When one thinks out loud or writes extemporaneously, one risks appearing the knave. But I will abandon my usual caution and pose a burning question to anyone and everyone:
Do you think The People are less discontented under an inflationary regime or a deflationary regime?To get the discussion going, I will put to you that under an inflationary regime the vast majority of the people suffer from Hamster Syndrome whereby they are running inside the wheel faster and faster but never getting anywhere, or worse from "Up the Down-Escalator Dilemma" (Do you remember the Chameleons?) where it feels like (or IS) almost impossible to make any headway in the direction one desires. This is because real wages are falling whether people consciously know it, and income inequality and Gini's are growing. On the other hand, unemployment IS [temporarily?!?] lower than it otherwise would be, which is a high-intensity diminishing of the downside to those that otherwise wouldn't be employed. In sum, most people feel worse off with low intensity, whereas a few people feel better off with high intensity.
Under a deflationary regime by comparison, I will put to you that the vast majority of people don't feel as worse-off as they would under an inflationary regime, since real wages tend to be more stable, and income inequality and Gini's tend towards diminishment making one feel less worse off(relatively speaking) - and importantly it is the relative that counts most in human behaviour with respect to contentedness. However, the downside is that unemployment tends to be higher than otherwise would prevail under an inflationary regime, and so a smaller minority percentage of the workforce feels [rightly] to be worse-off and feels so with a high intensity.
Let me say first off that none of my assertions have been researched or proved. Secondly, I am aware of some economists' arguments that, for purely behavioural reasons, mild inflation is deemed positive for economic growth. I have tended to accept these arguments, though they too are mere assertions, like mine. Thirdly, there ARE externalities under both regimes, and we cannot ignore them for they are integral to the feedback loop of happiness or less discontentedness (note: these are NOT the same thing) and future well-being. Lastly, IF this were - more or less - true, then does it mean we, as a society, are better-off in terms of GNH (Gross National Happiness) by choosing the less-inflationary route, and redistributing to cushion the downside of those unfortunate high-intensity displaced souls, than conferring a dull ache upon the majority?
One final thought: Might globalization have an unspoken role here? "Up the Down-Escalator Dilemma" is a reflection of global wage convergence, while inflation is the political way of attempting to fight or mask an otherwise unpleasant reality: if you want to go upstairs, you might have to expend some reasonable energy and take the steps...
(and if you haven't already, go take a trip back to 1983 (Modern English, The Alarm) and listen to The Chameleons)