Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Inflation-Adjust all Legal Documents

A 2002 dollar is quite different from a 1781 dollar
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"The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person. ... In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law."

Why not tie these values to inflation, rather than having them remain fixed? The founders didn't know about inflation, and the way these clauses are being implemented today is certainly quite different from how they were intended 220 years ago.

For that matter, why not tie the dollar values in *any* legal document to inflation? A decade ago this would have required an army of pen-weilding updaters every year, but now every document can be centrally stored in an uber-database, and updating could be automated completely.

Tlogmer, Mar 19 2002


       Then wouldn't _everything_ end up being inflation-controlled, removing the whole point of inflation?   

       (The point of inflation, as far as I can make out, is to have everybody who holds the inflated currency pay for expenses in proportion to the amount they hold.)
jutta, Mar 19 2002

       I changed the title to make it clearer (if less pithy). Inflation is accidental, as far as I know, driven mostly by private enterprise, not govt.
Tlogmer, Mar 19 2002

       One of the advantages (to the borrower) of a long-term mortgage is that the real value of the fixed payment will go down over time. A $150 monthly payment in 1970 is a more substantial "real" sum than the same $150 payment in 2000.

And inflation - as jutta rightly points out - is an incentive for doing something with money. If my $20 will garner the same goods and services 30 years from now as it does today, then I'm not going to lose anything by sitting on it.

In short, inflation spurs growth.
quarterbaker, Mar 19 2002

       Yes, inflation acts as an incentive to make your wealth productive. But it is not something that the government nor anyone else creates in order to spur growth. As I understand it, inflation is a consequence of the creation of wealth. As humans go around pulling stuff out of the ground (e.g., potatoes) and by the sweat of our brow making something more useful with it (e.g., a sweaty Mr. Potato Head), we create value that wasn't there before our brows got all sweaty. Sooner or later, some of that extra value ends up in the bank. And sooner or later, most, possibly all, of the products we create are consumed and one way or another end up back in the ground. As more wealth chases a supply of goods that at least does not grow as fast as the wealth, inflation results.   

       Inflation's just a measure of all that sweat that's been accumulating over the eons.
beauxeault, Mar 19 2002

       Again, this idea would only apply to legal documents, not anything else. Inflation itself would continue unabated; the government would simply adjust to it automatically.
Tlogmer, Mar 19 2002

       This would terrify all those in Scotland still paying feudal dues on their houses. People often have to pay "Superiority's" fees when they buy the house. Because it is dated from so long ago, this is a very nominal sum. Chuck on inflation and the housing market would run into all sorts of problems.
mcscotland, Mar 19 2002

       mcscotland, as far as I am aware, only residents of Midlothian are still paying feudal duties. The Amendment of Land Registration (Scotland) Act 1979 made it possible to redeem (ie get rid of) feu duties. Very few feu duties still operate. As of the end of 2002 the Abolition of Feudal Tenure (Scotland) Act 2000 will make them a thing of the past.
calum, Mar 19 2002

       True, you could always redeem the due, but I believe the redemtion sum proportional to the due? And true, we'd only have to worry about the Inflationary Legal document till 2002 (ahh, devolution, what a good idea).
mcscotland, Mar 19 2002


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