt new technologies afterwards


woe is the unimaginative question, where will all this new money come from?
translates into: "I don't want to even try updating"

Oct 29, 12 7:38 pm

shuellmi, by far the biggest drag on the economy is trillions of dollars of bad debt that will never, ever, ever be paid back, but is still being carried on balance sheets as if it was worth something. Nothing will be fixed or get better until that problem is dealth with, no matter how many bridges get blown down or windows get broken.

Oct 29, 12 7:48 pm

There is an incredibly economic fallacy imbedded in the claim above. Please read this, it will be your friend (esp. chapter 2)


Economics In One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt

Oct 30, 12 10:24 am

What gqarton said.

Oct 30, 12 10:25 am

incredibly=tragic in 'morning english'

Oct 30, 12 10:25 am
wurdan freo

18 dead as of now.

If you still think this is a good thing, why don't we just burn down the entire united states?

Oct 30, 12 10:42 am

How odd!  Lower Manhattan is dark yet the Goldman Sachs building is still fully lit.

(image via

Power bitchez, yo!

Oct 30, 12 10:46 am
wurdan freo

generators yo!

Oct 30, 12 10:54 am

I don't believe it, I bet there are 5000 debt slaves running on hampster wheels in the basement of the sachs building!

Oct 30, 12 11:06 am

A professor at Columbia calculated that everyday the subway is shut down the economy loses $4 billion dollars. I don't think the storm is going to replace that or exceed it.

Oct 30, 12 12:42 pm

It is a lot more than the subways....for Christs Sake the Metropolitan Opera canceled their performance this evening.  It must be difficult to scoot around the City Tonight even if you have wads of cash.

On another note What the Hell Happened in the Hamptons?  There has been  little bit of nothing about all damage on that end of the Island. Do you think they just might have inflatable  storm walls to protect  their investments against nature raising  its big bad ugly fist.

Oct 30, 12 7:25 pm

Was there any difference in the economy after Katrina?

Oct 30, 12 9:04 pm

northeast coast states vote democrat so maybe romney will win because of low voter turnout.  so yes, that would boost the economy.

Oct 30, 12 9:58 pm

Or maybe more  will vote for Obama because the GOP likes to deny global warming.
Yup, good for the economy. Pick what you want your money to be used for.

Oct 30, 12 11:36 pm

northeast coast states vote democrat so maybe romney will win because of low voter turnout.  so yes, that would boost the economy.


I can't really decide if you're trolling, being facetious, don't understand how the electoral college works, don't know about Romney's abysmal economic record in Massachusetts, don't know how Bain Capital made money, or just not very bright.

Oct 31, 12 9:44 am
won and done williams

What toaster said.

Also, the "broken window fallacy" is just a tool the rightwingers have adopted as a means to discredit large-scale public works projects. The truth is wars and natural disasters do in fact stimulate economies because they loosen up funds tied up in investments that are then dispersed throughout the economy. Take for example the insurance industry. They will be paying out massive amounts of claims that will then feed the construction industry and retail sector. Yes, there is no net increase in wealth, but the money is now flowing from stagnant insurance investment accounts into the broader economy. Of course it does not justify the lose of human life or trauma associated with war or disaster, but as a form of economic stimulus, it generally does work.

Oct 31, 12 9:59 am

i suspect this is what due was referring to, but i'm not sure.  romney has suggested getting rid of fema as a federal entity altogether, so it follows the same thread.

Oct 31, 12 11:04 am

global warming is not good for the economy.  What would be good is if we can begin to realise that and start making more investments in clean energy.  Maybe this disaster will be a wake up call, or at least get the discussion going in the media (but not holding my breath).  The fact that wall street was shut down as well as the subways may send a message that global warming is a real economic problem.

Oct 31, 12 11:44 am

won and done, that was my thinkng as well. 

I'm suprised at the number of deaths though, I thought after kartrina people wouldn't try to ride out the storm.

another thought, for many, a destroyed house removes their underwater debt obligation

Oct 31, 12 12:22 pm

I can't decide which is the worse disaster now: Sandy's path of destruction across the eastern seaboard or what passes for "economic understanding" among most people these days. The comments in this thread are pushing me toward the latter.

Oct 31, 12 2:24 pm

toasteroven, i was totally trolling.   ironically i've heard the point raised.  i am, however, pro-romney so watch it there.

Oct 31, 12 10:16 pm


reporting in from's amazing how this city has been shut down for two days plus.  My apartment is in lower manhattan, but I've been couch surfing in Brooklyn for the past two days.  There's no electric, internet, or phone service in lower manhattan, but everything in Brooklyn is fine.  Noone is commuting to Manhattan though...or at least lower Manhattan... the coffee shops are all full of people working here.  Pretty interesting seeing people adapt.

Nov 1, 12 8:20 am

"Also, the "broken window fallacy" is just a tool the rightwingers have adopted as a means to discredit large-scale public works projects."


So apparently truth in economics (or anything) is dead. There is no such thing as 'good economics' or good anything, eh? It's all one big conspiracy theory, is that what I'm hearing??? Wow...I weep for your children's, children.

Nov 1, 12 9:37 am
won and done williams

Sorry, it can't be divorced from ideology. (In the same way, keynesianism cannot be removed from ideology). The best economic strategies are not ideological in nature, but based on an assessment of real conditions. The moment you begin talking about broken windows or trickle down is the moment you stray from the realm of economics into the realm of politics.


I weep for your children's, children.

Dude, get off the fox news kool-aid. You are living talking point.

