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Plain Talk: What's causing inflation, and what can we do about it?

Dr. David Flynn, an economist from the University of North Dakota, joins this episode of Plain Talk to discuss the deeply complicated issue of inflation.

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North Dakota's average gas price reached a record high of $4.62 per gallon on Tuesday, June 7, but prices are marginally lower in Bismarck (pictured above).
Jeremy Turley / Forum News Service
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MINOT, N.D. — Inflation is a real problem. It's making us poorer. Your wages aren't being cut, but the cost of living your life is growing faster than what you earn.

Fuel prices are up. Utility bills are going higher. Groceries cost more. Hell, everything costs more.

Your slice of the American pie is getting smaller.

But the subject of inflation is a lot more complicated than what's presented by the politicians and the pundits. On this episode of Plain Talk, Dr. David Flynn, a professor of economics at the University of North Dakota, discussed what's causing inflation, and what can be done about it.

One of the hardest parts of talking about this subject is that there's many different causes that necessitate many solutions. Interest rates are part of the solution, but then so is trade policy. How can we ease supply line snaggles? How can we shorten supply lines? How can we make our economy more nimble so that it can respond to change without necessarily driving up prices?

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And how do we drive the wage-price spiral? Where higher cost wages drive higher-cost goods and services which in turn creates demand for higher wages again? Earning more money is good, except it doesn't mean much when the cost of living is growing about as fast.

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I'm just not seeing a constituency of North Dakota voters that Mund could appeal to that's large enough to lead her to victory. But, again, that's assuming that she's running to win, and not as a way to keep her celebrity alive post-Miss America.
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We can hold accountable the people who tell lies for profit, but what do we do about the demand side of the equation?

Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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Something somewhat similar happened in North Dakota in 2014.