I don’t really understand this, except as a fundamental unwillingness to face up to the Nipponization of the US economy.

And try an (admittedly imperfect) thought experiment: What kind of play would you give the story if core inflation hit the highest level in fifty-seven years?

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.