FUN WITH INFLATION....

FUN WITH INFLATION. Man, monetary policy is the most boring subject ever. Nevertheless, it's utterly, crucially important to people's lives. Ergo, it's worth pointing out that Robert Samuelson's column on why we must fear inflation is bunk. As he notes, the trouble with inflation is "that inflationary psychology, once embedded in price- and wage-setting practices, is stubborn and destructive." But the thing about the current rise in inflation is that wages haven't been rising above trend productivity growth. Quite the reverse -- productivity has risen much faster than wages over the current economic cycle. Ergo, we're not yet at the point where one need be concerned about a wage-price spiral.

That, at least, is the argument the anti-anti-inflation lobby is making. Yet Samuelson doesn't acknowledge the point at all or try in any way to debunk it.

--Matthew Yglesias

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