Thursday, July 8, 2010

Inflation-adjusted home prices in Japan (1980–...Image via Wikipedia

If dollars are created in order to stimulate, everybody pays higher prices because of inflation. Demand has merely been moved, a little from everybody in random amounts, depending on what they by and where the stimulus is spent, becomes a lot for whoever is handed the stimulus first.
There's no magic. Nothing is created. Those very small amounts are very difficult to measure. The constant small changes happening in markets hide the tiny losses the stimulus creates via price changes.
If you were the person handed those stimulus dollars and you decide to burn them instead, no one is affected. The creation and the dollars balance each other out.
But there are real effects of stimulus. There is the loss of the labor of those who would have had to work to produce the free stuff they're getting because of stimulus. There's a real decline in the total amount of capital when capital is invested in unproductive things that people are not willing to pay for and that do not result in the capital being paid back and even increased.
If you don't spend the dollar bills you have, they don't compete with other dollars and prices are slightly lower for everyone. Which is actually what's happened since the housing bubble collapsed and everybody's reduced their spending. They are getting a lot more for their money whenever they spend.
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