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Q2 Record Profits Driven by Corporate Profiteering in Oil, Transportation Industries

Yesterday’s corporate profit data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that even as families struggle to keep up with high prices, some industries are generating sky-high profits – since last quarter, oil and coal industry profits have increased 340% and motor vehicle and warehousing/transportation industry profits have increased nearly 40%.  Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, reacted with the following statement: “We’ve heard directly from executives in the sectors that families depend on – from oil, to auto shops, to airlines – that inflation has been good for business. The latest corporate profit data shows their price strategies are...

Common Dreams: 'Their Price Strategies Are Bearing Fruit': Oil and Coal Profits Surge 340%.

September 30, 2022

"We've heard directly from executives in the sectors that families depend on—from oil, to auto shops, to airlines—that inflation has been good for business," Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, said in a statement. "The latest corporate profit data shows their price strategies are bearing fruit," she added.

ICYMI – Groundwork on Air: NPR, Crooked Media Features Role of Corporate Profiteering in Rising Prices

Last week, Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, joined All Things Considered, Pod Save America, and Positively Dreadful to discuss how companies are still celebrating unusually high profits even as inflation remains hot and supply chain issues ease. As she told NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly:  “What we're seeing right now is companies are really taking advantage of this moment to go higher than they need to on markups and on profits…This unprecedented moment in our economy begs the question of whether it's time for a federal price gouging statute to prevent some of this egregious profiteering during moments of real economic hardship and crisis.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Dr...

Truthout: Corporations’ Price-Gouging May Hurt Them in the Long Run, Says Economist.

September 26, 2022

Chris Becker: “But corporations have turned consumers’ pain into their own gain. So what we’ve seen corporations do is that they’ve used all these crises as an excuse to pass on higher prices to consumers, padding their pockets in the process, and then funneling the extra money back to their wealthy shareholders and investors.”

Crooked Media: Positively Dreaful – Is It The Economy, Stupid?

September 23, 2022

Or are we just following the leads laid out for us by media figures and political leaders who can always point to passing problems like high gas prices, or even good problems like lots of job vacancies, and convince millions of people that things are actually bad? Economic sociologist and leader of the Groundwork Collaborative Lindsay Owens joins to discuss how helpful “it’s the economy, stupid” is when the economy is always a mess, and whether we can sustain an economy that works.

Nation of Change: Fed rate hikes won’t tackle the corporate profiteering behind inflation, experts tell Congress.

September 23, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, was among the experts who provided written and oral testimony. Mabud made three key points in her remarks to lawmakers. First, “even as input costs come down, corporate executives are gleefully reporting how they plan on keeping prices high,” she noted, citing Groundwork’s exhaustive research on earnings calls, which reveals how “megacorporations are taking advantage of recent crises to make record profits for themselves and their shareholders.”

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Chief Economist Highlights Role Corporate Price Hikes Play in Driving Inflation

Following yesterday’s announcement that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates by another 75 basis points, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research, testified before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. The hearing, “Power and Profiteering: How Certain Industries Hiked Prices, Fleeced Consumers, and Drove Inflation,” showcased how decades of corporate consolidation and deregulation has enabled megacorporations to keep prices high in order to make record profits. And she shared specific policy steps Congress can take to tackle inflation – without pushing the country into a painful recession. “Giant corporations' control...

FAIR: ‘We’ve Incentivized Corporations to Go After This Price-Gouging Strategy’.

September 22, 2022

Chris Becker: “But corporations have turned consumers’ pain into their own gain. So what we’ve seen corporations do is that they’ve used all these crises as an excuse to pass on higher prices to consumers, padding their pockets in the process, and then funneling the extra money back to their wealthy shareholders and investors.”

Common Dreams: Fed Rate Hikes Won't Tackle the Corporate Profiteering Behind Inflation, Experts Tell Congress.

September 22, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, was among the experts who provided written and oral testimony. Mabud made three key points in her remarks to lawmakers. First, "even as input costs come down, corporate executives are gleefully reporting how they plan on keeping prices high," she noted, citing Groundwork's exhaustive research on earnings calls, which reveals how "megacorporations are taking advantage of recent crises to make record profits for themselves and their shareholders." [9/22/22]

KOIN CBS 6 Portland: Congress examines price hikes as big businesses make record profits.

September 22, 2022

“Big companies, like Procter & Gamble, know that they can take advantage of consumer’s basic needs because they make necessities like diapers and laundry supplies,” explained Dr. Rakeen Mabud of Groundwork Collaborative. But watchdogs say after decades of deregulation, Congress is also to blame.

TOMORROW @ 9AM ET: Groundwork’s Chief Economist to Testify at House Hearing on Corporate Power and Profiteering

Tomorrow, September 22 at 9 a.m. ET, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research, will testify before the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy. The hearing titled, “Power and Profiteering: How Certain Industries Hiked Prices, Fleeced Consumers, and Drove Inflation,” will cover how outsized and entrenched corporate power has facilitated rampant profiteering by megacorporations, squeezing families and small businesses.  Dr. Mabud will provide expert testimony on the exploitative practices megacorporations use to keep prices high, even as input costs start to moderate. This blatant corporate profiteering – under the cover of a deadly...

The Hill: Fed hikes rates by 75 basis points for third time this year.

September 21, 2022

“The Fed is in a really, really tough position, in part because they have a very limited toolkit,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director at Groundwork Collaborative. “They have inflation that’s coming from a constellation of sources,” Owens explained.

Common Dreams: Fed in 'Full Recession-Creating Mode' Comes Under Fire for Another Interest Rate Hike.

September 21, 2022

Reich and Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, are among the experts scheduled to testify Thursday morning before a panel of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Common Dreams: Ignoring Pain for Workers, Bloomberg Editorial Openly Endorses Fed-Induced Recession.

September 21, 2022

"Imagine my absolute shock that this editorial doesn't mention workers, families, and communities—the lifeblood of our economy and the people who will bear the brutal costs of a recession—at all," Claire Guzdar, managing director of campaigns and partnerships at the Groundwork Collaborative, wrote in a sarcasm-tinged Twitter post.

ICYMI: Leading Economists Debunk Myths and Misconceptions at Panel Event Ahead of FOMC Meeting

Ahead of this week’s Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, joined other leading economists at Economic Policy Institute, the Roosevelt Institute, and the AFL-CIO for a panel discussion hosted by the AFL-CIO. Watch the recording here. Below is an excerpt from Rakeen’s remarks: “It is crystal clear that aggressive rate hikes by the Fed would do little to address the root causes of inflation – outsized corporate power, supply chain shortages, and the war in Ukraine…  “Crushing the financial well-being of millions, especially Black and brown workers who are always left out of prosperity, would tank the...

Daily Kos: Wondering why inflation is such a problem? What you aren't hearing.

September 20, 2022

Mary Louise Kelly of NPR and Lindsey Owens of the Groundwork Collaborative look into this. Biden is right….”In theory, this type of profiteering wouldn't really be possible, right? A competitor would come in, undercut one of the big players and drive prices down. But what we're seeing in this moment is that the companies with the biggest market share, with the most market power, the most pricing power are the ones who are really engaging in the most egregious profiteering.”

All Things Considered: Why some blame record corporate profits for high prices.

September 19, 2022

NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, about how companies are earning unusually high profits even as inflation remains hot. “What we're seeing right now, though, is companies really exploiting this moment of crisis. And they're really taking advantage of this moment to go higher than they need to on markups and on profits.”

Common Dreams: While Fighting Workers, Railroads Made Over $10 Billion in Stock Buybacks.

September 19, 2022

"Our research shows just how far railroad executives will go to funnel record profits to their shareholders—even if that means stagnant wages, inhumane attendance policies, and throwing our supply chain into further turmoil," Mike Mitchell, director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, told Common Dreams.

The Good Men Project: You Can’t Fix the Economy by Hurting People.

September 16, 2022

Bringing prices down must be a top priority for lawmakers, but Washington’s default tool for dealing with inflation — aggressive interest rate hikes — only makes life harder for these families.  That’s because aggressive interest rate hikes work by increasing unemployment and slowing down wage growth, a “cure” far worse than the disease.

FAIR Media: Sumayyah Waheed on CNN’s Copaganda Hire, Chris Becker on Inflation Coverage.

September 16, 2022

Other outlets are musing about how higher unemployment might be the best response to higher prices. Why are we doing thought experiments about hurting people? Implied scarcity—”obviously we can’t do all the things a society needs, so let’s discuss what to jettison”—is a whole vibe that major media could upend, but instead enable. We’ll talk about how that’s playing out in coverage of inflation with Chris Becker, associate director of policy and research and senior economist at the Groundwork Collaborative.

AFL-CIO: Myths and Misconceptions About Inflation and How We Fix It.

September 15, 2022

Join us as AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler convenes an economic panel discussion on the root causes of inflation ahead of the Sept. 20–21 Federal Reserve meeting where interest rates are expected to be raised again. The discussion will be moderated by Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, and features Dr. Rakeen Mabud from Groundwork Collaborative.

Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud to Join AFL-CIO Economic Panel: Myths and Misconceptions About Inflation and How We Fix It

Tomorrow, Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud will join an inflation event hosted by the AFL-CIO. The conversation is taking place ahead of the Sept. 20–21 Federal Reserve meeting where interest rates are expected to be raised again. Panelists will dispel the recent narrative attributing blame for inflation on increased wages for workers, tariffs, stimulus checks and government investment in infrastructure and energy. WHAT:  “Myths and Misconceptions About Inflation and How We Fix It” – an economic panel discussion hosted by the AFL-CIO WHO: Liz Shuler, President, AFL-CIO William Spriggs, Ph.D., Chief Economist, AFL-CIO Rakeen Mabud, Ph.D., Chief Economist & Managing Director of Policy and...

Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud Reacts to August Inflation Report

This morning’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows inflation at 8.3% in August – compared to 8.5% in July – driven largely by decreasing gas prices. However, monthly inflation increased 0.1% in August, as declining gas prices were offset by price increases for food, shelter, and services. Core inflation, which excludes volatile gas and food prices, increased to 6.3% over the past year, above the 5.9% reported in July. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud responded to today’s report with the following statement: “Gas prices are down, pandemic supply chain snarls are starting to ease, and shipping costs are coming down for companies, but sky-high costs for food and shelter continue to slam family...

Crooked Media: Pod Save America – "Mitch Better Have Their Money."

The Republicans get nervous about midterms. The Senate tries to pass same-sex marriage protections. Economic expert Lindsay Owens from The Groundwork Collective joins to talk about inflation. And the guys play a new game called Two Takes and A Fake.

Common Dreams: Young Americans' Approval of Biden Soars After He Announces Student Debt Cancellation.

September 12, 2022

"Looks like removing crushing debt burdens for families is a political winner after all," Groundwork Collaborative executive director Lindsay Owens tweeted of the "remarkable" shift in just a month. "The centrist economists turned political pundits got this one wrong."

CNBC: Democrats tout big business investments to bolster their economic case ahead of midterms.

September 8, 2022

“I think there’s an understanding among progressive thinkers in the economy that we can’t just focus on redistribution. We can’t just focus on taxes and transfers,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative. “We also have to focus on pre-distribution. We also have to make the market into what we want it to be.”

Rep. Katie Porter Introduces Bill to Crack Down on Big Corporations Coordinating Price Hikes.

September 7, 2022

The Competitive Prices Act is cosponsored by Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY), David Cicilline (D-RI), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). It is also endorsed by American Economic Liberties Project, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Demand Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Food and Water Watch, Groundwork Collaborative, Indivisible, Liberation in a Generation, Revolving Door Project, and Small Business Majority.

EQUALS - Reimagining Our Economy: INFLATION: THE UNTOLD STORY – with Lindsay Owens and Irit Tamir

We're asking: What has *really* been happening in the board rooms of multinational companies? And what's that got to do with today's cost-of-living crisis being felt across the globe? This new season on EQUALS we’ll focus on the crisis, bringing stories and solutions from across the globe. Nabil and Nadia speak with Dr. Lindsay Owens and Irit Tamir.

Groundwork’s Mike Mitchell Previews August Jobs Numbers

Ahead of tomorrow’s August Jobs Report, Groundwork’s Director of Policy and Research Mike Mitchell released the following statement: “Our economy has experienced one of the fastest labor market recoveries ever – but all these historic gains could disappear if the Fed decides to ‘save’ the economy by throwing millions out of work. Bringing ‘pain to households and businesses’ doesn't help build a healthy economy.  “Good-paying, quality jobs are at the base of an economy at its best – aggressive interest rate hikes erode that foundation.” To speak to Mike Mitchell about what to expect in the August Jobs Report and the dangers of a Fed-manufactured recession, email press@groundworkcollaborative.org...

The American Prospect: Why Obama-Era Economists Are So Mad About Student Debt Relief.

August 31, 2022

Let’s be very clear: The Obama administration’s bungled policy to help underwater borrowers and to stem the tide of devastating foreclosures, carried out by many of the same people carping about Biden’s student loan cancellation, led directly to nearly ten million families losing their homes. This failure of debt relief was immoral and catastrophic, both for the lives of those involved and for the principle of taking bold government action to protect the public. It set the Democratic Party back years. And those throwing a fit about Biden’s debt relief plan now are doing so because it exposes the disaster they precipitated on the American people.

ICYMI – Groundwork’s Rakeen Mabud Op-ed: “You Can’t Fix the Economy By Hurting People”

In a speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a deeply troubling message: in order to curb inflation, the Fed is willing to “bring some pain to households and businesses.”  In an op-ed published in OtherWords last week, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork Collaborative, pushed back against this cruel and misguided approach:  “Bringing prices down must be a top priority for lawmakers, but Washington’s default tool for dealing with inflation — aggressive interest rate hikes — only makes life harder for these families. That’s because aggressive interest rate hikes work by increasing unemployment and slowing down wage growth, a ‘cure’ far...

Yahoo Finance: Corporate profits are at a 70-year high. Will the Inflation Reduction Act change that?

August 30, 2022

The new law includes a new minimum tax on corporations that have over $1 billion in the "book" profits - a measure of income reported on financial statements before things like tax credits and depreciations - and “this provision is one of many that's really going to help curb corporate profiteering,” predicts Rakeen Mabud, the chief economist at the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative.

The Hill: Democrats peg inflation to corporate greed on campaign trail.

August 29, 2022

“Why is it that we have too few goods? It’s because we have companies throttling supply in order to keep prices high,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, a left-leaning think tank. “We have an economy that is absolutely riddled with outsize market power by big corporations that use supply and demand as marionettes.”

LA Progressive: How Will Throwing Millions Out of Work Address Root Causes of Rising Prices?

August 29, 2022

From groceries to rent, prices are rising on just about everything these days — and those with already-stretched budgets are feeling the pinch. Bringing prices down must be a top priority for lawmakers, but Washington’s default tool for dealing with inflation — aggressive interest rate hikes — only makes life harder for these families.  That’s because aggressive interest rate hikes work by increasing unemployment and slowing down wage growth, a “cure” far worse than the disease.

Common Dreams: 'All of Us Are Paying the Price' as Corporate Profits Surge to Record-High $2 Trillion.

August 26, 2022

"We can argue until the cows come home about the cause of inflation," Chris Becker, senior economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, wrote in response to the new data. "But we can't lose sight of the basic moral point that it is outrageous that corporations are seeing skyrocketing profits while purchasing power for so many American households is declining." … "Corporate profiteering continues in full force—and all of us are paying the price," Mabud added. "This data should be a wake-up call for policymakers. Megacorporations are a key driver of high prices—and we need bold action to rein them in."

Institute for Local Self-Reliance: Inflation: The True Monopoly Story.

On this episode of Building Local Power, Rakeen Mabud the Chief Economist at Groundwork Collaborative and Ron Knox, Senior Researcher and Writer at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, take us on a riveting journey exposing the story of inflation that most economists don’t want to tell.

Nation of Change: Biden announces new student debt cancellation plan.

August 25, 2022

“Not only does this action begin to address the student debt crisis, it also sets an important precedent that the government can—and should—intervene to fix the broken systems that hold people back,” Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of the Groundwork Collaborative, said. “But we can’t stop here: More work is needed to end the student debt crisis, guarantee access to free college, close the racial wealth gap, and continue to build an economy where everyone can thrive.”

Groundwork’s Chief Economist Reacts to “Astronomical Corporate Profits”

This morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released second-quarter corporate profit data, showing nonfinancial corporate profits hit $2 trillion – the highest ever recorded. Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist of Groundwork Collaborative, reacted with the following statement: “Today’s astronomical corporate profits confirm what corporate executives have been telling us on earning calls over and over again: They’re making a lot of money by charging people more, and they don’t plan on bringing prices down anytime soon. Corporate profiteering continues in full force – and all of us are paying the price. “This data should be a wake-up call for policymakers. Megacorporations are a key driver of high prices – and we...

Other Words: YOU CAN’T FIX THE ECONOMY BY HURTING PEOPLE.

August 24, 2022

From groceries to rent, prices are rising on just about everything these days — and those with already-stretched budgets are feeling the pinch. Bringing prices down must be a top priority for lawmakers, but Washington’s default tool for dealing with inflation — aggressive interest rate hikes — only makes life harder for these families.  That’s because aggressive interest rate hikes work by increasing unemployment and slowing down wage growth, a “cure” far worse than the disease.

Washington Post: Biden to cancel up to $10,000 in student loans, $20K for Pell recipients.

August 24, 2022

“It’s great to see the president take action to forgive the crushing debt burdens of borrowers from the most disadvantaged backgrounds,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a left-leaning think tank.

Daily Kos: Biden exceeds expectations with student debt relief announcement.

August 24, 2022

“It’s great to see the president take action to forgive the crushing debt burdens of borrowers from the most disadvantaged backgrounds,” Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, told the Post. A recent poll shows 55% support for canceling debt up to $10,000, with even stronger support among people aged 18 to 44 and Black and Hispanic people.

Groundwork Applauds Student Debt Cancellation

Earlier today, the Biden administration announced plans to cancel up to $10,000 in federal student debt for individuals earning less than $125,000 per year (or $250,000 for families) and up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants. The administration also extended the COVID-era moratorium on loan repayments until the end of the year. Below is a statement from Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of the Groundwork Collaborative:  “Today’s debt cancellation will provide life-changing relief to tens of millions of borrowers who will sleep a little easier tonight and wake up with more freedom to change jobs or start a business and more ability to provide for their families.  “Not only does this action...

