I'm no economist, but I've done some reading in that area, and I remain flummoxed by the right's continual focus on inflation. We've faced all sorts of problems since 2007 -- but inflation?
As I keep asking: Do you
see any inflation around here?
Krugman has a fine post
up about inflation hysteria. Not long ago, Senator Pat Roberts (a tea partier) castigated Janet Yellen's "inflationary" policies of "pouring billions of newly printed money every month into our economy, and artificially holding interest rates to near zero."Krugman thinks Roberts is full of it.
He provides a chart which proves that inflation has remained absolutely static since the crisis began in 2007. "It’s not often," says Krugman, "that you see an economic theory fail so utterly and completely."
I would add this: Inflation manifests as a wage-price spiral. As long as wages remain depressed and more-or-less immobile, inflation isn't a problem. Of course, libertarian-minded individuals seem incapable of understanding this basic point.
Let's quote Krugman again:
I can, in a way, understand refusing to believe in global warming — that’s a noisy process, with lots of local variation, and the overall measures are devised by pointy-headed intellectuals who probably vote Democratic. I can even more easily understand refusing to believe in evolution. But the failure of predicted inflation to materialize is happening in real time, right in front of our eyes; people who kept believing in inflation just around the corner lost a lot of money. Yet the denial remains total.
I guess it’s a matter of who you’re gonna believe — Ayn Rand or your own lying eyes.
As I've noted more than once, a Libertarian is a magician who keeps reaching into an empty top hat because he won't give up on the theory that a rabbit must
be in there somewhere.
One of Krugman's readers offers this:
Ayn Rand, like a violent video game, compels by catering to our gut desires. Doom became legend by allowing nerds to blast everything with a shotgun. Rand entices the same ineffectual teenage minds with thoughts of unlimited license.
Krugman's post fails in only one area: He doesn't complete the right-wing cliche. Allow me to fill in the rest:
"Inflation's gonna getcha, ladies and gentlemen -- so pour all of your money into gold and silver! Pretty soon, gold and silver are gonna be the only things worth anything!"
The first time I heard someone spout that line was around the time Bobby Kennedy decided to run for president.
Earlier this year, a lot of people lost a lot of money by following the advice given by gold bugs: See here
. Y'know who promulgates gold buggery? People who have shares in gold and silver mines to sell. Like these guys
Why do I get the feeling that the same people who natter on about the menace of inflation are also the people who fixate on this Cannonfire post
? (It still gets about a hundred hits a day.)