EDITORIAL

Corporate greed fuels “flations”

Two Kit-Kat candy bars are shown. The wrappers are the same size, but the bottom one contains a smaller candy bar.
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Prices for goods and services grew almost 19% from January 2020 to September 2023. And pundits wonder why working people are pissed off! Sure, during the pandemic, global shutdowns caused too much demand for too little supply, and distribution chaos, driving inflation.

While people didn’t like it, we could understand. But imbalances driven by the pandemic have abated, so the legit excuse has evaporated. Yet prices keep ratcheting up.

The Economic Policy Institute has shown that since 2020, corporate profits contributed to more than a third of price increases, several times what they did in the past. “Labor costs” (read wages) accounted for only half as much as they did before the pandemic.

So inflation is an alibi for profiteering. Surprise, surprise. And there are a growing number of ways it’s done. There’s “shrinkflation,” where companies charge the same price for packaged items, but shrink the amount of product. There’s “skimpflation,” where again the price stays the same, but businesses skimp on the quality of goods and amount of services.

And if that’s not blatant enough, there’s good old fashioned “excuseflation,” claiming costs are rising when they’re not, but hiking prices anyway.

Our answer? Keep those strikes coming! Let’s show the bosses who holds the real power!

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