DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Natural disasters don’t lead to economic booms, said Dr. Jeff Haymond of Cedarville University.
Dr. Haymond is a professor of economics, and is more than familiar with the trope that pops up in broadcasts and headlines following every hurricane, earthquake or tornado outbreak.
“We’re told there will be a silver lining because this reconstruction is an opportunity for business that wasn’t there before,” Haymond said. “That’s fallacious thinking.”
After the Memorial Day tornado outbreak, which saw 16 tornados – one EF-4 and three EF-3’s – homes and businesses will need rebuilt, and money will be spent. But that money would have been spent regardless, according to Haymond.
“It’s true, in the aftermath of a tornado these businesses and homes will be forced to rebuild,” Raymond said. “That economic activity will happen, but it would have happened if those storms wouldn’t have come, and those resouces would have been put toward something else like expansion.
“It’s a sheer economic loss. Nobody should let an economist or anyone else tell you there’s a silver lining because of having to rebuild. The only upside is we didn’t have lot of people killed.”
Raymond said the only positives come from people and become economics. People come together as communities and help each other.
“Every kind of adversity, especially one like this which is extreme, it takes time to handle,” Raymond said. “It’s life. We go through a tough experience and learn from it and we’re better off from it and maybe able to do things before we couldn’t. That can be the case in every negative situation.”
People may grow, and while Dayton’s economy has been strong for several years and may continue to be so, the tornados won’t be a positive.
“Some of those firms had their businesses destroyed, had their dreams destroyed,” Raymond said. “All of that has stopped. It may never happened now because these opportunities are gone.”