14 September 2022

Getting used to the new inflation regime

I don't like seeing the value of my savings dwindle due to inflation any more than the next person, but doesn't it seem obvious that in an economy straitened by things like the Ukraine War, the supply chain effects of the pandemic, chronic labor shortage in North America (!), etc., that it's inevitable that prices will rise, and wages will rise as well... leaving people living on slower growing investments or (worse) fixed or inadequately indexed annuity or pension income to take a hit in overall wealth? We have a huge cohort of baby boomers and even somewhat younger people retiring or retired. We have become accustomed to a standard of living that was a good deal easier to come by 30 or 40 years ago than now. So it seems inevitable to me that the "saved wages" of this nonproductive cohort is going to decrease in value. I don't see it as a crisis, but rather as an adjustment. Many of us oldsters will have to tighten the belt just a bit. And some others will drop to low-income status that will (or should in any future legislation) qualify them for additional assistance. Is it wunnerful, wunnerful? Nope, but it seems predictable and tolerable at least for most people, to me. 

I'm not saying we should not have policies to rein in inflation and prevent runaway inflation (obviously). But I don't expect them to work perfectly, and I don't expect no hit to my lifestyle as a result of changed circumstances. I guess that puts me in the "realist" camp. 

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