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.