The 2% target is low enough that the household frogs in the kettle of hot water never realize they're being boiled alive because the increase is so gradual.
A comment by correspondent David C. suggested the importance of demonstrating the impoverishing consequences of central banks reaching their 2% inflation target. David observed: "That central bankers aren't all hanging by their necks from lamp posts everywhere is a testament to how scarce are those who grasp exponents and compounding."
Column 2: index starting with 100
Column 3: annual inflation sum (2% of previous year's total index)
Column 4: cumulative total index
2 102.00 2.04 104.04
3 104.04 2.08 106.12
4 106.12 2.12 108.24
5 108.24 2.16 110.41
6 110.41 2.21 112.62
7 112.62 2.25 114.87
8 114.87 2.30 117.17
9 117.17 2.34 119.51
10 119.51 2.39 121.90
Ten years of modest 2% inflation robs households of nearly 20% of their purchasing power. What was $100 in year 1 costs about $122 after 10 years of "modest" 2% inflation. Put another way, $100 in year one is only worth $81 in year 10.
12 124.34 2.49 126.82
13 126.82 2.54 129.36
14 129.36 2.59 131.95
15 131.95 2.64 134.59
16 134.59 2.69 137.28
17 137.28 2.75 140.02
18 140.02 2.80 142.82
19 142.82 2.86 145.68
20 145.68 2.91 148.59
Two decades of "modest" 2% inflation robs households of one-third of their purchasing power. What was $100 in year 1 costs about $150 after 20 years of "modest" 2% inflation. Put another way, $100 in year one is only worth $66 in year 20.
While wages go nowhere, costs continue lofting ever higher as central banks print and pump money and credit:
source: What Inflation Means to You: Inside the Consumer Price Index (Doug Short)
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