A Science for Everyone, Community

Inflation Since 1914

Looking at our nation’s deficit spending, I got thinking back to the Carter years, the high inflation and the high interest.  Then I decided to grab a table or a chart to see how things looked from a historical perspective.  This chart give inflation figures from 1914:

Found at macrotrends.net

It turns out that our highest inflation was under Woodrow Wilson.  20.44% in 1918 – 18.1% in 1917, and 12.62% in 1916.  Back then we were on the gold standard – yet the price of gold remained at $20.67 from 1910 through the twenties.  During the worst years of the great depression, inflation (deflation?) was about -10%. 

Carter’s highest year – 1979 – saw 13.29% inflation . . . and to be fair, Carter inherited a good portion of his challenges from Nixon – whose highest (and final) year was 1974 at 12.34% inflation.  Trump’s last year, 2020, had only 1.34% inflation.  Biden’s at 4.31% on this chart, and we’re not through 2021 yet.  Still, it will be a challenge to top Woodrow Wilson.

Above the chart is this statement “Interactive chart showing the annual rate of inflation in the United States as measured by the Consumer Price Index back to 1914. The current rate of U.S. CPI inflation as of August 2021 is 271.70.”  As I write this, the net tells me that I can buy gold for as low as $1827 per ounce.  Dividing that by $20.67 shows that the price of gold has only increased by a factor of 88.39. 

C.P. Snow described the second law of thermodynamics as “You can’t win, you can’t break even, and you can’t quit the game.”  Who says physics can’t be applied to government?

Community

Bismarck’s Belief

There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.”   Otto von Bismarck, 1907

Three fourths of my neighbors voted for Trump, and I figure even more believe that Biden won through some form of chicanery.  As I look at media comments, I see fears of what will happen – from tax increases to gun grabs to civil war.  There is comfort in Bismarck’s observation “There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.”  I recall that, a century ago, my country elected a president – Warren G. Harding – who was even slower than Joe Biden.  And Harding replaced Woodrow Wilson.  I can make a strong case that Woodrow Wilson was more racist than any American President, including Jefferson Davis.

You might argue corruption, and cite the investigations finally underway on Hunter and James Biden.  Remember,  “There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.”  The history textbooks tell of Harding’s Secretary of the Interior and the Teapot Dome scandal.  Remember, Woodrow Wilson had a stroke in October 1919, paralyzing him, and that caused the greatest crisis about presidential disability, presidential incapability, in our country’s history.  According to whitehouse.gov, “Wilson returned to campaign for Senate approval of the peace treaty and the League of Nations Covenant. His health failed in September 1919; a stroke left him partly paralyzed. His constant attendant, Mrs. Wilson took over many routine duties and details of government. But she did not initiate programs or make major decisions, and she did not try to control the executive branch. She selected matters for her husband’s attention and let everything else go to the heads of departments or remain in abeyance. Her “stewardship,” she called this.”  That was 16 months with a non-functional president.  Joe may indeed be going into dementia – but we have Wilson’s example, with fewer problems for the nation after his stroke than before it.

I have been unable to find any record of where Otto Von Bismarck really said “There is a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.”  – but it is an optimistic way to look at any election.