For close to 300 years, inflation in the US remained very subdued. Small spurts occurred around major wars (Revolutionary, Civil, WW1, etc), but after each, inflation quickly trended back down to its long-term baseline. If you lived during this stretch of time, your money had roughly the same purchasing power your great-grandfather’s did.
But something changed after inflation spiked yet again during World War 2. With the permanent mobilization of the military industrial complex and the start of the decades-long Cold War, combined with a related acceleration in government deficit spending, inflation did not come back down. It remained elevated, and in fact, rose further.
That is, until the “Nixon shock” in 1971, when the dollar’s remaining ties to gold were severed. Then inflation EXPLODED. And the inflationary moon-shot has continued since, up to present day.
So, we’ve become used to a system in which our money loses purchasing power over the years. For anyone aged 50 or younger, it’s pretty much all we’ve ever known.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Indeed, our country did fine for centuries without systemic continual chronic inflation.
So why do we accept it today?
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