Vice: Economists Say Life Is Going to Be More Expensive Forever, Sorry.

August 22, 2022

"Big corporations know that consumers will be forced to put up with higher prices, especially for necessities like housing or gas that people cannot live without. Since WWII, we haven't seen prices across the board come down in a sustained way—when prices rise, they tend to stay high for long periods after the initial price hikes,” said Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, in an interview with Motherboard.

Pride Publishing Group: U.S. housing crisis and policies’ impact on women of color examined.

Black and Latina women have consistently been more likely than White, non-Hispanic men to be behind on rent and mortgage payments throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “Stable housing is an essential part of families’ economic security—and a critical part of a healthy, sustainable economy,” said Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork. “Policymakers must use every available tool to address the acute crisis that so many women and families are facing today.”

New York Times: Biden Signs Climate, Health Bill Into Law as Other Economic Goals Remain.

August 16, 2022

Mr. Biden has had more success in getting Democrats, and some Republicans, to invest in the physical economy and to embrace a more interventionist view of federal power, said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the liberal Groundwork Collaborative in Washington. By embracing industrial policy and government-induced emissions reduction, she said, “He’s moved to an economic system and an economic agenda where the government is really throwing its weight around, putting its thumb on the scale.”

The National Desk: Renters faced with difficult choices as prices skyrocket to all-time highs.

August 15, 2022

“Any strategy to bring down prices must include housing and affordability. Landlords and housing corporations are telling their investors they’re ready to jack up rents as much as possible. If our policy fixes for inflation don’t target the housing market, we risk failing to meet one of the most urgent needs of millions across the country,” Groundwork Collaborative director of policy and research Mike Mitchell said.

New Report from National Women’s Law Center, Partners Examines U.S. Housing Crisis and Policies, Impact on Women of Color

Today, the National Women’s Law Center, in collaboration with the Insight Center and Groundwork Collaborative, released “The Roots of Discriminatory Housing Policy: Moving Toward Gender Justice in Our Economy,” a report that underscores the inextricable links between housing justice and gender justice and outlines solutions to advance housing as a public good. The release comes on the heels of the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report: prices went up 8.5% year over year in July and rents rose 6.3% from July 2021 to July 2022, the highest rate in over 35 years. “Women have always taken on the heaviest burden of a socioeconomic system that was designed to profit from their underpaid and undervalued labor,” said Fatima...

ABC7: Inflation or profiteering? Advocacy group says companies raising prices under cover of inflation.

August 12, 2022

Rakeen Mabud of the economic policy project, the Groundwork Collaborative, keeps a close ear on corporate earnings calls and an eye on quarterly reports.She's seen what she considers a disturbing trend. "This is a trend that we've seen throughout the pandemic of big companies using their market power to jack up prices beyond what their input costs would justify," Mabud said.

Truthout: Tenants Call on Biden to Act as Rent Increases Reach a 35-Year High

August 12, 2022

For households on low or fixed incomes, rent increases mean choosing between paying the landlord and buying essentials, according to Michael Mitchell, a director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. “For the median tenant in one of the 50 largest American cities, you are paying $200 more now than you were last year, and that’s money people can’t spend on groceries and school supplies,” Mitchell told reporters on Thursday.

Groundwork’s Rakeen Mabud: “It’s time to hit the mute button on Larry Summers’ inflation advice”

Today, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of the Groundwork Collaborative, responded to yesterday’s Consumer Price Index report and last week’s Jobs Report with the following statement:  “Larry Summers’ theory – that the only path to lower prices is to push our economy into a recession and send unemployment skyrocketing – is completely misguided. The economic evidence is clear: We can have a strong job market, higher wages, and lower inflation – and we don’t need further aggressive and painful interest rate hikes to do it. “Workers and families who are still struggling with high prices should not have to shoulder the additional burden of a Fed-manufactured recession. It’s time to hit the...

NPR: What the Inflation Reduction Act does and doesn't do about rising prices

NPR
August 11, 2022

"Prices are high now but we're talking about prices that have been putting burdens on household budgets for decades," said Rakeen Mabud, the chief economist of the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economics think tank. "We've been struggling with skyrocketing health care costs for a really long time and this bill is an important step forward."

Groundwork on New Inflation Report: Companies Are Choosing to Keep Prices High – Despite Decreasing Costs

Today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows year-over-year inflation at 8.5% for July, with energy prices decreasing, especially gas prices. This follows the release of new Q2 corporate earnings calls, which show companies are choosing to keep prices high, even as costs begin to subside.  Groundwork’s Executive Director Lindsay Owens reacted with the following statement:  “Today’s inflation report contains a lot of good news – energy prices are coming down and inflation in goods and services is cooling off. But a key question remains: When will consumers begin to see relief? “One answer to this question can be found in corporate earnings calls, where CEO after CEO is essentially telling consumers, ‘Don’t hold...

Common Dreams: To Tackle Stubborn Inflation, Experts Urge Bold Action Against 'Corporate Profiteering'

August 10, 2022

"To truly see recovery on prices for consumers, policymakers need to hold companies accountable for price gouging and rein in the corporate profiteering that is driving painful prices and record profits," said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative.

Markets Insider: Corporate America's 'greedflation' window of opportunity is closing as consumers tighten their purse strings - and the markets will feel the pinch, experts say

August 7, 2022

Such supply chain issues force the question: "Is the supply chain we currently have the inevitable supply chain that we could have?" said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at The Groundwork Collaborative. "The answer to that is pretty clearly no. We could have a supply chain that delivers goods on time, that is able to deal with fluctuations in demand [...] but we don't have that, and we don't have that because the supply chain that we have is built by big companies for big companies to make their profits as high as possible," she added.

Substack - Work Futures: Greedflation

August 7, 2022

The term ‘greedflation’ perfectly matches our present economics, described by many as being on the edge of a recession which is used as an excuse to raise prices (and profits). As Lindsay Owens reports: “Companies that historically might have kept prices low to pick up profit by gaining additional market share are instead using the cover of inflation to raise prices and increase profits."

Quartz: The US labor market has fully recovered from covid, adding 528,000 jobs in July

August 5, 2022

While the positive numbers alleviate recession fears, economists are still concerned that policymakers at the US Federal Reserve will crush the historic gains the labor market made during the pandemic by raising interest rates to a level that increases unemployment. Cementing those gains would require that Congress create a fairer tax code and invest in workers, healthcare, and the climate, said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative.

Richmond Pulse: Corporations Are Using Inflation to Pad Profits, Economist Says

August 5, 2022

Mega corporations are taking advantage of this crisis to pad their profits by passing along more pricing than is justified by rising input costs alone,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of research and policy at the Groundwork Collaborative. Mabud spoke on a panel hosted July 8 by Ethnic Media Services to discuss current inflation and the prospect of a recession. Recent research supports Mabud’s claims about corporate profits.

Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud Previews July Jobs Numbers

Ahead of tomorrow’s July Jobs Report, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, released the following statement: “Workers are counting on our leaders to build on the historic labor market recovery over the last year – and cement the gains we have already made. That starts with a fairer tax code and public investment in workers, climate, and health care – key components of the Inflation Reduction Act. It’s time for our leaders to listen to economists and the public and pass this important legislation into law.” To speak to Dr. Mabud about what to expect in the July Jobs Report, email press@groundworkcollaborative.org...

Vox: Would the Inflation Reduction Act actually reduce inflation?

Vox
August 4, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist of the Groundwork Collaborative: The first thing to say is that big public investments, like those contained in this bill, are good for the economy, full stop.

Truthout: Exxon Laid Out Plans to Spend $30 Billion in Stock Buybacks as Gas Prices Soared

August 3, 2022

The Groundwork Collaborative analyzed shareholder and analyst calls within major oil companies like Exxon, Shell and Chevron and discovered that executives have effectively been celebrating high gas prices. In calls from the second quarter of this year, which just ended, the companies emphasized that their primary goals were to maximize profits and returns to shareholders and admitted that inflation and economic uncertainty are an opportunity for them.

The Hustle: What the heck is ‘greedflation’?

August 3, 2022

Enter “greedflation” AKA when corporations use inflation as an excuse to raise prices. According to economist Rakeen Mabud, the practice relies on exploiting information asymmetry.

NEW REPORT: Oil and Gas Companies Gloat About Blockbuster Earnings

Today, the Groundwork Collaborative released new research showing oil and gas executives bragging on corporate earnings calls about their record-shattering profits. Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, responded with the following statement:  “The data is in. As Americans hit their breaking point with high prices at the pump, Big Oil CEOs are using the crisis in Ukraine to bring in eye-popping profits. Exxon brought in $2,245 a second in the second quarter – that’s not a strong quarter, it’s a one-way racket.” View our new report here and visit endcorporateprofiteering.org for the latest findings from Q2 corporate earnings calls.  Highlights from Big Oil’s second quarter earnings...

India Currents: Is A Recession On the Cards, Or Not?

July 31, 2022

At a July 8 Ethnic Media Services briefing, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, highlighted the need to plan for and have a better understanding of the impacts of economic fluctuations beyond Wall Street, on the lives of ordinary people and communities. “While the labor market has experienced robust job growth in recent months, we must reject calls to push the economy into a recession and put millions out of work in the name of combating inflation.”

Washington Post: White House insists economy is strong as allies grow uneasy about Fed.

July 29, 2022

“The president should sign the Inflation Reduction Act into law and then jump in front of Powell before he drives the recovery off a cliff,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a left-leaning think tank.

Maine Beacon: Podcast: The corporate profiteering behind inflation and what we can do about it

July 29, 2022

Jin Woo Chung, senior economist for the Groundwork Collaborative and James Myall, policy analyst for the Maine Center for Economic Policy join host Cate Blackford to discuss rising prices, corporate gouging and what can be done to address it at both the state and national level.

SuperSavingTips.Com: Corporate Greed Is Now a Big Part of Inflation and You’re Paying for It

The Groundwork Collaborative, a group that monitors economic issues here in the U.S., listened in on hundreds of corporate earnings calls between companies and their shareholders and found that executives are openly bragging about their price-gouging strategies. They use the supply chain issue as hype to explain inflation publicly, but they have been raising their prices over what is needed so it’s no wonder that corporate profits are at a 70-year high!

Groundwork Reacts to GDP Report

Today, the Commerce Department released new gross domestic product (GDP) figures, which show two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of research and policy at the Groundwork Collaborative, issued the following statement:  “Today's GDP report makes it crystal clear that Jerome Powell is willing to push millions out of work and throw away our economic recovery in the name of an arbitrary 2% inflation target he doesn’t even believe he can hit. We can all agree that fighting inflation should be a top priority, but asking the workers and families who have been hit hardest by rising prices to also bear the brunt of a potential recession is not just cruel – it's bad...

Groundwork’s Lindsay Owens: “The Inflation Reduction Act Gets It Exactly Right”

Today, Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, released the following statement in support of the newly-released Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:  “The Inflation Reduction Act gets it exactly right: we bring down costs for families by making needed public investments, not pulling back on spending when we need it most. We bring down energy costs when we invest in clean energy and lessen our dependence on Big Oil profiteers. We bring down health care costs when we use public power to counter Big Pharma and get a fair price for seniors. And we strengthen our democracy and our economy when the largest corporations contribute to these investments, instead of buying politicians to oppose...

KALW: What explains inflation & what are real solutions for working people?

July 26, 2022

Mike Mitchell: “There is growing research leading us to believe that corporations are playing an active role in rising prices.”

Hart Energy: Price Gouging: Are Producers, Refiners, Retailers to Blame for Higher Prices?

July 25, 2022

Among other allegations, Lindsay Owens, executive director of the progressive Groundwork Collaborative, said that oil and gas companies have raised prices despite a lack of innovation or “pulling oil out of the ground more cheaply.”

KOPN: Chautauqua

July 21, 2022

Original teachers, activists, creative artists and authors guide us through our changing cultural landscape, and share ideas that can help us live our lives and transform our world. Dr. Lindsay Owens joins host Deborah Hobson to discuss the role of corporate profiteering in rising prices.

ABC News: Are record profits driving inflation?

July 20, 2022

ABC News' “Start Here” spoke with economist Rakeen Mabud about inflation and the role of corporations in rising prices.

The Louisiana Weekly: Corp. profiteering driving inflation, threatening most vulnerable

“CEOs are telling their investors that the current inflationary environment has created opportunities to extract more and more from consumers by raising prices,” explained Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative. “These mega-corporations are able to get away with aggressive and extractive pricing because they dominate the market and know more than the consumers.”

Korea Daily: [Opinion] In the era of inflation, only the common people stop sharing pain

July 17, 2022

Although (Groundwork Collaborative) is a left-wing research group, it is noteworthy that Dr Mabud said, “The big companies dominating the market are taking advantage of the current inflation situation to aggressively and predatory raise prices to consumers.” (Translated via Google)

LA Progressive: Fetterman Slams Corporate Execs 'Raising Prices on Us.’

July 17, 2022

Fetterman's remarks echoed those of progressive activists including Groundwork Collaborative chief economist Rakeen Mabud, who said Wednesday that policymakers must address "rampant corporate profiteering."

NEW POLL: Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Larry Summers’ Plan to Fight Inflation with Massive Unemployment, Recession

Today, the Groundwork Collaborative and Data for Progress released a new poll showing that voters overwhelmingly oppose former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ calls to address inflation by slowing the economy and sending unemployment skyrocketing. This poll follows yesterday’s Consumer Price Index report showing year-over-year inflation at 9.1% – a four-decade high. “Larry Summers’ cure for fighting inflation is worse than the disease itself,” Groundwork Executive Director Lindsay Owens said. “Manufacturing a recession and throwing millions out of work to bring down prices is not only cruel, it also reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of why prices are rising in the first place.” Below is a topline summary...

Salon: Economists to Fed: Inflation doesn't justify big rate hikes that could "push millions out of work"

July 14, 2022

"This morning's report highlights the fact that aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed have done little to combat the inflation that continues to take a toll on workers, families and small businesses across the country," said Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative. "Additional rate hikes would push millions out of work and ... raise the risk of a recession that would only worsen economic pain."

RawStory: John Fetterman slams corporate execs 'raising prices on us' after latest inflation figures

July 14, 2022

Oz responded to Wednesday's CPI figures in a statement asserting that "Pennsylvanians deserve better than more failed career politicians. It's time for change." Fetterman's remarks echoed those of progressive activists including Groundwork Collaborative chief economist Rakeen Mabud, who said Wednesday that policymakers must address "rampant corporate profiteering."

Common Dreams: Poll Shows Majority of US Voters Oppose Triggering Recession to Battle Inflation

July 14, 2022

"Larry Summers' cure for fighting inflation is worse than the disease itself," Groundwork Collaborative executive director Lindsay Owens said in a statement. "Manufacturing a recession and throwing millions out of work to bring down prices is not only cruel, it also reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of why prices are rising in the first place." The Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative survey of nearly 3,000 likely U.S. voters found that inflation was by far the most important economic problem facing the country today.

Peninsula 360 Press: Disadvantaged communities pay the price of inflation

In this regard, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, General Director of Policy and Research at the Groundwork Collaborative, commented that "corporations are taking advantage of this crisis" by increasing the prices of their products for consumers and justifying this increase due to inflation. Companies such as VISA, Mastercard, Walmart, among others, are using their power to increase prices for consumers, actions that not only affect customers but also small companies that cannot afford these expenses or set competitive prices with large companies. (Translated with Google)

Slavic Sacramento: From inflation to recession: what are the signs, how are we preparing and why is this happening?

July 14, 2022

“CEOs are telling their investors that the current inflationary environment has created opportunities to get more and more from consumers through higher prices,” explained Dr. Rakin Mabud. “These mega-corporations can get away with aggressive pricing because they dominate the market and know more than consumers.”

Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud Responds to Latest Inflation Report

Today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows year-over-year inflation at 9.1%, driven by rising energy costs. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud reacted with the following statement: “This morning's report highlights the fact that aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed have done little to combat the inflation that continues to take a toll on workers, families, and small businesses across the country. Additional rate hikes would push millions out of work and further raise the risk of a recession that would only worsen economic pain. “Policymakers must tackle inflation at its source: by addressing the rampant corporate profiteering and snarled supply chains that are causing significant financial hardship across...

The Hill: Five takeaways from the stunning inflation numbers

July 13, 2022

“This morning’s report highlights the fact that aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed have done little to combat the inflation that continues to take a toll on workers, families, and small businesses across the country. Additional rate hikes would push millions out of work and further raise the risk of a recession that would only worsen economic pain,” progressive economic research organization Groundwork Collaborative said in a statement. [7/13/22]

India Post: From Inflation to Recession – What are the signs, how do we prepare and why is this happening?

July 13, 2022

Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Chief Economist and Director of Policy and Research at Groundwork Collaborative, said that the current U.S. economy is experiencing a strange phenomenon, with supply chains being disrupted, inflation rate for decades, and corporate profit margins hitting 70-year highs. The epidemic has had a serious impact on small businesses, and they cannot substantially raise prices to pass the cost on to consumers.

Ethnic Media Services: Corporate Profiteering Driving Inflation, Threatening Most Vulnerable

“CEOs are telling their investors that the current inflationary environment has created opportunities to extract more and more from consumers by raising prices,” explained Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative. “These mega-corporations are able to get away with aggressive and extractive pricing because they dominate the market and know more than the consumers.”

NewsOne: Black Unemployment Declines But More Economic Policy Interventions Are Needed

July 10, 2022

In response to the economy adding 372,000 jobs, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative’s chief economist and managing director of policy, said that policymakers must consider thoughtful solutions to addressing inflation that does not jeopardize job growth. She said the government should move forward with necessary care, climate and housing investments to bring down costs and strengthen the economy. “While the labor market has experienced robust job growth in recent months, we must reject calls to push the economy into a recession and put millions out of work in the name of combating inflation,” Mabud said.

Tennessee Tribune: Economy Collapsed, Leaders Ousted in Sri Lanka

July 10, 2022

“The 70-year record high in corporate profit margins…..show the mega-corporations are taking advantage of this crisis to pad their profit by passing along more pricing that is not justified by rising input cost alone,” said Rakeen Mabud. She is the chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative in Washington D.C.

