Don’t take my word for it — they’ll tell you themselves.
By Jim Hightower | May 4, 2022
for Assorted Ideas, Large & Small
Today, CEOs of big corporations are playing the tricky “Inflation Blame Game.”
Publicly, they moan that the pandemic is slamming their poor corporations with factory shutdowns, supply chain delays, wage hikes, and other increased costs. But inside their board rooms, executives are high fiving each other and pocketing bonuses.
What’s going on?
The trick is that these giants are in non-competitive markets operating as monopolies, so they can set prices, mug you and me, and scamper away with record profits. In 2019 for example, before the pandemic, corporate behemoths hauled in roughly a trillion dollars in profit. In 2021, during the pandemic, they grabbed more than $1.7 trillion.
This huge profit jump accounts for 60 percent of the inflation now slapping U.S. families!
Take supermarket goliath Kroger. Its CEO gloated last summer that “a little bit of inflation is always good in our business,” adding that “we’ve been very comfortable with our ability to pass on [price] increases” to consumers.
“Comfortable” indeed. Last year, Kroger used its monopoly pricing power to reap record profits. Then it spent $1.5 billion of those gains not to benefit consumers or workers, but to buy back its own stock — a scam that siphons profits to top executives and big shareholders.
Or take the fast-food purveyor McDonald’s. Executives bragged to their shareholders that despite the supply disruptions of the pandemic and higher costs for meat and labor, its top executives had used the chain’s monopoly power in 2021 to up prices, thus increasing corporate profits by a stunning 59 percent over the previous year.
And the game goes on: “We’re going to have the best growth we’ve ever had this year,” Wall Street banking titan Jamie Dimon exalted at the start of 2022.
Hocus Pocus — this is how the rich get richer and inequality “happens.”
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. This op-ed was distributed by OtherWords.org.
more from assorted ideas, large & small
- If you knew as much about pigs as I do, you’d changePigs are one of the most commonly misunderstood animals in the world and, as a result, one of the most cruelly mistreated. People are told that pigs are dirty, stupid, and smelly. But along with
- How the hippie counterculture movement changed AmericaThe hippie counterculture movement of the 1960s was a response to the conservatism and materialism of the 1950s. The hippies sought to create a new society based on peace, love, and brotherhood. They believed that
- 17,000 kids a day are dying because of malnutrition. What will you do?Did you know that every day, more than 17,000 children die from hunger and malnutrition? This is equivalent to one child every five minutes. In the developing world, almost half of all deaths in children
- THE GOP’S ‘PRO-LIFE’ VICTORY WILL MEAN MORE DEAD MOTHERSAnti-choice states already have the highest maternal mortality and infant mortality rates. Women who choose to avoid pregnancy could instead face execution. By Mitchell Zimmerman | May 11, 2022 Assorted Ideas, Large & Small/The Roosevelt Island Daily
- Why you should start running and doing it today.There are many reasons to start running – improved cardiovascular health, increased lung capacity and lower blood pressure. Running also helps to build strong bones and muscles and can help with weight loss. Running is