Broken-Window Environmentalism

The broken window fallacy was first presented by the French economist Frédéric Bastiat.  In Mr. Bastiat's story-line, the fallacy of the broken window points out economic principles: that destruction doesn't benefit the economy, and that there are other direct and indirect consequences to be considered in economics. As an overview of Bastiat's story-line, a window is broken, meaning the owner will have to pay to replace the glass.  There are some who consider the broken window a benefit to the economy because the window owner will have to pay the window repair man to replace the broken glass.  The window repair man will then presumably spend this "extra money" on something else, thereby jump-starting the local economy.  Rather than a net loss to the economy of an asset (the window), the window replacement is considered a net gain.  But onlookers consider only the parties directly involved in the short term: the owner and repairman,...(Read Full Article)

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