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John Authers

What Inflation in 2022 Will Teach Us About Capitalism

Whether price rises become embedded next year will depend on workers and companies resolving one of the core tensions at the heart of the modern economy.

Workers have regained power. 

Workers have regained power. 

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In 2021, inflation returned. After a year-long debate, nobody can any longer deny this. Next year, we will discover whether it’s here to stay and how much bitter economic medicine will be required to quell it.

On this vital issue, opinion is as divided as ever. Optimists still maintain that even if inflation has turned out to be more than a transitory blip, it will soon die down. Whether they’re right depends on the outcome of some of capitalism’s most profound conflicts.