Thanksgiving at my home was a delightful affair. We enjoyed a large family gathering, well-seasoned with old and new friends. Nobody spoke of inflation, which is always a welcomed thing. In fact, my advice to anyone whose Thanksgiving table is despoiled by macroeconomics, is to establish hard fines for such talk next year. Still, there’s no way to avoid noticing a change in prices this season, and it is helpful to try to make some sense of the data.

A price increase is not inflation. We see them all the time, of if there is a natural disaster or some other irregularity that disrupts supply. Prices go up when people are willing to pay more, such as for flights during the holidays or Florida rentals during spring break. We are used to seeing these and making adjustments accordingly. However, this time is different in a few important ways.

Michael Hicks may be reached by email at