The Queer Lives Of Inflation and Deflation

Inflation and his brother, Deflation, were strange siblings. Apart from a rhyming name and a penchant for inflicting pain on those around them, the siblings’ personalities bore few pointers to their brotherhood. Each found it impossible to co-exist with the other, preferring instead the peace afforded by solitary existence. Neither was particularly welcomed by humans, who somehow, abhorred their presence, when they tried to make their existence felt.

Disturbed, the brothers attempted to unearth the reasons behind this hostile behaviour. What they found perplexed even the mavens of the Queer…

Like some humans, Inflation started thin and – like most humans – progressively grew heavier with time. Deflation, on the other hand, started fat and progressively grew thinner. Keen observers following Inflation’s growth noticed that the lad grew bigger and bigger with each passing day. On further observation, they thought the cause was an abundance in the supply of Money, which was nourishing fodder for Inflation. Deflation, on the other hand, seemed to grow thinner precisely due to a lack of similar nourishment. A handful of eager beavers, maestros of an arcane art-form called Economics, quickly concluded that controlling the supply of Money could regulate the brothers’ sizes. The consequences were dire…

Inflation noticed that he was a master illusionist. He created an illusion of growth for humans, who were generally oblivious to most things around them apart from the nickels that accumulated in their bank accounts. With time, as nickels grew, humans seemed mighty thrilled. What they seldom noted was that costs of most things that they so furiously consumed were on the rise too, sometimes growing faster than wages. Was there really growth? Inflation was a master of Money Illusion. Inflation gloated on learning about this hidden talent and smirked at the folly of human beings.

Queerly, both Inflation and Deflation held an intense admiration for the comely Gold. Humans, fearful of hyper-Inflation, frequently scampered crazy to Gold, courting her, doing their best to convince her to mollify Inflation’s wrath. She appeared to be successful in her endeavours but her record was patchy, at best. But humans, severely challenged when navigating the scale of time, especially backwards, cared for little but the very near-term. Gold seemed to be doing great and they deified her.

Always keen on growing ever thinner, Deflation pushed prices lower with time. Consumption-friendly humans noticed that their friendly neighbourhood cappuccino prices ticked down with time. Down went car prices, tuition fees, rents, real estate prices, household appliance prices and a slew of other materialistic things that humans enjoyed. But strangely, they did not seem happy with the scheme of affairs. Nickel-happy humans observed that their wages were stagnant or, worse, falling. Shrinking wages and dwindling bank accounts soon led to a congregation of the despondent.

It seemed that Inflation was preferable to Deflation. Few had lived in a Deflation-ruled world. Dread was high as a result.

Some felt the only way to trounce Deflation was by increasing Money. Money seemed like the cure-all. The spigots were opened.

All seemed well for a while…

Things got murky beyond a point, as humans forgot the true reason for owning things. Humans, ever alert to homing in on the scent of euphoria, felt a moral obligation to partake in the speculative orgy. Their frenzied buying was so intense that prices everywhere only went higher. Inflation started growing fatter, too much, too soon. When the bubble popped one fine day, prices reversed. The world looked different. Prices now only seemed to be headed down. Deflation stirred from a long period of slumber, even as Inflation prepared for hibernation. The Economists were invited to exorcise virulent spirits.

As Deflation reared his head, the Economist magicians, with their limited but well-rounded view of reality, recommended cranking up the fodder, Money supply. Known neither for prudence nor moderation, the Money spigots ran for far too long. Somebody had forgotten to turn the faucets off. Gradually, Inflation reared his head and Deflation threatened to hibernate. The Economists now recommended the opposite. The brothers were perplexed at these frequent flip-flops. Just who did the humans really like?

In a queer similarity with human relationships, those present went unappreciated while those absent were missed. That there were living entities queerer than themselves was quite enlightening to the brothers.

Neither seemed to understand humans.

Humans reciprocated.


15 thoughts on “The Queer Lives Of Inflation and Deflation

  1. I don’t think anyone in government has any idea how to correct this present economic situation. I don’t see any improvement here in Miami. Univ Miami Med school just pink slipped 800. Jackson Memorial Hospital and its several sister branches and network of clinics laid off 1200 and hired back 300 as part times without benefits.

    1. You said it, Carl. When no one has a clue how we got into a quagmire, it is difficult to expect someone to come up with a workable solution. Attempts shall be made, they won’t be perfect, may not even work but at least there shall be an impression of trying something. After a while, a solution will emerge on its own and all shall live happily ever after!

      Living in an economy where true inflation is upwards of 15% is a pain. Some of my best mates hail from that nation battling with deflation (Japan) and they don’t like it either! I wonder if your geographical positioning is relatively better.

      1. as far as i have read in my economics books they are tough to be tamed, the country has to try to keep them in healthy balance.

        hope the cyberpixies leave you soon 🙂

      2. You try to tame one and the other lurks in the shadows. Swap your attentions and the brothers swap positions too. In a perennial game of hide-n-seek! Wonderful game!

        PS: I hope so too.

    1. Thank you, Sire! Glad you liked it.

      PS: WordPress has been acting crazy past few weeks. It only manages to let me login at its whim. Have a lot of reading to catch up on. Will hop over to yours soon and devour everything.

  2. The solitary existence they preferred, is it called “stag”flation?

    Economists, in adition a few other professions, should be considered as “master illusionist”s, forever creating the illusion of performing a socially relevant task and having people eating out of their hands when they make knowledgeable predictions like “prices could rise or they could fall”.

    Much to learn about this arcane art form.

    1. Brother Inflation is a key protagonist in stagflation. Only, he is the only one growing fatter, with no growth anywhere else!

      Illusion is one very lucrative business indeed. Absolutely. Much to learn about these arcane art forms.

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