The number one inflation lesson from the Syrian Civil War is that Syria has a lot of inflation, which is what will happen when your country has a civil war:
The larger lesson here is that this is the typical situation. Milton Friedman famously said that "inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon" which I believe was meant as a rejoinder to people who favored wage and price controls. And there's some truth to that. But really big inflations—the dread hyperinflations people warn about when they tell you Ben Bernanke is turning America into the next Zimbabwe—are really never monetary phenomena. They are the outcome of political crisis: Civil war, foreign conquest, reparations agreements, whatever. Putting a solid conservative central banker in charge of things in Damascus wouldn't change anything. The issue is that the country's real economy has been wrecked by violent conflict.
TODAY IN SLATE
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
- ESPN Story Alleges Ravens, NFL Are Scapegoating Ray Rice in Coverup
- Dean of Islamic Studies at University of Karachi is Murdered Amid "Blasphemy" Allegations
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.