I think it is time to retire the “Civil War on the Left” series and replace it with The Liberal Crackup, because the left is indeed crumbling. And let’s start with the genius idea for a remedy for inflation: price controls! That’s the recommendation from (who else) The Guardian:
We have a powerful weapon to fight inflation: price controls. It’s time we consider it
By Isabella Weber (assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Today, there is once more a choice between tolerating the ongoing explosion of profits that drives up prices or tailored controls on carefully selected prices. Price controls would buy time to deal with bottlenecks that will continue as long as the pandemic prevails. Strategic price controls could also contribute to the monetary stability needed to mobilize public investments towards economic resilience, climate change mitigation and carbon-neutrality. The cost of waiting for inflation to go away is high. Senator Manchin’s withdrawal from the Build Back Better Act demonstrates the threat of a shrinking policy space at a time when large scale government action is in order. Austerity would be even worse: it risks manufacturing stagflation.
We need a systematic consideration of strategic price controls as a tool in the broader policy response to the enormous macroeconomic challenges instead of pretending there is no alternative beyond wait-and-see or austerity.
This was too much even for (check notes) Paul Krugman!
Krugman has deleted this tweet, lest he be accused of sexism of white economist privilege or something. But we should applaud whenever he has a stopped-clock moment.