I haven't seen much in the media that explains why inflations has stayed so low, and I don't know how much of it has to do with Fed policy. Much more impactful, as I see it, are at least three things: (1) The results of Moore's Law, which predicts that computing power would increase incrementally while its cost would shrink. From home PCs to the Internet to the cloud, look at how this has driven new businesses--which can produce phenomenal revenue with relatively few jobs. This is one reason for (2) Today’s real average wage (that is, the wage after accounting for inflation) has about the same purchasing power it did 40 years ago, as Pew data shows--aside from the highest-wage workers, of course. Personally, I see comparable jobs in publishing paying the same or less in dollars (not inflation-adjusted dollars, plain old dollars) as I was making 30 years ago. Even when we saw "full" employment, economists were stumped as to why wages didn't grow. That's because we humans were being replaced by automation or AI, and white-collar managers were deemed unnecessary. Who wanted and benefitted from "flat" organizations? And (3) what I call the Walmart Effect. There were discount stores before Walmart, but they did not have the intention and clout to demand that their suppliers reduce what they charged for any given product year after year. Other retailers had to stay close to Walmart prices or die. Consumers didn't see prices go up for food or clothing (although housing & healthcare costs soared), so the constraints on consumer pricing masked the effects of stalled wages. Then, online businesses brought prices down further by disrupting whole businesses, including Amazon, Netflix, Uber, AirBnB, etc. All this caused complacency, while the rich got richer and richer and richer. All this is in support of what John says. Corporations and the GOP have been feeding off us for too long!

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Another related topic: student debt and prospect of debt cancellation. It's floated on the sidelines, but it should be central for 4 key reasons.

1) Moral: Debt financing of college was a Reagan-era sea change. It was built through tax cuts and reduced federal funding to support state budgets and public-financed postsecondary education. To offset the possible decline in student enrollments owing to rising college costs, student lending was turbocharged. The result has been waste, fraud, financially-driven dropouts, lots of interest payments, an exploding debt collection industry (aided abetted by medical bankruptcy), and much else. And it's debt that is harder to escape, requiring add'l legal steps to be discharged via bankruptcy.

2) Financial: Money spent on other aspects of the economy is instead spent paying back loans, often undercutting the ostensible goal of the education--to raise the overall living standard for the impoverished, the working class or the lower middle class. It would likely inject money into our economy right away, which is otherwise being paid mostly to...the U.S. government.

3) Political: Politics is a blood sport. You don't get a trophy for coming in second. Students voted heavily Democratic. They should be rewarded on of the key policy issues that moved that vote: student debt relief. And how good is the politics of student debt relief? 43 million individuals. Now compare that to the minimum wage problem. How many federal minimum wage (or lower) workers are there? Around 1.7 million.

4) Legislative: Biden can actually cancel student loans (or rather student debt) by executive order. While Republicans might contest this in court, a legislative approach, unless it can be done as another reconciliation vote, will not occur. In the scheme of things, it's one of the easiest pro-growth, pro-voter, pro-right thing to do tacks to take.

And no, there really is little in the way of moral hazard to consider; good press will heavily outweigh bad press (regardless of how Fox News will play it); and, no, it won't affect banks because the U.S. holds all of the loans. The cost of the $50K cap per borrower cancellation plan? $650B (1/3 of the current relief plan) and the likely resultant bump in consumer spending will put much of that behind us in short order. My biggest concern ironically enough is you might see a housing bubble because finally student debt strugglers can finally start families and buy homes.

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Second paragraph: both concepts cannot be "latter".

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Gah! Former! I fixed it now. Thanks.

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