July 9, 2020 Boston

The ‘Phillips Curve,’ in the scriptures, anyway …

In economics, students learn about something called the “Phillips Curve,” which depicts an inverse relationship, at least in the short run, between inflation and unemployment. They also learn about the debate over this relationship, including Milton Friedman’s prophetic late-1960s analysis leading him to conclude the inverse relationship wouldn’t last.

Here’s a look at how many times the words “inflation” and “unemployment” appear in the annual Financial Report of the U.S. Government, every year since 1998. Any wagers on what this picture will look like after the next Financial Report of the U.S. Government comes out in early 2021, for fiscal (September 30) year 2020, and in coming years?

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