By itself, inflation (rising prices) may be annoying , but it’s fundamentally harmless. I.e., suppose your job paid $50,000 a year, the inflation rate was 10% and prices increased by 10%. That 10% rise in current prices for bread, gasoline and homes might be mathematically annoying, but those increases in current prices would make no real difference so long as your current income were also increased by 10% to $55,000 per year. So long as your current income is inflated right along with the current prices of goods and services, inflation is basically harmless.
The same is true for deflation (falling prices). If 10% deflation causes your current annual income to fall from $50,000 to $45,000, you’re not fundamentally hurt (or enriched) so long as the prices of bread, gasoline and homes simultaneously fall by 10%.
However, while inflation and deflation are intrinsically harmless relative to current prices, they can have lethal effects with regard to pre-existing debts. The effects of inflation and deflation on debt can provide the primary stimulus (during inflation) or threat (during deflation) to our economy.