Monday, March 01, 2004

Reading the Angry Economist

pays dividends. Follow the links from this article, "We Owe It to Ourselves".

The ones you've heard of are good. The Leithner Letter may just be better:

"Succumbing to the broken window fallacy has wider and more insidious implications. What was lost in the 11/9 and other attacks was not just physical capital, like tall office buildings, but immeasurable talent and tacit information. Kudlow's and Noah's assessment of the situation utterly discounts the creativity and productivity of the lives lost that day and the lives that will be lost in any resultant wars. This "human capital," which would have produced for many years to come, is completely lost and can never be recovered or rebuilt. To say that humankind will be richer because of the 11 September attack is therefore to assert that we will be more affluent without these thousands of human minds and bodies."

There is no silver lining to the deaths of good and[/or] productive people. A good person, who is not recognised as economically productive still produces happiness for those who know him or her. Money need not change hands for mutually beneficial exchange to take place. And to lose such a person, is a pure loss, with no gain.

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