Full Employment, Planning and Inflation

“Full Employment, Planning and Inflation.” Institute of Public Affairs Review 4 (6) (Melbourne, Australia 1950).


“In the five years that have elapsed since the war, central planning, “full employment,” and inflationary pressure  have been the three features which have dominated economic policy in the greater parts of the world. Of these only full employment can be regarded as desirable in itself. Central planning, direction, or government controls, however we dare to call it, is at best a means which must be judged by the results. Inflation, even “repressed inflation,” is undoubtedly an evil, though some would say a necessary evil if other desirable aims are to be achieved. It is part of the price we pay for having committed ourselves to a policy of full employment and central planning.

The new fact which is brought about this situation is not a greater desire to avoid unemployment that existed before the war. It is the new belief that a higher level of employment can be permanently maintained by monetary pressure than would be possible without it. The pursuit of a policy based on these beliefs has somewhat unexpectedly shown that inflation and government controls are its necessary accompaniments—unexpected not by all, but by probably the majority of those who advocated those policies.”

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