Secular global inflation

Chris Burford cburford at
Wed Sep 16 23:58:45 PDT 1998

Marxists and capitalists all agree that the world is an economic system, but it is hard to get a handle on the dynamics globally.

If the law of value is relevant at the highest level of generalisation, one problem is how to understand its manifestation in prices. Am I right in thinking that there has been an invisible inflation of currencies relative to value over the century?

I caught a UN report on consumption that gave an estimate for global consumption in 1900 at just over 1 trillion US dollars, and now it is 24 trillion US dollars.

Do people think these figures are a reasonable approximation?

Assuming that we are not really 24 times wealthier in use values than 100 years ago, do the figures imply a long term, secular, inflation of currencies relative to total exchange value, that has been going on underneath the fluctuations and the swings in the relative strength of different currencies? How can this be clarified?

Chris Burford


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