that all commodities may not get price hike and also the price increase may not be at thesame rate.In 1960s economists discovered that inflation may be possible even without increase inmoney supply and they came with the idea of cost-push inflation. But how cost escalationstarts leading to price rise remains a naughty question.If we collect data for a long list of commodities for the last twenty years we will see thatreal prices of many commodities have gone down (electronics and many consumer goods), while prices of essential goods have increased many fold. This asymmetry in the price behavior makes the problem complex and it creates distortions in the economy bymaking distribution of factors non-optimal.In a symposium sponsored by the Committee for Economic Development on the theme"What is the most important economic problem to be faced by the United States in thenext twenty years?" in 1958 Professor Samuelson commented that the threat beingasked is nothing but inflation. In an explanatory vein he further observed:
"The history of the twentieth century …… has been pretty much a history of rising prices...inflation is itself a problem. But the legitimate and hysterical fears of inflation are - quite asidefrom the evil of inflation itself - likely, in their own right, to be problems. In short, I fear inflation.And I fear the fear of inflation. Avoiding inflation is not an absolute imperative, but rather is oneof a number of conflicting goals that we must pursue and that we may often have to compromise.Even if the military outlook were serene - and it is not - modern democracies must expect in thefuture to be much of the time at, or near, the point where inflation is a concern. Our greatesteconomic problem will be to face that concern realistically, to weigh inflation's quantitative evilagainst the evils of actions taken against it, to develop methods of adjusting to the residue of inflation which attainment of the 'golden mean' might involve. The challenge is great but the prognosis is cheerful."
, Editor Assar Lindbeck, World ScientificPublishing Co., Singapore, 1992 ]2