by: Charles Hugh Smith
July 20, 2012
Perhaps all the assumptions about inflation being good and deflation being bad miss the key question: cui bono (to whose benefit?)
One of the most widely accepted truisms of our time is that deflation is bad:bad for debtors, bad for the indebted government, and therefore bad for the economy.
What all this overlooks is how wonderful mild deflation is for those who owe no debt but who own the debt and the income streams that flow from debt. What the “deflation is bad” argument ignores is who controls the financial and political systems, and what set of conditions benefits them.
The entire Survival+ critique is based on one simple but revealing question: cui bono–to whose benefit?
The “deflation is bad” view naively assumes the Federal government wants inflation to lower its own debt burden. But since the machinery of governance is directed not at what’s good for the government, but at what’s good for the financial Elites that influence policy, then the only meaningful question is: what’s best for the financial Elites?
Mild inflation won’t bother the Elites much as long as their leveraged returns exceed inflation by a substantial measure, but deflation is much more lucrative: why mess around with potentially volatile inflation when deflation works better?
As knowledgeable correspondent James B. recently explained, the financial Elites’ are skimming their take regardless of inflation or deflation. (for more on this, see James B.’s commentary in Do the Parasitic Elite Pay Any Taxes? June 13, 2012.)