Robert J. Samuelson: Flirting with higher inflation could prove risky and treacherous

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  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    May 9, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    Inflation that is caused by the government printing huge quantities of new money is nothing more than plundering the old and the poor to feed this government's voracious appetite. If you double the money supply without the production of goods and services keeping pace, those with small and fixed incomes lose their buying power, and they must go without necessities. That is why more and more of our citizens are falling below the poverty line under Obama.

  • David King Layton, UT
    May 9, 2012 10:15 a.m.

    John Maynard Keynes, who people like Krugman and Bernanke respect, made it very clear what inflation is:
    "By a continuing process of inflation, government can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens"

    Government created inflation is theft. Simple as that. When you are destroying the value of the money in the pockets of the poor and those living on fixed incomes, what else do you call that? If we continue to trust our future to mere mortals who think they know everything, we're doomed to suffer for their mistakes. I'm reminded of some of the words of economist F.A. Hayek, who I encourage everybody to learn more about:

    "To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm."

    and he said it best about inflation:
    "I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments."

  • SG in SLC Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2012 12:30 p.m.

    I think I have to reluctantly and cautiously side with Paul Krugman on this one.

    I am generally inflation-averse, and feel (as do most economists) that the Fed's primary role, aside from supplying currency as the nation's central bank, is to fight inflation; but, if bumping up the Fed's inflation target 1-2% could move the needle on our anemic economic recovery without resulting in any nasty unintended consequences, then it might be worth the gamble . . . and it would definitely be a gamble.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    May 8, 2012 8:20 a.m.

    I usually agree with Krugman, but not this time, for three reasons. First of all I don't think there is anyway wages keep up with added inflation in this environment. With 8% unemployment that's just too many people available.

    Secondly while businessess are sitting on tons of cash I'm still not sure that inflation is enough to get them to purchase when demand is low.

    Lastly, there is more wrong with this economy than just fiscal policy. We've lost jobs and our competitiveness for a lot of reasons none of which fiscal policies can fix. The way out of this mess is a long hard slog with tough decisions. In my opinion Krugman is wrong this time..and Romney is way off base too. In fact Romney isn't even playing on the right field. Actually the President is the only one who has even suggested policies that are on the right track.