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We want devaluation. Devalutation means lower real wages.

True, but misleading. Suppose that price levels are 34 % above where they need to be for balanced trade. Wages are approximately 67 % of GDP. Assuming an import quota of 1/3, achieving balanced foreign trade through wage suppression alone means that nominal wages have to drop by just a hair over 50 %, of which a quarter or so is recouped by the deflationary impact, for a real wage drop of 30-35 %. Add to this the total homeowner and business insolvency that is virtually guaranteed all debt loads are suddenly increased by 34 % in real terms.

For a country which imports to the tune of 1/3 of its GDP, depreciating your way out of a 34 % price level gap reduces real wages by something on the order of 15-20 %. However, the debt load is lightened in compensation, by approximately a full third of the previous real value.

So just in the real wage reduction depreciation is a full 15 percentage points better in this example. And the way the debt load behaves under the two scenarios reinforces this conclusion. And this is before the higher-order costs of imposing a generalised industrial depression are booked to the "wage suppression" option.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:24:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not saying nominal wage suppression is good, or that devaluation isn't a lot better, because it is. I'm just saying, let's not forget devaluations also mean lower wages, and lower wages are needed. Just not in nominal terms.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 at 02:28:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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