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The Societal Effects Of Inflation – How You Know Things Are Really Going Bad

October 10, 2023

This article was written by Brandon Smith and originally published at Birch Gold Group

Historically speaking, inflation/stagflation has always been a disastrous affair. One is hard pressed to find any legitimate examples of a country that experienced an aggressive inflationary event that came out better for it. A rare scenario would be one in which a nation inflates to fund a war that they then win, but usually negative consequences still happen later down the road.

The problem is that the effects of inflation can be subtle and far reaching, quietly creeping up on a population until suddenly there’s a tidal wave of societal crises. In the US (and much of the western world) we are already witnessing elements of inflationary disaster; there’s a good reason why around 60% of Americans now have a pessimistic view of the future, with a majority of people saying life is worse for them today than it was in the past.

These kinds of dark sentiments usually coincide with inflationary or deflationary pressures. Inflation in particular can be devastating because it represents an ever expanding hidden tax on the life of each citizen. Not only that, but the cure is often worse than the disease, with central banks instituting interest rate hikes that continue longer than most people expect.  Eventually they lead to an engineered deflationary kick in the gut for the economy. For a time, prices will remain high on an array of necessities while wages stagnate, consumer demand shrinks and businesses go bankrupt as borrowing becomes impossible.

A system might be able to absorb this shock as long as it is not burdened with immense debt. In the case of the US, we are HEAVILY burdened with over $33 trillion in national debt (officially) and over $17 trillion in consumer debt. The damage from stagflation and the central bank response will be greatly amplified by this.

So what should we expect when things go truly bad?

Widespread Labor Strikes

Labor strikes tend to occur in inflationary environments because, at least initially, demand for labor is high, giving labor more leverage against business owners. When people know they can easily jump into another job tomorrow the temptation is to leave their current job at the drop of a hat today.

Strikes were a common crisis in Weimar, Germany and Yugoslavia among other nations, in some cases because of legitimate labor concerns and in other cases because of communist provocateurs. The stagflation of the 1970s led to what is known as the “decade of strikes” in the US, with labor seeking higher wages to offset rising prices. The strikes sometimes resulted in better wages, which then in turn only lead to even higher prices as production shrinks and the costs are transferred to the consumer.

Wages are stagnant in the US today, even after the minimum wage unofficially doubled due to labor shortages. Labor demand is high (for now), but the difference in our era compared to previous inflation events is that the vast majority of labor is focused on superfluous markets. It’s not as if manufacturing is a major component of the US economy anymore. Rather, most employment is in the service sector.

No one really cares if McDonalds workers or Walmart workers or Hollywood writers go on strike. This does little to affect their daily lives. What it does do, though, is wear down the business sector over time until a portion of employers eventually downsize operations. If you have enough strikes and businesses can’t find workers in certain regions, they will close up shop and cut their losses. There were multiple incentives for major manufacturers to leave the US for places like China in the 1970s and 1980s, but the constant union strikes during that period played a large part in the decision.

Today, you will have retail and food deserts; places where no businesses will dare set down roots because they can’t keep their stores staffed. In the end, the jobs disappear entirely.

Rising Crime And Government Lies

Speaking of retail deserts, spiking crime rates are another factor that drives employers away from certain neighborhoods and cities.

Obviously this is a situation we are seeing play out in the past couple of years, but the interesting thing is the level of disinformation and denial that public officials have displayed in response. There has been a conspiracy among certain state and local governments (Democrats) and the corporate media to dismiss or hide the rising crime problem in the US. The most important aspect of this has been the oddly timed overhaul for the process US cities use to report crime stats to the FBI and to the public.

It’s just a coincidence I’m sure, but starting around the beginning of the covid pandemic there was a shift in procedures for criminal data reporting within the federal government. That change has allowed a number of cities to withhold complete crime stats until the new system is finished; this means that some cities will not be reporting reliable stats until 2024-2025.

So, when a leftist journalist says “Gee, conservatives keep complaining about rising crime in San Francisco, but crime is actually going down…” this is a lie. Cities like San Francisco are simply not required to provide full criminal reports for another year.

The crime rate is not only a symptom of high prices. That is a part of it, but the atmosphere of chaos that surrounds inflation also acts as a kind of signal to the mentally unstable and morally corrupt. Bad people will slither out of the woodwork because they view the instability as good cover for their criminal activities. With enough crime overwhelming police, a larger percentage of miscreants are likely to escape scrutiny and prosecution.

