Thursday, February 11, 2010

You have my permission to mock ...

... anyone silly enough to claim that the recent snowstorms are "good for the economy" because they create jobs (or at least OT). Lost hours in factories, etc. will indeed be made up and most consumption nearly postponed (people will buy that new flat screen next week instead) but spending valuable resources (time, equipment, fuel) to move annoying white stuff entails a dead weight loss. The easiest way to see this is to look at government snow removal expenditures. The money spent on snow removal is no longer available for other services. I'm not saying that governments should refrain from plowing their own roads, of course, merely that it ain't helping the economy, just those who are in the snow removal biz. The situation is directly analogous to Bastiat's window, a tale of hidden opportunity costs.

Finding a way to remove snow more efficiently (more tons per $), on the other hand, WOULD be an economic boon.

If you do find yourself mocking the proponents of the "sbailout" (snow bailout) just don't call them "retarded." ;-)

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