‘From a teen’s perspective, inflation is its own epidemic. It can destroy economies and hurt low-income families.’
BY DACIA JACKSON, Teen Journalist
Like many things, situations can always get worse, especially when they involve nations. Unfortunately, the problem we currently face that threatens to destroy our economy is inflation. Inflation is the measurement of relevancy and increasing prices to suit consumers’ demands.
To break it down, our nation is constantly changing our minds. From one point of view to another. Leaving us with different styles, interests, etc. These factors force manufacturing companies in and out of business. For instance, fanny packs were trendy in the 1990s, and demand slowly depreciated over the years and left several companies with little to no business. Until now, when it is again looked upon as a trendy and convenient accessory. Thereby inflating the prices until it eventually deflates once again like many things.
Nothing ever stays inflated forever. Just like humans evolve, so do the products we use every day. People used to cook and warm their food on the stovetop or by holding it over a fire. Now we have microwaves and ovens to do it in a fraction of the time. Eventually, fanny packs will become an accessory of the past like so many other things. That’s just how inflation works.
Now inflation is just one side of a coin. You can’t completely understand how it works or impacts an economy if you don’t look at its (flip side) opposite, deflation. Deflation is the act of lowering prices in favor of the consumer rather than in favor of the company, which is inflation. Deflation reduces costs to a price affordable to many people who can buy more of a product for a much lower price.
While this seems a lot better than inflation blowing up our economy, it’s not really. Deflation, just like inflation, can have catastrophic consequences on a country’s economy. The thing about having affordable prices is that the economy doesn’t grow because there aren’t extra taxes being added to the prices of products. This stunts the growth. To simplify it, inflation includes prices that are too expensive and most commonly unaffordable, while deflation means no economic growth.
Now, yes, inflation is a terrible thing that can sweep nations off their feet, but they have never caused a country to fall apart. The most it’s done is forced a full reconstruction of the economy and monetary system. And while it may now seem like inflation is very uncommon and only happens to countries. It happens to companies every day.
Just the situation of not having enough product to accommodate the demand of a product forces them to raise the prices. In an act of curbing the demand until manufacturing companies can keep up with rising demand is a scenario representing inflation among businesses. While deflation in those companies would be if they must lower the prices because they manufactured more products than they are selling, they put their products on sale. It takes care of the extra products while also helping to bring more business and interest to the company.
Another example of inflation would be current gas prices. During the beginning of the pandemic, manufacturing plants were shut down as employees were quarantined. So, gas production was behind schedule when people started returning to work and normal daily activities where they required gas. At this point, gas companies had barely enough gas to meet the rising demand for gas after the abrupt stop.
The only way to produce enough gas to meet people’s needs was to pay employees working for gas companies over time, costing the company more money and raising the price of gas. Never have gas prices ever reached five dollars until now.
The striking number can mean many things. A strain on low-income families that are already struggling to find affordable housing. As well as, forcing our economy to take a nosedive as money gets tight. Also, encouraging consumers to switch over to electric cars, that are more environmentally friendly.
Of course, after reading about all the bad things about inflation and deflation, you must now be thinking about what is good for our economy. And really, that’s the question we are all asking. The best economy is a predictable one.
Not sky-high or super affordable prices, but midway prices; that aren’t too high but not too low. For years gas prices were only around $2 per gallon. And they stayed in that range between $2-$3, fluctuating but in range. That’s the type of predictability we strive for. And will one day (hopefully) return to.
From a teen’s perspective, inflation is its own epidemic. It can destroy economies and hurt low-income families. Yet it is a problem, and we will overcome it just like we are overcoming many other things.
Dacia Jackson is a teen journalist, author, and artist with aspirations of becoming an attorney. She is currently pursuing an interest in journalism while attending a Florida online school. Dacia is honest, ambitious, and tenacious, so her column will always be truthful, extraordinarily unique, and hopefully impactful.