When Inflation Rips Apart a Country

| Fri Jan. 16, 2009 12:20 PM EST

It's kind of amusing that Zimbabwe is printing a $100 trillion note, but the mind-blowing inflation in that country is destroying what vestiges of a civil society remain there. CNN:

Even vegetable vendors prefer the U.S. dollar, South African rand or Botswanan pula, and most workers now demand their salaries in foreign currency. Doctors and nurses have been on strike since last September, demanding salaries in U.S. dollars. The strike coincided with a cholera epidemic that now has claimed more than 2,000 lives.
Last week, the state media reported that most teachers had left their jobs. As a result, the end-of-year examinations taken in November are yet to be graded after the markers demanded their wages in foreign currency. Schools are yet to re-open this year awaiting the examination results.

The inflation rate in Zimbabwe is currently over 230,000,000%. I really have no idea what that looks like in real terms. I once found an anecdote about what 200,000% inflation looks like; you can find it here.

(H/T Boing Boing)

Get Mother Jones by Email - Free. Like what you're reading? Get the best of MoJo three times a week.