The broad-based support for price stability is at risk today in the United States and in Europe. Prominent voices in academia, the media, the International Monetary Fund, and inside the Federal Reserve have proposed that the commitment to price stability should be relaxed in one way or another to concentrate on achieving more pressing objectives. The inflationist policy proposals are varied with respect to their objectives and operating guides. For instance, the objectives range from reducing unemployment, to depreciating the real public debt, to facilitating international adjustment within the Euro area. In the paper, I compare and contrast various inflationist proposals and consider their overall advisability in light of lessons from the Great Inflation.
The Federal Reserve’s near zero interest rate policy and $2 trillion dollar balance sheet have done much to stabilize economic and financial conditions in the United States. Yet the recovery from the Great Recession is slow. Net private job creation remains too low to absorb the secular growth in the labor force, let alone what is needed to return to work those who lost their jobs in the Great Recession.