Andrew Elrod joins Money on the Left to discuss the political economy of inflation and price controls, past and present. Elrod holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is presently Research Specialist at United Teachers Los Angeles, a 36,000-member labor union. In our conversation, Elrod overturns one of the most common understandings of a central plot point in our collective memory of the 1970s, and which continues to shape dramatic engagement with the problem of “inflation” today: the notion that stagflation was both a consequence of factors exogenous to politics and the catalyst for austerity in the United States and across the world. In doing so, Elrod locates human agency—not autonomous “price signals” or exogenous shocks—as the most formidable instrument for dealing with post-Covid inflation.
Link to Elrod's recent essay for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth titled 'Austerity policies in the United States caused 'stagflation' in the 1970s and would do so again today':