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Correlation does not equal causation.

There was a world war going on in the period from 1914-1917, when inflation of the dollar was at it's highest ever [1]. It's possible that the effect could have been much worse if we were still on the gold standard, as total war tends to drive up the price of precious metals.

Fiat currency isn't a bad thing. You can't build the largest economic empire in history when your currency is tied to the price of shiny rocks.

[1] http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-in...

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