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Ask Slashdot: Was Sandy good for New York and the people?

maroberts (15852) writes | about 2 years ago

Science 4

maroberts (15852) writes "Whilst sadly more than 40 people have died as a result of Storm Sandy, my colleagues and I are debating whether the storm is actually beneficial in terms of employment and mortality rate. For instance, we argue that deaths from murders and traffic incidents will be way down, as will injuries from the same.

Similarly all the renovation work will be a source of jobs for less skilled manual workers, and we will genuinely witness income flowing from rich to poor. Insurance companies will pay out, reducing their dividends.

So overall, should the US be wishing for more or less bad weather?"

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Interesting (1)

Stickybombs (1805046) | about 2 years ago | (#41829917)

You make some interesting points. I don't disagree with you, other than one missing point. Insurance rates will rise if there are more disasters. I don't think insurance companies are huge profit makers like investment banks are. They generally base their rates on the expected payouts plus some margin of profit. So we'd ultimately wind up paying more for the same coverage. It would end up basically being another tax on the middle class which was used to create temporary jobs. That could be good or bad, depending on your political views.

Re:Interesting (1)

maroberts (15852) | about 2 years ago | (#41830287)

The actual insurance is not a huge profit maker, but the money from insurance premiums is invested.

I'm not arguing for repeatedly breaking the window as mentioned in another comment, merely enough natural disasters to ensure more manual construction jobs, especially as many sectors which require large amounts of labour (eg. agriculture) are becoming increasingly automated.

Fallacy of the broken window?? (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 2 years ago | (#41830035)

The only reason I can see that it might not be is that the money being cited as being spent on reconstruction might not otherwise have been spent at all. I suspect a very large part of our money supply is currently glaciated. This might create a class of exceptions to "The Fallacy of the Broken Window."

Prediction (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | about 2 years ago | (#41830751)

... those rebuilt areas won't have (relatively) inexpensive single-family homes again. Non-millionaires need not apply.
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