This archived article was written by: Zac Konakis
“There’s truth beneath the floorboards, there’s hope in brick and stone.” I have a modest proposal of my own to fix the current economic recession that we, as a country, seem to have fallen into. It all begins with a man, Frederic Bastiat, in the 1850s, who wrote a parable of a broken window. Since then the idea of broken windows has been tested time and time again as a means of economic stimulus and has either triumphed or left millions everywhere with broken windows.
We all can agree that America as a whole is in a bit of a slump. Unemployment rates are rising and housing has met a bitter downturn; the U.S. has felt a bit of a squeeze. In order to stimulate the economy we have to increase spending, this is the very base of economics. But if no one is spending for any reason you must create a need to spend. This is where I make a dramatic entrance. I propose that I love this country so much that I have no equal in patriotism. I eat life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for breakfast every morning. That being established, I propose that I will burn this country to the ground, thereby single-handedly saving it. I know this seems a bit extreme, but a couple of broken windows and burnt buildings are a small inconvenience in comparison to the prospect of becoming a third world country that was once the world’s premier superpower.
This may seem a bit ludicrous, but it makes perfect sense. I create spending by taking away a commodity and reducing it to useless ash. In turn, I force spending to replace what I have taken away. I break a window, the glazier has to come and replace the window, there’s gas, food and supplies that I have created a demand for in just throwing a stone. Imagine what I can accomplish with a match and some gasoline when I burn an entire city to the ground. The trick to this entire plan is to not take away the luxuries, but to take away the things that people have identified as necessities; food, water and shelter. If you remove the necessities, people will spend whatever it takes to get them back. If it comes down to bartering and trading, we create a secondary currency system by placing actual worth in luxuries rather than a subjective emotional value which renders them useless.