An article in the ABCs, The Drum today seems to indicate that those bloody kiwis have all the luck. You see, while we Aussies struggle with the effects of the economic downturn and European meltdown, New Zealand, lucky bastards have had a massive earthquake which has devastated Christchurch and set the stage for a beautiful economic revival.
Reading through it gives the impression that its almost too good to be true, I mean, why cant we have one too. It might mitigate the effects of the Gillard government. Among the goodies on offer are; it will be a giant stimulus package to New Zealand's struggling construction industry, positive for growth next year, has come at the right time for the construction industry, and so on. It'll create tens of thousands of jobs, most of which will have to be sourced from outside of Christchurch. There will be a flood of immigration into the city.
Of course the city's retailers should enjoy a boom from residents replacing damaged electronics, furniture, crockery, and all the other items destroyed in the quake. It will cause a big lift to household spending, and should have some knock-on effects throughout the economy an economist says.
The author is careful to blame the evils of capitalism for this:
You see, in capitalism, someone's misfortune often registers as someone else's gain. A company's surging profit is usually reported as a positive, although it often comes at the expense of redundant employees, cut wages, or customer price gouging.
Likewise, traffic accidents in some ways add to national income - without them, there would be no panel beating industry for starters - yet they cause immense human heartache.
Perhaps the greatest historical example of tragic economic stimulus is the Second World War, which many economic historians credit far more than Roosevelt's New Deal for lifting the US out of the Great Depression.
Most rational economists are of the opinion that the New Deal in fact prolonged the Great Depression.
The reason that the left seems to constantly argue this case is that they simply have no idea what a free enterprise economy consists of. Most are under the rather quaint delusion that what we have now is capitalism.
This is not the case. Practically every aspect of industry and the economy is under some sort of regulation and is not free. There are few if any areas where our acts of trading are not subject to regulations by those in power, or remaining from their predecessors.
In a free economy there is no way an earthquake causing two billion in damage could ever be described as anything other than a disaster. The resources needed to repair and rebuild would seriously impact on other areas, from which those resources would have to be diverted. This is also the case in the current economy, but tends to be disguised. The reason for this is that while all that activity is going on it is obvious to the viewer.
What is not seen is all of the activity that is not happening elsewhere because of the diversion of those resources into rectifying the damage. The left is constantly blindsided by their belief in the command economy, which has not the vibrancy of freedom but plods along at the pace set by bureaucracy and central planning. Grand schemes of government are their stock in trade for the simple reason that it can be seen and pointed out, while what is not happening as result is invisible.
This is why the left loves a good disaster.