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The textbook –and correct- answer is that debtors benefit from inflation, and that creditors get hurt.

The “have’s” --by definition—- benefit from inflation. The have-not’s, have not, because they are its victims.

How does the layman explain aparent contradiction?

If both of these statements are true (of which im not completely convinced), the have nots cannot become haves by lending capital to haves. The have nots must allocate some of thier capital to equity in order to explicity become haves and thereby take advantage of this inherent relationship.

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