Thought for the Day: The Moral Effects of Inflation

Inflation is typically thought of as primarily an economic problem, but perhaps this is too narrow a way of thinking about it. Might some of the social decay of the 1970s (its “narcissism,” if you like Chris Lasch’s famous indictment) be attributable to the steadily rising inflation of the decade?

Bertrand de Jouvenel writes:

“Inflation is the moral ruin of societies, for it authorises a debtor not to make effective repayment of the real sum which he and the creditor had in mind, but only of a smaller sum, which is the same only in name. It is a school of default on the substance of promises.”

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