Don Boudreaux thinks it is misleading to point out that wealth, GDP, and well-being are not the same thing

No, I'm serious.

He quotes a passage where an economist explains the difference between these things and the implications of that difference for the economics of disasters and then he says that:

"For these business-economist sorts, then, to write that “The cleanup, repair and reconstruction of these damaged properties do add to GDP, however, and will likely provide a modest boost to economic growth in 2013″ misleads uninformed or careless thinkers and pundits - and, hence, misleads the general public - into believing that experts predict that hurricane Sandy will make our economic lives better than our economic lives would have been had Sandy instead headed harmlessly out to ocean."

Differentiating between wealth, welfare, and GDP is freshman economics class stuff.

Let's please dear God not call this "fancy" or "sophisticated". Please. Please don't pander like that. It is easily explained to college freshman. The bar is not high at all.

But when Don sees this explained again in the Wall Street Journal he considers the very act of explaining the difference (a difference we expect college freshman to digest with ease) to be "misleading".

There is only one reason why the public is "mislead" into thinking that there are lots of people out there who think that disasters improve our well-being. The only reason why anyone could be confused by that is because people like Don go around telling everybody that there's lots of people that think this.

David Henderson is apparently talking about this on Fox tonight - a major news network. Steve Horwitz is too, although he's talking about FEMA specifically. Please stop the misleading. People can understand that there's a difference between weatlh, welfare, and GDP. To make sure they understand, explain it to them David and Steve. Please don't try to convince them that there are lots of people out there who say that disasters are good for society.