Mark Blyth: Why does inflation worry the right so much?

Mark Blyth in The Guardian:

Thirty years ago, Albert O Hirschman published a short book that infuriated conservatives called The Rhetoric of Reaction. The book showed how conservative arguments across time and space fell into three rhetorical buckets: perversity – raising taxes means less revenue; futility – voting changes nothing; and jeopardy – if you give the vote to poor people, you get revolution (the opposite of futility, but who cares about consistency). As well as being a great summer read, Hirschman’s rhetoric continues to shed a useful light on the present conservative obsession (apart from critical race theory) with inflation.

Whenever inflation threatens, two versions of the perversity thesis are deployed. The first, usually opined by members of the investor class, argues that inflation mainly hits those on fixed incomes, older and poorer people, thereby proving their concern is born from a sense of care for society’s weakest. Oddly, that same class of folks seem utterly indifferent to older and poorer people until inflation threatens to either reduce their expected investment returns, or impact their leveraged financial strategies, as interest rates rise.

More here.