International Man: Recently, there have been whispers about the Fed raising its official inflation target above 2%.
But before we get into that, we should define our terms.
What is the proper way to think of inflation and the Fed itself?
Doug Casey: First of all, the word “inflation” should be viewed as a verb, not as a noun. Inflation is an increase in the amount of money. This is why Bitcoin—which may have other issues as a money—is inflation-proof; it’s a mathematical certainty that no more than 21 million will ever exist. There are absolutely no limits to the supply of fiat dollars, however.
Inflation is one of the most misused words; few even think about the word’s actual meaning. What is inflation? “Well, that’s prices going up.” No, it’s not. To say that is to confuse cause and effect. Inflation is an increase in the money supply. “Inflation”, a rise is the general price level, results when the money supply is increased by more than real wealth increases.
Do you think I’m just making an obvious, common-sense point? Au contraire. For instance, the Wall Street Journal of Feb 13 featured an article entitled “Inflation Is Falling, and Where It Lands Depends on These Three Things.” In the opinion of the clueless reporter, the three things are “goods, shelter, and other services.” Nowhere does she reference the money supply as the cause of inflation. It’s what she was taught in school, and she stupidly perpetuates the notion.
Prices go up as a result of money printing. But most people believe inflation comes from out of nowhere, like a freak storm. They appear to think it has no specific cause—unless it’s blamed on the butcher, the baker, or an evil oil company. It never occurs to them that central banks—the Fed in the US—are directly responsible for creating money, causing prices to rise. In fact, in a perversion of reality, the public seems to believe The Fed “fights” inflation, because that’s what the Fed says. This is the opposite of the truth….