U.S. Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) is out with yet another video that has quickly gone viral, this one revealing why every person in America is paying a lot more for nearly everything, or what economists are calling “inflation.”
In less than 24 hours her video has been viewed 2.5 million times.
As Americans are feeling the crunch at the gas pump, the grocery checkout lane, buying clothes or enjoying a night out, it absolutely seems like everything is more expensive.
Economists point to a myriad of reasons, primarily supply chain issues, the COVID pandemic, certainly Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, and other factors. All those are valid and legitimate factors, but not the biggest source, according to Porter and the macroeconomist she spoke with in a congressional hearing.
USA Today last week explained, “more people are spending on goods or services that are not readily available to meet those demands, so producers begin to raise prices.”
And that’s the critical factor in the inflation Americans are currently facing. Producers are raising prices. Not, as Congresswoman Porter explains with her trademark graphs and charts, because they have to, but because they can.
In a nutshell, as CNN reported last year, current inflation levels are caused primarily by corporate greed.
“Grocery stores are excited to charge you higher prices,” CNN Business reported last year in June.
“When grocery stores’ costs rise, stores will ‘mark up the full rate of inflation plus a little bit more,’ said Burt Flickinger, the managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group. For example, if the price of meat that a store pays to its suppliers goes up 6 cents a pound, the store might raise the price it charges for that same meat by 10 cents.”
It gets worse.
“Inflation is the ‘greatest gift the supermarket sector could get,’ said Flickinger. ‘They have not had these inflation benefits in years.’”
“Our business operates the best when inflation is about 3% to 4%,” Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said on an earnings call with analysts, CNN added. “A little bit of inflation is always good in our business.”
“Kroger can pass off costs to consumers when inflation hovers around that mark, McMullen said, and ‘customers don’t overly react to that.’”
They often don’t blame the supermarket, or Big Oil, or Amazon, or any one of a number of places they are spending their money, because they’ve been trained by the media and the Republican Party to blame the President, who doesn’t set the price of anything.
Republicans like U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL) who blatantly falsely this summer claimed inflation was at 40%. It’s currently 8.2% in the U.S. It was 8.3% when she posted her video.
Today is the first day back to school for Miami-Dade and prices for school supplies are through the roof. Increased inflation here in Miami is a direct result of poor decisions made in Washington… Parents can’t afford this! pic.twitter.com/EojZWpoJe7
— María Elvira Salazar (@MaElviraSalazar) August 17, 2022
Rep. Porter on Tuesday explained exactly what’s going on.
In a Congressional hearing Rep. Porter discussed the real reasons for the rate of inflation with Mike Konczal, Director of the Roosevelt Institute’s Macroeconomic Analysis team. His bio says he “leads research focused on achieving full employment, building an economy that truly works for everybody, and developing the next generation of economic ideas.”
In Porter’s viral video, she shows that “over half of the increased prices people are paying are coming from increases in corporate profits.”
Profits to corporations, meaning they are making more money off inflation, forcing consumers and other businesses, and even the federal government, to spend more for less.
Nearly 54 percent. Watch below or at this link.
Bigger corporate profits account for *over half* of the higher prices people are paying. pic.twitter.com/RZr5O0X4oJ
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) October 18, 2022
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