Destruction Is Creation?

by Don Boudreaux on October 16, 2008

in Complexity & Emergence, Myths and Fallacies

Here’s a letter that I sent to the Boston Globe back in July:

Adam Smith argued that the wealth of nations is enhanced by labor
specialization, capital investment, and peaceful trade. Economist Mark
Skidmore argues that wealth is enhanced by destroying things: "When
something is destroyed you don’t necessarily rebuild the same thing
that you had. You might use updated technology, you might do things
more efficiently. It bumps you up" ("How disasters help," July 6).

I offer to test Prof. Skidmore’s thesis by wrecking his car and burning
down his house. If he’s correct, he’ll surely want to reward me with a
handsome payment.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

Good
thing that economists, such as Dr. Skidmore, who commit such fundamental mistakes in reasoning – economists who applaud destruction as a key to wealth
creation – don’t win illustrious prizes.

Comments

84 comments    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: