“Real wages” are often presented as a neutral measure of the ability of households to buy definite quantities of real goods after adjusting for changes in both prices and wages. In reality, "real wages" explain far less about household economic well-being than these stories confidently imply.
Healthcare policy interventions could provide downward pressure on core PCE both in 2022 and in the years ahead. Given the salience of inflation, disinflationary healthcare policies should be a key priority for Congress and the Biden Administration alike.
Despite widespread use by commentators and policymakers, the models commonly used to argue for the importance of "inflation expectations" are difficult to confirm empirically, and risk a hawkish policy bias.
Whenever inflation becomes a part of political or economic discourse, policymakers and commentators instinctively reach for narratives and models drawn from the experience of the 1970s inflation. However, these models offer little explanation for even adjacent experiences of inflation.
Creative approaches to financing investment in public assets and the private sector abound throughout American history. The New Deal, the CARES Act and other legislation have made use of government corporations, equity purchases and loan guarantees to generate durable and appreciating public assets.