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Inflation and Chuck E. Cheese

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In his book, Godonomics, Chad Hovind finds engaging ways to illustrate economic facts. In his book and on my radio program he answered question like: What would God say to Adam Smith? What would God say to John Maynard Keynes?

In a chapter on the money supply he compared inflation to the experience parents and kids have at Chuck E. Cheese. You and your kids arrive at the arcade restaurant and purchase twenty dollar’s worth of tokens. The kids spend their tokens and win certain games. At the end of the adventure, the kids count their tickets and take them to the toy counter to purchase a prize.

Along the way they are thrilled that they have 1,700 points in children’s currency. Their eyes gleam with hopes of trading for some real treasures. The toy counter is stocked with iPods, stuffed animals, and all sorts of prizes they are ready to take home.

But their excitement fades quickly when they realize that it takes 500 points just to purchase a Blow Pop. It takes 1,000 points to earn a Chinese handcuff. The prizes they want require hundreds of thousands of points.

Chad Hovind believes that the way the government prints money is similar to this experience at Chuck E. Cheese. The issuers have tinkered with the value of the tickets (at the arcade) or the value of the dollar (at the government). The dollar has lost as much as 98 percent of its value over the past hundred years. In most cases the goods and services aren’t really more expensive. It is the dollars in our pockets that have lost so much value.

You can go to a federal government website to see how much your money has been devalued. Use a search engine to find “government inflation calculator.” A car that cost $10,000 in 1980 today would cost nearly $27,000.

This is what happens when we let government tinker with the value of our money. It’s like standing at the toy counter of Chuck E. Cheese.

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