|November 15th, 2013
There are two things I don't understand about this, however:
- This whole spiral is kicked off by the widget manufacturer responding to lower prices by decreasing how many widgets they make. But if everyone knows prices are only going down because of deflation then the signal for the manufacturer to pay attention to isn't "are prices falling?" but "are prices falling faster than deflation?" or "are widget prices falling faster than the cost to manufacture them?" Manufacturers already have to be careful not to mistake inflation for rising demand.
- If everyone knows that a dollar today will be worth twice as much in a year (deflation) then why doesn't the dollar become worth that much now? In general you don't see values rise continuously because people anticipate and price in future changes. (efficient market hypothesis)
(Normally deflation isn't much of an issue because the government can print more money at any time and push us back to inflation. If bitcoin were to become the primary currency, however, the government wouldn't have that option. I'm trying to understand how dangerous that is.)