Nguoi Viet: Inflation due to COVID-19 may cause the US to have an economic crisis

July 10, 2022

The first speaker was Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist of the Groundwork Collaborative, talking about the current inflation situation…The Groundwork Collaborative goes through many of the financial records of corporations and understands why profits for many corporations are at record highs. The reason is that the heads of those corporations are calling for higher prices, bringing more profits, while acknowledging that inflation is making it difficult for consumers and taking advantage of them to make profits. (Translated with Google)

World Journal: Experts: U.S. recession risk is rising

July 9, 2022

Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Chief Economist and Director of Policy and Research at Groundwork Collaborative, said that the current U.S. economy is experiencing a strange phenomenon, with supply chains being disrupted, inflation rare for decades, and corporate profit margins hitting 70-year highs. She believes that many companies, especially medium and large companies, are now taking advantage of opportunities to extract more value from consumers. (Translated with Google)

Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud Reacts to June Jobs Report

The U.S. economy added 372,000 jobs in June, according to today’s Jobs Report. Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, reacted with the following statement: “While the labor market has experienced robust job growth in recent months, we must reject calls to push the economy into a recession and put millions out of work in the name of combating inflation. Doing so would be especially catastrophic for Black workers, who face nearly double the unemployment rate of white workers even in the best of times.  “Rather than condemning millions to joblessness, we must make the critical, long-overdue investments in care, climate, and housing that will bring down...

HuffPost: The Federal Reserve Can’t Fix Supply Problems, But It Can Make People Poorer

July 8, 2022

“By slowing demand too aggressively, they could very well cause an economic downturn and get a lot of people fired and make people poor, make families poor, even though they’re already struggling from rising prices,” Jin Woo Chung, senior economist at the progressive think tank Groundwork Collaborative, said in an interview.

Ethnic Media Services: From Inflation to Recession: What Are the Signs, How Do We Prepare, and Why is This Happening?

More and more economists are predicting we are heading into a recession. Experts discuss how and why inflation can turn into a recession, what people can do to prepare for it, how strong the safety net is and why is this happening at a time when corporations report record margins of profit. Panel featuring Dr. Rakeen Mabud.

Common Dreams: Economists Say Slowing Wage Growth Means Fed Must Pump Brakes on Rate Hikes

July 8, 2022

Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, said in a statement Friday that "while the labor market has experienced robust job growth in recent months, we must reject calls to push the economy into a recession and put millions out of work in the name of combating inflation."

ProPublica: What’s Really Driving Inflation?

July 7, 2022

Prevailing narratives often blame inflation on global market forces. But ProPublica dug deeper and found some corporations are taking advantage of the supply chain crisis. Can they be held accountable? Panel featuring Dr. Rakeen Mabud.

Smerconish: Throwing Millions of Americans Out of Work Won't Fix Inflation

July 6, 2022

At the Groundwork Collaborative, we like to say that we are the economy. What we mean is that we shouldn’t evaluate the health of the economy just by how the stock market is doing, how big CEO bonuses are each year, or whether Fortune 500 profits are charting new records. Instead, we should evaluate the strength of the economy by how well the workers, families, consumers, and small business owners who power our economy are doing. So we were pretty horrified when Larry Summers recently argued that throwing millions of Americans out of work is the cure for inflation.

The Lever: How To Crack Down On Corporate Profiteering.

June 30, 2022

The White House has blamed market concentration for inflation, as has antitrust hawk Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — while (Groundwork) polling has shown the talking point plays well. While economists dispute how much market power has played a role, many agree that it’s a factor.

Texas Public Radio (The Source): Food prices are the highest in decades due to inflation.

Which grocery items are affected the most? How can households minimize food spending? How can the community help local food banks? How much money should a household spend on food per week? Will the conflict between Russia and Ukraine continue to affect food prices? Groundwork Collaborative’s Mike Mitchell joined “The Source” to discuss.

Fingers (Substack): What does the ghost of Milton Friedman even know about beer, anyway?

June 27, 2022

Lindsay Owens Ph.D., the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, on why even cynical and/or pro-capitalism drinkers should care about corporations padding profits under the guise of inflation: “I mean, look: capitalism without competition is exploitation. Our economy will thrive when there's free and fair competition, when new companies with new ideas and new products are able to enter the scene and improve upon the status quo.”

Bloomberg: Odd Lots Newsletter: Inflation Expectations Are the Whole Game.

June 24, 2022

In this understanding, financial analysts and shareholders expecting short-term earnings boosts from increasing prices over and above the costs (i.e., markups) encourage firms to be price-makers instead of price-takers, and similarly punish firms that don’t exhibit or exert pricing power (Mabud 2022). The evidentiary focus here has generally been on economy-wide national accounts measures of profits and profit margins, as well as analysis from presentations of price increases on earnings calls (Owens 2022).

Rick Smith Show: The Federal Reserve, full employment, and inflation.

June 23, 2022

Groundwork’s Mike Mitchell joined the Rick Smith Show to break down Larry Summers’ recent comments, what solutions we have at our disposal regarding inflation, and why President Biden can’t raise or lower prices at the push of a button.

Glamour: Beyoncé’s ‘Break My Soul’ Is Already Inspiring People to Quit Their Jobs.

June 22, 2022

“This has led to a historically tight job market where workers have more leverage over their employers than we’ve seen in decades,” Lindsay Owens, executive director at the Groundwork Collaborative, tells Glamour. “Alongside this, we see workers also using their leverage to unionize and demand better working conditions across the country.” Now is the time when workers should be pushing for more, she adds. “Corporate profits margins are at 70-year record highs. Workers should be earning more of the value they create at work, and we have a long way to go before they will.”

BIG by Matt Stoller: On Inflation: It's the Monopoly Profits, Stupid.

But the profit contribution to inflation is too obvious to deny. Lindsay Owens at the Groundworks Collaborative, a nonprofit, has been tracking investor calls, and laid out how CEOs routinely bragged about elevated pricing power. And over the past week, several papers have come out essentially confirming the original profits-inflation analysis.

VinePair: ‘Greedflation’ Has Sent Corporate Profits Soaring, but What About Beer Prices?

June 21, 2022

“These really big firms have pricing power,” Lindsay Owens, Ph.D., the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive policy organization, tells me in a recent phone interview. “Huge companies that have been allowed to gobble up the small guys for decades, they’ve gotten bigger. And now in this moment of uncertainty, they’re exerting their size” by raising prices.

Business Insider: Meet the activists urging the Fed to worry less about inflation and focus on helping Americans get good jobs.

June 19, 2022

Rate hikes are the Fed's best tool for cooling inflation, but they come with the side effect of slower economic growth. So far, the tradeoff doesn't seem to be working, Lindsay Owens — the executive director of The Groundwork Collaborative — told Insider. "We're all rooting for a soft landing, but the worst-case scenario is high prices and high unemployment, and I really do worry that we're headed there," Owens said. "We're getting the stock-market crash. We're getting the wage-growth deceleration. And we're not getting the energy prices down."

NewsOne: Commentary: Measure National Economic Well-being By How People Are Doing Not Just Traditional Indicators.

June 19, 2022

Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief Economist and managing director of Policy and Research at Groundwork Collaborative, explained that high inflation was draining families across the country, particularly Black and other families of color. “Because of deeply baked inequities in our economy, communities of color tend to earn less and have less money in savings,” she explained. “As a result, rising costs on essentials means that for families of color, a bigger and bigger proportion of household budgets goes towards trying to make ends meet.”

Business Insider: Biden has few options left to quickly bring down gas prices. Now he's making a big bet by bashing Big Oil and turning to a brutal leader for help.

June 18, 2022

"Profits are four times what they were prior to the war in Ukraine," Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative who conducted extensive research on the subject, said in an interview. "The oil company executives are bringing in huge profits and bragging about it to shareholders in earnings calls."

ProMarket: Neoliberal Economists Are Giving Biden Bad Advice on Inflation.

June 17, 2022

Recent earnings calls contain this same kind of communication. Groundwork Collaborative has documented myriad episodes in which CEOs boasted about their newfound ability to exercise pricing power made possible by the cover of inflation, sometimes telegraphing future price increases.

Daily Mail: Three quarters of CEOs expect global recession within next 12 to 18 months due to Putin's war on Ukraine and fear Russian cyberattacks could make it WORSE, survey shows.

June 17, 2022

'If our monetary policy brings about a slowdown of the economy, we're all going to pay the price,' Groundwork Collaborative executive director Lindsay Owens told activists gathered this week across the street from where Fed policymakers were meeting in Washington.

Daily Mail: Mortgage rates hit 5.78% - the largest weekly increase since 1987 and well above the 3.11% recorded at the start of the year: House prices are expected to surge despite tumbling affordability.

June 16, 2022

But many do worry. 'If our monetary policy brings about a slowdown of the economy, we're all going to pay the price,' Groundwork Collaborative executive director Lindsay Owens told activists gathered this week across the street from where Fed policymakers were meeting in Washington.

ICYMI: Groundwork Joins “Stakeout for Full Employment” at the Fed

Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Dr. Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, delivered keynote remarks at the Fed Up Campaign’s “Stakeout for Full Employment.” Dr. Owens urged the Federal Reserve to fulfill its mandate of full employment – or risk jeopardizing our strong labor market recovery: “This week, the Federal Reserve faces an important choice: whether to keep a long-term policy focus on full employment and build an economy that works for all of us – or take overly aggressive action that will push our economy into a recession and send unemployment skyrocketing. Let’s hope they make the right choice.”  Read Dr. Owens' full remarks at the Fed Up press conference...

Reuters: Explainer: What Americans face now as the Fed raises interest rates.

June 15, 2022

Many, however, worry. "If our monetary policy brings about a slowdown of the economy, we're all going to pay the price," Lindsay Owens, executive director of progressive advocacy group Groundwork Collaborative, told activists gathered this week across the street from where Fed policymakers were meeting in Washington.

HuffPost: Federal Reserve Risks Recession In Order To Slow Inflation.

June 15, 2022

“You’re destroying economic activity and constraining economic growth in order to bring down prices, but in the process of doing that you’re artificially hurting the economy,” Jin Woo Chung, senior economist at Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive think tank, said in an interview.

MSNBC: The ReidOut with Joy Reid.

June 15, 2022

Groundwork Collaborative Executive Director Lindsay Owens joined The ReidOut to discuss all the latest in gas prices, inflation, and interest rates.

Lindsay Owens: It's Time for the Fed to Take its Full Employment Mandate Seriously

Remarks as delivered at the Fed Up Stakeout for Full Employment My name is Lindsay Owens and I am the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, an economic policy think tank and advocacy group working to build an economy that works for all of us.  It’s great to be here with the incredible folks at the Fed Up Campaign outside the Federal Reserve Building today as the Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting. I’m here to share a simple message: Raising interest rates alone is not going to fix the inflation crisis – but it will undermine our economic recovery.  Let’s talk about why. And we can start by being honest about what interest rate hikes can and cannot do. Will rate hikes...

Politico: ‘When do you stop?’: Fed inflation fight could trigger slump.

June 14, 2022

Lindsay Owens, executive director of progressive think tank Groundwork Collaborative, told the crowd that rate increases would do little to bring down inflation that is now being driven by factors outside the Fed’s control, like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and factory lockdowns in China. “The only thing worse than high inflation and low unemployment is high inflation and high unemployment,” she said at a press conference. “If our monetary policy brings a massive slowdown of the economy, we’re all going to pay the price.”

New York Times: Inflation and Price Gouging.

June 14, 2022

But inflation gives greedy, monopolistic companies a chance to take advantage, said Lindsay Owens, the executive director of the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative. Profiteering “is an accelerant of price increases,” she told me. “It is not the primary cause.” Owens pointed to what companies have said in earnings calls over the past year. A Tyson Foods executive claimed that price increases for beef covered not just inflation but “more than offset” higher costs. Visa’s C.E.O. said, “Historically, inflation has been positive for us.” Owens’s organization compiled a list of similar comments from other corporations.

The Business Journal: REP. COSTA PROMOTES SHIPPING ACT AS IT NEARS FINAL VOTE.

Mabud said the shipping industry is a prime example of how consolidation has left the economy ripe for profiteering.More than 80% of the ocean shipping industry and more than 95% of the East/West trade routes are controlled by three ocean shipping alliances — 2M, Ocean Alliance and THE Alliance, Mabud. “These policy choices have allowed corporations to keep costs low for themselves and keep record profits without any risk of being undercut by competition,” Mabud said.

Affording Your Life with Attorney General Keith Ellison: What's Really Going on with Inflation.

For the Season 3 kick-off, Minnesota AG Keith Ellison chats with Richard Painter and Lindsay Owens about what's really going on with inflation. Spoiler alert: corporate greed.

Food Processing: Greedflation and Gordon Gekko.

June 14, 2022

That has led to a narrative about “greedflation” – inflation intensified by greedy corporations who raise prices beyond what they need to. In support of this idea, an organization called The Groundwork Collaborative has released a document titled “Corporate Profiteering Findings,” which purports to blow the lid off this situation.

Zyri: Inflation in the United States: The Speculation Theory and Market Fears.

June 14, 2022

But inflation gives greedy, monopolistic companies a chance to take advantage, said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the left-wing Groundwork Collaborative. Profit “is an accelerator of price increases,” she noted. “It’s not the main cause.” Owens referenced what companies have said on earnings conference calls in the past year. A Tyson Foods executive said beef price increases not only covered inflation, but “more than offset” rising costs.

Washington Post: Average U.S. gas prices top $5 a gallon, as surging energy costs squeeze economy.

June 11, 2022

“U.S. policymakers should quickly follow suit or risk continued profiteering and pain at the pump,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a left-leaning group. The Groundwork Collaborative found that the largest 24 oil and gas companies recorded $174 billion in profits last year — the highest increase in seven years.

Vox: Can blaming corporate greed save Democrats on inflation?

Vox
June 11, 2022

“Firms are passing along their rising costs, but then they’re going for more. And that’s leading to really historic high profit margins,” Lindsay Owens, the executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic nonprofit, and a former senior economic policy adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), told Vox. Owens listened in on earnings calls last year to understand how CEOs were thinking about supply chain disruptions and projected earnings, only to find positive outlooks for profits.

Groundwork Responds to New Inflation Report

Today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows year-over-year inflation at 8.6%, with prices up for gas, food, and housing. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud reacted with the following statement:  “While families are feeling the sting of soaring energy costs, oil and gas companies are cheering the nearly $100 billion in profits they’ve already made this year off families’ pain at the pump. It’s past time for Congress to pass an excess profits tax to stop the outrageous war profiteering by Big Oil.”  Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak with Dr. Mabud about today’s CPI report and visit endcorporateprofiteering.org to see our latest research.  Corporate profiteering and inflation in the...

NewsOne: Inflation Reaches New Highs As Biden Administration Urges Congressional Action.

June 10, 2022

“While families are feeling the sting of soaring energy costs, oil and gas companies are cheering the nearly $100 billion in profits they’ve already made this year off families’ pain at the pump,” said Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud. “It’s past time for Congress to pass an excess profits tax to stop the outrageous war profiteering by Big Oil.”

Common Dreams: Progressives Rip Corporations for 'Using Inflation as a Cover Story to Jack Up Prices and Pad Profits'.

June 10, 2022

"While families are feeling the sting of soaring energy costs, oil and gas companies are cheering the nearly $100 billion in profits they've already made this year off families' pain at the pump," said Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative.

Vox: Why meat is so expensive right now.

Vox
June 7, 2022

Michael Mitchell of the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic policy group, says some ranchers are getting a raw deal as well. Increasingly, US beef comes from ranchers who sign contracts with meatpackers to sell their meat at set rates, and Mitchell says the packers aren’t raising those rates in tandem with their record profits: “It’s really creating an environment in which ranchers get squeezed,” Mitchell said. “Because demand for meat is still relatively strong … the meatpackers can make a very, very healthy profit and the ranchers don’t see that.”

Daily American: Gas hits $5 per gallon milestone in Somerset County.

June 7, 2022

“Profit margins should be coming down,” Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic policy research group, previously told USA TODAY. Instead, she noted, “they’re actually growing.”

Daily Kos: Voters overwhelmingly know what is to blame for inflation: Corporate greed.

June 5, 2022

“Over and over, corporations are telling us about their corporate profiteering strategies—and the public is taking notice,” said Groundwork’s executive director Lindsay Owens. “By wide margins, voters say corporations are raising prices simply because they can—and they want lawmakers to put a stop to it.”

Socialist Worker: Baby formula shortages in the US are no accident.

June 4, 2022

“Abbott chose to prioritise shareholders by issuing billions of dollars in stock buybacks instead of making productive investments,” said Rakeen Mabud from think tank, Groundwork Collaborative. “These giant corporations need to be held to account for the vulnerabilities that they’ve created and the quality of the product that they put on the market,” she said.

The New York Times: Is ‘Greedflation’ Rewriting Economics, or Do Old Rules Still Apply?

Lindsay Owens, an economic sociologist who runs the progressive Groundwork Collaborative and has championed the greedflation argument, emphasizes how different the economy looked during America’s last bout with inflation: Labor was far more powerful, and investors less so. “It’s not surprising to me that a field that’s spent 50 years studying the ’70s didn’t think a lot about pricing and market power, because that wasn’t as prevalent during their last moment to study it,” Dr. Owens said.

Groundwork Previews May Jobs Report

Ahead of tomorrow’s May Jobs Report, Groundwork’s Director of Policy and Research Mike Mitchell released the following statement:  “The critical investments we made in workers and families have sustained one of the strongest recoveries on record. However, we cannot afford to get complacent, especially when we continue to face unacceptable unemployment rates for Black and brown workers. Our path towards a sustained and inclusive economy demands additional investments in child care, housing, climate, and good-paying jobs.” To speak to economic and racial justice expert Mike Mitchell about what we can expect from tomorrow’s Jobs Report, email press@groundworkcollaborative.org.

OMFIF: Corporate US making consumers pay for inflation.

June 1, 2022

People are expecting prices to continue rising. Companies are taking advantage of these expectations by increasing their prices even further. As economic sociologist Lindsay Owens recently wrote in The New York Times, ‘companies that historically might have kept prices low to pick up profit by gaining additional market share are instead using the cover of inflation to raise prices and increase profits’. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell recently remarked that some companies are simply raising prices ‘because they can’.

