Murray Rothbard’s book America’s Great Depression (have you read it?) argues that the saving grace of the Great Depression was that despite all the unemployment, despite all the lack of productivity, at least prices were falling for consumers. This was the one bright spot of the entire decade – and typically it was this very feature of macroeconomic trends that Washington blamed for all other existing problems. So it is today: Washington regarded the falling prices during the recent statistical recession as the source of trouble and sought to end that, once again regarding inflation as the one hope.
Well, from the point of view of consumers, this is absolutely not true. We still have a depressed economic environment but this time, we don’t even have the blessing of paying less for stuff than we did before. This makes you look back longingly to economic conditions of a few years ago.