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Question: What do you think is true about economic inflation? Inflation is...
Theft - 23 (39%)
Free Money - 2 (3.4%)
Growth - 3 (5.1%)
Debasement - 11 (18.6%)
Necessary - 9 (15.3%)
None of the above. - 4 (6.8%)
A tax. - 7 (11.9%)
Total Voters: 57

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chodpaba
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March 23, 2011, 10:23:32 PM
 #1

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Ian Maxwell
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March 23, 2011, 10:56:19 PM
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Can I say "none of the above?" Inflation is just something that happens.

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March 23, 2011, 11:17:01 PM
 #3

Can I say "none of the above?" Inflation is just something that happens.

It happens in the case of fiat money because of deliberate actions by certain people. To dismiss it as something that just happens is the same as avoiding judgment on violence, corporate fraud, or wasteful government programs.

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March 23, 2011, 11:47:21 PM
 #4

It's invisible transfer of wealth from savers to those who get to use the new money first which is theft pure and simple.

In my opinion it's the biggest evil known to mankind besides central banking and fractional reserve banking.

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March 24, 2011, 01:39:43 AM
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... baked into the fiat-debt slave monetary system.

Ian Maxwell
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March 24, 2011, 07:08:21 AM
 #6

Well, the question is really general. It's not "Why is inflation happening right now?" or "Why does inflation happen under fiat money systems?" or even "Is inflation good or bad?"

Instead it's just "Inflation is..." and the only answer I can give is "...a reduction in the buying power of a currency."

When the value of gold decreases relative to that of silver (as it has been lately), this is a kind of inflation as far as anyone using gold as a currency is concerned. Which of your poll options is the reason for that?

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March 24, 2011, 09:00:55 AM
 #7

Monetary inflation is a relic, necessitated by the limits of physical money, namely that it cannot be infinitely divided.

In so much as it is not distributed equitably, it is debasement and theft.

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March 24, 2011, 09:16:59 AM
 #8

I voted "debasement".

"Theft" is a bit too hard a word, imo.

Inflation is theft only if you hoard cash during long period of time.  Very few people do that, precisely because they are aware of inflation.


Also:  gold exists (and so does bitcoin, now).

So there is no way inflation can steal you any significative fraction of your wealth, unless you are very financially unwise.


PS.  You could have added "Tax" as a possible choice for your poll.
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March 24, 2011, 02:11:38 PM
 #9

I voted "debasement".

"Theft" is a bit too hard a word, imo.

Inflation is theft only if you hoard cash during long period of time.  Very few people do that, precisely because they are aware of inflation.


When someone breaks into a house and takes away stuff it is burglary. If someone breaks into a  house where owner have installed better locks and doors and than takes stuff it is still a burglary. Logically, therefore if my first sentence is true, than your assertion is incorrect and we have to conclude that inflation is indeed a form of theft, it is just those how try to protect themselves lose a little less to this theft.


I agree. Just because there are steps you can take to stop or reduce theft to your stuff doesn't mean it isn't theft if it happens to others.

And tax is on the list. Hint: it's just a particular type of theft.

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March 24, 2011, 02:19:20 PM
 #10

I agree with planned inflation being a tax. I'm not really sure whether my opinion is best represented as "Tax is often theft but doesn't have to be" and "Tax is theft, but theft is okay sometimes."

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March 24, 2011, 02:38:21 PM
 #11

And tax is on the list. Hint: it's just a particular type of theft.

Yup, just added it.

haha, I meant no need to add, I already see it on the list, it was hiding inside the word 'theft'


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March 24, 2011, 02:58:34 PM
 #12

in the current economy, it's necessary, but must be kept fairly low.  my country experimented with zero inflation back in the 80s.  it didn't work well.
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March 24, 2011, 04:11:44 PM
 #13

in the current economy, it's necessary, but must be kept fairly low.  my country experimented with zero inflation back in the 80s.  it didn't work well.

Inflation is not at all necessary, anywhere. Which is your country? Japan?

