US vs Zimbabwe

Not only does Glenn Reynolds want the United States to default on its debt, he thinks Barack Obama is trying to turn us into Zimbabwe.

The paradoxical nature of advancing both propositions in a single post should be refutation enough, but assuming we’re restricting our attention to the monetary aspects of Zimbabwe’s governance issues it’s worth observing that the lowest inflation rate that Zimbabwe ever recorded was 7 percent back in 1980. From 1989–2000, Zimbabwe inflation was consistently in the double-digits. From 2001–2005 it was in the triple digits. And in 2006–2008 it got much higher than that.


Here in the United States, by contrast, inflation hasn’t been as high as 7 percent in over 20 years. And recently there’s been almost no inflation with “core” prices being remarkably stable and even slipping below zero. Meanwhile, the cost of energy supplies has fluctuated quite a bit for reasons that have to do with global supply and demand and have nothing to do with Barack Obama.