In speeches before various groups when I was young, I used to say that I would rather have a hundred dollar bill in my pocket when bread cost a hundred dollars than nothing in my pocket if bread cost a nickle. An extreme example of recession and inflation, of course, but then stagflation came along where inflation with high prices was right alongside a recession.
A true, competitive, free market economy would not allow this to happen. Economists have always used recessions and depression to combat inflation because they could. A status quo power structure will always try to protect itself and too many voters do not understand economics. Fear of inflation has been a successful motivating force for money-power controllers. Cheap labor and unemployment results from Big Business, without competive forces, taking inappropriate action. Inflation can be curbed by many methods other than recessions and depressions.