The executive director of the Iowa Policy Project says the hurricane may not have much of a dampening effect on the nation’s economy. “When you have a hurricane, you ruin a whole lot of stuff that then has to be replaced, so you may even find more jobs coming out of a natural disaster,” says David Osterberg, an economist and a Democrat who served in the state legislature. But Osterberg says there’s no way of knowing the true effect of the natural disaster. For example, he says hindsight shows the recession of 2001 began in March and ended in November, and the man-made disaster of September 11th had little effect. “2001 is when 9/11 happened, but that doesn’t explain us going into the recession that we went into,” Osterberg says. “I don’t think 9/11 had very much to do with the bad business climate.” Osterberg says one blow to the economy back in 2001 was the beginning of the shift of the “information economy” to other countries which have educated workers who’ll work for less than Americans.
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