Economic Outlook: Preparing for Inflation

Dr. Ralph Barsodi had useful ideas about preparing for inflation way back in the 1940s.


| March/April 1979


As it concerns economic crises in general and preparing for inflation in particular, the name of Dr. Ralph Borsodi tends to creep into this magazine from time to time. And there are some particular reasons for that.

For one, it was Dr. Borsodi (while living on a piece of Texas land after leaving New York City during the banking panic of 1907) who personally formulated most of the economic thoughts and theories that the modern-day "back to basics" movement now calls its own.

For another, it was Borsodi (with his wife and two sons) who again left New York City during the great housing shortage of 1920, purchased seven acres out in then-very-rural Rockland County, and proceeded to build a comfortable and largely self-sufficient homestead for himself with his—and his family's—own hands. (The payoff from this move came almost immediately. Because, during the depression of 1921—when millions suddenly found themselves tramping the streets looking for work—the Borsodi clan was feasting on eggs, meat, milk, fruits, and vegetables that they had raised themselves and was otherwise enjoying "the feeling of plenty which the city dweller never experiences.")

And, for yet another, it was just awful hard to fool ol' Ralph when it came to economics. Or, to put it another way: Little Jimmy Carter may really believe (as he said in a news conference last year) that he doesn't think the federal government can do very much about inflation. And Slippery Richard Nixon may truly have thought that removing the last official gold backing from our currency in 1971 could actually "strengthen" the dollar. But Ralph Borsodi knew different at least 36 years ago.

It was back in 1943, you see—when all the knee-high "establishment" politicians and economists were still chattering about our wartime "managed" economy and price controls (which didn't work then, either) and the "inevitable" depression which they predicted would sweep the world once hostilities had ended—that Dr. Borsodi took a squint into the future and then confidently wrote a little booklet entitled, Inflation Is Coming.

It did, of course, and it's been with us ever since. And, just as Dr. Borsodi predicted, it's only gotten worse and worse as time has gone on.





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