We are headed for the Great Deflation – a period spanning a decade or more of very slow growth, rising unemployment, flat or falling real wages, fewer employer-provided benefits and increasing pressures on government finances.

People borrowed money because they had to. Income growth simply did not keep pace with prices in housing, health care, transportation, energy and food. Much of the debt that families borrowed to finance their consumption came from overseas, which contributed to record high trade deficits. And, the situation is further exacerbated by the fact that productivity growth, the battery in the Energizer Bunny, seems to be running out of juice, since businesses haven’t invested enough in the face of lower demand for their products.

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Christian E. Weller

Senior Fellow