The unique aspect of today's monetary inflation is that it is not limited to one country, but a host of countries are all inflating together. As a result of the monetary inflation (when all of the newly created money begins to leave the banks and enter the system), the price inflation will be worldwide.
I think democracies are prone to inflation because politicians will naturally spend [excessively] - they have the power to print money and will use money to get votes. If you look at inflation under the Roman Empire, with absolute rulers, they had much greater inflation, so we don't set the record. It happens over the long-term under any form of government.
A third group of inflationists do not deny that inflation involves serious disadvantages. Nevertheless, they think that there are higher and more important aims of economic policy than a sound monetary system. They hold that although inflation may be a great evil, yet it is not the greatest evil, and that the State might under certain circumstances find itself in a position where it would do well to oppose greater evils with the lesser evil of inflation.
Ludwig von Mises
It's hard to build models of inflation that don't lead to a multiverse. It's not impossible, so I think there's still certainly research that needs to be done. But most models of inflation do lead to a multiverse, and evidence for inflation will be pushing us in the direction of taking [the idea of a] multiverse seriously.
The drum-fire of propaganda that the Fed is manning the ramparts against the menace of inflation brought about by others is nothing less than a deceptive shell game. The culprit solely responsible for inflation, the Federal Reserve, is continually engaged in raising a hue-and-cry about 'inflation,' for which virtually everyone else in society seems to be responsible. What we are seeing is the old ploy by the robber who starts shouting 'Stop, thief!' and runs down the street pointing ahead at others.
Significant changes in the growth rate of money supply, even small ones, impact the financial markets first. Then, they impact changes in the real economy, usually in six to nine months, but in a range of three to 18 months. Usually in about two years in the US, they correlate with changes in the rate of inflation or deflation." "The leads are long and variable, though the more inflation a society has experienced, history shows, the shorter the time lead will be between a change in money supply growth and the subsequent change in inflation.
It makes no difference to a widow with her savings in a 5 percent passbook account whether she pays 100 percent income tax on her interest income during a period of zero inflation or pays no income tax during years of 5 percent inflation. Either way, she is 'taxed' in a manner that leaves her no real income whatsoever. Any money she spends comes right out of capital. She would find outrageous a 100 percent income tax but doesn't seem to notice that 5 percent inflation is the economic equivalent.
When a business or an individual spends more than it makes, it goes bankrupt. When government does it, it sends you the bill. And when government does it for 40 years, the bill comes in two ways: higher taxes and inflation. Make no mistake about it, inflation is a tax and not by accident.
And so our goal on health care is, if we can get, instead of health care costs going up 6 percent a year, it's going up at the level of inflation, maybe just slightly above inflation, we've made huge progress. And by the way, that is the single most important thing we could do in terms of reducing our deficit. That's why we did it.
The good thing about the dividend-paying stocks is, first of all you have stocks, which are real assets if we have some inflation. I think we're going to have 2%, 3% maybe 4%. That's a sweet spot for stocks. Corporations do well with that. It gives them pricing power. Their assets move up with prices. I'm not fearful of that inflation.
To fix Social Security, we should first stop using the Consumer Price Index to adjust benefits for inflation. Using the C.P.I. overstates the impact of inflation and has also led to larger increases in benefits for Social Security recipients than the income gains of typical American workers.
With QE3, we are essentially being bought out with our own money...and unemployment is being used to facilitate this process in a very clever manner. Monetary inflation is currently being offset by labor deflation. The way you avoid collapse is by printing money and stealing assets. The way you avoid inflation is with labor deflation.
Catherine Austin Fitts
A government always finds itself obliged to resort to inflationary measures when it cannot negotiate loans and dare not levy taxes, because it has reason to fear that it will forfeit approval of the policy it is following if it reveals too soon the financial and general economic consequences of that policy. Thus inflation becomes the most important psychological resource of any economic policy whose consequences have to be concealed; and so in this sense it can be called an instrument of unpopular, i.e. of anti-democratic, policy, since by misleading public opinion it makes possible the continued existence of a system of government that would have no hope of the consent of the people if the circumstances were clearly laid before them. That is the political function of inflation. It explains why inflation has always been an important resource of policies of war and revolution and why we also find it in the service of socialism.
