Get ready for a bunch of demand-side economists to tell you that the post-Hurricane Irene rebuilding phase is actually a good thing for future economic growth. But don’t believe it.
Who has it right?
Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR, Inc., delivered my favorite quote on the subject to the New York Times: “If you’re in the middle of recession, you just wander around blowing up buildings, and that would be your path to prosperity. And clearly that’s not the case. It’s not the case with a natural disaster either.”