Federal act is reducing inflation

Reading T.J. Sexton’s letter, “No antidote for inflation” (MyVillager Inbox, August 17), I was reminded of what my high school economics teacher told us: Those who lecture their opponents as people who “don’t understand economics” can fail to understand it themselves.

Controlling inflation is primarily the job of the Federal Reserve, which is currently operating in a global economy where supply and demand have been thrown off balance by major crises. But Congress can provide support to help the Fed do its job in the longer term. There is a reason why 126 top-tier economists, including Nobel Prize winners Joe Stiglitz and Robert Solow, wrote to Congress to support the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Part of the problem is there is too much demand relative to supply. By taxing those with means who have avoided paying their fair share and reducing the amount we spend on prescription drugs, the IRA pulls excess money out of the economy. The IRA also increases supply in important areas such as the energy sector by increasing drilling and fast-track permitting and pipelines to lower gas prices in the short term. It also wisely provides incentives to reduce dependence on fossil fuels in the long term.

Even measures that are not inherently disinflationary, such as extending health care subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, still shift the cost of inflation from Americans who are struggling to those who have the means but have avoided the responsibility. This allows working Americans to weather the storm better than we otherwise would.

Sexton is right to say the middle class bears the burden of inflation. But the problem is an unsustainable system that places power in corporations and the wealthy, not measures giving working families security. We need more measures like the IRA and less austerity.

Chris Russert
Lexington-Hamline

A treasure, not a traffic problem

The city of Saint Paul has proposed that Summit Avenue be remodeled to be more multi-modal, essentially accommodating more bikes. Saint Paul is about to experiment with one of its unique features and conform it to the traffic standards of suburban America. Yet none of the buildings along Summit conform to regional or national standards. They are old buildings, and that is their glory.

 

house ad

 

Why is Summit Avenue approached as a traffic problem? Are the traffic committees of the district councils really the correct place for this discussion? Discussion should begin with protecting a national treasure rather than how can we adapt the “national standards” to fit this treasure.

I don’t live on Summit Avenue, but if this experiment results in people leaving and home values falling, it will be a blow to the entire city.

Donn Waage
Macalester-Groveland

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Robert Bushard, Merriam Park

    But the problem is an unsustainable system that places power in corporations and the wealthy, not measures giving working families security.

    But the problem is an unsustainable system that places power in corporations?
    Like FaceBook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Big Pharmaceuticals?

    And the wealthy?
    Like Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Tim Cook and Jeff Bezos?

    Not measures giving working families security?

    Like vaccine mandates and shutting down the energy sector to save the planet from the weather channel?

    Actually the big problem is Biden.

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