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What Inflation Exposes About Government

The oft-repeated objective of monetary policy — or monetary inflation — is to “stimulate the production of goods and services,” or more broadly to increase preoccupation, which says nothing at all in the way of improving the general standard of living. 

Of course, the object of any number of parties involved in any series of transactions is to improve their lives, respectively. 

This aim tends to coexist with greater measures of productivity and the overall proliferation of goods and services, but the end goal is the optimization of one’s personal standard of living. 

While there may appear at first glance to be no discrepancy between this objective and the goal of “stimulating the production of goods and services,” there is one major caveat, and it just so happens to illuminate one of the many capacities in which government fails miserably. 

That one caveat is this: those goods and services have got to be the appropriate ones, those valued and sustained by the market. 

On the other hand, government has proven unrivaled in creating work or jobs for their own sake, whose productivity measures best in labor hours and money spent, yielding scarcely any value beyond the political expedience and limited personal gratification attending recreation that only masquerades as veritable, enterprising work. 

This is all well and good, or at least tolerable, in the minds of the great many who feel uninvolved or unburdened, who also happen to notice that nobody else has made a fuss, who otherwise happily assume that the men in the proverbial white coats know what they’re doing. 

Beyond the psychological aspects that illustrate the human proclivity for conformity, freedom tends to yield to authority for the very same reasons, and it’s not always for consensual compromises of freedom; in the case of government and inflation, it’s yet another episode of Paradocracy, the misleading illusion produced by implied mass participation which sublimates independent thought by buttressing notions that sound judgment would invariably reject as foolish. 

Inflation, insofar as government dutifully produces it, exists as one such paragon of the institution’s successful sublimation of society, indelibly marked in the record of United States history by Nobel laureate Milton Friedman and President Richard Nixon: “We are all Keynesians now.” 

After all, just as with socialism, inflation has its proponents and its reasons for being popular, and popularity has never promised sensibility or soundness of reason. 

For one, the practice eliminates the need to consult legislators or citizens in order to raise taxes, which effectively grants the government carte blanche to wage war, buy votes, pacify lobbyists and promote special interests regardless of sensibility, Constitutionality or popular sentiment. 

What’s more, inflation also eases the burden on debtors like the US government, who are thereby let off the hook by repaying their debts in inferior real terms, whereas the creditors take a haircut on the returns, complicating the matter for capital-owning lenders who obviously have to consider these risks when negotiating their terms. 

The secondary benefit for the administration takes the form of higher asset prices in stocks, commodities and real estate, further benefits enjoyed by the speculators at the expense of monetary stability that disproportionately benefits the unthinking savers who are obviously far less privy to, let alone much less active in, the day-to-day happenings of Capitol Hill and Wall Street. 

Further, the surging inflation swindles the unwitting market agent into believing he is wealthier, that his possessions are more valuable, when it is generally the nominal value that has appreciated. 

Finally, the easy monetary policy enables busybodies to engage in consumer and quasi-professional activities that convince the average person that he has contributed, that he is living well. 

The average person is lulled into accepting that his inordinately pricy mortgage, automobile loan, credit card payments and student loan debt are tenable, and he reassures himself that he has done well for himself by merely having accumulated these things. 

Of course, he hasn’t remotely assumed ownership over them, as he is still working every day to afford the monthly payments that are relatively affordable only for extended loan terms, artificially-high wages, and the suppressed interest rates that accompanied the influx of new money. 

This means that his accumulation of new, shiny things really represents debt, not wealth, but that won't keep the average man from gushing over his success. 

He will dutifully continue his nine-to-five, or his double-shift, lifestyle as he naively accepts the status quo along with his debased wage, remembering that he's fortunate to have even as much as he has, that so many others will never even have the opportunity to enjoy such great things. 

While it is true that other civilizations lack the luxuries and technologies of Western life, he allows the privileges to blind him to his servitude, just as they have been intended by the controllers who have dictated the so-called American dream

The inflation serves also as a sort of dangling carrot wielded by the government in front of the original carrot owners, respectively, who never catch on to the scam. 

However, they do eventually grow too old and weary to continue the chase, and their wealth just dissipates in service to its continuation. 

Much like a modern incarnation of the Seven Cities of Gold, the illusion serves to swindle faithful believers into a costly and even deadly preoccupation, an exchange of labor for the prospects of riches that go predictably unfulfilled.

To the untrained eye, it appears to stimulate the economy, but it really accomplishes only a pernicious redistribution of wealth by first destroying the incentive to preserve it while effectively re-gearing the economy around endless and even futile work over productivity. 

This leads to people performing menial tasks in pursuit of the kind of wealth that would have otherwise grown absent the government's involvement in renegotiating terms. 

Incidentally, this also enables unskilled laborers to fetch relatively modest wages in excess of their wildest dreams, which prevents them from gaining the veritable skills and training that could otherwise render them productive.  

Thus, instead of enjoying the fruits of our labor, and enjoying the fruits of monetary appreciation, inflation erodes the value of our money to ensure that there is always more than enough nominal liquidity to entice people into working in service to the Leviathan's political objectives. 

So long as there is legal tender floating around in search of sedentary, unproductive employees, there will be plenty of room for job creation and the chest-pounding of politicians that accompanies it. 

Needless to say, this entire process serves only the interests of unskilled sluggards who couldn't possibly be motivated to become productive, who are more than happy to stroll into an office to do their lounging for a decent paycheck and a generous benefits package financed exclusively by the wealth holders who accumulated their stash through desirable and productive work. 

What's more, the sluggards eventually bear children to introduce only greater numbers of unskilled laborers who then aspire to follow in the footsteps of their parents, who have only begun a vicious cycle of failed preparation and misguided expectations.

Unfortunately, the growth of government has kept up with the growth of these misguided expectations and the delusions around the nature of wealth — or maybe it's the other way around — and the voting booth appears only to offer increasingly greater promises across every subsequent election cycle.

Fortunately for the sluggard and the free-rider, who are often the same people, the growing complexity of government appears poised to continue the fraud in their favor until it completely dissolves. 

Just as with the inner-workings of any complex machinery, few people are sufficiently versed to understand, articulate or tinker with the subject of inflation, so the average observer is all too happy to let the experts figure it out. 

It just so happens that the “experts” are on the payroll, and their salaries are paid by the bystander’s savings — and drawn from the economy’s future potential — and he is none the wiser. 

So the sheep are led to slaughter, not by leash but by their own blissful ignorance to the shepherd's marvelous maze.


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