Ingenuity Gone Astray
It's certainly better to create a problem-solving business than merely to curse the anti-social acts that caused the problem in the first place. But I couldn't help thinking of Bastiat's famous essay when I read about a couple of ingenious new businesses: CutTheCrap.com, whose anti-dog-doo products include this sign (via Dallas Morning News) and MyWetStuff.com, which circumvents restrictions on carry-on baggage by shipping personal care products to your hotel room (via Dan Pink). As Bastiat pointed out, we see the glazier's profits from fixing the broken window. We don't see the more-productive uses the same time, talent, and capital could have gone to if nobody had broken the window.