Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Broken Window Fallacy

The broken window fallacy is the fallacy I chose to blog about because its very interesting and I think a lot of people are guilty of thinking incorrectly about the effects of "the broken window" . I think the best way to explain the broken window fallacy is just by example so I suppose I will walk you through a short scenario.

So lets say I take a stroll and feel the urge to launch a rock through a window, so I find a nice rock and send it on a line right through a $150 window of my liking and break it. Now the window has to be fixed and the person responsible(me) has to pay for it.

The broken window fallacy would lead you to believe that because I now have to pay for this window I actually did the community a favor. The logic is that my $150 being spent on this window will jumpstart the economy, in the sense that the local store makes money, along with who ever had to do with production of the window and perhaps some installation charge for a local company as well. This is where a common mistake in thought occurs some would truly think that my $150 sparked the economy but in actuality that money would have entered the economy at some point, I would have spent that money on some other new products that aren't dealing with maintenance. This bring me to me other reason which is the window is technically maintenance cost which really would not be labeled as profit.

A real world example of the broken window fallacy is when people assume that was and buying weapons will spark an economy but ultimately war will also lead to more maintenance costs and rebuilding and new things that may actually spark are economy will not be funded, old things will just be fixed if that makes sense. It really limits the overall expansion of an economy.


  1. I really liked your description of the broken window fallacy and the examples that you used. It perfectly describes why this broken window idea is a popular way of thinking, however it is such a false argument and was only created as a way to justify the means of false actions in society.
    The broken window fallacy is one of the most frequently used fallacies in today's political world and economics. This fallacy is also used most specifically in times of war. There are so many people in our government that use this fallacy in order to justify means of destruction and irrational nature of actions. Those who believe this idea believe that the destruction of property stimulates economic growth by creating messes that people are getting paid to clean up. War is the perfect example to describe this fallacy, since people think that war essentially creates jobs. While attempting to justify the actions of war, officials forget that a better outcome could have been possible had war resources been used for creation, rather than destruction.
    Another real world example of this fallacy is a young boy crashing his fathers car. He explains to his dad how he actually did America a favor by crashing his car. The auto shop he takes the car to will now have work to do, resulting in employees making more money. Those employees will spend more money since they are essentially making more, and in turn they might even come to the father's store and spend their profit there. However, what the boy failed to realize was that by crashing the car, an already produced good has been destroyed, and more resources are going to have to be used in order to replace an already created good, as opposed to using those resources to create more new products and goods.
    As an exception to this fallacy, some believe that there are few occasions where some form of destruction actually can benefit society. An example I found was that a lightning bolt strikes a crack house, burns it to the ground, and in place of it, a new soup kitchen or homeless shelter is reconstructed. However, essentially this fallacy does limit the overall expansion of the economy, rather than provide benefits.