A hooligan with no understanding of economics nor desire for freedom hurls a brick through a shop
window in Seattle that he passes while in an angry demonstration against free trade.
Repairs cost $1,000 and obviously the glazier and all upon whom he spends the $1,000 that he receives
are very happy. So does the broken window generate prosperity in Seattle? Why, or why not?
Certainly! The glazier spends his
$1,000 on glass and supplies ($100) and help ($100) and running his truck that day ($50) and lunch ($15)
and advertising ($35) and his mortgage and home upkeep ($200) and on a whole bunch of other pleasant
or useful items ($500) and all those recipients circulate the unexpected money throughout Seattle
and so the whole community gains. The demonstrator was a benefactor, not a hooligan.
It cannot possibly be so, for if it were,
prosperity could be created by breaking more windows.
At day's end the shopkeeper had a
good window. If it had never been broken he'd have had a good window plus $1,000. All the incident did
was to transfer the $1,000 from the shopkeeper to the people patronized by the glazier; no new wealth at all