I read a piece on inflation today in the Times of India by Anand Soondas. He says India need not be worried about a 12% inflation rate where countries like Zimbabwe have had to issue a $100bn note which just about buys 2 loaves of bread. (Incidentally the Zimbabwean government has decided to convert the 100bn into a 10$ note). He goes on to give examples of hyperinflation faced my many countries, especially after World Wars, like the Weimar Republic, Yugoslavia and Hungary (where the government had to issue a 100 quintillion note, because prices were doubling every 15 hours).
He also raises a very interesting point when he says inflation can actually be good in some ways. he contends that because of inflation, people are less likely to celebrate. So the amount of noise at parties and indeed the number of parties decreases which leads to lesser noise pollution!!! He also talks about his neighbour who had 5 cars but had reduced them to 3 with only 1 for his 3 children because of increasing petrol prices. This, he says, has reduced pollution in his area.
While he could have been jesting, it is interesting to observe that this is indeed the case. But in a country where people are dying in the hundreds everyday, I doubt if the so called positive effects are even cared about. While I am against pollution, I would rather breathe in sulphur on a full stomach than sit in virginal air eating nothing.
Now if we could only find a way to limit inflation to idiots who waste fuel and electricity……..