Charts For A Crazy World: Inflation And Other Screw-ups

May 19, 2021

It’s getting harder to tell which approaching crisis requires attention and which can be safely ignored. Sometimes it helps to see the data laid out visually.

Section One: If the supply of money still matters …

Inflation (as the government defines it) has tracked the per capita money supply pretty closely over the past century. If that relationship still holds, inflation is just beginning a long upward march:

Workers are apparently hard to find lately, forcing employers to pay up for qualified people. So add fatter paychecks to the many other portents of future inflation.  

Why, you might wonder, hasn’t the economy already gone off the inflationary rails after the past year’s money printing orgy? Because … plunging velocity. People are getting money but aren’t spending it. Is there any conceivable way for a chart like this to resolve non-chaotically? 

Section Two: We’re making lots of other mistakes

Seems like we’ve gotten so used to massive numbers that they’ve lost their impact. 

How badly did we screw up the pandemic response? Here’s an excerpt from one of Tom Woods’ posts on the past year’s (apparently unnecessary) lockdowns: 

“This graph shows the results for the states allegedly following The Science, and the so-called neanderthal states [that avoided lockdowns]. Well, how about that: It’s impossible to figure out which places ruined people’s lives over COVID and which didn’t.”

And as the global debate over who, in the latest Israel/Palestine conflict, is exercising their sacred “right to self-defense,” a time-lapse view of what certainly looks like genocide is illuminating. Let’s hope no major powers get pulled into this mess. 

Section Three: Just buy silver and let the broader world sort itself out

At least your money will be stable.

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The California Gold Rush began on January 24, 1848 when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma.

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