Gold and Saving

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Monetary inflation causes problems regardless of whether the new money is being borrowed into existence by private operators or by the government, but the problems will potentially become apparent to the average observer earlier if the government does the bulk of the borrowing. This is because government borrowing, and the associated spending/investing, will rarely be motivated by economic merit, meaning that the effects of monetary inflation stemming from government borrowing are less likely to be masked by productivity improvements than would be the case if the private sector were borrowing most of the new money into existence. In simple terms, government-driven monetary inflation is more likely to boost the general price level — creating what most people think of as “inflation” — than the private-sector-driven variety.

So, we should reasonably expect more monetary inflation over the years ahead and for this extra money to have a greater effect on the cost of living than the money added to the economy during the 1990s and the first seven years of the 2000s. At the same time, it is likely that the desire to save will continue to grow. In fact, the more the government and the central bank intervene in an effort to stimulate the public’s borrowing and spending, the greater the desire to save will likely become. This is because the interventions will create uncertainty and deplete existing savings. We therefore appear to be heading towards a situation where the public wants to increase its savings while the government makes it crystal clear that anyone who saves in terms of the official currency will be punished.