I was reading that the Spanish received so much gold from their occupation of the Americas, that they had a steep rise in inflation. This caused a rapid increase in investment, as the rich felt that they could no longer just sit on their money and had the effect of rising the demand for labor which created one of the strongest middle classes that had ever been seen. I always hear that inflation is bad, but is it really? It seems like we need inflation to spur investment and growth.
From an individual view, depends on if you're a net lender or borrower. If there is an unexpected increase in inflation and I'm a net borrower, then I pay the same nominal amount but effectively less than initially agreed upon (i.e. Less real dollars). The opposite if I'm a net lender.