While i was new to the countries i was in Uruguay and Argentina during their economic crisis in early 2000's. The argentine peso had been pegged to the USD one to one and that fell apart. It was a very hard experience for many people. The pesos very quickly went from parallel to the USD to worth a third of a dollar. The government forcibly converted all USD bank accounts in to pesos and took the dollars for its foreign trade reserves. When people made a run on the banks to take out cash they put a 'corralito' or little corral, preventing people from taking out more than a few hundred dollars worth of pesos per month. The economy collapsed, economic activity dropped by 80% in a single month. Popular uprisings overthrew 4 presidents in 2 weeks.
There were tremendous social movements rose up and were really inspiring around community non-money markets, coops, and mutual aid. The movie, the take, is a good way to get a sense of it. There's also the argentine netflix tv show [okupas](https://www.netflix.com/title/814433630 which is a dramatic version of the events from the perspective of the poor.
It was very hard on the middle class. Many people could not make their mortgage payments, lost their jobs, and were thrown in to poverty. The poor did relatively better because they went in to it with much stronger mutual aid support networks. Over 30,000 worker cooperatives were formed in response to the crisis with workers occupying their bankrupt workplaces.
Now in terms of thinking about inflation now? First off a lot of argentines kept paper dollars, setup foreign denominated bank accounts overseas, and as inflation went on cryptocurrencies. This is why core smart contract libraries like OpenZeppelin were created by argentine programmers. Anybody who could find work remote overseas did and continues to do that. Lots of people emigrated. There was an official exchange rate, which limited the conversion of pesos to usd, officially to prevent people from committing tax fraud. That meant there was an underground exchange rate, it was very public, called the blue dolar, and it's rate was published daily in the newspaper. Everybody used the blue dolar rate and converted any money they didn't need for daily expenses in to dollars. When i lived there much later, in 2014 the official rate had it 8 or 9 to the dollar but the blue dolar was at 16, so we used that to buy pesos to live and friends would sell us dollars so they could have savings. But you can use dollars for anything from a taxi ride to a restaurant because everybody wants dollars.
At the moment, now in 2021 the blue dolar is at 190 to 1 to the USD and the official rate is around 100 pesos to each USD. If you'd kept a dollar worth of pesos from 2001 it'd be worth half of one US cent now.
People who had cash converted it in to physical goods which were inflation proof. Cars, houses, land, collectables, stuff basically. It's inflation proof. If you had a mortgage and the interest rate was fixed then you benefited the most. Anything you had pre-inflation with a fixed interest rate was essentially given to you for free. This experience would be worth thinking about as selling property because of inflation might not be a good choice. The market for selling property basically grinds to a hault.
Ok, so you've got high inflation, how do you handle it? Governments sometimes do things which make things complicated. They set price controls on essential goods. In Argentina you could buy 2 half dozen packages of eggs for a few cents, but if you wanted to buy more than 12 eggs at a time it would cost you several dollars. It does keep people fed. They also tend to not raise the prices of utilities so electricity becomes very cheap, and when the prices adjust, very expensive.
To get out of it the government creates a series of virtual currencies. Uruguay UI, UR, and the peso. The UI and UR are published currencies which things can be priced in but which aren't actually traded. UI is indexed and UR is recalculated. Honestly i don't remember exactly how they decide their value. But your salary is paid in pesos, but every six months they'll readjust it on a national scale based on inflation as calculated in a UI or UR. The government does this, so all computer programmers might get a %10 raise every 6 months, to account for increased cost of living. These adjustments make economic planning and working as employee possible. Venezuela doesn't seem to be doing this, or doing it effectively, so people have jobs which don't pay enough to buy a cup of coffee.
Mortgages and loans are also issued in these inflation adjusted currencies or a stable currency like the USD.
So while the US isn't a place that's had inflation since the early 80's it does have a ton of economists who've studied inflation. Some people and sectors benefit from inflation, while others are hurt by it. Because it's a capitalist economy, somebody benefits from everything, so will fight to keep that.
The lessons i took away are that community is critical, you can get through a lot if you've got a good network of mutual aid. Once things adjust there are a ton of financial instruments which allow economies to function with moderate or high inflation. Stuff is more valuable than the paper currency if it is going through massive inflation. And everybody diversifies away form the local currency.
Now if the USD has high inflation it'll be a bigger impact because it's the principal reserve currency of governments, so it'll be messy for a while. That said, I don't think it'll be anything like what the crypto maximalists think or like what happened to Argentina.
Comments about tight-knit communities reminded me of something @humberto said in this post:
You want to survive the collapse? Get to know your neighbors, and organize some mutual aid, and keep at it.
I've lived my teen years in the period of worst inflation in Brazil, in which prices got raised by some 10 orders of magnitude over a period of 8 years, and several currency reforms turned thousands into units. I was financially dependent on my parents and we were in a comfortable situation, in upper middle class and without debt, so I don't really know what it was like to be a grownup with bills and morgages to pay, but I do recall a shocking peak inflation rate of some 86% in a single month, January 1989 IIRC. a couple of years later, as I moved to another city for college and rented a place with roommates, our rent got a price hike every few months, adjusted by some official inflation rate written in the contract, to several times what we'd paid for the months before, and I recall how my allowance enabled me to live well for a bit, but not long later the same amount was not enough for even trivial expenses. it's very hard to make plans when the currency numbers stop making sense as a measure of value. people would run to the supermarket on (monthly) pay day and buy supplies for the whole month, because next day things would be more expensive. for most people, whatever they didn't spend right away would be worth less later; banking industry thrived as the only way to protect savings was to rely on "investments" with returns matching inflation rates, or other goods or foreign currencies that wouldn't devalue as quickly as the local one, but these were for people who could have savings to begin with. for most people with formal jobs, I suppose the hope for solvency was the automatic salary adjustments built into most (mandatory union) contracts every few months, or every time aggregate inflation hit a certain amount. that offered some relief every few months, as the adjustment may seemed to make expenses bearable, but they were mostly illusory: though they restored some of the puchasing power, it also fed the growing inflation cycles, so the adjustments never really caught up