Counterfeiting is illegal.
They put you in jail for it for a reason. The reason that they put you in jail is because it is theft by deception.
By artificially putting more money in the system, you make that money worth less. (Yes I realize that you can counterfeit other things, the theory is the same, but I would rather not go down a different path in this post.) It doesn't matter if it's a bunch of small counterfeiters or 1 great big counterfeiter, the amount of the theft is determined by the total amount of bogus money in the system.
So who are the victims? Well a Keynesian will tell you that the creditors are the victims, because they are being paid back in dollars that are worth less than when they loaned those dollars out in the first place. That is actually partially right, but they neglect to tell you that the value of the stock that creditors issue also increases in price, so they get more invested dollars. They also get to loan out more dollars since the things that they are financing are now more expensive. (if the creditor is a bank, we let them print their own money anyway so this isn't as big of a factor) While the creditors are victims they aren't the biggest victims.
Another thought would be that the wealthy are the victims. Since they have more money, it should hit them harder right? In most cases that would be false.
I'll give you an example..
Lets say Ed is worth $1M dollars and most of it is invested in stocks. He makes $250K a year.
George is living pay to pay, is worth $100K and can't afford to invest in anything. He makes $25K/yr.
Bill is on Social Security, he's has literally zero assets and scraping by on $15K a year.
Todd won the lottery and keeps everything in cash. He is worth $1M. He has no job.
If inflation went up 10% in a given year...
Ed's equities went up 10% as well. He still has the same purchasing power as last year.
George has 90% of his purchasing power.
Bill has 90% of his purchasing power.
Todd spends $100K this year, so the $900K that he has left is worth 90% of last years value.
Now most of you would agree with me that Todd is screwed, but would argue that George and Bill's income would rise with inflation, but that is where the wage/price spiral comes in. Bill being on Social Security would not see an increase in pay till next year. George may see an increase in pay in the middle of the year but that increase in pay increases the price of goods and causes more inflation. Bill's increase in Social Security will cause a raise in prices as well, it will just take longer. They are both victims of the wage price spiral. Their wages will always lag inflation and they struggle just to maintain the same purchasing power. Todd gets screwed even more if their wages go up as well. Ed will be sitting pretty for a while, as inflation goes up, so will the value of his investments. That is until George, Bill and Todd start making cutbacks because they can't afford the same lifestyle that they had before. Then the earnings on his equities go down and he himself finally sees hardship.
Hardship is a relative word. A guy worth 90% of $1M doesn't need to change his lifestyle anywhere near as much as the guy making 90% of $15K.
The sad thing is that when most crooks counterfeit, the bogus money is usually found and taken out of the system. When helicopter Ben prints that money it lasts forever.
Sucks to be Todd...
Disclosure... Chris owns Silver