In 1971 the quantity of money started to grow more rapidly. As always happens, inflation wasn’t affected for a time. But by late 1972 it started to respond. In early ’73, the government reacted. It started to cut monetary growth. But inflation continued to soar for a time. The delayed reaction made 1973 a very tough year of recession. Inflation tumbled only when the government demonstrated its determination to keep monetary growth in check. It took five years to squeeze inflation out of the system. Japan had attained relative stability. Unfortunately, there’s no way to avoid the difficult road the Japanese had to follow before they could have both low inflation and a healthy economy. First, they had to live through a recession until slow monetary growth had its delayed effect on inflation. Inflation is just like alcoholism. In both cases, when you start drinking or when you start printing too much money, the good effects come first and the bad effects only come later. That’s why in both cases there is a strong temptation to overdo it, to drink too much and to print too much money. When it comes to the cure, it’s the other way around. When you stop drinking or when you stop printing money, the bad effects come first and the good effects only come later. That’s why it’s so hard to persist with the cure. In the United States, four times in the 20 years after 1957, we undertook the cure. But each time we lacked the will to continue. As a result, we had all the bad effects and none of the good effects. Japan, on the other hand, by sticking to a policy of slowing down the printing presses for five years, was, by 1978 able to reap all the benefits: low inflation and a recovering economy. But there is nothing special about Japan. Every country that has had the courage to persist in a policy of slow monetary growth has been able to cure inflation and at the same time achieve a healthy economy.