Stanford Social Innovation Review: Electability Bias Against Female Candidates

“This paper identifies a devastating but critically important factor preventing women candidates from ascending to the highest levels of political office,” says Lindsay Owens, the executive director at Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic policy organization, and former economic advisor to Elizabeth Warren. “Political communicators and candidates should look closely at the authors’ recommendations for overcoming this bias if they want to improve their odds of electoral success.”

Informed Comment: Oil Profiteering: High Gas Prices, Climate Change, and the War in Ukraine share a Common Cause.

May 30, 2022

Amid the ongoing atrocities in Ukraine, rising gas prices, and the existential threat of climate change, policymakers in Washington have a long list of crises to address. But there’s one step that could help mitigate all of them: reducing our dependence on oil — and the giant oil and gas companies who profit from it.

CBS News: Companies use inflation to hike prices and generate huge profits, report says.

May 27, 2022

"Companies know that consumers expect higher prices right now and they're really seeing how far they can push that," Lindsay Owens, executive director of the left-leaning economic think tank Groundwork Collaborative, told PBS.

Ripon Advance: Rounds unveils bipartisan resolution calling for investigation into beef packing industry.

May 26, 2022

The resolution also would direct the FTC to report to Congress within one year on the monetary and other harms of anticompetitive practices and violations of antitrust law in the beef packing industry on consumers, ranchers, farmers, plant workers, and small businesses, and to make recommendations for legislation or other remedial actions, the bill summary says. The legislation has garnered support from the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, R-CALF USA, the South Dakota Farmers Union, the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, the Groundwork Collaborative, and Farm Action Fund.

Newton Daily News: It’s time to stop profiteering at the pump.

May 25, 2022

On quarterly earnings calls with their shareholders, big oil CEOs can’t stop bragging about how the crisis in the Ukraine is a great excuse to keep prices high and bring in historic profits — while consumers literally pay the price. Just listen to the CEO of Texas-based Pioneer Oil. When a reporter asked the CEO whether the company would consider taking measures to reduce prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he replied: “No.”

Between The Lines: Corporate Price Gouging Exploits, Worsens Inflation.

May 25, 2022

Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Mike Mitchell, Groundwork Collaborative’s director of policy and research. Here, he discusses his group’s research that reveals corporate America is taking advantage of the pandemic to cash in, and why he believes Congress should impose a windfall profits tax to rein in corporate profiteering that has yielded the highest profit margins in 70 years.

Beef Magazine: Congress seeks investigation into beef price fixing.

May 25, 2022

Corporations that control 85% of the market for beef “have been using their market power to raise prices for consumers and have reduced pay for ranchers, farmers, and plant workers, all while padding their bottom lines,” Warren says. “It’s time for Congress to get back in the game and use every tool to promote competition in our markets so we can lower costs for families.” The bipartisan resolution is endorsed by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, R-CALF USA, South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, Groundwork Collaborative and Farm Action Fund.

CityLimits: Opinion: Price Gouging is Crushing Low-Income New Yorkers. Here’s What Gov. Hochul Should Do.

May 24, 2022

As Lindsay Owens of the Groundwork Collaborative recently noted, “Companies that historically might have kept prices low to pick up profit by gaining additional market share are instead using the cover of inflation to raise prices and increase profits. Consumers are now expecting higher prices at the checkout line, and companies are taking advantage. The poor and those on fixed incomes are hit the hardest.”

Ralph Nader Radio Hour: What’s Really Driving Inflation/War Without Death?

Ralph is joined by Lindsay Owens, executive director of the progressive economics think tank, the Groundwork Collaborative, who listened in on the earnings calls for some major corporations to hear management brag about using the current inflationary climate as cover for “plain old corporate profiteering."

Salon: Billionaires turn their backs on Biden: Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos go to Twitter to get political.

May 21, 2022

However, Lindsay Owens, Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, told Salon that corporate tax hikes would disincentivize companies from applying excessive markups to their products. "Since the pandemic, about 54% of the price increases we're seeing are coming from what we call the markup," she said in an interview. "That piece gets a lot less fun and a lot less lucrative," she added, when "it's taxed back and shipped off to the Treasury."

The Guardian: Baby formula crisis: Abbott enriched shareholders as factory needed repairs, records show.

May 20, 2022

“Abbott chose to prioritize shareholders by issuing billions of dollars in stock buybacks instead of making productive investments,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist for the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic advocacy group. “It’s important that we have high standards for something as vital as baby formula.”

WAMC: Deficit hawks are proposing austerity again. They're wrong.

May 20, 2022

The evidence for this is in the public presentations made by boards to directors to their stockholders. For evidence, see an opinion piece by Lindsay Owens in the New York Times, “I Listened In on Big Business. It’s Profiting From Inflation, and You’re Paying for It.”

NEW POLL: Strong Majority of Voters Blame Corporations for Inflation, “Taking Advantage of the Pandemic” to Raise Prices

Amid a fierce debate in Washington around inflation, Groundwork Collaborative has released a new poll with Data for Progress showing voters overwhelmingly believe corporations are raising prices unfairly to earn record profits.  The results, as featured in Bloomberg News today, are backed by growing data and research showing the role of corporate profiteering in recent price hikes.  “Over and over, corporations are telling us about their corporate profiteering strategies – and the public is taking notice,” said Groundwork’s Executive Director Lindsay Owens. “By wide margins, voters say corporations are raising prices simply because they can – and they want lawmakers to put a stop to it.”  The poll, which...

Bloomberg: Democrats’ ‘Greedflation’ Claims Run Up Against Scant Evidence.

May 19, 2022

Voters also feel large corporations are using the pandemic to raise prices and increase profits, according to a survey conducted earlier this month by the progressive think tank Data for Progress in partnership with Groundwork Collaborative. At least 60% support both raising taxes on big companies as well as cracking down on those that raise prices unfairly.

Salon: Behind the Joe Biden v. Jeff Bezos beef: What their inflation spat is really about.

May 18, 2022

Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, told Salon that in order to fight inflation, Biden will need to disincentivize companies from applying the profit-driven markups to their products that are causing prices to rise. (Markups represent the difference between a product's selling price and its production cost.) "Since the pandemic, about 54% of the price increases we're seeing are coming from what we call the markup," she said in an interview, citing research from the Economic Policy Institute. "That piece gets a lot less fun and a lot less lucrative," she added, when "it's taxed back and shipped off to the Treasury." Also published in RawStory.

MSNBC: The Beat with Ari Melber.

May 18, 2022

Dr. Lindsay Owens joined MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber to break down earnings results from 3M, Driven Brands, and Visa, as well as detail the role of corporate profiteering in rising prices.

OtherWords: IT’S TIME TO STOP PROFITEERING AT THE PUMP.

May 18, 2022

For decades, we’ve allowed big oil and gas companies to enrich themselves at the expense of our families, communities, and environment. Now these companies are seizing a moment of geopolitical unrest to pad their pockets even more. Oil companies are celebrating some of their biggest profits in years. In the first three months of 2022 alone, ExxonMobil raked in a record $5.5 billion, ConocoPhillips $5.8 billion, and Chevron $6 billion. On quarterly earnings calls with their shareholders, big oil CEOs can’t stop bragging about how the crisis in Ukraine is a great excuse to keep prices high and bring in historic profits — while consumers literally pay the price.

ICYMI: Groundwork Chief Economist Testifies at House Judiciary Subcommittee Hearing on Corporate Power and Profiteering

Yesterday, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of research and policy at Groundwork Collaborative, testified at a hearing of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The hearing, titled “Reviving Competition: Rebuilding America's Economic Leadership and Combating Corporate Profiteering,” focused on the impact of corporate concentration and market power on rising prices.  “Groundwork has combed through hundreds of earnings calls where executives tell investors about last quarter’s performance and what they can expect going forward,” Dr. Mabud told the Subcommittee. “Over and over, the message from corporate America is clear: they aren’t just asking consumers...

Slate — What Next: How Corporations Are Taking Advantage of Inflation (Podcast).

May 17, 2022

Consumers are paying higher prices almost everywhere as inflation continues to rise. But corporate earnings calls have revealed that many companies are using inflation as a cover to jack up prices and increase profits — all on the backs of customers. Guest: Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative.

The Hill: Powell starts second term with greatest challenge yet.

May 17, 2022

The combination of higher interest rates and steadier price growth could be enough to slow a strong economy in much deeper pain. “This is not the kind of scenario where we’re seeing rising prices that monetary policy was built to address,” said Michael Mitchell, research and policy director at the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive research nonprofit. “By going forward with interest rate hikes right now, they’re actually condemning a lot of people, a lot of workers and families to greater costs and more difficulty in making ends meet.”

TOMORROW: Groundwork’s Chief Economist to Testify at House Hearing on Monopoly Power and Corporate Profiteering

Tomorrow, May 17 at 1 p.m. ET, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research, will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The hearing titled, “Reviving Competition: Rebuilding America's Economic Leadership and Combating Corporate Profiteering,” will cover how outsized and entrenched corporate power has facilitated rampant profiteering by megacorporations, squeezing families and small businesses.  Dr. Mabud will provide expert testimony on how companies are using the cover of inflation, the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine to raise prices beyond what increasing input costs would justify – yielding the...

Noahpinion: Greedflation, gouging and price controls.

May 16, 2022

Instead, they probably believe that companies are using their existing level of monopoly power to take advantage of the current economic situation in order to raise their prices (and profits) more than they would in a competitive market. For example, here’s a thread by Lindsay Owens of the Roosevelt Institute that basically makes this case.

TOMORROW: Groundwork’s Chief Economist to Testify at House Hearing on Monopoly Power and Corporate Profiteering.

May 17 at 1 p.m. ET, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research, will testify before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law. The hearing titled, “Reviving Competition: Rebuilding America’s Economic Leadership and Combating Corporate Profiteering,” will cover how outsized and entrenched corporate power has facilitated rampant profiteering by megacorporations, squeezing families and small businesses.

Economic Policy Institute: Ignoring the role of profits makes inflation analyses a lot weaker.

May 16, 2022

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell wrote last week that those pointing to the role of fatter profit margins in driving price inflation are engaged in “conspiracy theories,” and argued that the conspiracy theorists are distracting attention from things that could really lead to lower inflation: faster immigration and removing import tariffs. It’s a pretty unconvincing column all around.

New Yorker: The War on Economics.

May 16, 2022

Yet we’re not close to consensus on central questions of economic statecraft. Can the cycle of booms, bubbles, and busts be moderated? How much money can a welfare state redistribute to the poor without encouraging dependency? Economists, for all their hardcore mathematizing, still disagree with one another on basic issues. Which raises a question: Was it a mistake to entrust them with public policy in the first place?

Nation of Change: New Warren bill would empower Feds to crack down on corporate price gouging.

May 15, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, applauded the new bill as an “important” step toward reining in corporate profiteering and argued that “a federal price gouging statute would help curtail this exploitative behavior.”

Salon: Elizabeth Warren Targets Corporate Price Gouging.

May 13, 2022

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, similarly argued in a New York Times op-ed last week that "plain old corporate profiteering" is a key culprit behind price hikes nationwide. "Companies that historically might have kept prices low to pick up profit by gaining additional market share are instead using the cover of inflation to raise prices and increase profits," Owens wrote. "Consumers are now expecting higher prices at the checkout line, and companies are taking advantage. The poor and those on fixed incomes are hit the hardest."

Common Dreams: New Warren Bill Would Empower Feds to Crack Down on Corporate Price Gouging.

May 13, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, applauded the new bill as an "important" step toward reining in corporate profiteering and argued that "a federal price gouging statute would help curtail this exploitative behavior."

Talk Business & Politics: Reports Suggest Corporate America Partially Responsible for Inflation.

The think tank group Groundwork Collaborative compiled two reports earlier this year showing how corporations' profit from the pandemic and raise consumer prices to help to fuel inflation. Groundwork Collaborative found much of corporate America is raising prices on goods and services while also growing net income to sometimes near-record levels.

Groundwork on New Inflation Report: Big Corporations Cash In While Consumers Pay the Price

Today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) shows year-over-year inflation at 8.3%, a slight decrease from 8.5% the previous month. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud reacted with the following statement:  “This morning’s inflation report shows that megacorporations are still taking advantage of this moment to cash in – at the expense of consumers, families, and small businesses. On corporate earnings calls, their strategy is clear: they aren’t just passing along rising costs to consumers; they are going for more.”  Read Groundwork’s new Q1 report on corporate prices and profits here and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to set up an interview with Dr. Mabud. Groundwork's New Research on Inflation...

Fox Business: What Can Biden Actually Do About Inflation?

May 11, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, said Biden and Congress need to zero in on big corporations that are "profiteering" off consumers. "Tackling inflation requires taking on the mega corporations that are jacking up prices on consumers in order to make record profits for their CEOs and shareholders," Mabud told FOX Business. "In earnings call after earnings call, CEOs are crowing about their ability to raise prices on consumers – while using inflation, the war in Ukraine, and the pandemic as cover for their price hikes."

Tangle: The inflation problem.

Tangle: The inflation problem. In The New York Times, Lindsay Owens said "corporate profiteering" is the real culprit of inflation. "Curious how C.E.O.s were justifying higher prices, my team and I started listening in on hundreds of earnings calls, where, by law, companies have to tell the truth," Owens wrote. "What was striking in the earnings calls was not the supply chain shortages or companies’ typical profit motives; it was the plain old corporate profiteering.”

Daily American: 'Compounding the Problem': Why to Expect Even Higher Gas Prices in the Coming Weeks.

May 10, 2022

“Profit margins should be coming down,” Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic policy research group, previously told USA TODAY. Instead, she noted, “they’re actually growing.” Shell's adjusted earnings rose to $9.1 billion from $3.2 billion during the same period last year. BP profits rose to $6.2 billion, which is more than double last year's first quarter profits of $2.6 billion.

USA Today: Oil Giants Reap Record Profits as War Rages in Ukraine, Energy Prices Soar: Here's How Much They Made.

May 7, 2022

The net profit margin of S&P 500 companies, which include energy giants such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil, in the first quarter has been running at 12.3% based on estimates and earnings reported so far, according to FactSet. That’s down from a peak of 13.1% in the second quarter of last year, but above the pre-COVID-19 level of about 11%. “Profit margins should be coming down,” Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic policy research group, previously told USA TODAY. Instead, she noted, “they’re actually growing.”

PRESS CALL TODAY, 10:30 a.m. ET: Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Other Experts To Weigh in on April Jobs Report

Today at 10:30 a.m. ET, Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud will join the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Kate Bahn and the Roosevelt Institute’s Lauren Melodia for a Jobs Day Press Call. Leading economists will share their real-time analysis of the April Jobs Report and what it means for workers, families, and small businesses.  “The trajectory of the labor market recovery is a testament to the people-centered investments policymakers made during the pandemic,"  said Dr. Mabud. “However, the Black unemployment rate remains at nearly double the white unemployment rate, an unacceptable inequity that has persisted for too long. We must not get complacent and settle for the pre-pandemic labor market that...

MSNBC: The Beat with Ari Melber.

May 6, 2022

Dr. Lindsay Owens joined MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber to discuss her latest piece in The New York Times and the role of corporate profiteering in rising prices.

San Antonio Express-News: Ayala: Is Inflation Fueling Price Hikes, or is it Corporate Profiteering?

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Groundwork Collaborative, whose mission is to develop and advance a progressive economic worldview, was more blunt. The headline on her New York Times commentary said, “I Listened In on Big Business. It’s Profiting from Inflation, and You’re Paying for It.” “Curious how CEOs were justifying higher prices, my team and I started listening in on hundreds of earnings calls, where, by law, companies have to tell the truth,” she writes.

ICYMI – INFLATION: Groundwork’s Executive Director Pens New York Times Op-ed: “I Listened In on Big Business. It’s Profiting From Inflation, and You’re Paying for It.”

This morning, the New York Times published a new op-ed by Dr. Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative. The piece makes the strong case that corporate profiteering is contributing to rising prices and calls on policymakers to step in to address it.  Dr. Owens and the Groundwork Collaborative have been sounding the alarm for months in the media, the halls of Congress, and alongside partners about corporate profiteering. The organization has pored over hundreds of corporate earnings calls to expose how megacorporations are exploiting supply chain bottlenecks, foreign war, and a global pandemic to bring in record profits.  Visit Groundwork’s new site – endcorporateprofiteering.org – to learn...

New York Times: I Listened In on Big Business. It’s Profiting From Inflation, and You’re Paying for It.

What was striking in the earnings calls was not the supply chain shortages or companies’ typical profit motives; it was the plain old corporate profiteering. The Economics 101 adage that “inflation is just too much money chasing too few goods” doesn’t come close to the full story. This raises the question: When companies are exploiting consumers in a time of national crisis, when should government step in?

The Guardian: ‘What am I going to do?’: Soaring Prices Fuel Calls for US Government to Step In.

April 30, 2022

But price rises are not the only issue critics would like to see the Biden administration address. Others, like Groundwork Collaborative’s executive director, Lindsay Owens, have called for a ban or new restrictions on stock buyback programs. Joe Biden’s 2023 budget proposes prohibiting executives from selling their stock three to five years after enacting a buyback program. “The other big winner besides the shareholders in excess cash that’s going to buybacks are the executives,” Owens said. “They announce the buybacks, their stock prices soar, then they sell their shares and there are a number of ways to make this work better.”

Roosevelt Rundown: How Elon Bought Twitter.

April 28, 2022

Reading — Revealed: Top US Corporations Raising Prices on Americans Even as Profits Surge [feat. Roosevelt Fellow Lindsay Owens] – The Guardian.

ICYMI: The Guardian, USA Today Show How Inflation Offers Companies ‘Convenient Pretext’ to Jack Up Prices

New reporting from The Guardian and USA Today published today offers more evidence of ongoing corporate profiteering. Corporations are reporting record-breaking profits by raising prices under the cover of inflation – and struggling consumers are picking up the extra costs.  The Guardian’s analysis of 100 top corporations’ financials and earnings calls reveals net profits rose by 49% and in one case by as much as 11,000%. These findings are consistent with new BEA data showing corporate profit margins are at their highest level since 1950.  USA Today cites profit margins and earnings calls as further proof that, rather than being forced to raise their prices because of forces beyond their control, like supply...

Common Dreams: Seeing Inflation as 'Opportunity,' Corporations Are Profiting From Price Hikes: Analysis.

