Monday, August 8, 2022

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The annual Kids Count report highlights the well-being of America's children, Pennsylvania groups call for reproductive rights, and Minnesota's electric vehicle infrastructure is on verge of a growth spurt.

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Democrats seal the deal on the Inflation Reduction Act after a weekend session, New York City's Mayor condemns the Texas governor's immigrant busing initiative, and Elon Musk calls for a debate on Twitter bots.

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People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

Report: Impact of Wage Growth on Inflation Dwarfed by Corporate Profiteering

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Monday, June 20, 2022   

President Joe Biden is calling on oil and gas companies to start steering record profits away from shareholder pockets to give Americans some relief at the pump.

A new economic analysis suggests the approach could be key to lowering prices across the board.

Josh Bivens, research director for the Economic Policy Institute, recently deconstructed each major component impacting prices over the past year, including wages, corporate profits and supply-chain issues.

"It's overwhelmingly profits, it's not wages," Bivens reported. "Normally profits are about 11% to 12% of the final price of any good. But they contributed more than 50% to price growth over the 2020-21 period."

Normally, wages contribute about 60% to the price of goods, but last year labor came in at just under 8%. Supply-chain disruptions accounted for 38% of rising costs. Calls for a windfall profits tax have been largely absent in debates on how to tackle inflation, with some economists noting the drive to increase corporate profits is just business as usual.

Analysis by the group Accountable.US found top corporations producing food, energy, commodities, health care and housing delivered more than $140 billion to shareholders after raising prices.

Bivens argued a temporary tax on profits could help counterbalance the pricing power companies currently have over consumers.

"If the policy recommendation is to just ask them politely not to raise prices, that would be silly," Bivens contended. "But it really does put some policy options on the table, like an excess profits tax. You reduce the incentive to raise prices, you're not harming the economy's ability to move resources around in the long run."

Recent polling by Global Strategy Group suggests Americans are not buying the argument inflation is being driven by aggregate demand racing ahead of supply.

Seven in 10 Republicans, eight in 10 Independents, and nine in 10 Democrats blame corporate greed for rapidly rising prices.


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