Sen. Casey takes aim at corporate price gouging’s inflation impacts

US Sen. Bob Casey speaking at a Labor Day rally at the Sheet Metal Worker Local 19 facility on Sept. 4, 2023. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

November 16, 2023

US Sen. Bob Casey released a report last week tackling post-pandemic corporate price gouging. The report found that corporate greed is causing an increase in inflation, or “greedflation” as the report calls it. 

According to a recent report on “greedflation,” corporate profits rose by 75 percent between 2020 and 2022, which outpaced the rate of inflation by a five-to-one margin. 

The report was released last week by US Sen Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania), and calls out corporations for using inflation as a cover to gouge consumers and reap record profits coming out of the pandemic. 

“Corporations are raising prices at the expense of Pennsylvania families because they think they can get away with it,” Casey said in a statement. “From diapers to groceries, greedflation is making everyday household items more expensive and squeezing families. I’m taking steps to fight back so we can make corporations pay their fair share and put more money in the pockets of working families.”

Inflation rose 14 percent between 2020 and 2022, but corporate profits rose by 75% during that same time. According to research by the Federal Reserve, corporate profits contributed to a large percentage of inflation in the first year of the pandemic, including accounting for all the inflation from July 2020 through July 2021 and 41% of inflation from July 2020 through July 2022. 

The cost of this profit-driven inflation has been pushed down to average Pennsylvania families. According to the report, price gouging cost the average Pennsylvania family $3,194 in 2021 and $3,546 in 2022. In total, price gouging cost the average Pennsylvania $6,740 during that period. 

Some examples of corporations exploiting inflation to pad their profits provided by the report include the increase in costs for Huggies diapers or the price of chicken. 

For instance, the price of Huggies diapers are up 6% even though their production costs fell by $75 million, and chicken prices are up 20% as Tyson has been ordered to pay fines for inflating prices. 

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