THE ECONOMY: Blame the Non-Goods

Widespread among economists and politicians are two standard beliefs about the behavior of prices in the U.S. in recent years: 1) from 1952 through 1955 the Government's cost-of-living index held steady only because an increase in the price of manufactured goods was balanced by a decrease in food prices; 2) today the main inflationary factor in the economy is a vicious circle in which big unions keep pushing up wages and big corporations keep pushing up prices.

The facts, as New York Timesman Edwin L. Dale Jr., 33, reported this week: 1) in 1952-55, retail prices of manufactured goods, as well...

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