Nov 1, 12 10:05 am
won and done williams

The real economic danger from the storm is not the short term lose of property or productivity; that will be offset by the long term ecomomic gains of recovery. The real danger is long term loss of infrastructure, particularly transportation infrastructure. This could have a major impact on not only short and medium term productivity, but there is the risk in the current climate of austerity that infrastructure will not be rebuilt to the same level of quality or scale as the system existed before the storm. That could be devastating to the long term economic outlook of the region. 

Nov 1, 12 10:15 am

The broken window fallacy is citing a 'real world' economic example of, um, a broken window (i.e. not ideological or political in motivation). Hazlett was a philosopher and literary critic not a politician.

I don't know how you've made the gigantic assumption of where I get my news from (not sure why it matters). All widely-published media in the states is heavily politicized/biased in one direction or another.

Nov 1, 12 10:32 am

So apparently truth in economics (or anything) is dead. There is no such thing as 'good economics' or good anything, eh? It's all one big conspiracy theory, is that what I'm hearing??? Wow...I weep for your children's, children.

this is worthy of gwharton and i r giveup's greatest ire.  in your statement you are suggesting that won's statement questioning the validity of a single economic theory invalidates all possible economic theories.  the initial theory in question is highly questionable to begin with anyway.  one position you happen to agree with was questioned so you believe:

a) all truth in that field must be dead; b) you then jump to the conclusion that all truth in any field must be dead; c) there can be no 'good' in economics because one position you hold is questioned; d) if one thing you believe is questioned you seem to be assuming there can be no 'good' in anything; e) you're making up a conspiracy because some whack almost 200 years ago broke a piece of glass.  a bit paranoid; and f) this questioning of one already tenuous theory will somehow have a noticeable effect on won's family for generations to come.

the reason won is assuming you watch fox is because fox caters to right wing extremists.  people who are not right wing extremists tend to not make up that much crap to push an ideology that cannot exist with even a glancing perception of real life.  here's another example of your tendency to distort real-life to support your preconceived ideology:

All widely-published media in the states is heavily politicized/biased in one direction or another.

in other words, you're suggesting "since the media i follow is biased, all media are biased."  that is both logically and factually invalid.

Nov 1, 12 1:55 pm

but but curtkram... 'BROKEN TRICKLE WONDOW DOWN" is in the bible. Your ignorance amazes me.

Nov 1, 12 2:13 pm

sometimes, my ignorance amazes me too.

Nov 1, 12 2:42 pm
Tinbeary There there

The "truth" is that economics is a social science and people aren't rational. How is the broken window theory muddled by a credit economy (vs cash) and the unpredictable nature of people? It isn't that easy, all. But I'm admittedly ignorant too, just like to ponder.

Nov 1, 12 3:03 pm

Curt, won&done was uncharacteristically stupid in what he posted, and ryanj seems to be reacting to the stupidity of the statements with hyperbole. Not anybody's finest moment, but hardly a condemnation of all economic principles per se.

And WTF with the bizarre diatribe against Fox? You sound like a cult member. Fox News is stupid infotainment, but so is every single other media outlet in existence. They're all equally retarded, and for mostly the same reasons.

Nov 1, 12 4:44 pm

Destruction is an essential part of planning— whether it is intentional or unintentional, with consequence or without. We often forget that the greatest cities in the world came to be because of cycles of destruction.


London— then: The Great Fire of 1666


London— 19th-Century: prior to the Big Stink


London— The Blitz: ~1942


London— now: 21st-century

Nov 4, 12 12:45 pm

Tokyo— circa 19th-century: then


Tokyo— 1923: Great Kanto Earthquake


Tokyo— Early 20th-century: 1933


Tokyo— World War II: 1945


Tokyo— 21st-Century: Now

Nov 4, 12 12:54 pm

And we won't even get into Paris. Last I remembered, Paris has been razed down to the ground at least 14 times since the 1500s. Paris doesn't have a single complete building in it over 500 years old and there's only approximately 300 or so pieces of buildings left older than ~250 years.

Nov 4, 12 12:58 pm

That's great James, except, Sandy didn't destroy NYC. Areas in coastal flood planes umm... flooded. This was all predicted prior to storm. Areas in NJ that flooded used to be swamps a few generations ago (for a logical reason). Areas that flooded in NYC were historically shipping warehouses with no residences. 'Waterfront property!' is a late 20th century fad. Logical thing to do would be a nature reclamation effort for flood planes. Instead all of it will be rebuilt as-was 'habitat for humanity' style.

Nov 4, 12 1:55 pm

glad to see experts from Detroit sounding in on urban destruction recovery. "Do as I say"

Nov 4, 12 9:54 pm

It looks like Wall Street has a little problem on its hands.  At the very least, I guess we can figure than the big banks will build a new vault that isn't in a flood zone this time.  That should be a good project for all the architects out there.


Nov 5, 12 9:55 am

it is wall street handsum.  it's not like money works the same for them as it does for us.  if i put a dollar bill in the wash and tore it up, i would lose that dollar bill.  if jamie dimon did that, he could just ask the federal reserve or the treasury dept. to replace it with 3 new $20 bills.  to put it another way, noone lost any money in that vault, they only lost the receipt.  (technically, i could tear a dollar bill into a few pieces and have a bank replace it too)

if they don't want to ask the government for free money to reprint the paper doc's and build the vault back in the same place, the organizations that started the company can fix it with their petty cash.  or they can just go with the electronic records and maybe have their customers cover the cost of reprinting if they want hard copies on a case by case basis.

that vault was on water street.  seriously, if they were worried about moisture.... 

Nov 5, 12 10:56 am

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