Some of the terms experts in finance and economics used this morning regarding the 9.1% headline inflation number: hotter-than-expected, fiery, eye-popping. And for any who remember the 1970s and 1980s, perhaps the scariest: another record.

Inflation has been higher at times in the past, but the pain is ratcheting up at an historical pace, repeatedly raising the question of what to do. Forget “Keep calm and carry on.” At times like these, it’s better to remember another source of British philosophy—the late Douglas Adams and a repeating theme of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Don’t Panic.

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