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March 24, 2011, 04:17:25 PM
 #14

in the current economy, it's necessary, but must be kept fairly low.  my country experimented with zero inflation back in the 80s.  it didn't work well.

Inflation is not at all necessary, anywhere. Which is your country? Japan?

Inflation is absolutely necessary, depending on the products and population. The rate of inflation and deflation can be argued. But we all consume resources, if even only food were in existence, the cost of that food depends on the amount of food available in proportion to the amount of people consuming it. This is the case with renewable resources. Technically all resources are renewable, but we can't wait around for them to be "renewed". I.E. Oil in another billion years or so will be renewed.


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March 24, 2011, 04:30:12 PM
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in the current economy, it's necessary, but must be kept fairly low.  my country experimented with zero inflation back in the 80s.  it didn't work well.

Inflation is not at all necessary, anywhere. Which is your country? Japan?

Canada, and i specified "in the current economy".

The bank of canada tried a zero inflation policy from 1988 until 1993.  the result was vastly increased unemployment (unemployment went past 11%.  compare a peak of 8.7% during the recent economic unpleasantness), minimal GDP growth, and increased government deficits and debt (due to reduced tax revenues).
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March 24, 2011, 04:31:58 PM
 #16

That's because your economy has already been damaged by over government involvement.
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March 24, 2011, 04:32:02 PM
 #17

Inflation is absolutely necessary, depending on the products and population. The rate of inflation and deflation can be argued. But we all consume resources, if even only food were in existence, the cost of that food depends on the amount of food available in proportion to the amount of people consuming it.

??
Inflation == creating new money != price fluctuations.

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March 24, 2011, 04:41:07 PM
 #18

Inflation is absolutely necessary, depending on the products and population. The rate of inflation and deflation can be argued. But we all consume resources, if even only food were in existence, the cost of that food depends on the amount of food available in proportion to the amount of people consuming it. This is the case with renewable resources. Technically all resources are renewable, but we can't wait around for them to be "renewed". I.E. Oil in another billion years or so will be renewed.

This is a nonsense. In an economy without a legal tender or government supported currency, the free market would inevitable select money that don't lose their value.


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March 24, 2011, 04:43:33 PM
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Inflation is absolutely necessary, depending on the products and population. The rate of inflation and deflation can be argued. But we all consume resources, if even only food were in existence, the cost of that food depends on the amount of food available in proportion to the amount of people consuming it. This is the case with renewable resources. Technically all resources are renewable, but we can't wait around for them to be "renewed". I.E. Oil in another billion years or so will be renewed.

Yeah rigth, and the solution to this, is to print some numbers on some pieces of paper.  Seriously I don't understand your way of thinking.  At all.  What am I missing?
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March 24, 2011, 04:44:51 PM
 #20

Inflation is not at all necessary, anywhere. Which is your country? Japan?

Canada, and i specified "in the current economy".

And I specified "nowhere". Wink

The bank of canada tried a zero inflation policy from 1988 until 1993.  the result was vastly increased unemployment (unemployment went past 11%.  compare a peak of 8.7% during the recent economic unpleasantness), minimal GDP growth, and increased government deficits and debt (due to reduced tax revenues).

Unemployment = labor laws fault, particularly if they make it illegal to decrease wages.

Minimal GDP growth = don't know enough about the case, but remember that GDP measures consumption not production (monetary stability stimulates savings, not consumption, and that's good). And, well, if the amount of money is stable, the GDP, measured in this money, would not increase much either. People would keep spending the same amount of money, it would just be worth more. Not sure GDP statisticians really take that into account when announcing growth numbers.

Increased government deficits = that's because they couldn't finance themselves with inflation. It's pretty much what happened to Japan. The central bank was kind of responsible (well, less irresponsible than others) for quite a long time, but the executive branch of the government was very "Keynesian", spending like crazy, accumulating a huge debt. Anyway, that's government's fault, obviously, not monetary stability's fault.

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