Friday, March 06, 2009

How central market intervention increases inequality

This extract (highlight mine) from Robert P. Murphy's essay on the Mises Institute website explains some of the process whereby hard times help the rich get richer and the poor, poorer:

If the Fed doubles the money supply, in the long run, that will roughly double the prices of all goods and services. But if the Fed restricts the injection of new money into only the hands of a few privileged recipients, those people will be at a fantastic (albeit temporary) advantage relative to everyone else in the economy. They will get their hands on the billions in new dollars, while prices still reflect the old reality. The new money will then flow from sector to sector, pushing up prices as it ripples throughout the economy. But the last people in line receiving the new influx of twenty- and hundred-dollar bills will be much poorer than others, once prices settle down. Their paycheck was the last to rise, while they watched helplessly as more and more prices began doubling.

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