WND column

Deflation vs Inflation

After last week’s report on CPI-U core inflation from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which was either -0.1 percent or 0.1 percent depending upon whose mathematics inspires you with more confidence, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise the discount rate to 0.75 percent from 0.50 percent, the attention of the markets is more closely focused on the question of inflation versus deflation than ever before.

Because the mainstream economic models, both Neo-Keynesian and Monetarist, are constructed around tax rates and government spending on the fiscal policy side and interest rates and money supplies on the monetary policy side, the inflation-deflation debate is almost invariably limited to contemplating interest rates and money supply. However, these analytical approaches also happen to leave out what is easily the most sizable and important factor, which is the amount of debt in the economy and the ability of the various economic actors to service their debts.