Recurring Economic Falacies

Historian Scott Trask of the Mises Institute has published a great article on 10 economic falacies that have permeated their way through public thinking. Myth #1 was the broken window, which is basically the idea that a disaster has a positive effect on the economy. He also discusses the myth that war is a boon on the economy. The basic idea behind the myth is that a disaster like an oil spill gets double-counted when calculating GDP, because there is the initial outlay in the oil and also the cost of cleaning it up.

Back from New York

Helen and I arrived back from New York to utter chaos at Heathrow. The British had arrested a bunch of people planning to blow up flights en route to the US, and as a consequence airports across the country were on high alert. People trying to fly out of Heathrow had been let through to the departure lounge after checking in all their carry-on luggage. Most of the outgoing flights were subsequently cancelled, so everyone was forced to go back out through immigration again. Consequently the queue at immigration snaked across most of the airport. I was quite surprised that it only took us an hour and a half or so to clear immigration. This was despite flying on emergency passports, as I had lost our passports in New York, along with my new MacBook, my video ipod, and my PSP *sigh* Oh well, all technology should be disposable, neh? So I'm back to using my old 17" powerbook again, and my old iPod. I've tried to cheer myself up by buying an external La Clie 1Terabyte drive... you know what? It worked! We had a fantastic time in New York. It's been 10 years since we lived in an apartment on West 60th and the city has changed quite a bit, besides the obvious lack of the twin towers. For some reason it didn't seem quite as high octane as I remember it. Maybe that's because I live in London now, so my standards for intensity has gone up quite a bit. I love all the high buildings littering the place. Central Park is also a wonderful thing to have plonked in the middle of your city. I also remember New Yorkers as being a lot ruder. Everyone we met was very nice and polite.

Calamity in New York

Last night we arrived in New York, and in my jet-lagged state I left my bag containing our passports and my notebook in the back of the taxi :( Helen and I are staying at the Hotel Elysee on 60 East 54th Street, phone (212) 753 1066. If you find my bag and passports there will be a reward!