Magazine July 12, 2021, Issue

Threat Inflation

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Why the 1970s aren’t coming back

Inflation has been rising. That’s not up for debate. How worried we should be about it is.

Americans learned that inflation could be painful in the 1970s. Between 1966 and 1983, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) tripled. In addition to leaving households with less buying power, inflation pulled them into higher tax brackets. It raised taxes on capital, too. And because it was not only high but erratic, it imposed pervasive costs. Firms had less ability to plan for the future, and had to make frequent changes to prices and wages. Inflation zoomed to the top of the public’s list of

(Federal Reserve Economic Data)

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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.

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