No, Hurricanes Are Not Good for the Economy


Do we really need to say it? Hurricanes are bad.

The pictures of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Harvey have barely faded from our television screens (while Irma waits in the wings), but already we are seeing stories about the economic boost we can expect from rebuilding Houston.

In addition, of course, to the human suffering, the destruction in Houston represents an enormous loss of national wealth, by some estimates more than $20 billion. The technical vagaries of GDP calculation mean that rebuilding Houston may indeed result in a temporary uptick in the statistical growth rate. But that is not the same thing as real improvement.


Is someone saying hurricanes and disasters are good for the economy? Paul Krugman perhaps?


Oh, boy, they really are…

“The long-run effect of these disasters, unfortunately, is it actually lifts economic activity because you have to rebuild all the things that have been damaged by the storms,” William Dudley said in an interview with CNBC.

What passes for economic literacy in someone like a New York Fed president is astounding. No such thing as opportunity cost apparently!


Wow. Just wow.


Hurricanes are good for some folks!



That’s just economic development. Those shops are going to have to repair their buildings and buy new inventory. Theft is good. Theft is economic development just like hurricane damage. Can’t figure out why there’s laws against it.