Ludwig von Mises
Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. We can see that in the inverse relationship exhibited by price/earnings ratios and the rate of inflation in the past. But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?
For society to function some kind of reasonable balance has to be stuck between the competing interests of creditors and debtors. Although the mandate of the Bank of Canada was to maintain a delicate balance between encouraging growth and fighting inflation, the Bank opted to focus exclusively on fighting inflation. In doing so it came down heavily in favour of those with financial assets to protect, and against those whose primary need was employment.
Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon in the sense that it is and can be produced only by a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output. ... A steady rate of monetary growth at a moderate level can provide a framework under which a country can have little inflation and much growth. It will not produce perfect stability; it will not produce heaven on earth; but it can make an important contribution to a stable economic society.
[Australian Reserve Bank] Governor MacFarlane said recently when Paul Volcker broke the back of American inflation it's regarded as the policy triumph of the Western world. When I broke the back of Australian inflation they say, "Oh, you're the fellow that put the interest rates up." Am I not the same fellow that gave them the 15 years of good growth and high wealth that came from it?
The individualist insists that drastic depressions are the result of credit inflation; (not excessive savings, as the Keynesians would have it) which at all times in history has been caused by direct government action or by government influence. As for aggravated unemployment, the individualist insists that it is exclusively the result of government intervention through inflation, wage rigidities, burdensome taxes, and restrictions on trade and production such as price controls and tariffs. The inflation that comes inevitably with government pump-priming soon catches up with the laborer, wipes away any real increase in his wages, discourages private investment, and sets off a new deflationary spiral which can in turn only be counteracted by more coercive and paternalistic government policies. And so it is that the "long run" is very soon a-coming, and the harmful effects of government intervention are far more durable than those that are sustained by encouraging the unhampered free market to work out its own destiny.
William F. Buckley Jr.
Inflationary trends are under way. Wage increases, through strikes or threatened strikes, are rampant. Government expenditures are ballooning ominously. Hoarding has contributed unconscionably to price-boosting. The Government should institute measures calculated to arrest inflation. America's commitments are already so mountainous, international and domestic, that the pruning knife should be applied. You and I, all American taxpayers, don't possess limitless resources-our pockets are not bottomless. Curb inflation at every turn!
B. C. Forbes
So: if the chronic inflation undergone by Americans, and in almost every other country, is caused by the continuing creation of new money, and if in each country its governmental "Central Bank" (in the United States, the Federal Reserve) is the sole monopoly source and creator of all money, who then is responsible for the blight of inflation? Who except the very institution that is solely empowered to create money, that is, the Fed (and the Bank of England, and the Bank of Italy, and other central banks) itself?
The idea that when people see prices falling they will stop buying those cheaper goods or cheaper food does not make much sense. And aiming for 2 percent inflation every year means that after a decade prices are more than 25 percent higher and the price level doubles every generation. That is not price stability, yet they call it price stability. I just do not understand central banks wanting a little inflation.
People (a group that in my opinion has always attracted an undue amount of attention) have often been likened to snowflakes. This analogy is meant to suggest that each is unique - no two alike. This is quite patently not the case. People, even at the current rate of inflation - in fact, people especially at the current rate of inflation - are quite simply a dime a dozen. And, I hasten to add, their only similarity to snowflakes resides in their invariably and lamentable tendency to turn, after a few warm days, to slush.
When the value of money is increased, then those are enriched who at the time possess credit money or claims to credit money. Their enrichment must be paid for by debtors, among them the State (i.e., the tax-payers). Yet those who are enriched by the increase in the value of money are not the same as those who were injured by the depreciation of money in the course of the inflation; and those who must bear the cost of the policy of raising the value of money are not the same as those who benefited by its depreciation. To carry out a deflationary policy is not to do away with the consequences of inflation. You cannot make good an old breach of the law by committing a new one.
Ludwig von Mises
No politician can praise unemployment or inflation, and there is no way of combining high employment with stable prices that does not involve some control of income and prices. Otherwise the struggle for more consumption and more income to sustain it-a struggle that modern corporations, modern unions and modern democracy all facilitate and encourage-will drive up prices. Only heavy unemployment will then temper this upward thrust. Not many wish to confront the truth that the modern economy gives a choice only between inflation, unemployment, or controls.
John Kenneth Galbraith