Antifa economics is just as stupid as you thought it'd be
We've seen Antifa and Black Lives Matter activists and their supporters contend that, when they burn down buildings and loot stores, nobody is hurt. They're confident that insurance will cover all the damages. That people in the poorer communities may not have insurance or that the insurers will have to raise rates to cover their extraordinary 2020 outlay eludes the mob. On Thursday, an Antifa-supporter who had clearly never learned about Bastiat's Parable of the Broken Window took his ignorance one step farther by insisting that looting and burning is actually a jobs' program.
A tweet has been circulating in which one of Antifa's brainiacs takes offense at the idea that the looting, burning, and other destruction he and his friends have caused might be a problem. It's not a problem at all, he claims. It's a good thing, because "burning down a building is a symbolic act" that then provides work for people who must "build it back up." Yes, he said that:
Burning down buildings is good because “you can employ a bunch of people to build it back up.” This is your brain on Antifa. pic.twitter.com/KJxfWcEvfC— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 25, 2020
Before I get to the Parable of the Broken Window, I'm willing to bet that the speaker is a college graduate or, at the very least, that he attended college. His understanding of economics rivals Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's, and she graduated cum laude with degrees in economics and international relations from Boston University.
Frédéric Bastiat was a French economist who wrote the Parable of the Broken Window in an 1850 essay entitled "Ce qu'on voit et ce qu'on ne voit pas" ("That Which We See and That Which We Do Not See"). (As an aside, I've long contended that the problem with the left is that its members see so little.) The following is the whole parable, and it explains everything that's wrong with the Antifa guy's simplistic economics:
Have you ever witnessed the anger of the good shopkeeper, James Goodfellow, when his careless son has happened to break a pane of glass? If you have been present at such a scene, you will most assuredly bear witness to the fact that every one of the spectators, were there even thirty of them, by common consent apparently, offered the unfortunate owner this invariable consolation — "It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. Everybody must live, and what would become of the glaziers if panes of glass were never broken?"
Now, this form of condolence contains an entire theory, which it will be well to show up in this simple case, seeing that it is precisely the same as that which, unhappily, regulates the greater part of our economical institutions.
Suppose it cost six francs to repair the damage, and you say that the accident brings six francs to the glazier's trade — that it encourages that trade to the amount of six francs — I grant it; I have not a word to say against it; you reason justly. The glazier comes, performs his task, receives his six francs, rubs his hands, and, in his heart, blesses the careless child. All this is that which is seen.
But if, on the other hand, you come to the conclusion, as is too often the case, that it is a good thing to break windows, that it causes money to circulate, and that the encouragement of industry in general will be the result of it, you will oblige me to call out, "Stop there! Your theory is confined to that which is seen; it takes no account of that which is not seen."
It is not seen that as our shopkeeper has spent six francs upon one thing, he cannot spend them upon another. It is not seen that if he had not had a window to replace, he would, perhaps, have replaced his old shoes, or added another book to his library. In short, he would have employed his six francs in some way, which this accident has prevented.
When people repair things that should not have needed repair, there is no wealth creation. Instead, there's just money running around in a circle.
It's increasingly clear that Antifa is as much an I.Q.-signaler as belonging to Mensa. If you're at the uppermost end of the I.Q. scale, congratulations: you qualify for Mensa. And if you're at the lowest (but still functional) end of the I.Q. scale, they've got a place for you in Antifa. It's therefore long past time for our governing class to take pity on those morons and get them off the streets before their sheer stupidity causes even more damage than it already has.
Item: Antifa dude saying arson is good for the economy. Twitter screen grab.