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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 9, 2009 / 20 Elul 5769

Inflation and Deficits

By Walter Williams




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With the massive increases in federal spending, inflation is one of the risks that awaits us. To protect us from the political demagoguery that will accompany that inflation, let's now decide what is and what is not inflation. One price or several prices rising is not inflation. Increases in money supply are what constitute inflation, and a general rise in prices is the symptom. As the late Nobel Laureate Professor Milton Friedman said, "(I)nflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon, in the sense that it cannot occur without a more rapid increase in the quantity of money than in output."


Thinking of inflation as rising prices permits politicians to deceive us and escape culpability. They shift the blame saying that inflation is caused by greedy businessmen, rapacious unions or Arab sheiks. Instead, it is increases in the money supply that cause inflation, and who is in charge of the money supply? It's the government operating through the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Treasury.


Our nation has avoided the devastating hyperinflations that have plagued other nations. The world's highest inflation rate was in Hungary after World War II, where prices doubled every 15 hours. The world's second highest inflation rate is today's Zimbabwe, where last year prices doubled every 25 hours, a rate of 89 sextillion percent. That's 89 followed by 23 zeros. Our highest rate of inflation occurred during the Revolutionary War, when the Continental Congress churned out paper Continentals to pay bills. The monthly inflation rate reached a peak of 47 percent in November 1779. This painful experience with inflation, and collapse of the Continental dollar, is what prompted the delegates to the Constitutional Convention to include the gold and silver clause into the United States Constitution so that the individual states could not issue bills of credit. The U.S. Constitution's Article I, Section 8 permits Congress: "To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures."


The founders of our nation feared paper currency because it gave government the means to steal from its citizens. When inflation is unanticipated, as it so often is, there's a redistribution of wealth from creditors to debtors. If you lend me $100, and over the term of the loan prices double, I pay you back with dollars worth only half of the purchasing power they had when I borrowed the money. Since inflation redistributes (steals) wealth from creditors to debtors, we can identify inflation's primary beneficiary by asking: Who is the nation's largest debtor? If you said, "It's the U.S. government," go to the head of the class.


Inflation is just one effect of massive increases in spending. Some might argue that future generations of Americans will pay for today's massive budget deficits. But is there really a federal budget deficit? The short answer is yes, but only in an accounting sense — but not in any meaningful economic sense. Let's look at it. Our GDP this year will be about $14 trillion. If 2009 federal expenditures are $3.9 trillion and tax receipts are $2.1 trillion, that means there is an accounting deficit of $1.8 trillion. Is it the Tooth Fairy, Santa or the Easter Bunny who makes up the difference between expenditures and revenue? Is it a youngster who is born in 2020 or 2030 who makes up the difference? No. If government spends $3.9 trillion of our $14 trillion GDP this year, of necessity it has to force us to spend privately $3.9 trillion less this year. One method to force us to spend less privately is through taxation. Another way is to enter the bond market and drive up the interest rates, which put a squeeze on private investment in homes and businesses. Then there is inflation, which is a sneaky form of taxation.


Profligate spending burdens future generations by making them recipients of a smaller amount of capital and hence less wealth.

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate.

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