Serious, highly paid economists are starting to say things like:
"In the short term, the damage could even knock off almost 1% of the country's GDP," he said.
"Longer-term though, it will balance out, through the rebuilding exercise which will be positive for growth will all the construction taking place. It could turn positive in about 12 months."
If that's the case, why not flatten the whole of Japan and make 'em all really prosperous? The UK's economy ain't doing too well, why not flatten London to get things going again?
If GDP numbers end up showing growth in a year's time, then that just goes to show how utterly lousy GDP is at measuring prosperity.
Japan has been devastated by the earthquake. Over and above the loss of life, every single yen spent on replacing a new building is a yen that could have been spent on buying food, buying a book, putting a kid through university, paying for a holiday, paying for research into a cure for cancer.
Bastiat kicked the fallacy of the broken window to touch 160 years ago. It's depressing that people still believe and parrot this nonsense.