Age of Inflation

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Age of Inflation

Professor Hans F. Sennholz is the outstanding student of Ludwig von Mises whose lifetime work specialized in monetary and financial economics. This book is one of his great legacies to economic science. The title Age of Inflation reflects its subject matter and the date of original publication: 1979, the year of the outbreak of double-digit inflation in the US.

Sennholz addresses the burning question of inflation's causes, effects, and its future outlook, along with reform proposals. He saw what most all economists of missed: that the Fed cannot and will not stop inflation because its institutional structure is designed to fuel it and the business cycle and declining purchasing power as its major result.

Sennholz dares to question the conventional wisdom that the economy is inflation proof. It is not, he argues. In this, he is in sharp disagreement with the Chicago and Keynesian Schools, and he explains why in detail.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of this volume appears most inauspiciously on page 79 and ends on 108: it is a detailed and definitive short history of the German inflation from 1914 to 1923, and all the way through to the postwar monetary reforms. He shows how the inflation led to the destruction of wealth, normal life, culture, and all of society, and brought tyranny to the country.

He goes further to draw out the parallels with our own times in the United States.

What's scary is just how the ignorance of the German monetary authorities and general public parallels that in our day. Have we learned from the German experience? From the American experience? Probably not, but Sennholz is an excellent teacher. He has an eye for detail, a gift for writing a coherent narrative, and a moral passion for radical economic reform.

This book, though thirty years old, is an exemplary mix of theory and history from an Austrian point of view, which means that it is real history dealing with real people and the effects of bad policy on society.

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