Economists, Home Economists Differ on Threat of Inflation

CHICAGO. Miles Wozyrminski is considered a wunderkind in the highly-competitive field of academic economics, and at the age of 34 is already being mentioned as a potential Nobel Prize winner in what is mordantly referred to as “the dismal science.” “He combines the analytical and the intuitive in a way that’s really striking,” says Jacob Orthween, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has served as a peer reviewer on some of Wozyrminski’s academic papers. “If he says inflation is coming, you’d better get out of fixed-income bonds and into hedges like real estate, baseball cards, and Star Wars collectible figurines.”

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Wozyrminski is indeed an inflation “hawk,” and has been trying without success to persuade the Federal Reserve that they are misreading storm clouds on the horizon that could return the U.S. economy to the bad old days of the late seventies, when interest rates climbed to banana republic levels topping 20% per annum, crushing many businesses with higher debt service. “I have left several messages for Jerome Powell,” the current chair of the Fed, Wozyrminski says, “His secretary says he has to leave shortly to get a smoothie whenever I call.”

But Myrna Tektold, a prize-winning home economist from Knob Noster, Missouri, says the Fed is right to give the youngish “Chicago School” economist and his similarly-minded brethren the brush-off. “Those ivory tower dingbats don’t know what they’re talking about,” she says in a telephone interview. “Inflation pales next to the problem of greasy tomato stains on Tupperware containers.”

Nobel Prize-winning home economists.

Economics is the study of the production, consumption and transfer of wealth. Home economics is the study of food preparation for home consumption and the cleaning of structures occupied by individuals as their homes. “The two branches of the discipline diverged with the first Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1949,” says Nina Bustian, a professor of home economics at the University of Iowa-Keokuk. “Observers at the time noted that home economists produced delicious dishes such as pineapple right-side-up cake and pigs in a blanket, while regular economists just churned out boring ‘white papers’ that tasted terrible.”

Tomato stains on plastic containers continue to frustrate homemakers despite extensive research into possible techniques for removing them. “Rubbing alcohol was touted as a breakthrough in the fifties,” says Bustian, “then it was overtaken by hand sanitizer. It’s an improvement, but who wants tuna noodle casserole leftovers that taste like the hands of an emergency room nurse?”

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