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Thirty years ago, many economists argued that inflation was a kind of minor inconvenience and that the cost of reducing inflation was too high a price to pay. No one would make those arguments today.
The price of imported oil in the US doubled between summer 2003 and summer 2005, reducing consumers' purchasing power by more than 1 per cent of gross domestic product.
The only way that we can reduce our financial dependence on the inflow of funds from the rest of the world is to reduce our trade deficit.
The more competitive value of the dollar turned around the trade deficit.
The good news is that a competitive dollar in the global market and a strong dollar at home are compatible in both the long run and during the transition to a more competitive dollar.
So just as I want pilots on the planes that I fly, when it comes to monetary policy, I want to think that there is someone with sound judgement at the controls.
My theme this evening is that America needs a competitive dollar.
Inflation is lower and more stable and the real business cycle fluctuations are more modest.
Increased government spending can provide a temporary stimulus to demand and output but in the longer run higher levels of government spending crowd out private investment or require higher taxes that weaken growth by reducing incentives to save, invest, innovate, and work.
In short, both experience and economic theory imply that the US could now t to a more competitive dollar without experiencing either increased inflation or decreased economic growth.
If the Federal Reserve pursues a strong dollar at home while the dollar becomes more competitive in global markets, we can achieve both price stability and a more balanced path of economic growth.
I think that over the last few decades, we have seen better economic outcomes than in the past.
Homeowners who refinanced their mortgages took out cash and reduced their monthly payments at the same time. Much of the cash obtained by refinancing was spent on consumer durables, home improvements and the like.
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