Discussion–multiplier effects: can broken windows make the economy
A young hoodlum heaves a brick through the window of a baker’s shop. The shopkeeper runs out furious, but the boy is gone. A crowd gathers, and begins to stare with quiet satisfaction at the gaping hole in the window and the shattered glass over the bread and pies.
After a while the crowd feels the need for philosophic reflection. And several of its members are almost certain to remind each other or the baker that, after all, the misfortune has its bright side. It will make business for some glazier. As they begin to think of this they elaborate upon it. How much does a new plate glass window cost? Two hundred and fifty dollars? That will be quite a sum. After all, if windows were never broken, what would happen to the glass business? Then, of course, the thing is endless. The glazier will have $250 more to spend with other merchants, and these in turn will have $250 more to spend with still other merchants, and so ad infinitum (that is, the so-called multiplier effect).
Some people might come along and say that there is a silver lining in all of this: “broken windows” are good for business because it is going to create jobs. It may give rise to the belief that destruction is good for the economy. However, this assertion seems counterintuitive.
Can “broken windows” make the economy grow? Why?
Share your thoughts. 100 words minimum
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