What's unfortunate though, many economists think that our government should devalue our currency even faster. They believe we need to outpace the devaluation of our currency faster than the other currencies. These economists want inflation, about a 2-4% yearly growth of inflation. While 2-4% inflation a year may seem small, added over a ten year period an 2-4% inflation rate means that goods are now 20-40% more expensive and possibly higher.
Contrary to popular belief, rising prices of goods does not equate to rising wages or higher standards of living. Just because the average costs of goods have raised 20-40% more, it does not mean workers will also receive 20-40% more wages, mainly because wages are set by productivity and costs. In simple terms wage earners are paid what they're worth and not by the rate of inflation.
So why buy gold (real gold)? To get a better sense of things as an MMO player, many MMO players buy virtual gold because they lack the time or willingness to farm for it. The more inflation there is in the MMO economy, the more unwilling people are to spend their time farming virtual gold. In the real world the same thing applies. The more the dollar devalues itself among other currencies including commodities such as gold and silver, the less our currency is worth. Prices of goods rise, cost of living rises, and the price of gold and silver also rises.
Therefore, like in MMOs where players are unwilling to farm dailies or grind virtual gold to maintain or preserve their wealth because of inflation, the more willing they are to buy virtual gold online with just a few minutes of their labor. The only difference is that in the real world, it can take days or weeks for one to be able to purchase gold, but the reason for the purchase remains the same and that is to preserve their wealth from the devaluation of failing currencies.