April 27, 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic, a supply chain crunch inseparable from decades of neoliberal globalization, and Russia's war on Ukraine have created a "smokescreen," according to Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, which has drawn attention to the relationship between "corporate greed" and rising prices. "That gray, nebulous area is fertile ground for companies right now, and you hear about it in their earnings calls," Owens told The Guardian. "Inflation itself is the opportunity."

USA Today: Critics say Corporate Greed is Making Inflation Worse, Citing Record Profits Despite Rising Costs.

April 27, 2022

Companies, they say, are jacking up prices by more than is required to offset their rising wholesale costs, padding their profits while using supply snags as cover. “They see (inflation) as an opportunity,” says Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic policy research group. “It’s a convenient pretext.”

Colorado Springs Independent: Opinion: Calling Joe Biden.

You’re not likely to read about the devastating effects of monopoly from your local, hedge-fund owned newspaper, but a few taps on a keyboard will take you to a wealth of resources. Some favorites include Yale’s Thurman Arnold Project, the Roosevelt Institute, and The Groundwork Collaborative.

Common Dreams: 'Penny Wise and Pound Foolish': Democrats Urged to Reject Pivot to Austerity.

April 26, 2022

In a statement on Tuesday, ProsperUS spokesperson Claire Guzdar cautioned that "choosing to veer away from investments that succeeded so incredibly in keeping families and the economy afloat over the last two years could derail our economic recovery altogether"—an assessment that economists have echoed, citing the consequences of austerity in the wake of the Great Recession. "Starving our economy of these long-term investments," added Guzdar, "is penny wise and pound foolish and will lead to slower growth, fewer jobs, less revenue, and larger deficits in the long run."

The Incision by Abdul El Sayed: Lindsay Owens on What's Driving Inflation.

April 25, 2022

I wanted to understand inflation, and the ways that corporations have been hiding behind it to raise their prices. Lindsay Owens is the Executive Director of Groundworks Collaborative, a progressive economic policy think tank. They’ve been tracking inflation and the ways that major corporations have been using it to their advantage — and driving it in the process. She joined me to share more about inflation, what’s driving it, and what needs to be done to slow it.

Brookings and EPI Agree: Rising Corporate Profits are Driving Inflation, Leaving Workers Behind

Yesterday, two leading economic think tanks – the Brookings Institution and the Economic Policy Institute – released new reports that reached a similar conclusion: high corporate profits, not workers’ wages, are driving high prices at the checkout line, and consumers are paying the price.  Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens: “It is unlikely that either the extent of corporate greed or even the power of corporations generally has increased during the past two years. Instead, the already-excessive power of corporations has been channeled into raising prices rather than the more traditional form it has taken in recent decades: suppressing wages.” Brookings Institution’s Molly Kinder, Katie Bach, and Laura...

USA Today: For Voters, Inflation is Top of Mind; Biden's Signature Legislation Doesn't Register.

April 20, 2022

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the progressive economic group Groundwork Collaborative, said congressional Democrats should pass legislation before November to address rising child care, health care and housing costs, as well as taking on corporate price gouging. “Congress gets back in session next week. And they should get down to the floor as soon as possible to vote for legislation to bring down costs for families and to take on corporate profiteering,” Owens said. “These focus groups should really light a fire under that.”

Public News Service: Minnesota Grapples with Inflation; Report Blames Corporate Profits.

A new report from the Groundwork Collaborative said corporations are taking advantage of the pandemic to drive up costs for things such as prescription drugs, groceries and diapers. The authors pointed to corporate earnings calls in which some CEOs openly boast about their price hikes.

CBS News: Companies Use Inflation to Hike Prices and Generate Huge Profits, Report Says.

April 18, 2022

"Companies know that consumers expect higher prices right now and they're really seeing how far they can push that," Lindsay Owens, executive director of the left-leaning economic think tank Groundwork Collaborative, told PBS.

Occupy Democrats: Unfree Market: AOC Serves Notice on Corporations Caught Bragging About Rising Consumer Prices and Record Profits.

April 17, 2022

Groundwork Collaborative has compiled data, across multiple sectors, from corporate earnings calls showing companies brazenly flaunting their near-monopolistic power grip on industries across the spectrum, thumbing their nose at the difficulties faced by American families, while engaging in predatory and unscrupulous business practices that are enabled by a lack of competition.

Politico: The Hunt for Peak Inflation.

April 15, 2022

“Policymakers should tax excess profits to encourage productive investment, pursue a federal price gouging standard to protect consumers, and make long-overdue investments in our supply chain. Regulators should also enforce existing laws to make markets more competitive and prevent collusion and price-fixing.” — Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research, Groundwork Collaborative.

PBS Newshour: Why Corporations are Reaping Record Profits with Inflation on The Rise.

April 12, 2022

Lindsay Owens: What we're seeing in this moment is really when that profit maximization and opportunity collides. And the opportunity is the cover of inflation.

Public News Service: Report: Corporate Profiteering Fueling Inflation.

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, the group behind the report, said families in Nebraska and across the U.S. are on the hook, as powerful corporations tap the pandemic's economic fallout to rake in record-breaking profits. Last year, corporate profit margins reached their highest level since 1950.

Politico: The Lefty Magazine Flexing Some Biden-era Muscle.

April 11, 2022

The White House granted the publication access to officials for its recent issue focusing on fixing supply chain problems. Clearly the communications team was pleased. Dayen told West Wing Playbook that White House officials requested copies of the issue (the print magazine publishes just six times a year). At one point recently, Dayen says, a senior administration official told him a copy was placed in the Oval Office.

Politico: Opinion | To Overcome the Republicans’ Culture War, Democrats Need to Punch Up, Not Down.

April 11, 2022

Democrats can use this inclusive populist narrative to respond to voters’ top issue: inflation. As Lindsay Owens of Groundwork Collaborative has noted, corporate CEOs have repeatedly stated that they are using reports of inflation in some sectors of the economy as an excuse to raise prices on consumer goods.

Salon: Mitch McConnell Leads Republicans in Profiting Off of Corporate Price Hikes.

April 9, 2022

"They tell investors every quarter our pricing actions more than offset our [cost of goods sold]. They're passing along the rising cost of production, and they're still charging more," Owens added. "And so it's actually quite a straightforward story. It's interesting to me that there's been such a vigorous debate about it, because it's sort of just factually true."

Star Tribune: Greed or Good Business? A Look at Food Company Profits Over the Past Year.

April 9, 2022

"Corporate profits are at a record high — and, more critically, corporate profit margins are at their highest point since 1950," said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the progressive Groundwork Collaborative. "What we're seeing across the board is companies are taking advantage of this moment and jacking up prices beyond what their input costs would justify."

Groundwork’s Director of Policy and Research Testifies at House Hearing on Impact of Concentrated Corporate Power on Workers

Today, Michael Mitchell, Groundwork Collaborative’s Director of Policy and Research, testified at a hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth on the impact of concentrated corporate power on workers and consumers. “Across companies and across products, large corporations are bragging about their ability to raise prices beyond rising costs,” Mitchell told the Committee. “For consumers, this includes price increases on essential goods such as groceries, diapers, and household cleaning products. Yet even as families struggle to make ends meet, corporations are turning the screws.” Watch Michael Mitchell’s testimony here – and read his full remarks submitted for the record...

THIS WEEK: Groundwork Experts to Testify in House, Senate Hearings on Inflation and Corporate Profiteering

This week, Groundwork Collaborative will be sending two experts to Congressional hearings to testify to members of the House and Senate about how to address one of the major culprits behind inflation: corporate profiteering. The testimonies follow the launch of a new site, which highlights the link between corporate profiteering and rising prices.  Today, April 5, 11 a.m. ET: Lindsay Owens, Ph.D., Groundwork’s Executive Director, will testify at a Senate Budget Committee hearing entitled: “Corporate Profits are Soaring as Prices Rise: Are Corporate Greed and Profiteering Fueling Inflation?” Owens will discuss Groundwork’s research and work shining a spotlight on megacorporations taking advantage of recent crises to pad...

ICYMI: Groundwork Executive Director Testifies at Senate Budget Committee Hearing on Corporate Profiteering

Today, Dr. Lindsay Owens, Executive Director of the Groundwork Collaborative, testified at a hearing of the Senate Committee on the Budget. The hearing, titled “Corporate Profits are Soaring as Prices Rise: Are Corporate Greed and Profiteering Fueling Inflation?”, focused on how corporate profiteering is driving skyrocketing prices and record profits.  “The 2021 profit data confirms what CEOs have been telling shareholders for months — inflation has been very, very good for business,” Dr. Owens told the Committee. “Over and over, the message from corporate America is clear: they aren’t just asking consumers to pay for their rising costs, they’re going for more...Big corporations are getting away with pushing up...

Hill Heat: “Fossil Fuel Industries Have Been Important Agenda-Setters in Many Countries”.

April 5, 2022

Senate Budget chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is looking at the broader phenomenon of corporate profiteering with witnesses Robert Reich and Groundwork Collaborative’s Lindsay Owens.

Law360: Windfall Tax On Profits Would Help Consumers, Panel Told.

April 5, 2022

Lindsay Owens, executive director of a Washington, D.C.-based economic policy think tank called the Groundwork Collaborative, blamed rising inflation on corporate profiteering, investor demand for higher profits, and supply-chain control held by mega corporations.

Salon: Bernie Sanders to Hold Hearing on How "Corporate Greed and Profiteering" are Fueling Inflation.

April 5, 2022

"CEOs can't stop bragging on corporate earnings calls about jacking up prices on consumers to keep their profits soaring," Lindsay Owens, executive director at the Groundwork Collaborative, said in a statement about the analysis. "These megacorporations are cashing in and getting richer — and consumers are paying the price." Owens is one of three experts set to testify at the Senate Budget Committee's Tuesday hearing.

Groundwork Launches New Website Highlighting Rampant Corporate Profiteering as Driver of Inflation

Following last week’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) release showing record corporate profits in 2021, the Groundwork Collaborative has launched a new website, endcorporateprofiteering.org, highlighting corporate profiteering as a key driver of rising prices. The new site pulls from publicly-available quarterly corporate earnings calls to expose CEOs crowing about raising prices on consumers to boost their profit margins.  “CEOs can’t stop bragging on corporate earnings calls about raising prices on consumers to keep their profits soaring and now we have the receipts,” said Dr. Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork. “But don’t just take our word for it – check out our new site and decide for...

E&E Daily: Committees Prepare for Gasoline Price Battles.

April 4, 2022

Some Democrats are pushing legislation — including S. 3933 and S. 3802 — to implement new taxes on windfall profits. One key backer is Senate Budget Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who is holding a hearing on inflation and corporate greed.

Truthout: Sanders Announces Budget Committee Hearing on Corporate Greed and Profiteering.

April 4, 2022

The hearing scheduled for Tuesday will highlight a “level of corporate greed [that] has only widened the gap between the top one percent and the working class,” according to the press release. It will feature testimony from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Lindsay Owens, director of Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic advocacy group.

Herald Chronicle: Opinion: It’s Not Just Inflation, It’s Price Gouging.

April 2, 2022

My organization, Groundwork Collaborative, recently got our hands on the transcripts from hundreds of these earnings calls. And you won’t believe what CEOs are boasting about. Knowing that the current inflation frenzy is a convenient scapegoat, these companies are charging customers even more to pad their profit margins. They aren’t just admitting it — they’re openly bragging to investors about how well it’s working.

Washington Post: As Inflation Spreads, Rising Prices Fuel Charges of Corporate Greed.

April 2, 2022

“P&G is a great example. It’s a huge, huge company with an enormous amount of market share,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist of Groundwork Collaborative, a nonprofit that is critical of corporate behavior. “And it throws its weight around in a number of different ways and uses that power to take advantage of the situation.”

Groundwork’s Director of Policy and Research Mike Mitchell Reacts to March Jobs Report

The U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in March, according to today’s Jobs Report. In response, Mike Mitchell, director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, released the following statement: “This jobs report demonstrates that public investments – in workers, families, and consumers – are the building blocks for a strong and resilient recovery. But deficit fearmongering and blunt interest rate hikes threaten to impede the labor market recovery and jeopardize broadly-felt prosperity – leaving Black and brown communities even further behind.  “Public investment sparked our economic recovery, but in order to reach full employment, policymakers must continue to invest in an economy that works for all of...

Fortune: U.S. Companies Post Their Biggest Profit Growth in Decades by Jacking Up Prices During the Pandemic.

March 31, 2022

The progressive group Groundwork Collaborative, which focuses on economic issues and has repeatedly criticized corporate America for its price hikes during the pandemic, was also quick to come out with a statement after the corporate profit data was released. “CEOs can’t stop bragging on corporate earnings calls about jacking up prices on consumers to keep their profits soaring—and today’s annual profit data shows just how well their inflation strategy is working,” Groundwork’s executive director Lindsay Owens said. “These megacorporations are cashing in and getting richer, and consumers are paying the price.”

Common Dreams: 'Their Inflation Strategy Is Working': Corporate Profits Soared to Record High in 2021.

March 31, 2022

Lindsay Owens, executive director at the Groundwork Collaborative, argued in a statement that the new profit figures show that corporate America is successfully weathering inflationary pressures across the economy by pushing higher costs onto consumers—a tactic some CEOs have openly touted during recent calls with investors.

Groundwork Reacts to BEA Report Detailing Record Corporate Profits

Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its quarterly report, which highlights the skyrocketing growth in corporate profits in the past year as profits for nonfinancial corporations increased by $461 billion, reaching $1.78 trillion in 2021 — a 34.9% rise from 2020. Lindsay Owens, executive director at Groundwork, responded with the following statement:  “CEOs can’t stop bragging on corporate earnings calls about jacking up prices on consumers to keep their profits soaring – and today’s annual profit data shows just how well their inflation strategy is working. These megacorporations are cashing in and getting richer – and consumers are paying the price.” To speak to Lindsay Owens about the latest BEA report...

CNN+: Go There.

March 30, 2022

The latest from Mykolaiv, Ukraine, where residents are dealing with the aftermath of a Russian attack. Then, head to Virginia to look at price gouging. Lindsay Owens: “A really key factor behind the price increases we’re seeing is a simple one: corporations are raising prices because they can.”

The New Republic: Biden Has Been Touting the Middle Class for Two Years, but the Middle Class May Not Be Listening.

March 30, 2022

The organization is hosting a virtual kickoff event with Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky on Wednesday. Its board includes the heads of influential liberal economic groups like the Groundwork Collaborative, Americans for Tax Fairness, and the Economic Security Project.

Yahoo! Finance: US Corporate Profits Stayed High Through 2021 Even as Inflation Took Hold.

March 30, 2022

The Groundwork Collaborative group, which has hammered corporate America over high prices, immediately put out a statement charging that businesses are taking advantage of inflation to raise prices. The “annual profit data shows just how well their inflation strategy is working,” Lindsay Owens, the group’s executive director, said of business leaders. “Megacorporations are cashing in and getting richer — and consumers are paying the price.”

The National Interest: Did Biden's Approval Rating Drop When the Child Tax Credit Expired?

Per HuffPost, Biden’s approval rating was 4 percent higher among parents when the monthly payments from the enhanced credits started last July, according to researchers at Fighting Chance for Families Action, a project of the liberal groups Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative.

Business Insider: Raising Interest Rates Won't Fix the Real Reason Behind Inflation: Price-Gouging and Corporate Greed.

March 26, 2022

“Mabud argues that the supply chain, for instance, was weakened over the last three decades through a corporate philosophy called the "just-in-time" method, a cost-saving methodology that ruthlessly eliminates storage costs and material overruns by driving up efficiency in the global supply and distribution chains.”

The American Prospect: Interest Rate Hikes Aren’t a Solution for Supply Shocks.

“On top of all that, as our friends at Groundwork Collaborative have been hammering, companies have used the opportunity to hide behind inflation expectations to jack up prices in ways that raise their profit margins. Recognizing and combating windfall profits makes more sense than driving interest rates to a level that puts people out of a job.”

HuffPost: Loss Of Child Tax Credit Payments May Have Hurt Joe Biden’s Approval Rating

March 23, 2022

"Survey data suggests Biden’s approval was 4 percentage points higher among parents when the payments started in July, according to researchers at Fighting Chance for Families Action, a project of the liberal groups Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative."

Pitchfork Economics: Did Corporate Greed Break the Supply Chain? (With Rakeen Mabud).

“While many Americans struggle to make ends meet, corporate America’s 2021 profits were higher than ever. So why are corporations making more money while supply chain issues are still driving up inflation for the rest of us? The Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist, Rakeen Mabud, wants you to know that the supply chain is working exactly as it was designed: for maximum profit, rather than reliably getting goods to people. And that’s the problem.”

The American Prospect: The Great Disconnect.

“Among voters who received the newly generous Child Tax Credit in 2021, evaluations of the economy were more positive than they were among similar voters who didn’t, according to a recent analysis by Data for Progress.”

ICYMI: Experts Show Why Corporations, Not Workers, Are Behind Rising Prices – and Why It Matters

On Friday, Salon and The American Prospect each published op-eds highlighting a shockingly-neglected subset of economics: corporate profits.  In Salon, Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud draws on corporate earnings call data to argue that corporations are scapegoating workers for higher prices – all while corporate executives are making record profits. Meanwhile, Haifa University’s Associate Professor of History Dr. Eli Cook offers historical context for why economists routinely ignore the staggering corporate profits and the excessive market power corporations hold over our economy in The American Prospect.  Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Dr. Mabud or Dr. Eli Cook about the correlation...

KSQD: Len Beyea’s Talk of the Bay.

March 21, 2022

“Lindsay Owens on public perceptions of corporate greed, economics, and housing – and the real story.”

Salon: Stop Blaming Workers for Inflation: Corporate Greed is a Much Bigger Factor. (op-ed by Rakeen Mabud)

March 18, 2022

But let's call out this story for what it really is: a devious tactic to shift blame from their own role in jacking up prices. At the end of the day, it's greedy corporations that have gotten us into this mess, not workers. In short, the story of price increases today is one of a profit–price spiral – not one driven by workers' wages.

Inequality.org: It’s Not Just Inflation — It’s Price Gouging.

March 18, 2022

Four times a year, corporations are required by law to update their investors on how they’re doing in terms of sales and profits. These are called “earnings reports,” and the companies will usually hold calls with the investors to walk them through the latest report. My organization, Groundwork Collaborative, recently got our hands on the transcripts from hundreds of these earnings calls. And you won’t believe what CEOs are boasting about.

