Catherine Rampell has been hanging around with the experts again, this time economists at the American Economic Association meeting in San Antonio. From her time with the PhDs, Rampell happened upon the howler that “we largely have the Federal Reserve to thank” for the decline in what she imagines inflation to be.
Yes, we can thank Jerome Powell and friends for managing the infinite decisions and actions taking place every millisecond around the world on the way to lower prices.
Rampell would profit from a bit more skepticism about the ability of central planners to tame prices, along with some more historical knowledge too. While it’s accepted wisdom among economists that Arthur Burns authored the 1970s inflationary breakout, he did no such thing. As his diaries make plain, along with historical accounts from Allen Matusow and Steven Hayward, Burns was passionately opposed to President Nixon’s decision to sever the dollar’s link to gold. The latter was the inflation, the rising prices that followed the effect.
In Rampell’s case, she thinks it insults Powell to compare him to Burns, which means Rampell is weak on history in addition to her attempts to define inflation.
Read the entire opinion piece at Forbes.