Opportunity Costs: The Parable of the Broken Window
Some people argue that natural disasters and other acts of destruction create wealth and employment as we repair the damage they’ve caused. Professor Dan Russell explains that this fallacy fails to take into “opportunity costs” into consideration. Whenever we use a resource for one purpose, like fixing a window, we give up the opportunity to use that resource for another purpose. We only know if the use of a resource has created value if we compare it with the the alternate uses we had to forego.