This is true, yes, but there’s a certain corollary to it:
p.s. You know how we dealt with the massive federal debt incurred during World War II? I-N-F-L-A-T-I-O-N
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) May 25, 2021
So, if the value of the money paid back was considerably lower than the original value of the money paid in, who lost out? Those who paid the money in of course.
So, those who did the right thing. Those who saved and then invested in beating fascism through Liberty Bonds and the like. They got screwed, they got the shaft, didn’t they?
And what is Binyamin’s suggestion for future policy? That those who invest in the Green New Deal, or put their money into growing the American economy. Hell, just those who decide they’d like to save so as not to use the cat food aisle as their meat counter in old age, they are to get shafted again.
Sounds like a hell of a plan really.
But be not concerned. There’s a plan!
One consequence of the 1970s was a fair amount of inflation-proofing of the economy — including fixes for all three of those issues.
— Binyamin Appelbaum (@BCAppelbaum) May 26, 2021
Well, yes. But once you inflation proof then inflating the debt away doesn’t work, does it?
Which is also what has already happened. We have inflation proofed Treasuries these days. Interest rates react much more sharply, much more quickly, to even hints of inflation. Significant portions of corporate financing are now on floating rate, not fixed, terms.
Why is this? Because the financial markets – which includes those hundreds of millions who saw granny getting screwed last time around – have been Charlie Brown approaching Lucy Van Pelt’s football before. And they ain’t gonna be again.
The net of all of this is that fooling everyone this time around is going to be a lot more difficult. But we still come back to the Applebaum Plan. Which is either that everyone paying for that lots of lovely government gets screwed by inflation, as with last time around, or everything is inflation proofed and the debt doesn’t in fact get inflated away.
But, you know, lots of lovely government is just such a wondrous thing that the American people should just bend over and lube up, right?