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The Fed's pricey trade-off

Regarding the opinion-page article "Thanks for the Slowdown, but Did We Really Need It?" June 5: While the author is correct to take the Fed to task for holding interest rates too high and growth rates too low, he is completely off the mark in suggesting that a slightly higher inflation rate would be an acceptable trade-off.

Brazil's Finance Minister Pedro Milan recently said it is "the cruelest and most oppressive tax on the poor." The Fed wants to hold economic growth to the increase in population (1 percent) plus the increase in productivity (1.5 percent) to prevent inflation. With the fate of our $7 trillion economy hinging on how well the Fed understands productivity, we should make sure that this issue remains in the national dialogue.

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David P. Tomell Geneva, Ill.