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Inflation eases, despite corporate price gouging

Money-$100 Bill Burning 4418858_640It’s amazing to me that as we’re all suffering from high inflation so little is said about corporate price gouging and the big role it’s playing in price increases. Fortunately, there’s a watchdog group that keeps researching inflation and spreading the word.

The latest from Accountable.US

With a slowdown in inflation, the increase in basic prices having risen at the smallest rate since September 2021, American consumers are seeing relief, the U.S. Labor Department’s latest consumer price index report shows.

Even rental costs, which have been a major driver of inflation in recent months, slowed significantly in October at half the rate as the month before.

“This inflation report is welcome news, but it’s clear that too many corporations remain consumed with greed and are price gouging consumers, especially in the housing sector,” said Tony Carrk, executive director of Accountable.US. “Profiteering corporate landlords continue to jack up rent and fees on everyday families despite reporting often-record profits and billions of dollars in extra handouts to wealthy investors.”

Carrk said the Biden administration’s efforts to lower costs for Americans by cracking down on corporate practices such as junk fees in rental housing are important.

In addition, a lawsuit brought by the District of Columbia Attorney General Brian Schwalb accuses 14 rental companies of wrongdoing including AvalonBay, Equity Residential, Mid-America Apartments, and Camden Property Trust.

Report confirms price gouging

The latest CPI report follows a new report from Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) that found that while inflation rose by 14 percent from July 2020 through July 2022, corporate profits rose by 75 percent during the same period – five times faster than inflation.

The report shows how corporations have grossly profiteered and price-gouged consumers throughout the pandemic even after the 2017 Trump-Republican tax bill rewarded them with a giant tax giveaway – lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent while adding nearly $2 trillion to the national debt and shortchanging critical priorities that help grow the middle class.  

Casey’s report is consistent with findings from Accountable.US which has shown for more than two years corporate greed is raising prices at the expense of everyday families across numerous industries, including pharmaceutical companies, corporate landlords, big food, big oil, and utility giants, Carrk said.  

Consumers need to know inflation causes

It’s unfortunate the United States has such few ways to rein in corporate price gouging. In addition, elected officials don’t often use those remedies. In Canada recently, when grocery prices spiked, the federal government demanded major Canadian grocers come up with a plan to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving. Too bad that isn’t happening here.

A recent report from the Kansas City Federal Reserve found that nearly 60 percent of inflation in 2021 was because of corporate profits.

In addition, sadly, some analysts are saying high prices are here to stay. We’re not going back to pre-pandemic prices.

Comments

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azure

It's rein in, not reign in. And I agree, it's sad and despicable that somehow it's impossible for local, state and the federal gov't to limit excessive corporate profits or at a minimum increase corporate taxes so more of the gouging can be "returned" to those they gouge re: better infrastructure, far better regulation of health care costs, including drug costs, and ending privatization of Medicare (& gouging/denying claims) via Medicare Advantage plans, and somehow pushing through a non-privatized universal health care system. I've seen data (or is it datum) that indicates if the favorable treatment of MA plans (by CMS) ended, the tax dollar saved could pay for lower premiums, and providing dental, vision & hearing care. Wouldn't that be nice. Instead the money goes to the insurers & "health care networks" as profits. Non-profits still have profits, they're not not-for-profit. And who owns the so-called non-profit "health care networks"? Members of Congress stand by while the US becomes imcreasingly inequitable.

Rita

Yes, I agree with you about Medicare Advantage. I'll be writing about it again soon. It's so disappointing that about half of Americans are opting in to buy it. It's due to the advertising hype.

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