Salon: Stop blaming workers for inflation: Corporate Greed is a Much Bigger Factor. (op-ed by Rakeen Mabud)

March 18, 2022

But let's call out this story for what it really is: a devious tactic to shift blame from their own role in jacking up prices. At the end of the day, it's greedy corporations that have gotten us into this mess, not workers. In short, the story of price increases today is one of a profit–price spiral – not one driven by workers' wages.

New Research Shows Oil and Gas Companies Price Gouge Consumers After Record-Smashing Year

Yesterday, President Biden called on oil companies to lower prices at the pump, warning that “oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans.” His tweet supports new findings showing that soaring gas prices for families have been a windfall for energy companies, CEOs, and investors. Groundwork Collaborative’s Executive Director Lindsay Owens gave the following statement: “Every disruption to energy markets has proven to be another opportunity for CEOs to pad their profits – and the crisis in Ukraine is no exception. Despite the falling cost of crude, energy companies have made clear that Americans shouldn’t expect relief at the pump any time soon. The profits are simply too...

The Hill: Fed Likely to Raise Interest Rates: Here's How It Might Affect You.

March 16, 2022

“Rate hikes will increase unemployment, slow down wage growth and hurt the very people who are bearing the brunt of recent price increases. Throwing cold water on the economic recovery will only calcify long-standing inequities in our labor market, harming all of us,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collective, a progressive research nonprofit.

Groundwork to the Fed: Rate Hikes Will Hurt Recovery, Workers

As the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee kicks off its two-day meeting to discuss potential interest rate hikes, please feel free to use the following quote from Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud highlighting the primary drivers of inflation and laying out what is at stake:  “Raising interest rates will do nothing to address the root causes of rising prices: pandemic profiteering, concentrated corporate power, and decades of underinvestment in our supply chains.  “Rate hikes will increase unemployment, slow down wage growth, and hurt the very people who are bearing the brunt of recent price increases. Throwing cold water on the economic recovery will only calcify long-standing inequities in our...

Minnesota Post: It’s Not Just Inflation — It’s Price Gouging (op-ed by Lindsay Owens).

March 15, 2022

If you’ve been slammed lately by higher prices on everything from groceries to rental cars and gas prices, you’re probably wondering what on earth is behind these skyrocketing costs. Corporations are quick to blame this new reality on the pandemic, but another major culprit is hiding in plain sight: Their own profiteering.

Sirius XM: The Michelangelo Signorile Show.

March 14, 2022

Lindsay Owens joined Joe Sunday on the Michelangelo Signorile Show to discuss the recent CPI numbers and the role of corporate profiteering and war profiteering in rising prices.

Business Insider: Biden has a Ton of Ideas to Keep Putin's Invasion from Hurting Americans' Wallets, but There's 'No Quick Fix'

March 13, 2022

"There's not a silver bullet or quick-fix solution for the administration right now," Lindsay Owens, executive director of the left-leaning Groundwork Collaborative, told Insider. "But I think there are a range of policy actions, including continued investment in the supply chain to help unsnarl supply shortages, continuing to keep a tight labor market, and to ensure that we can staff adequately to help alleviate the supply shortage."

TOMORROW: How to Fix the Supply Chain with Senator Tammy Baldwin

Tomorrow, March 10 starting at 2 p.m. ET, Groundwork Collaborative, American Economic Liberties Project, and The American Prospect will host a virtual event entitled, “Supply Chain Fragility: How To Rebuild A Resilient System.” The event, which is free and open to the public, will include a keynote conversation between American Prospect Executive Editor David Dayen and Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.  WHAT: Policymakers, independent business owners, and economic experts will discuss how policy choices we made over the last 50 years have left us with a brittle and broken supply chain that has allowed workers, families, and small businesses to fall through the cracks.  WHERE: Click HERE to RSVP. WHO: Speakers...

Groundwork Collaborative Ratifies First Union Contract

The members of the Groundwork Collaborative Union ratified Groundwork’s inaugural collective bargaining agreement. This agreement is the first union contract for employees of Groundwork, who formed a union with the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU) on April 23, 2020.  “Our members are so excited to enact this first contract as a critical step toward ensuring that staff — especially our Black and brown coworkers — are heard, supported, and valued in our workplace,” said Heather Henriquez on behalf of the Groundwork Collaborative Union.  “I’m delighted to announce that Groundwork has reached an equitable and visionary workers-first collective bargaining agreement,” said Lindsay Owens, executive...

Other Words: It's Not Just Inflation — It's Price Gouging.

March 9, 2022

If you’ve been slammed lately by higher prices on everything from groceries to rental cars and gas prices, you’re probably wondering what on earth is behind these skyrocketing costs. Corporations are quick to blame this new reality on the pandemic, but another major culprit is hiding in plain sight: their own profiteering.

Groundwork Chief Economist Testifies at House Financial Services Committee Hearing on Inflation

Today, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research Dr. Rakeen Mabud appeared at a hearing of the House Committee on Financial Services. The hearing, entitled “The Inflation Equation: Corporate Profiteering, Supply Chain Bottlenecks, and COVID-19,” focused on the critical issues of rising prices and inflation.  “There are a range of factors driving inflation right now, including increasing and shifting demand, as well as supply chain disruptions and resulting shortages,” Dr. Mabud told the Committee. “However, the 70-year record high corporate profit margins demonstrate that megacorporations are taking advantage of this crisis to pad their profits, accelerating price hikes for...

House Democrats Take Aim at Corporate Greed During Inflation Hearing

March 8, 2022

“The concern here is that the investor scaffolding that undergirds our entire economy will keep prices elevated for a longer period of time and allow these huge companies to get rich while all of us pay the price,” Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the progressive Groundwork Collaborative, told lawmakers. Read on The Hill

The New Republic: After Two Years of Covid, the U.S. Economy Is Thriving. We Have the Great Recession to Thank.

March 8, 2022

“It is abundantly clear that Congress’s response in 2008, 2009, and 2010 was just too small and stopped too quickly,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative. Even if the Obama administration couldn’t have gotten a trillion-dollar-plus bill through Congress at the start, it could have made it clear that another would need to follow.

Tomorrow: Groundwork Chief Economist to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Corporate Profiteering and Inflation

Tomorrow, March 8, 2022 at 10 a.m., Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research, will testify before the House Committee on Financial Services at a hearing entitled, “The Inflation Equation: Corporate Profiteering, Supply Chain Bottlenecks, and COVID-19.” Dr. Mabud will provide her expert testimony on one of the key drivers of rising prices: corporate profiteering. She will provide data on historic profit margins, which have hit a 70-year high during the pandemic, and numerous examples of executives openly discussing their predatory pricing strategies on corporate earnings calls. Dr. Mabud will also provide evidence to suggest that a profit-price spiral – not...

Groundwork’s Director of Policy and Research Mike Mitchell Reacts to February Jobs Report

Following the release of February’s Jobs Report today, Mike Mitchell, director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, released the following statement: “Today’s job numbers demonstrate that smart, sustained investments in people and families are critical to building a healthy, resilient economy for all. This is especially urgent for Black and brown workers who continue to be left behind in our recovery.  “President Biden’s State of the Union Address made it clear: Our government can and must do more to continue our economic comeback and ensure our economy is working for all of us.” To speak to economic justice expert Mike Mitchell about the February Jobs Report, email...

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: Why Corporate Profiteering Could Be Helping Fuel Inflation.

These and other examples are collected in Corporate Profiteering Findings, a report by the U.S. advocacy group Groundwork Collaborative released earlier this month. The report not only includes comments by executives in investor calls but juxtaposes companies' complaints about higher operating costs with their willingness to spend millions — as Procter & Gamble, Best Buy and Whirlpool did — on buying back their own stock, a way to return cash to shareholders.

Detroit Metro Times: Four Ways Corporate Greed is Driving Inflation.

March 2, 2022

What corporate executives are willing to say on earnings calls is often a lot more honest than what they’re willing to say publicly. On those calls, they’ve made it very clear that this moment isn’t really about inflation, it’s about profit. My friend Dr. Lindsay Owens, who heads up the progressive think tank Groundwork Collaborative, just published a report showing exactly how corporations used inflation to jack prices. You can read the full report yourself, but I think she did a great job distilling its biggest findings on Twitter.

Next City: Hear Us: What’s Up With Inflation, and What Does It Mean for People of Color?

March 2, 2022

Solana Rice of Liberation in a Generation recently sat down with Mike Mitchell, the director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, to get the 411 on inflation and what it means for people of color. “It’s interesting how much of the conversation around inflation kind of looms as a specter, but we don’t actually talk about what it is, how it’s measured, or how it impacts different folks, right?”

Fatherly: Most Americans Blame “Corporate Greed” for Inflation, Survey Shows.

March 2, 2022

“Big corporations aren’t shy in telling their investors how they’re taking advantage of the pandemic to jack up prices and pad their own profits—and the public is noticing,” Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, said in a statement earlier this week. “Policymakers should listen to voters by cracking down on corporations raising prices unfairly, addressing corporate consolidation and monopoly power, and increasing taxes on corporations.”

Vox: Inflation, Explained by Eggs.

Vox
March 2, 2022

Some economists and politicians have flagged that a number of corporations have used inflation and current economic conditions as cover for increasing prices. “There’s absolutely, and it’s clear as day in the earnings calls, a larger sense that these companies are passing along higher costs and then some,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of progressive think tank the Groundwork Collaborative. “They are pleasantly surprised that demand is not responsive, and what that says to them is hey, let’s go a little further still.”

Reuters: $10 toothpaste? U.S. Household Goods Makers Face Blowback on Price Hikes.

March 1, 2022

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the progressive non-profit Groundwork Collaborative, named diapers as a category with little competition, paving the way for aggressive price hikes.

NEW POLL: Voters Convinced that Corporate Greed is Driving Inflation, Strongly Support Policies Tackling Issue Head-On

February 28, 2022

Today, Groundwork Collaborative released a new poll from Data for Progress gauging the public’s perceptions on recent inflation. The results, as mentioned in Yahoo Finance, showed that a majority of voters blame large corporations for price increases and strongly support policies that address monopoly behavior and corporate profiteering head-on.  “Big corporations aren’t shy in telling their investors how they’re taking advantage of the pandemic to jack up prices and pad their own profits – and the public is noticing,” said Groundwork’s Executive Director Lindsay Owens. “Policymakers should listen to voters by cracking down on corporations raising prices unfairly, addressing corporate consolidation and monopoly...

Truthout: Poll Finds Most Voters Think Companies Are Exploiting Pandemic to Raise Prices.

February 28, 2022

The poll of over 1,500 likely voters, conducted by Data for Progress in collaboration with Groundwork Collaborative this month, found that 63 percent of all respondents think that corporations are using the pandemic to pad profits. Only 29 percent said that the companies have no choice but to raise prices to cover operational costs.

Bloomberg: Inflation Pai Means Biden Gets No Credit for Roaring Economy.

February 27, 2022

“Biden and the Democrats won’t be trusted on the economy without clearing inflation because voters aren’t going to reward the party in power if they feel worse off,” said Lindsay Owens, a former economic adviser to Senator Elizabeth Warren who is now executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic think tank.

Yahoo Finance: Corporate America's 2021 Profits Were Higher Than Ever.

February 25, 2022

The group is also releasing a new survey this week of 1,549 likely voters from Groundwork Collaborative and Data for Progress that finds 63% of respondents believe large corporations are "taking advantage of the pandemic to raise prices unfairly and increase profits." Even 51% of Republicans agreed with that sentiment.

NBC LX: Companies Used Inflation as an Excuse to Jack Up Prices, and She's Got the Receipts.

February 23, 2022

Many businesses have posted rising profits and 70-year-high profit margins since the pandemic. But executives have also talked openly in earnings calls about raising prices, and then saying the increases were due to inflation. And Lindsay Owens and her organization Groundwork Collaborative have the receipts to prove it.

Fortune: Bernie Sanders rips McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Amazon for ‘corporate greed’ as they post huge profits and price hikes.

February 22, 2022

“Sometimes we talk about inflation like we care about it for its own sake. We really care about inflation because we care about the way it affects people,” Rakeen Mabud, chief economist for the economic activist group Groundwork Collaborative, recently told Fortune’s Megan Leonhardt. “These price hikes are really, really hitting vulnerable people hard.”

Vox: Corporate Pricing is Boosting Inflation — But We’re Still Buying

Vox
February 20, 2022

The inability to dismantle those two phenomena, though, is integral to the ability of certain businesses to continue increasing prices, according to Lindsay Owens, the executive director of progressive economic policy organization the Groundwork Collaborative and a former senior economic policy adviser to Warren.

Fortune: Is Inflation Really this Bad, or are Greedy Companies Profiting Off the Pandemic?

February 19, 2022

Yet others argue that the price hikes are unjust, including Rakeen Mabud, chief economist for the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive activist group focused on economic issues.

Economic Liberties, Groundwork Call on White House to Address Rampant Corporate Profiteering

In response to growing evidence of corporate profiteering and price gouging, the American Economic Liberties Project and the Groundwork Collaborative released a letter to the Biden Administration calling on the White House to take immediate action.  The letter urges President Biden to speak out against rampant corporate profiteering, to convene an emergency meeting of the White House Competition Council, and to encourage the Council of Economic Advisors to study market structure and corporate behavior in concentrated industries more rigorously. “Corporations are all too happy to blame working families and the Biden administration for inflation when it’s clear it’s corporate power that’s the problem,” said Sarah...

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Lindsay Owens on The Problem with Jon Stewart

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, joined Jon Stewart’s podcast, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” to talk about concentrated market power, price hikes disguised as inflation, and staggering corporate profit margins – and her viral tweet thread on what Fortune 500 CEOs are saying about how inflation is “good for business.”  Listen to the full episode here and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Lindsay about the link between corporate profiteering and rising prices.   ### Groundwork Collaborative The Groundwork Collaborative’s mission is to advance an economic vision for strong, broadly shared prosperity and true opportunity for all. Visit our website and follow us...

Biden’s Hack Gap on Inflation

February 17, 2022

But others in the expansive lefty-economics space say that, in fact, it is not “bullshit” to make these points; that those who believe so don’t appreciate the intersectionality of political power and the marketplace; and that it is a form of political insanity to shy away from a more populist approach. Read on Politico

White House Economists Push Back Against Pressure to Blame Corporate Power for Inflation

February 17, 2022

This week, two groups — the American Economic Liberties Project and the Groundwork Collaborative — sent a letter to Biden urging him to order CEA to “study market realities” and determine the connection between corporate profits and higher prices. Read on The Washington Post

The Problem with Jon Stewart:

February 17, 2022

We’re doubling up the content—and the problems. Alongside staff writers Henrik and Kasaun, Jon welcomes inflation expert Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, to discuss greedy CEOs jacking up prices.

Red-hot Inflation Has CEOs 'Crowing' and Consumers Crying (Sort of)

February 16, 2022

And with an economy still expanding at an appreciable rate, there’s no telling when trickle-down inflation will stop. “What we see is across sectors — across companies, CEOs are just crowing about how they can raise prices on consumers all while bringing in record profits,” Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork Collaborative chief economist and managing director of policy and research, told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. Watch on Yahoo! Finance

Renters Across US Face Sharp Increases – Averaging Up to 40% in Some Cities

February 16, 2022

“If we think that rent is a really core part of our inflation problem right now, which it is, then we really do need a more comprehensive approach,” said Dr Lindsay Owens, co-author of the report and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. Owens argued against solutions put forth by some economists seeking to rely on contractionary monetary policies such as raising interest rates through the Federal Reserve. Read on The Guardian

ICYMI – Groundwork Exposes Big Driver of Recent Price Increases: Corporate Greed

In case you missed it, Groundwork Collaborative’s experts have been sharing their research with Congress, media outlets, and over social media to help policymakers and people across the country cut through the corporate spin and learn more about one of the key drivers behind recent price increases: corporate greed.  Lindsay Owens: “You don't have to take my word for it. They're telling us, they're crowing and bragging to investors in these earnings calls.”  Rakeen Mabud: “We’ve essentially spent 50 years handing our supply chain over to mega-corporations. These companies have built a system that works for them.” See recent clips below – and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Groundwork’s team...

How We Broke the Supply Chain Panel

February 15, 2022

In this event, the Prospect’s executive editor David Dayen hears from Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at The Groundwork Collaborative, TAP’s editor at large Harold Meyerson and staff writer Alex Sammon, and NYC-based independent journalist Rose Adams, on just how the links in the supply chain crumbled and broke away. Watch on The American Prospect

Economist is Disgusted by These CEOs who Brag about Their High Prices While Blaming Inflation, Exposes Them on Twitter

February 14, 2022

Recently, economics and data expert Dr. Lindsay Owens has shared an illuminating explanation on Twitter about how corporate greed affects us all. “As you read today’s inflation report, pay close attention to what the CEOs who set prices are saying. We got our hands on the latest batch of earnings reports, and it’s a doozy,” Owens wrote in a thread on February 10 that has since gone viral. Read on Bored Panda

How Dems Can Punch Back on Inflation

February 13, 2022

Groundwork [Collaborative] has a rundown of how mega-retailers used the holiday season as an opportunity to jack up prices under the cloak of inflation. Read on The Message Box

Five Obstacles Biden Faces in Battle Against Inflation

February 12, 2022

“When we see supply shortages we can tamp out our demand and make people poorer, or we can boost supply,” said Rakeem Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive research nonprofit, in a Thursday call with reporters. “Investments that really have long lasting positive repercussions will make our economy more resilient.” Read on The Hill

Ayman Reports

February 11, 2022

There’s a heated debate over what’s driving inflation. Is it a supply crunch? Government spending? Or corporate greed gone amok? In much of America right now, says @owenslindsay1, “Things look a lot less like your Econ 101 textbook and a lot more like an episode of The Sopranos.” See on Peacock

Corporations Are Getting Off Scot-free in the Inflation Blame Game

February 11, 2022

As [Lindsay] Owens mentioned last night, CEOs have been open — giddy, even — about their plans to raise prices on products, despite the fact many of them have seen profits rise during the pandemic. Watch on MSNBC

The Michelangelo Signorile Show

How are economists and corporations allowed to scream inflation while celebrating record growth? @owenslindsay1 of @Groundwork joins @MSignorile [to discuss] the misplaced anger toward the numbers and what people should be looking at. Listen on SiriusXM

Rakeen Mabud on Supply Chain Breakdown

February 11, 2022

You will have heard many things recently about the supply chain—as the reason you can’t find what you’re looking for on store shelves, or the reason it costs so much. But what’s behind it all? Why has the system broken down in this way? Rakeen Mabud is chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative. She’ll join us to talk about the ideas in the article she recently co-authored for American Prospect, “How We Broke the Supply Chain.” Listen on FAIR Counterspin

Groundwork on CPI: Corporations are Raising Prices, Turning Record Profits

Today’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) release shows year-over-year inflation increased to 7.5%. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud responded with the following statement:  “Earnings calls are littered with CEOs bragging about how they're able to use inflation as a cover for their price hikes. These higher prices are putting more pressure on struggling families and small businesses – all while CEOs and shareholders net record profits. “The best way to bring down prices is to get our supply chains back up and running by making smart investments now — and prevent dominant corporations from siphoning them off or using them to accumulate even more market power.”  Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak...