More Looting

Again, this is happening right now, but it is generally limited to short bursts in compact urban settings. As inflationary heat boils over, looting will become a daily occurrence and it will move away from retail areas into residential and suburban areas.

The fascinating thing about looting these days is that if you have one man stealing from a store, he is considered a criminal. If you have a group of people stealing from a store, suddenly they become “activists” that are fulfilling their “right to reparations.” There is a political weaponization of looters going on, usually on the side of the far-left, in the midst of inflation. The looters are not looting because prices are higher and they need the resources, they are looting because inflation gives them an excuse to loot and political elements are encouraging them to do so.

Population Migrations

Inflationary effects can move awkwardly through an economy, with some places far more damaged than others depending on how local governments respond. The worst governments will react with higher taxes and red tape in order to offset falling revenues in other areas. They will also reduce public services in order to save money, and this includes reductions in police funding even in the face of higher crime.

As people realize they’re living in a dead zone that is draining their bank accounts dry and giving them nothing back, they will try to leave if they can. In the US, people have migrated by the millions away from blue states in the past few years, but this was more to do with them escaping covid mandates and lockdowns than escaping economic malaise. The next wave of migrations will happen because of financial decline (as well as the crime that comes with it).

This happens during most economic crisis events. It was common during the Great Depression to see Americans moving around like nomads to places they thought had more work and more prosperity. Men would leave their families for jobs across the country so they could send money back home. The homeless spread out from urban areas into the countryside to beg for food from farmers.

During inflation, the cost of relocation can be debilitating. There will come a point when moving will be impossible. Until then there will be a swell of populations flowing like water from one place to the next seeking relief from the storm. Expect to see nomadic cultures return to the US with RV caravans, tiny home meccas, tent cities and Hoovervilles (now called Bidenvilles).


In the former Yugoslavia, economic disaster accelerated existing social and political divisions to the point of national breakup. These kinds of conditions might be a ways down the road for the US, or, they might be a lot closer than you think. In our case, the divisions will be between the people that want to continue going down the path that is taking us to oblivion, and the people who want to stop and reverse course.

It might seem like insanity, but a large part of the American populace still thinks the direction we are going is beneficial. They think the destruction of western culture is part of the greater good, that economic calamity is a means to an end and that they will be largely unaffected. There are also people that are just plain stupid and don’t realize that they’re supporting policies which will end up biting them in the posterior.

Inflation creates chaos, but it can also bring clarity. That which is truly important moves to the forefront of the public consciousness.  The depraved rise to the surface of the water like so much putrid ocean froth, and people figure out quickly who they want to live with and who they want to live without. Entire subcultures will form and separate to survive and thrive while other groups will try to stop them. Conflict is probably inevitable (as it was in Yugoslavia) but the point remains: Inflationary crisis has the ability to change everything.


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The people in Washington are destroying your retirement account! Slowly but surely, the value of your 401(k) or IRA is being eaten away thanks to out-of-control inflation. And our elected officials in D.C. don’t care! In fact, they seem to be accelerating this trend with new legislation to print trillions of new dollars. And this is why I recommend Gold IRAs. To see how they work, Get this FREE info kit from Birch Gold Group about Gold IRAs. (Comes with NO obligation or strings attached.)


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  • Old Toad October 10, 2023 at 4:53 am

    Add to all the inflation the 7+ million mostly military age males entering the U.S. and it is going to get very interesting, can you say Roving Bands of Marauders?

  • Rodster October 10, 2023 at 6:32 am

    Yup in my area that’s precisely what’s happening. Many fast food places have closed down because it was hard to find enough workers to keep the business running. Just recently a local Burger King closed its doors for that very same reason.

  • TheTruthBurns October 10, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Move away from All the Big Cities especially Blue Demonrat shitties or You get what You Deserve. Nobody is stopping you. Stop making excuses & just Do It. Or Suffer the Consequences & You Will.

  • Rodster October 10, 2023 at 10:15 am

    The decline and fall of the United States is accelerating at a rapid pace and the Uni-Party is to blame because this is what they wanted. They want chaos so as to remove more freedoms from the public as the end goal is to remove guns as well. Then the law abiding public will be forced to put up with this trash as George Soros gets these goons to defund the police.

    It is certifiable crazy that these retard politicians are encouraging illegals to come to America and pay them $2200 per month tax free, with free room and board, free health care so they can keep the Uni-Party in power. Meanwhile the average American who pays taxes has to scrape by and more and more are resorting to living in their cars because they don’t make enough to pay for rent.

