Prospects of hyperinflation

Arnold Kling thinks that “hyperinflation would be political suicide” and that therefore that the US government will sooner or later do the extraordinary and drastic things necessary to avoid it.

Even if it was political suicide, this is like arguing that someone will lose weight because his morbid obesity is about to kill him – but it is not political suicide.  Incumbents that engage in hyperinflation usually gain political benefit in the short run, and the short run is all they care about.  The Weimar government was not punished at the polls.

Hyperinflation, by destroying the private economy, elevates the relative status of the members of the Cathedral, who get first lick at the freshly printed money, resulting in power, prestige, and popularity. When they blame others for their crimes, the masses eagerly grant them power to punish these enemies.

The Wiemar government blamed the foreigners, speculators, and so forth for hyperinflation, and it worked.  The masses are stupid.

Does Arnold Kling think that Americans are smarter?  Recall Nixon’s price controls.

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