The Corner

Niall Ferguson Cries “Inflation!”

In Newsweek the pundit claims that “double-digit inflation is back”: “The way inflation is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been ‘improved’ 24 times since 1978. If the old methods were still used, the CPI would actually be 10 percent.” If Ferguson is right about inflation, it leaves two possibilities. Either our statistics on the size of the economy in current-dollar terms–which ought to be easier to compile than any numbers on inflation–are hopelessly flawed. Or the real (that is, inflation-adjusted) size of the economy is shrinking rapidly. Instead of 1.8 percent real growth, in the last few months we’ve been going through something more like 7 percent real shrinkage. (Nominal growth, remember, has to equal inflation plus real growth.) Is that even remotely plausible? Does Ferguson believe this rate of shrinkage is compatible with even the modest job increases we’ve seen? Or does he doubt the unemployment stats too?

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

White House

Out of Order

A  question in the spirit of Donald Trump’s tweets this morning might be: Who’s trying harder to crash U.S. markets, the president of the United States or the president of China? After Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell didn’t forecast the loosening of monetary policy that Trump craves and China ... Read More
Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More