Susan Wild joins fight against corporate price gouging and shrinkflation

shrinkflation

Congresswoman Susan Wild attending an IVF roundtable discussion with members of the local military community at Battle Born in Allentown on April 3, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

May 16, 2024

Democrats across the country continue to call out corporate price gouging and shrinkflation as grocery bills continue to increase.

Congresswoman Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) became one of the latest Democrats to join the pushback against the corporate price gouging that has occurred since the pandemic.

Earlier this week, Wild signed onto a letter along with dozens of colleagues from the US House and Senate urging President Joe Biden to use his executive authority to lower food prices for working families.

“These companies have raked in record profits in recent years, with CEOs bragging on earnings calls about how their price hikes exceed inflation,” the lawmakers wrote.

“Between 2020 and 2021, researchers found that corporate profits accounted for more than 50% of food price increases, whereas they accounted for only 11% of increases in the four decades prior.”

Grocery prices in Pennsylvania rose by more than 8% in 2023, the highest increase in the country, according to Consumer Affairs. Nationally, grocery prices are 25% higher now than they were in the years prior to the pandemic, according to the lawmakers.

They are asking the Biden administration to “use every possible tool to lower food prices.”

The lawmakers recommend the Biden administration to:

  • Encourage the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to work with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prohibit exclusionary contracting by larger firms in the food industry.
  • Ask the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FTC to scrutinize and block mergers when appropriate.
  • Have the DOJ prosecute those in the food and agriculture sectors for price fixing and other anti-competitive practices.

Wild, a four term incumbent representing a Lehigh Valley district that leans Republican, has also added her name to two bills combating corporate price gouging and shrinkflation in recent weeks.

If these issues sound familiar, that’s because they are.

US Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) published a series of reports on the effects of greedflation and shrinkflation on Pennsylvania families last fall, and they have attracted the attention of Democrats nationally.

Casey points out that corporate profits outpaced inflation by a five-to-one margin between 2020 and 2022. This has cost Pennsylvania families an extra $6,740 during that time.

While our community grapples with sky-rocketing food and grocery prices, CEOs and corporations are lining their pockets with record profits,” Wild said in a statement.

“I am doing everything I can to bring down costs for Pennsylvania families, including cosponsoring these two critical bills that would ban price-gouging and shrinkflation. And because I know Pennsylvanians need relief now, I am also calling on the President to take immediate actions that would put money back in the pockets of consumers.”



Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

CATEGORIES: NATIONAL POLITICS

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