Jeffrey Snider quotes J. M. Keynes in a 2018 note and it's such a perfect statement that I have to take notice. Here's Keynes on the consequences of inflation and deflation:
[R]ising prices and falling prices each have their characteristic disadvantage. The Inflation which causes the former means Injustice to individuals and to classes,—particularly to rentiers; and is therefore unfavourable to saving. The Deflation which causes falling prices means Impoverishment to labour and to enterprise by leading entrepreneurs to restrict production, in their endeavour to avoid loss to themselves; and is therefore disastrous to employment. The counterparts are, of course, also true,—namely that Deflation means Injustice to borrowers, and that Inflation leads to the over-stimulation of industrial activity. But these results are not so marked as those emphasised above, because borrowers are in a better position to protect themselves from the worst effects of Deflation than lenders are to protect themselves from those of Inflation, and because labour is in a better position to protect itself from overexertion in good times than from underemployment in bad times.
I hasten to add that while inflation is normally considered to apply to prices, it's important to recognize that from an employer's perspective, it's wage increases that constitute inflation. So even while price increases of oligarchically controlled necessities like rent, health care, and education have far outpaced wage growth, from the persepective of those who actually influence political outcomes, inflation has been tame, and, indeed since 2008, a strong case is made (by Snider among other) that we've been in almost continual deflation. I will return to that possibly contentious assertion in future enquiries.
I'll further add, in case anyone reads through to Snider's note cited above,
that despite my enormous respect for Snider's work,
I take issue with his statement that
Central bankers have dedicated their central banks
to defeating deflation at all costs because of this.
It seems to me that's mixing up public relations with genuine motives.
While they pretend to abhor deflation,
I would say they are actually much more motivated to fight wage inflation,
which they truly abhor.