It’s long been a truism that Americans vote their pocketbooks over most other issues. That’s why recent polls show inflation as the number-one concern for a majority of us. At over 7%, inflation is eating into all of our budgets and making life especially hard for those on a limited income. There are many causes cited: the large disbursements of federal stimulus money, global supply issues and the war in Ukraine. But a largely unrecognized factor is corporate profiteering, which is driving up prices way beyond the 7% inflation rate. Indeed, corporate profits are trending to set new records as average Americans suffer.
In April, Bernie Sanders held Senate hearings about opportunistic price gouging, noting that costs for heating oil have shot by up 44%, gasoline by 38%, rental cars by 24%, some beef by 32%, chicken by 20% and pork by 13%—all far above the inflation rate. “We cannot continue to allow large, profitable corporations to use the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic and the specter of inflation to make outrageous profits by price-gouging Americans in every sector of our economy,” warned Senator Sanders. “It’s time we discuss how corporate greed and profiteering are fueling inflation.”