Press Call Thursday, 11:30AM ET: Roosevelt Institute's Lauren Melodia, The Washington Center for Equitable Growth's Kate Bahn, & Groundwork's Rakeen Mabud react to Consumer Price Index Report

Tomorrow, February 10, at 11:30 a.m. ET the Roosevelt Institute’s Lauren Melodia, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Kate Bahn, and Groundwork Collaborative’s Rakeen Mabud will join a press call hosted by Invest in America to react to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ January Consumer Price Index (CPI). Register here. Who:  Lauren Melodia, Deputy Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at the Roosevelt Institute Kate Bahn, Director of Labor Market Policy & Interim Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth Rakeen Mabud, Chief Economist & Managing Director of Policy and Research at Groundwork Collaborative What:  Economists Lauren Melodia, Kate Bahn, and Rakeen Mabud discuss...

Groundwork’s Director of Policy and Research Mike Mitchell Previews January Jobs Report

Ahead of tomorrow’s Jobs Report, Mike Mitchell, director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, released the following statement: “Tomorrow’s jobs numbers will highlight the need to focus on Black workers, and especially Black women. Amid the Omicron surge, school and day care closures, and the expiration of the Child Tax Credit, women and workers of color are barely hanging on by a thread.  “Pulling back on investments and returning to the pre-pandemic status quo isn’t an option. We cannot ensure a robust recovery and a resilient economy unless we make public investments to address pervasive economic inequality in our labor market.” To speak to Mike about what to expect from the January jobs...

Media Advisory: Rep. Cicilline Joins Experts For Virtual Briefing on Corporate Greed, Inflation, and Build Back Better

On Thursday, February 3 at 4 p.m. Eastern, Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, will join experts from Accountable.US, Groundwork Collaborative, and Navigator Research for a virtual briefing to discuss how price gouging and corporate greed are contributing to rising prices and how Congress can combat inflation and lower costs. Press may RSVP here. WHAT Rep. Cicilline and experts discuss corporate greed as a driver of inflation and the path forward for the Build Back Better Act.  WHO Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), Chairman, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, U.S. House of Representatives Bryan Bennett, Senior...

Armed With Teddy Bears, West Virginia Moms Fight To Save The Child Tax Credit

February 3, 2022

It’s possible that allowing the child tax credit to expire could damage Democrats’ standing with voters. According to new polling from Fighting Chance for Families, a project of the liberal groups Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative, Democrats in January enjoyed a 9-point advantage over Republicans on the question of “Which party do you trust more to support parents with children?” Read on Huffington Post

Groundwork Chief Economist Testifies at Congressional Hearing on Pandemic Profiteering

Today, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research Rakeen Mabud testified at a hearing of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. The hearing, "Pandemic Profiteers: Legislation to Stop Corporate Price Gouging," focused on the critical issues of pandemic profiteering and price gouging.  Dr. Mabud opened with examples of corporate executives bragging about their ability to raise prices under the cover of inflation – while raking in record profits for their CEOs and investors. She laid out how current profiteering is the direct result of decades of policy choices that have resulted in an imbalanced and brittle economy. And she recommended...

House Panel Debates Bill to Create Federal Price-gouging Policy

February 2, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at progressive advocacy group the Groundwork Collaborative, testified that price hikes are contagious among publicly traded companies. “When one company is able to get away with padding their profits and price gouging, shareholders from across the board want in,” she said, adding that those who don’t endure “massive selloffs.” Read in Roll Call

Starbucks Profits Soar by 31%—But It's Raising Prices Anyway

February 2, 2022

During testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday, Rakeen Mabud of the Groundwork Collaborative noted that "in sector after sector, in company after company, corporations are jacking up prices on consumers and using concerns about inflation as cover to do so." Read on Common Dreams

Top Democrats Rip Corporations for Price Gouging. ‘Executives Brazenly Boast to Investors About Raising Prices.’

February 2, 2022

A pack of 50 Kimberly-Clark N95 masks cost $23.19 in October 2021. By mid-January, the same box of masks cost $57.15, according to the Groundwork Collaborative, a left-leaning activist group focused on economic issues. Read in Fortune

Tomorrow: Groundwork Chief Economist to Testify at Congressional Hearing on Pandemic Profiteering

Tomorrow, February 2, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research Rakeen Mabud will testify at a hearing of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce entitled "Pandemic Profiteers: Legislation to Stop Corporate Price Gouging."  Mabud will discuss the widespread pandemic profiteering that is enriching corporate executives and shareholders while hurting consumers, workers, and small businesses around the country. She will lay out how current profiteering is the direct result of decades of policy choices that have resulted in an imbalanced and brittle economy. And she will recommend that Congress tackle pandemic...

Groundwork and The American Prospect Shine Spotlight on How the Supply Chain Crisis Drives Inflation

As inflation continues to weigh heavily on Americans’ minds, a new issue of The American Prospect: How We Broke the Supply Chain released today shines a spotlight on this complex and often-misunderstood issue. Created in collaboration with Groundwork Collaborative, the special issue investigates how current supply chain chaos and rising prices stem from decades of bad policies that prioritized corporate profits above all else.  “This project details how we spent a half-century allowing business executives and financiers to take control of our supply chains,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork and co-author of the first story of the issue. “Now is our chance to...

The American Prospect x Groundwork Special Issue: How We Broke the Supply Chain

January 31, 2022

Dr. Rakeen Mabud kicks off a special issue of The American Prospect: The Supply Chain Debacle. The opening story, co-authored by Dr. Mabud and Prospect Executive Editor David Dayen, explains how current supply chain chaos and rising prices stem from decades of bad policies that prioritized corporate profits above all else. Below is an excerpt from the February issue released today:  “We spent a half-century allowing business executives and financiers to take control of our supply chains, enabled by leaders in both parties. They all hailed the transformation, cheering the advances of globalization, the efficient network that would free us from want. Motivated by greed and dismissive of the public interest, they didn’t mention...

How We Broke the Supply Chain

January 31, 2022

Economic elites have ripped off the public and put us in danger for too long, and they did it largely undetected. We are in the midst of a unique crisis that has clarified the vulnerabilities of this system like never before, and the untold story of corporate takeover and catastrophe ought to trigger a rethinking about whom an economy should serve. Now’s our chance to flip the script and start building toward an economy that truly works for all of us. Read on The American Prospect

Biden Could Step into Debate on Booming Sports Gambling

January 31, 2022

“You could read hundreds of stories about this phenomenon, about the stress of longshoremen and supply chain managers and government officials, the consequences for consumers and small businesses and retailers, and superficial attempts at explaining why we got here,” David Dayen and Rakeen Mabud write in the first story of a new project by the American Prospect: “How We Broke the Supply Chain.” Read on the Washington Post.

What Should the White House Do to Combat Inflation? Use Antitrust to Curb Corporate Profiteering

January 26, 2022

As the country grapples with inflation, the Washington Post asked 12 experts across the ideological spectrum how they would fight rising prices. One of these experts was Lindsay Owens, who makes the case for addressing concentrated corporate power to bring down prices:  “Addressing concentrated corporate power isn’t the only tool the president can or should use to bring down prices that are straining family budgets. But given the pernicious and pervasive links between concentration, shortages and price hikes, any policy response must center this approach or underdeliver. American consumers can afford nothing less.” Read the full story here. 

Groundwork’s Chief Economist on Federal Reserve Meeting: Rate Hikes Will Do Nothing to Stop Corporate Greed

Today, as the Federal Reserve begins its two-day meeting to determine potential interest rate hikes, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud released the following statement warning against a premature rate hike: “There is absolutely no reason for the Federal Reserve to raise rates when we are still in the midst of a fragile recovery. Raising rates at this moment will do nothing to address the real culprits behind rising prices: powerful corporations lining their pockets at our expense and chronic underinvestment in our supply chains. The longer we allow companies to take advantage of moments of crisis to pad their profits, the more cover it gives them to raise prices on workers. “Raising rates now would...

Price of Meat on the Rise as Companies See Profits Triple

January 22, 2022

“So when there’s no competition in a market, you’re not going to get some of those dynamics that allow prices to ease,” said Groundwork’s Rakeen Mabud. The price of beef is up 20% from this time last year. The Biden administration is pointing fingers at the meat industry, which is dominated by just four big companies who control pricing." Watch on NBC News

WATCH: Rakeen Mabud Talks Inflation, Corporate Greed on Black News Channel

Economist Rakeen Mabud joins Aisha Mills on #AMplified to discuss why people are paying more for consumer goods.   

LISTEN: Should Supply Chains Really be this Fragile?

January 20, 2022

Groundwork Collaborative Executive Director Lindsay Owens lays out her argument for why corporate profit-seeking contributed to the inflation problem we have today, in the latest economics episode with POLITICO reporter Victoria Guida. Listen on Politico  

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Rakeen Mabud – “Prices Are Going Up… Because of Corporate Greed”

Following last week’s Consumer Price Index showing a 7% year-over-year increase in inflation, Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud joined the Black News Channel’s Amplified with Aisha Mills to highlight the issue: “Essentially prices are going up … because of corporate greed. [Companies] are using inflation as a cover to raise prices and pocket the profits…We have handed our economy over to these mega-corporations for decades.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to be connected to Dr. Mabud.  Below is a sampling of recent reporting on price hikes that got it right:  Data for Progress: Messaging on Inflation Should Stress Policy Solutions, Record Corporate Profits. These findings offer a...

Why the Economy Can Survive Higher Rates

January 18, 2022

Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic think tank, said the problem with rate increases is they won’t address what folks at Groundwork and some lawmakers see as a major contributor to inflation: big businesses unfairly jacking up prices. Read on Politico

Groundwork on CPI: Corporations are Hiking Prices, Making Record Profits

Today’s Consumer Price Index shows year-over-year inflation increased to 7.0%. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud responded with the following statement:  “This morning's CPI release reinforces the urgent need to acknowledge and address the role of corporate greed in driving up prices. For too long, we have tolerated an economy optimized to boost short-term profits at the expense of workers, consumers, and families. Corporate profiteering is driving high prices. And consumers are paying the price.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Dr. Mabud about one of the driving factors of rising prices: mega-corporations with massive market power. Read our latest findings here.  ### Below is a sampling...

ICYMI: Fed Chair Powell, Companies “Raising Prices Because They Can”

Moments ago, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell appeared in front of the Senate Banking Committee. During the nomination hearing, in an exchange with Sen. Warren, he publicly acknowledged that big corporations are taking advantage of inflation for financial gain: Sen. Warren: “Today, nearly two out of three of the biggest publicly traded corporations in the country are reporting fatter profit margins than they reported before the pandemic, which doesn’t sound like they are just passing along costs. So let me ask you, does that increase in profit margins combined with greater market concentration in industry after industry suggest to you that some corporations may be passing along increased costs and at the same time charging more on...

What Omicron Means for the Economy

Vox
January 11, 2022

“Fundamentally, we’re still in a world where people think the economy is made up of profits and corporate interests, and as long as we think about our economy in that way, we’re never going to get to a point where we’re actually providing the public health resources [along with] the big investments and labor market supports that actually help people thrive. And until we do that, we’re never going to get out of this situation in a healthy way,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive think tank. “We’re really seeing how public health decisions that prioritize profits over people are stacking the deck against people and their...

White House Allies Split Over Inflation Plan as Biden Trains Attacks on Corporate Greed

January 10, 2022

“The truth is the link between price hikes and profiteering is hiding in plain sight. It’s clear as day in earnings calls where CEOs can’t stop crowing about their ’pricing strategies,’” said Lindsay Owens, an economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, a left-leaning group that has encouraged the administration to take a tougher position." Read on The Washington Post

Memo: December Jobs Report

The monthly employment data release for December shows that the U.S. economy added only 199,000 jobs, far fewer jobs than expected. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork, says this jobs report – combined with record COVID cases – underscores the deep and urgent need for public investment:  “If there was ever a jobs report that called for large-scale, continued investment in the things people need to weather this period, this is it. We are not in a healthy labor market or recovery when the white unemployment rate is at 3.2 percent while the Black unemployment rate is more than double that at 7.1 percent.”  To speak to Dr. Mabud about the December jobs numbers, email...

Dr. Mabud Previews December Jobs Report

In anticipation of tomorrow’s Jobs Report, Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at Groundwork, released the following statement:  “We have made tremendous gains over the past year as our economy recovered from multiple protracted crises. But as tomorrow’s job numbers will undoubtedly highlight, this historic progress will be lost unless it is paired with millions of additional good jobs and sustained investments in climate resilience, child care, and other critical benefits to ensure a full economic recovery in which everyone can thrive.”  To speak to Dr. Mabud about what to expect from the December Jobs Report, email press@groundworkcollaborative.org  BACKGROUND The...

Walmart and Kroger Hike Prices for COVID Tests Amid Shortage

January 5, 2022

“This is pandemic profiteering, plain and simple,” the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive policy organization, said late Tuesday. “Shame on Walmart and Kroger for price gouging these essential tests during the height of the worst pandemic surge.” Read on Truthout

As Prices Rise, Biden Turns to Antitrust Enforcers

December 25, 2021

“The Biden administration understands this and knows this,” said Rakeen Mabud, the managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, a liberal advocacy group in Washington. But, she said, “I would like to see more.” Read on the New York Times

Groundwork Collaborative on Urgent Need for Build Back Better to Protect Fragile Economic Recovery

Today Groundwork Collaborative released the following statement from Executive Director Lindsay Owens on Sen. Joe Manchin’s recent comments and the status of the Build Back Better legislation: “If Sen. Manchin is concerned about inflation, then he should join us in fighting back against the corporate profiteering that is driving it – rather than trying to derail legislation that will not impact inflation one bit.”  “The economic case for Build Back Better is crystal clear: putting more money into people’s pockets helps families participate fully in our economy; investing in child care and paid leave helps workers stay healthy and return to work; and tackling the climate crisis is essential to building a more...

Groundwork Launches New Ad Campaign: Corporate Greed is Driving Holiday Price Increases

Today, Groundwork Collaborative launched a new digital ad campaign highlighting how profiteering corporations are driving rising prices at the checkout line. The new ad, Unwrap, will run through the end of the year.   “We are launching this campaign to cut through the corporate spin and help people understand the real reason for recent price increases: corporate greed,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, an economic think tank. “CEOs and shareholders are raking in record profits by jacking up prices on consumers and short-changing the workers who are essential for functioning supply chains, and this needs to end.” Groundwork has been sounding the alarm for months about rising prices and...

New Inflation Findings: Mega-Retailers Are Raising Prices, Turning Record Profits

Today, Groundwork Collaborative released new findings highlighting the specific ways that mega-retailers are hiking up prices and short-changing the workers who support our supply chains, all while their shareholders and CEOs are raking in record profits at the expense of struggling parents, workers, and consumers. “When people see prices going up at the grocery store they should understand that they are paying the price for rampant corporate greed and price-gouging that are hurting families and threatening our fragile economic recovery,” said Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork’s Managing Director of Research and Policy and Chief Economist. “This new report shines a spotlight on just a few examples of the appalling corporate greed on...

Inflation Jeopardizes the Fed’s Goal for Inclusive Employment

December 14, 2021

“A real commitment from the Fed, and from policymakers across the monetary and fiscal space to a truly equitable recovery means really keeping an eye and a real focus on that Black unemployment rate—and until that is down at par with what every other worker in the economy is facing, we’re not done.” Read on Bloomberg

ICYMI: White House Releases New Data Showing Meat Processing Companies Taking Advantage of Market Power to Raise Prices and Grow Profit Margins

On Friday, the White House released a new blog post highlighting how corporate greed is driving recent price increases, with a specific focus on price-gouging by meat processing companies. The blog came out following the release of the latest Consumer Price Index, which demonstrated how corporate greed is driving price hikes, including through decades of disinvestment in our supply chains and widespread permissiveness toward corporate extraction.  Together, these factors have weakened our economy’s responsiveness to crises and are causing millions of families to struggle during the holiday season.  “It is great to see that the Administration is focused on addressing the real culprit behind recent price increases: corporate...

Groundwork Responds to Today’s CPI Data

Today’s Consumer Price Index shows year-over-year inflation increased to 6.8%. Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud responded with the following statement:  “Rising prices are the direct result of decades of disinvestment in our supply chains and permissiveness toward corporate extraction that has weakened our economy's responsiveness to crises. To tackle inflation, we need to focus on the real culprit behind rising prices: reining in corporate greed and investing in an economy that works for all of us.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to an expert on one of the driving factors of rising prices: mega-corporations with massive market power. Below is a sampling of reporting on recent price hikes...

Groundwork Previews November Jobs Report

While economists are predicting another strong jobs report this Friday, Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork, warned against efforts to pull the brakes on deeply-needed investments before our economy has fully recovered for all workers and families:  “Amid fears of a pandemic resurgence and rising prices, one thing is clear: our leaders must continue to prioritize economic security for all, especially for the Black and brown communities who continue to bear the brunt of this crisis. Passing the Build Back Better Act is an important step in supporting quality jobs and a stronger labor force, and disrupting the deeply unequal, precarious status quo that got us here in the first place." Email...

