Cost of living crisis

September 2023 Forums General discussion Cost of living crisis

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    That Wikipedia entry says that

    “the ‘bullion controversy’ gave him fame in the economic community for his theory on inflation in 19th-century England. This theory became known as monetarism, the theory that excess currency leads to inflation.”

    I thought that entries in Wikipedia were checked and double checked. Apparently not in this case. Ricardo had nothing to say about inflation in 19th century England. First, he died in 1823. Second, there was no inflation in 19th century

    That is one of the reason why some peoples call Wikipedia the blackboard. In the old days peoples who studied Legal research were motivated to use the legal library and shepardizing ( To double check the validity of a citation and rules )


    The letter in the latest Weekly Worker from Arthur Bough demolishes (not for the first time) Michael Robert’s argument.
    The SPGB line on inflation is vindicated (by a CPGBer).
    Never doubted it for a moment.


    Arthur Bough’s letter can be found here:

    He is right that, due to increasing productivity, prices should be falling rather than rising. So why are they continually rising?

    The government itself (in fact the G7 and those who slogans with them) openly says that it aims for prices to rise at around 2 percent a year. The only way thus can be engineered is through inflating the money supply. What other way could there be?

    What people are complaining about at the moment is not that prices are riding but that the rate at which they are has increased so much. But since much of this is due to supply factors there is not much that governments and central banks can do about it; just wait till this sorts itself out.


    Another move in the only game in town:

    Note the political ignorance of the Labour spokesperson. It wasn’t just Tory PM Heath who introduced price controls. He was merely pursuing the policy of the preceding Wilson Labour government which even imposed (or tried to) a freeze on the price of labour-power.

    It won’t work anyway. One reason why the price of basic necessities like bread and milk has gone up is that, with the rise in the cost of living, people are cutting back on less essential things to buy them, so maintaining the paying demand for them and allowing the supermarkets to put up the price of them.

    You can’t beat the economic laws of capitalism.


    Looks as if the strikes and threats of strikes have just about managed to keep up with the rising cost of living even if with a lag:

    Trade union action has its uses, to defend living standards or to slow down them getting worse but is clearly not enough.

    To escape from having to run faster to try to stand still the whole wages system — the buying and selling of people’s ability to work — has to go and be replaced by socialism, the common ownership and democratic control of productive resorces so they can be geared to turning out what people need, distributed in accodance with the principle of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”.


    That only game in town has been tried before, and it has been tried in several ‘third world’ countries, and it has not worked either The logic of capitalism always prevails. Some dictators and authoritarian governments have used it in order to pacify the wage slaves and it did not work. In some countries they had to employ hundred of price inspectors and it did not work either

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by Almamater.

    Useful reminder that falling “inflation” does not mean falling prices but that prices are rising less rapidly:

    “A recent National Institute of Social and Economic Research survey found that only 44 per cent of respondents understood that ‘inflation falling from 10.1 per cent to 6.1 per cent’ would mean prices rising but more slowly. As many as a third thought it meant prices had fallen.”

    A reason, no doubt, why people who know from experience that prices are still rising are sceptical when the government claims to be “beating inflation”. But even if the government achieves its stated aim of reducing “inflation” to 2 per cent a year, prices would still be rising.

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