Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The economics and policy questions around Sandy

- As I expected, the commentary about the hurricane's impact on GDP is of mixed quality but there's good stuff out there. The best I've seen so far is Jared Bernstein's post which parses out a lot of the potential impacts. I haven't seen a lot of bad blogging so far, but facebook is plastered with it.

- This is an OK New York Times article on the role of government in disasters. The title really rubs me the wrong way. You don't need "big" government at all for disaster preparedness. This is a perfect application of Obama's old line that it's not an issue of big vs. small government. Nobody wants big government. That's a false choice. It's an issue of smart vs. dumb government. If you are the sort of person that thinks it's OK if after a disaster resources only get to people with the willingness and ability to pay for them, then there's no need for government. If you think they should get to the people who need it regardless of ability to pay, then you really need markets and government.

- And speaking of markets, Steve Horwitz shared this great old NPR post about big box reactions to Irene last year. The grocery store and hardware store I went to were both very well prepared.

- This is another good article on the economic impact of Sandy. One important distinction it draws between this storm and Katrina is the shock that Katrina had to oil prices and the permanent relocation of a lot of residents.

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