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John Tamny’s Quizzical Statement

Summary:
In one of the lead letters in the Wall Street Journal on 12/20/21 (print edition on 12/21/21), John Tamny closes with the following statement: The state of the consumer-price index is a political phenomenon born of panic, not an inflationary story of dollar-price decline. I assume that by “dollar-price decline,” Tamny means a decline in the value of the dollar; otherwise it wouldn’t be an “inflationary story.” But Tamny doesn’t deny that consumer prices have risen a lot. Another way of saying that consumer prices have risen a lot is that the value of the dollar has fallen. So the CPI increase is a story of dollar-price decline. Does anyone know any interpretation of Tamny’s sentence that both fits the recent data and is not contradictory? Note: Lawrence H. White,

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John Tamny’s Quizzical Statement

In one of the lead letters in the Wall Street Journal on 12/20/21 (print edition on 12/21/21), John Tamny closes with the following statement:

The state of the consumer-price index is a political phenomenon born of panic, not an inflationary story of dollar-price decline.

I assume that by “dollar-price decline,” Tamny means a decline in the value of the dollar; otherwise it wouldn’t be an “inflationary story.” But Tamny doesn’t deny that consumer prices have risen a lot. Another way of saying that consumer prices have risen a lot is that the value of the dollar has fallen.

So the CPI increase is a story of dollar-price decline.

Does anyone know any interpretation of Tamny’s sentence that both fits the recent data and is not contradictory?

Note: Lawrence H. White, “Inflation,” in David R. Henderson, ed., The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, is still one of the best overall concise treatments of inflation.

David Henderson
David R. Henderson (born November 21, 1950) is a Canadian-born American economist and author who moved to the United States in 1972 and became a U.S. citizen in 1986, serving on President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.[1] A research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution[2] since 1990, he took a teaching position with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1984, and is now a full professor of economics.[3]

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