Headlines are abuzz with the return of inflation, which, according to some measures, is now reaching 40 year highs. Considering that vanquishing inflation is supposed to be the one undisputed achievement of neoliberalism, why is it rising? Many explanations – from excessive money creation to disrupted supply chains to tightening labour markets and a post-lockdown surge in demand are offered.
The view that it would be a short term affair is giving way to a more sobering assessment of its persistence, particularly since geopolitical conflict gave inflation a booster shot. As for its solution, one thing is clear, dealing with it as Paul Volcker famously did in the late 1970s is not a politically affordable option for governments beholden to elites whose outrageous fortunes depend on low interest rates.
This panel will seek to examine this phenomenon by asking question such as why is inflation rising? Can we expect it persist? What are the major policy-options being discussed and what are their political implications of each? How should socialists think about this new problem?