We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It has nothing to do with Rudy Giuliani's "broken window" approach to restoring civilization to NYC (which is no fallacy - it worked well, because providing latitude in the little things, filth, petty crimes, bums and addicts sleeping in parks, hostile squeegee men, etc. implicitly endorses latitude in bigger things, leading to an atmosphere of anarchy that nobody wants to experience).
The excellent Bastiat QQQ yesterday brought it to mind. Bastiat's famous parable of the Broken Window explains how a kid breaking a window, despite the expenditures to repair it, on the bottom line does no favor to the village's economy.
While some Keynesians might argue otherwise, I would make the case that, although maintenance of things we care about is a large part of an economy - cars, houses, boats, gardens, horses, dogs, bodies, etc - the fallacy there is the failure to reckon the opportunity cost of the money on the part of the window-owner.
I recently posted on the subject of the pseudo-rationality that ensues when the costs of an event are calculated, but is not compared to the costs of inaction or of alternate actions - or the advantages thereof.
If anyone were to calculate the global economic advantages of global warming, for example, I think everyone would be praying for it - but I doubt it will occur in any meaningful way.
I got a propane delivery today and had to fill the truck's fuel tank. I could go with a little Global Warming if it would keep the furnace from running as much, conserve oil and reduce gasoline prices.
I also recall there are few stories of people dying from heat in large numbers (except in France) but an awful large number die each winter from either chimney fires, flue blockages or just plain hypothermia.
Interesting to contemplate same with reference to Global War on Terror. What would have been the cost of inaction or other actions?
Assistant Village Idiot
I feel some agreement with the Dems to say that some of that Iraq money would have been better spent here. Better yet Or not spent at all but left in our pockets. I have wondered as to the war accounting. If we have 10 divisions, is their payroll added to the cost of the war in Iraq even though we would have paid them, equipped them etc anyway even if they had been in stateside barracks?