Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hyperinflation Alters Human Personality

At this year's Austrian Student Scholars Conference, Joseph T. Salerno presented an outstanding and thought provoking lecture, "Hyperinflation and the Abolition of Human Personality." You can watch his lecture by clicking here.

In his lecture Salerno points out the importance of monetary prices and economic calculation for not only entrepreneurs, but for all people as we seek to plan purchases, investments, and make other economic decisions. He notes that no one can hope to have a rational estimate about the net worth of their assets, such as their homes or autos, without monetary prices.

If the monetary system descends into hyperinflation, however, prices change so fast they cannot be used for economic calculation and people begin acting less than human. He uses the 1923 hyperinflation in Germany as a case study drawing on the writings of those who lived through that period, including a sociologist who was among the first to follow the career of Hitler. He shows how the German hyperinflation was a primary contributing factor in making the German masses open to the rise of Nazism. It is fascinating stuff!

No comments:

Post a Comment