Does Frederick Bastiat and his "fallacy of the broken window" come to mind? Even Berthold Brecht, in his play "Mother Courage" portrays the cumulative destruction wrought by war. Wealth is both created and destroyed... catastrophes destroy... proper application of accumulated capital can create.
Here's a which-is-better question for you. Suppose a New Jersey motel room rented for $125 a night prior to Hurricane Sandy's devastation. When the hurricane hits, a husband, wife and their two youngsters might seek the comfort of renting two adjoining rooms. However, when they arrive at the motel, they find that rooms now rent for $250. At that price, they might decide to make do with one room. In my book, that would be wonderful. That decision would make a room available for another family who had to evacuate Sandy's wrath. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and others condemn this...
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