    My auto insurance premium just shot up by a whopping 55% in Florida. I called to ask if it was a mistake or if I did something wrong? Nope, the agent said it was due to inflation.

  • Gauntlet33 October 10, 2023 at 11:45 am

    Brandon: “the atmosphere of chaos that surrounds inflation also acts as a kind of signal to the mentally unstable and morally corrupt. Bad people will slither out of the woodwork because they view the instability as good cover for their criminal activities. With enough crime overwhelming police, a larger percentage of miscreants are likely to escape scrutiny and prosecution.”
    Great insight and great article in general.

    “Inflationary crisis has the ability to change everything.”
    Here’s to hoping that the reset that happens purges out as much of the bad as possible.

  • Roundball Shaman October 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    “… spiking crime rates… atmosphere of chaos… Bad people will slither out of the woodwork… miscreants are likely to escape scrutiny and prosecution… looting… divisions will be between the people that want to continue going down the path that is taking us to oblivion, and the people who want to stop and reverse course.”
    There is a strange divergence and wide separation going on at a planetery scale within the human family in Today’s Era. Much of humanity is devolving at the very same time that many others are evolving into something greater while they are elevating themselves into higher levels of human manifestation.
    As said, much of the human race seems to be devolving back into the worst of our animal nature. Not the animal nature where critters care for their young and prepare them for living on their own. But the animal nature of being predatory, savage, cruel, without conscience.
    Animals might have an excuse for living in savagery because…well, they are animals.
    But when we humans think and act like this it is far worse and a bigger atrocity because we were born with brain and mind and the ability to think and reason and assess consequences… and most of all, a deeply spiritual capacity. So when we act out the worst behaviors seen in the animal kingdom, we are a failed species beyond measure. And worse, we have become a waste and a desolation in the eyes of The Almighty who shares the precious gift of Life with us. We have shamed ourselves in the full view of The Divine. Naked and filthy. Without good excuse.
    And there is still yet another layer of shame to all this. Not only do some of us act out as the worst of animals… but then such people are PROUD and pleased with themselves that they do these things. Or they think they are entitled to do so. They are filled with a deeply dark and troubled and twisted spirit.
    There have always been Dark Forces and disturbed people on the Earth. But without the internet and global connectivity, the actions of such deviants were limited in scope. But in today’s highly connected and controlled World, the Power Deviants can inflict great and immediate harm to everyone on the Planet. That’s the one layer of Darkness. And the other layer is at the street level when people live out being their worst and are damn proud of it.
    At some point we’ll all see how this weird divergence turns out for the human family. But it’s tough to see a good outcome when a family is at war with itself and many members of that family do not value the gift of Life… or even themselves.
    There is a cosmic fork-in-the-road dead ahead. And the road taken will determine the future of the human race.

  • Dragan October 11, 2023 at 12:32 pm

    I lived through Yugoslavia breakup. Eventually I left, but not before a couple of regional wars. Most people would think there were plenty of signs to get the hell out well before it happened.

    Not so much. On the surface, things were more or less normal. Sure, there were extremists, mostly in Kosovo and Bosnia, but everyone thought they were a small minority without any power.
    However, when that first incident killing Serbs at the wedding in Sarajevo happened, all hell broke loose literally in a week. It turns out Iran was arming the “Green Road” movement for years, and Islamic fighters were moving there secretly for a while.

    Suddenly, weapons everywhere. People killing other people, and body parts flowing down the rivers. It was unbelievable to go from a seemingly civil society one day, to a full-on war zone a week later. I want to stress this, it was utterly unbelievable.

    Once people start shooting at each other, there’s no going back, I learned.

    I just wanted to mention that when Brandon says you never know how far, or close, we may be to something bad happening here in the US. Everything may seem fine, but if you asked regular folks back then in Yugoslavia, they’d tell you everything was fine too.

    • Davy Crockett October 13, 2023 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you.

      It is easy to regret spending time and money on preparing for trouble if the trouble does not come (yet).

      Your message is a reminder that it is worth it. Rather a few years too early than a day too late.

  • Serge October 18, 2023 at 12:06 pm

    Another point: the “shrinkflation” could get more significant in Western countries.

    In Europe, in France for example – and not only! -, many, many middle-class people (millions of them) eat once a day!
    France?!: a so-called rich country, part of the G7…
    As we all know, these are dangerous and uncertain times.
    Keep preparing for it.

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