An EF5 tornado just erased a big chunk of a small city. It will cost $2 billions plus to restore the damage. And we should, as a nation, pony up.
Something like $1billion in federal aid and a bunch of indirect and state and local money.
That is a huge shot in the arm for the building trades and their suppliers. It'll put a lot of people back to work, put money in their pockets which filters back through the local economy. And it would mean an upgrade in a large swath of the town's structures and infrastructure, a long term benefit for the survivors. It looks like a good stimulus to me.
But a huge amount of value was destroyed by the wind.
At the end of the process, does it balance out?
I'm not talking about the emotional aspects, the loss of familiar places, of personal possessions et cetera, that's loss, but not economic loss.
I'm asking about the economic impact of this event, both immediate and out at event+15years.
Is that a stimulus or did the loss of structure value cancel the stimulative effect?
The reason I say I'm asking, is that I'm not an economist and I know that there are people here who are. I want to sound some things out.
We always hear that defense spending is a driver, but the products of that spending, the vast majority, never serve the public, their value is pulled out of the commons, so to me, that seems like a net loss.
Where can we spend our taxes better, to stimulate the economy and get people back to work?
Like, boosting Social Security (as the Harkin bill does) which likely means more spending by those recipients, is that stimulative? Ditto, Medicare/Medicaid?
Like, driving an alternative energy system (currently the fastest growing job market) the last mile?
Is it realistic to look for new initiative stimuli when there are disasters that must be responded to and institutionalized economic pinches that could be adjusted to do both immediate stimulation of the job market/economy and long term good?
Could it be that the key to getting our economy back on it's feet would be Disaster Socialism? To misquote Rahm, Never let a good disaster go to waste?