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Is Deflation Better?
by Alex Merced
I constantly speak about the dangers of inflation (increase in the money supply), and inflationary pressures of a growing government. Inflation destroys our purchasing power, causes malinvestment, and encourages risker investing. Inflation is primarily on my mind cause it's more imminent, government is naturally incentivised to inflate, so inflation and it's danger are practical concern although some take this to mean deflation (a decrease in the money supply) is the desired alternative.
They paint this utopian image that in a world of deflation that purchasing power increases, savings will increase meaning more capital for investment and it'll breed a more prudent and moral society. In reality, deflation or any manipulation of the money supply will cause distortions in the economic calculation of market participants, just in different ways.
With deflation artificially increasing the value of money, and what is the story whenever we artificially the price of any good? When prices are fixed above the market price less people will be willing to consume that good so you end up with a surplus. This would be the result of a deflationary environment that even though savings will be available for lending for projects, lenders will not want to pay the higher price of money and will choose not to lend it. So now you have underutilization of resources, and while I would prefer under spending than over spending this is still not ideal.
So does this mean a constant money supply is wanted, not neccessarily because of the downward price level adjustments that will constantly occur to a fixed supply. The only solution to the money supply issue is have a supply free from human influence, meaning no FIAT or paper money. In a world with a commodity backed money, the supply will fluctuate based the demand for the money for industrial use and new money mined through labor.
It's in this world, absent from taxation, regulation, and FIAT money can individuals begin to more accuratly begin economic calculation.
Apr 07 2010, 09:05 PM
Filed under: Money, Prices, Economics, Price levels, Money Supply, Arbritage, Investment, Taxation, Risk, Banking, Treasuries, Inflation