Inflation Causes — 54% Corporations Robbing You, 46% …
I wrote an article a few days ago titled “Inflation Is Global — For Obvious Reasons (That Have Nothing To Do With Joe Biden).” There were 230 comments, including some really good ones. But the most useful of all was a comment directing me to a presentation by Representative Katie Porter (D-California) regarding the core cause of inflation in recent years. There are several global factors influencing inflation (Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, supply chain disruptions from the pandemic, etc.), but nothing holds a candle to the inflation that is coming from corporations deciding to rob you.
Of course, we can’t legitimately say “rob,” since we are giving them our money. But the point is that if you want to buy what you’re used to buying, corporations have used the other disruptions to see how much extra they can charge you. They have raised their prices — and their profits — under the excuse of “look at all this mess from COVID and Russia that is causing prices to go up!” Specifically, an analysis from the Economic Policy Institute, confirmed by the Roosevelt Institute, shows that 54% of the increase in prices we’re seeing is due to increased corporate profits — corporations raising prices on us to test our breaking points while taking much more cash out of our pockets. That 54% figure, as you can see in the chart above, is far above the norm (which is 11.4%).
Representative Porter discusses this matter at length and in more detail in the following interview with Jon Stewart:
The argument is also broken down more briefly in the following video:
Now, how to stop corporations from robbing us? Raising interest rates isn’t the best solution. Pushing for greater unemployment (hello, Larry Summers) isn’t the best solution. Forcing corporations to not price gouge in times like these is the best solution. But you need enough people (Democrats, specifically) in power in Congress who have a backbone, who are not in the pocket of corporations, who are willing to pass legislation stopping this corporate robbery of the people. Adding more Republicans into the mix certainly isn’t going to solve the problem! There’s not a single Republican in Congress who is going to support new regulations forcing corporations to not price gouge. Furthermore, there are always going to be some Democrats (“center” or right-leaning Democrats) who also won’t touch corporate greed or do anything to stop it. You need enough strong, hardcore Democrats in power with the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to step in and cut out this economic cancer.
Election Day is tomorrow in the United States. There are other reasons to go out and vote for Democrats — it is the only party that will act on the federal level to fight climate change — but the fundamental economic challenge of the moment is front of mind for most of the public, and brought back to front of mind every time we go to the grocery store. And if there’s any hope of getting inflation under control by enacting strong rules against price gouging, it comes from electing a big, strong Democratic majority. That’s just a fact.
Whether we’re talking electric vehicle prices, the cost of other cleantech products, or just about anything else that’s rising in price as inflation rises (the price of bread, the price of milk, the price of clothing, etc.), if you want relief, know that Republicans are not going to bring down prices — at least, not by any method aside from crashing the economy. They will fight and vote against climate action, clean energy progress, democratic institutions, and efforts to rein in greedy corporations, though.
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