Although the inflationary measures giving the President monetary control join abandonment of the gold standard to put the United States at a strategic advantage in the coming parleys, it is doubtful, in view of public and business opinion, that inflation can be held in abeyance until they are over. But if it is inevitable for currency expansion to occur soon, both history and human nature point out that the new program must be rigidly controlled.
The only justification of inflation lies in its efficiency in reviving business. But because industry, always counting on more money and making anticipatory purchases, howls down quite naturally any suggestion to limit the injections in to the currency, no government has been able in the past to prevent the movement from doing almost irreparable damage to the financial and industrial systems. To be sure, the relapse does not occur immediately. But because of this tendency to sacrifice the future for the present, actual historical inflation has been disastrous wherever tried; the financing of the World War, which resulted in great long-run damage despite immediate benefits, is a good example of this. The certainty that uncontrolled inflation would only add to the already deranged condition of the foreign exchange, upon the stability of which depends in large measure the economic recovery of the world, is another strong reason for the rigid control of currency expansion.
But if history tries to repeat itself, and human nature indicates that it will try, those who would resist the tendency can rely only on President Roosevelt. Perhaps he foresees such an emergency, since he intends to have the Congressional measures passed bestowing upon him control over the inflation program. To prevent an excessive expansion of the currency, doubtless in the face of public opinion, would conform to the aggressiveness which President Roosevelt has shown since his inauguration.