skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Report: Grocery prices unnecessarily inflated during pandemic

play audio
Play

Wednesday, May 22, 2024   

Americans got a bit of a reprieve last month, as food and auto prices dipped for the first time in 90 days.

As Texas households continue to deal with high food costs, the latest report from the Federal Trade Commission showed some major retailers unnecessarily increased prices during the pandemic in 2020 and are still reaping the benefits of inflated prices.

Angela Huffman, president of the nonprofit Farm Action, said although supply-chain problems have been largely fixed, Amazon, Kroger and Walmart continue to show high profit margins.

"These companies made money over and above their total costs," Huffman pointed out. "It's one thing to raise your prices to cover higher expenses that you're facing, sure, but what these companies did is use the pandemic as an excuse to exploit the American people."

The report found the pandemic exposed bottlenecks up and down the supply chain, as firms struggled to maintain their output and feed the nation. The average Texas household spends about $286 a week on groceries, and a new report from the nonprofit Feeding America showed Texas is one of the most food-insecure states in the nation.

The reports come as pandemic-era food subsidies have expired and many families are struggling to make ends meet. The FTC did not offer recommendations on how to keep companies from raising prices during a crisis or issue any penalties or fines.

Huffman argued the big grocers have become monopolies with too much influence and power.

"This will be kind of the farthest extent of what they could do but go so far as breaking them up," Huffman pointed out. "In years past, they broke up the telephone companies and the railroads and you know that would be the ideal outcome for us, is to take away their excessive power. But other than that, these companies, they can be fined for this kind of price gouging."

The FTC report found retailer profits rose to 6% over total costs in 2021, and 7% in the first three quarters of 2023, compared to 5.6% in 2015.


get more stories like this via email

more stories
The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …


play sound

Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend, Father's Day will be tough for children with a dad in jail or prison. More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have had an incarcerated …


Social Issues

play sound

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

Between 2017 and 2022, Minnesota saw a more than 30% increase in farm acres planted with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

When Minnesota farmers watch their crops grow this summer, some will monitor land that has better soil health. It's because of a fairly popular …

Environment

play sound

West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

Environment

play sound

Close to 200 events are planned now through Sunday at California state parks for the third annual State Parks Week. The events advance Gov. Gavin …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021