Conversation with my son Arnaud, age 7, last Sunday during lunch:
Me: "You know son, there's this great French economist Bastiat, he writes some cool stories, I think you'd enjoy reading his books."
Arnaud: "Oh yeah?"
Me: "Yes, kind of like Aesop fables [which he loves]. But his stories are real ones, about the economy, written 150 years ago."
Arnaud: "What did he write about?"
Me: "One story is about a child that breaks one of his home's window glass panes. His father is mad at him, but passersby say that this is good for the economy, so he shouldn't be mad."
Arnaud [startled]: "WHAT?"
Me: "What 'WHAT'?"
Arnaud: "Who are those silly people that would say something so stupid?"
Me: "Why do you think it is so stupid?"
Arnaud: "Because it's so obviously bad for the economy."
Me: "Is it? The passersby believe that if the broken window needs to be fixed then it will create work for the window repairman."
Arnaud [chuckling]: "This is so stupid... If his father spends the money fixing the window, then they won't have money for buying a new Lego set (did they have Lego sets at that time?), so it's obviously bad for the Lego factory. And the family now has the same window but no new Lego set, so the economy is worse off."
Me to my wife: "Isn't it telling that a 7-year-old boy knows more economics than most central bankers and finance ministers in this world of ours?"