Next time you and your neighbors are ranting about the snow (which we all know will be going on for at least the next month), you’ll have a new number to toss out: $830 million.
Yes, that mountainous amount is what the state Department of Business and Economic Development has roughly estimated the cost of the snowstorms to be for the Maryland economy. Ouch.
You may ask, as I did: How is that possible? Well, as reported by the Baltimore Sun, there are multiple factors to be considered. And while calculating the exact cost of a drastic halt in economic activity is difficult, here’s a quick run-down of what’s contributing to that number.
First, there’s the obvious price to plow the roads, which economists are currently estimating to exceed $5o million for the usually mild state (Meanwhile, Chicagoans and New Yorkers are chuckling at our plight. They regularly receive at least 70 inches of snow a year, and rarely suffer a transportation halt so drastic. So for all the government officials out there: contrary to your irritated claims, residents are not unmerited in requesting road clearance, since the much of the country deals with this kind of snowfall regularly and well. But I’ll get off my slightly irrelevant soapbox.)
Second, there’s the hit caused by the halt in transportation: retails sales went down, while business expenses went up. Furthermore, individuals prevented from traveling to their jobs took cuts to their hourly incomes. Commerce was slowed by the inability to transport goods.
As if that isn’t enough, the healthcare market was drastically harmed. In an area where medical services contribue largely to the economy, the financial hit to hospitals that weren’t expecting the large additional costs is painful.
Somehow, it all feels like a twisted problem you might have received in that econ class in college.
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