Posts Tagged ‘definition of inflation’

Daniel Amerman vs. Mish: Reflections on the Great Inflation/Deflation Debate

This debate – inflation vs. deflation – illustrates how important it is to agree on definitions first, in order to engage in a more productive exchange of ideas, second. – Ilene

Daniel Amerman vs. Mish: Reflections on the Great Inflation/Deflation Debate

Courtesy of Mish

Last week I was in an inflation vs. deflation debate on Financial Sense with Daniel Amerman. The debate was moderated by Jim Puplava. It is a credit to Jim that he is willing to entertain both sides of an argument even though he himself is an inflationist.

Amerman took the inflation side, and of course I took the deflation side.

One of the main rules of any debate is to agree on definitions. In this case, there was no agreement.

I believe inflation is an increase in money supply and credit while Amerman considers inflation to be a purchasing power phenomenon. This lead to different opinions as to whether or not we are in deflation.

Furthermore, as with any audio discussion, there was an inability to point to charts or written material to make a case.

Let’s now explore some of the issues that came up in the debate starting with Amerman’s post Puncturing Deflation Myths

Japan & “Where’s The Beef”?

As discussed in Part One, someone who had attended one of my inflation solutions workshops asked me to debate deflation theory with him. I said “fine” but with one condition: before I would debate theory, he needed to first provide a real word example of this problem actually having happened. Could he answer this simple, real world question:

Name an example of a modern, major nation where the domestic purchasing power (as measured by CPI) of its purely symbolic & independent currency uncontrollably grew in value at a rapid rate over a sustained period, despite the best efforts of the nation to stop this rapid deflation?

The problem with this line of reasoning is agreement on the definition. One could just as easily define inflation as the number of meteors visible to the naked eye at nightime and conclude inflation is a cyclical phenomena that peaks every August in conjunction with the annual Perseids Meteor Shower.

Amerman did not "puncture deflation myths" because there is no agreement that his definition is the correct one.

Interestingly, he does post this chart


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