With all the whining and wailing about inflation these days here a few things to remember:
Prices do not rise or soar, even if they are the subject in a sentence, they have no agency. Rather they are the result of decisions and we should clarify that in our speech: Businesses and enterprises raise prices. There are different reasons for that, but mostly because businesses see an opportunity to do so..
Also, inflation is a necessity in our capitalist society. Loans given out by the banks exceed the amount of money deposited multiple times, supported by the Federal Reserve. Without that money people would not be able to buy many things or services that our economy produces.
Does anybody remember when gold was $35 per ounce and now is at $1800, or when a loaf of bread cost 25 cents and now is many times higher? Have our living standards suffered from that or have they improved significantly?
I am not saying inflation is not a concern when it becomes rampant. Of course, when the government pumps money into the system above the usual amount (all the money in our system comes in some way from the Federal Government, it is the only currency issuer in the USA, and acts via the Federal Reserve and the Treasury) people and businesses have more money to spend, which boosts demand and encourages businesses to raise prices, see above.
Inflation, when it hurts the population, can be dealt with in different ways: Low-income people can be helped financially, rare goods can be allocated, for instance by rationing them, like during WW II, then there is the tool of price control and we all can refrain from buying most of the things that we consider overpriced. Some we must buy because we can’t defer the purchase.
Years ago I bought a hoop house from an Amish dealer and when I expressed my astonishment that he sold it so much more cheaply than another business here in the area he replied: I just want to make a living, I do not want to get rich and I do not think I should get rich off of one customer.
If more enterprises shared that attitude, we might have less of a problem with inflation. Of course, there are those who want to make political hay with this topic – oppositional politicians and some ‘news organizations.’