Groundwork Collaborative on FTC Supply Chain Announcement: Strong Step Toward Tackling Corporate-Caused Inflation

ICYMI: Corporations Use Inflation Fears as Excuse to Raise Prices, Increase Profits Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s announced that it is conducting an inquiry into how nine large retailers, wholesalers, and consumer good suppliers have contributed to ongoing supply chain disruptions. The FTC will also investigate the impact of empty shelves and skyrocketing prices on consumers and the overall economy. Groundwork released the following statement:  “This is a strong step by President Biden’s FTC to support millions around the country struggling to make ends meet by tackling the real culprit behind rising prices: corporate greed,” said Rakeen Mabud, managing director of policy and research and chief economist at...

Groundwork’s Rakeen Mabud: “Policymakers must take on the extractive corporate actors that are getting rich off of people’s pain”

Yesterday, President Biden announced he will reappoint Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork Collaborative, explained to Politico Nightly: “We need federal policies that will help tackle the root causes of inflation: shortages that are the direct result of decades of disinvestment in our supply chains and the corporate extraction that has weakened our economy’s responsiveness to crises. “Policymakers must take on the extractive corporate actors that are getting rich off of people’s pain. This means cracking down on pandemic profiteers and price gouging, and taxing corporations and the wealthy.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to an expert on one of the...

ICYMI: Corporations Use Inflation Fears as Excuse to Raise Prices, Increase Profits

While rising prices continue to take a toll on millions of families, a new Accountable report shows dozens of corporate giants, including Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola, used inflation as an excuse to increase prices and enjoy record-breaking profits. This report confirms what Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud told Popular Information last week: “[A]cross a range of sectors that produce the goods that people need to provide for their families, companies are extracting from their consumers using the excuse of inflation — all while lining their shareholders’ and CEO’s pockets. This has nothing to do with inflation, and everything to do with corporate greed by those who are focused on enriching...

ICYMI: Jared Bernstein, Expert Panel Weigh in on Inflation Debate

Ahead of the CPI data release, the Groundwork Collaborative and the Roosevelt Institute co-hosted a virtual event to break down the myths, misconceptions, and missing narratives in the current inflation debate. In case you missed it, here’s what Keynote Jared Bernstein and a panel of experts had to say:  Jared Bernstein, Member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers: “The idea that we can, on the one hand, have lower poverty, lower racial wealth gaps, and high-quality job opportunities, or we can have low and stable inflation, but we cannot have both, is analytically and empirically wrong.” Lindsay Owens, Executive Director, Groundwork: “We can create resilient supply chains, target full employment for...

Groundwork to Press: The Real Issue is Corporate Greed, Not Inflation

In light of today’s CPI release, we cannot allow Inflation fear-mongering to distract us from the real issues: corporate concentration and decades of underinvestment. Below is a sampling of reporting on recent price hikes that got it right:  Popular Information: How concentrated corporate power makes inflation worse. "[A]cross a range of sectors that produce the goods that people need to provide for their families, companies are extracting from their consumers using the excuse of inflation -- all while lining their shareholders' and CEO's pockets,'' Rakeen Mabud, Chief Economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, told Popular Information. "This has nothing to do with inflation, and everything to do with corporate greed by those...

How Concentrated Corporate Power Makes Inflation Worse

November 10, 2021

The costs of these price increases are often borne by those who can least afford them and the benefits go to wealthy shareholders and executives. "[A]cross a range of sectors that produce the goods that people need to provide for their families, companies are extracting from their consumers using the excuse of inflation -- all while lining their shareholders' and CEO's pockets,'' Rakeen Mabud, Chief Economist at the Groundwork Collaborative, told Popular Information. "This has nothing to do with inflation, and everything to do with corporate greed by those who are focused on enriching themselves at the expense of workers and families." Read on Popular Information

Memo: October Jobs Day #BeyondTheNumbers

Washington, D.C. — According to data released today by the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. economy added 531,000 jobs in October, the highest number since July 2021. Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud responded with the following statement:  “Today’s strong job and wage growth numbers are welcome news and reflect an ongoing recovery. However, we cannot afford to become complacent when Black and brown workers continue to be left behind. Reverting to the deeply-flawed economy of February 2020 is unacceptable. It’s past time to deliver the large-scale, sustained public investments we need for a healthy labor market and a resilient economy.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to set up an...

Jobs Day Preview: Worker Power

Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of tomorrow’s Jobs Report, Mike Mitchell, director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, shared the following statement: “The rise of labor strikes across the country is truly inspiring, as workers use their collective voices to set wages and working conditions on their own terms. But as tomorrow’s job numbers will demonstrate, this historic leverage for workers must be paired with millions of additional good jobs and sustained investments in climate resilience, child care, and other critical benefits to ensure a full economic recovery in which every worker can thrive.”  To speak to Mike Mitchell about the October Jobs Report and its impact on worker power, email...

TUESDAY: Inflation Event with White House Economic Advisor, Expert Panel

Keynote by Jared Bernstein, member of White House Council of Economic Advisers Virtual panel comes a day before the release of new CPI numbers On Tuesday, November 9, Groundwork Collaborative and the Roosevelt Institute will host a virtual event to discuss the myths, misconceptions, and missing narratives in the current inflation debate. The event will provide important context leading into the release of new Consumer Price Index (CPI) data the following day. Jared Bernstein, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, will deliver the keynote speech. This keynote will be followed by a panel of experts who will weigh in on key topics, including: How corporate profiteering and monopolies are exacerbating current...

The Fed Is Ready to Rein in its Aid. Market Tremors Are Already Emerging.

November 2, 2021

“What problems would an interest rate hike solve and what problems would an interest rate hike create?” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, one of many progressive groups that have pressed the Fed to keep rates low until full employment is reached. “How did the American economy end up in a place where our supply chain is so shoddy that we can’t stock frozen pizza? When you think about that, the answer is not related to monetary policy.” Read on Politico.

NEW POLL: Southern Voters Support Robust Investments in Build Back Better Act

Stacey Abrams: “Depending on how officials choose to use and learn from these poll results, it will be clear what their priorities are” Washington, DC – With the release of the Build Back Better framework today, new polling across 12 states in the American South shows broad support for historic investments in Medicaid expansion, climate resilience, and families. Groundwork Collaborative and the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) unveiled the poll results during a Pandemic for Prosperity webinar on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET.  “Data is essential not just for securing a long-term recovery but also for planning ahead for new obstacles. The more we understand our communities' progress and challenges, the more...

NEW REPORT: Austerity Has Failed Rural South, Policies Must Change to Support Black and Brown Families Left Behind

Today, Groundwork Collaborative and Insight Center released a new research paper, “The Rural South: Where Austerity Thrives and Black and Latinx Americans Perish” authored by Aisa Villarosa, Jhumpa Bhattacharya, and Azza Altiraifi. The paper uses Mississippi as a case study to highlight how government disinvestment in rural southern communities has marginalized Black and Latinx households, pushing them into poverty, and adversely impacted the overall health of our economy.  Later this week, Groundwork Collaborative and the Southern Economic Advancement Project (SEAP) will release new polling building on these findings that demonstrate the strong support that voters in the south have for key progressive priorities. The poll...

America Needs All of Biden’s Build Back Better Plan

October 26, 2021

As a former Hill staffer, I must confess that I was pretty surprised by the scale and scope of American Jobs and Families Plans President Biden released last Spring. Congress had just passed the incredibly robust American Rescue Plan – a piece of legislation that would have been unthinkable during the first year of President Obama’s Administration. At the time, I worried that the President might trim his ambitions and whittle down his Build Back Better Agenda out of a concern that moderates might not support a second piece of ambitious legislation. My initial fears were unfounded. Instead, Pres. Biden released a landmark proposal for major investments in universal child care, affordable housing, clean energy, and...

Groundwork: Child Care Provisions in Build Back Better Would Be “Win-Win” for Families, Economy

Rakeen Mabud: “...what's clear is that all eligible families would be guaranteed assistance…[would] benefit the *overwhelming majority* of US families” As rumors swirl over cuts to the reconciliation bill, it’s important to set the record straight on a key piece of the Build Back Better plan: child care. The United States is woefully behind on child care along two dimensions: high costs for families and low wages for care providers, both of which would be addressed in the child care investments under consideration. As Groundwork’s Chief Economist Rakeen Mabud explained:  “Caregiving is the too often invisible scaffolding that makes our economy run. We've ignored it for way too long, to all of our detriment. We have a...

The Proposals to Tackle Racial Equity Included in Biden's Spending Bill Are at Risk

NPR
October 21, 2021

Rakeen Mabud: “Every single dollar that is subtracted from that topline number is one less dollar for the investments that are necessary to move towards a more equitable economy. And frankly, we can’t afford not to do these kinds of investments.” Listen on NPR.

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Michael Mitchell on “Striketober”

Labor strikes are sweeping the country, fueled by pandemic worker shortages as well as decades of low pay, unsafe working conditions, and unchecked corporate power.  Director of Policy and Research Michael Mitchell told Business Insider that the strikes reflect a "huge, significant shift in power from workers to corporations and businesses.” “You can see similar moments in the early 1900s, where there was a strong concentration of corporate power, really no real rules around the ability for workers to come together and speak up and have their voices be heard.”  Learn more about the economic benefits of building worker power below and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to Mike Mitchell about how we can...

Welcome to #Striketober

October 16, 2021

Mike Mitchell, the director of policy and research at Groundwork Collaborative, told Insider the strikes reflect a "huge, significant shift in power from workers to corporations and businesses." He says this is because the pandemic and ensuing Recession created so much uncertainty for workers, while inequality increased and wages remained stagnant. Read on Business Insider.

New Research from Groundwork Collaborative Shows Link Between Price Hikes, Monopoly, and Corporate Greed

Today, the U.S. Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in September, as people paid more for goods such as meats, poultry, and eggs. As you cover this issue, it’s important to understand the real culprit behind rising prices at the checkout line: corporate power. “The more sway mega corporations have over our economy, the more power they have to gouge customers, squeeze Main Street, and exploit workers,” said Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork Collaborative. “Addressing this crisis means recognizing these price increases for what they are: the result of deeply entrenched concentrated corporate power that has systematically stripped down supply chains and created room for pandemic...

Memo: September Jobs Day #BeyondTheNumbers

As Congress debates President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, the September Jobs Report makes one thing clear: more public investment is needed to achieve full economic recovery and ensure a more resilient and inclusive economic future. As Groundwork Collaborative’s Executive Director Lindsay Owens told the New York Times this week:  “If the final package fails to meet this moment, it will be a squandered opportunity of historic consequence. These aren’t just numbers on a page or props for political posturing — every dollar represents real investments in climate, housing, caregiving, and other critical programs our communities need to survive and thrive.” Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak to...

Groundwork Previews September Jobs Report

Today, Groundwork’s Chief Economist released the following statement in advance of the U.S. Labor Department’s September Employment Report:  “The stakes couldn’t be higher for workers and families ahead of Friday’s jobs report. With the Delta variant threatening an already fragile economic recovery and the Black unemployment rate at crisis levels, we can't afford to squander this opportunity to create millions of good-paying jobs and invest in an inclusive recovery.  “It’s time for Congress to close the deal on the long-overdue promised investments — in climate, housing, caregiving, and other critical policies — that families, workers, and communities around the country need to thrive."   Email...

Groundwork to Co-Host EconCon21: “This gathering could not come at a more urgent time.”

Groundwork Collaborative, the nonprofit think tank at the forefront of the fight for a more inclusive and equitable economy, is once again co-hosting EconCon, a virtual conference, on October 6-7, 2021. The two-day event comes amid a critical inflection point for workers, families, and the economy as a whole.  “The inequities in our economy had been growing for decades, but the pandemic made them undeniable,” said Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork. “Without smart ideas, transformative policies, and sustained action, millions of people will fall further behind. This gathering of experts, advocates, and policymakers could not come at a more urgent time.”  Registration is free and open to the press. For...

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Lindsay Owens Featured in New York Times Reiterating Economic Case for Bold Reconciliation Bill

As negotiations continue over President Biden’s promised $3.5 trillion infrastructure package, Groundwork Collaborative has been making the case that Congress and the Biden Administration should move quickly to take advantage of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to set our economy on a path that is more equitable and just.  As Lindsay Owens told The New York Times over the weekend:  “If the bill passes as is right now and we get a major sea change in the progressivity of the tax code, we build a serious infrastructure….for universal child care in this country, and we...start to make progress toward a green economy, this is going to be a historic piece of legislation.” On the other hand, Owens cautioned against...

Groundwork Applauds Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’ Bill to Extend Federal Unemployment Benefits

This week, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will introduce a new bill to extend federal unemployment benefits. The federal unemployment benefits expired on Sept. 6 — leaving millions of Americans without this essential lifeline. If passed, the enhanced jobless aid would be retroactive to Sept. 6 and extended until Feb. 1, 2022.  Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork Collaborative, responded to the news with the following statement: “Allowing unemployment benefits to lapse when so many workers and families are still suffering from the devastating health and economic effects of the pandemic was a colossal mistake. With Black unemployment still at crisis levels and the Delta variant surging, we simply cannot afford to turn our...

Groundwork Announces Jasmin Johansen-Hickman as New Chief of Staff

Groundwork Collaborative announced today that Jasmin Johansen-Hickman has been named the organization’s new Chief of Staff. Johansen-Hickman brings extensive expertise in nonprofit management and operations to the Washington DC-based progressive think tank.  “I am thrilled to join an organization like the Groundwork Collaborative that is leading the charge on what a true inclusive economy looks like,” said Johansen-Hickman. “For most of my career, I have worked for organizations that directly serve families and communities that Groundwork fights to economically advance every day. To join an organization that is educating, innovating, and highlighting this profound type of work is of a deeply professional and personal...

More than 7 Million Americans Lose Lobless Benefits on Labor Day

September 5, 2021

“Letting these benefits expire under the current circumstances and the current uncertainty that we're experiencing is tantamount to forcing people to fall through the cracks,” Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at the progressive research nonprofit Groundwork Collaborative, said to The Hill last week. “It's not just letting people fall through the cracks." Read on The Hill.

Memo: August Jobs Day #BeyondTheNumbers

September 3, 2021

Groundwork Collaborative wants to make sure you have the full context on the U.S. Labor Department’s August Employment Report and the investments we need for an equitable recovery and a truly inclusive economy.  Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork, reacted with the following statement:  “Today's job report shows us in no uncertain terms that when people around the country are not doing well, the economy is not doing well. Delaying or diluting critical investments — when the Black unemployment rate remains at crisis levels and millions are facing a devastating unemployment insurance benefits cliff — will hurt all of us.”  To speak with Dr. Mabud about today’s jobs report and what this means for...

UNEMPLOYMENT CLIFF: Ending UI Benefits Could Not Come At Worse Time

After Labor Day, roughly 7.5 million people will lose key pandemic-era unemployment benefits established by the March 2020 CARES Act. Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork, reacted to the impending unemployment cliff with the following statement:  “Amid increasing uncertainty in the trajectory of the pandemic, Monday’s unemployment cliff could not come at a worse time. Millions will suffer as they lose this critical source of income and the loss of spending will suppress job growth, setting us back yet again in our efforts for an inclusive and equitable recovery.”  Email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak with Dr. Mabud about the expiring unemployment programs and the potential damage that lies ahead...

Experts Agree: Inflation is Transitory, Manageable

The Labor Department reported today that inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), increased 0.5% compared to last month, down from 0.9% in June and 0.7% in May. The largest year-to-year price increases continue to be in sectors related to the economy reopening. At the same time, prices are increasing more slowly, especially when compared to previous months, for core goods and services.  In light of this report, experts agree that the recent price increases are transitory and manageable. Here’s what they’re saying:  Josh Bivens | Research Director, Economic Policy Institute “The “transitory” view of inflation (which I hold) definitely is supported by today’s data. Further, the fact that inflation...

Memo: July Jobs Day By the Numbers

Groundwork Collaborative wants to make sure you have the full context on the U.S. Labor Department’s July Employment Report and the investments we need for an equitable recovery and a truly inclusive economy.  Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, explained to Forbes how allowing unemployment benefits to expire next month will disproportionately harm Black and brown workers who face higher rates of long-term unemployment: “The historic inequities in the labor market will be laid even more bare.”  To speak with Lindsay Owens or Rakeen Mabud about today’s jobs report and what’s next for workers and the economy, please contact Jae Aron at press@groundworkcollaborative.org. This month’s...

Groundwork Responds to Sen. Manchin's Letter to Fed

Yesterday, Sen. Joe Manchin urged the Federal Reserve to reassess America’s stance on monetary policy and additional fiscal stimulus to avoid ‘overheating our economy.’ But the evidence is clear that the costs of an unequal recovery are far greater than those of manageable inflation.  As Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research told The Hill:  “We cannot let misguided [inflation] fears keep us from investing in the workers and families who make up our economy, because the cost of inaction right now, especially for the most marginalized communities, far outweighs the costs of manageable inflation.”  Learn more below and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to...

ICYMI: New Report Reveals Political Motivations Driving States Ending UI Benefits Early

New internal documents obtained by The Daily Poster show that North Dakota officials made a calculated decision to cut off jobless aid early based on anecdotal evidence and driven by political motivations. North Dakota is one of 26 states that ended the $300 federal unemployment benefit early.  As Groundwork’s Executive Director Dr. Lindsay Owens told The Daily Poster:  “This slide deck makes clear what we’ve long known about how officials make decisions about the social safety net...The cruelty is, and always has been, the point.” Read more about the investigation here and email press@groundworkcollaborative.org to speak with Dr. Owens about this crucial lifeline. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE...

Why Trade Policies Are a Matter of Racial Equity

By Grace Western It’s no secret that trade policies in the United States have been captured by wealthy, corporate interests that prioritize growing their power and profits at the expense of working people. For generations, working people have seen their jobs, wages, and the promise of economic security disappear. While many workers across the country have experienced the devastating effects of failed U.S. trade policies, these policies have disproportionately harmed Black workers and communities who were already facing a labor market meant to exclude, exploit, and fail them. Ultimately, trade policies that harm marginalized communities are a liability for our economy as a whole. New research from Howard University and...

Consumer Sentiment Offers Another Window into Economic Recovery

July 16, 2021

“I think what we’re seeing right now is strong wage growth for the bottom of the income distribution for the first time in, in some cases, decades,” she said. If consumer sentiment stays positive, Owens said, that could be a sign those wages are making enough of a difference to offset rising prices. Listen on Marketplace.

Press Call Today, 4PM ET: Economists React to Fed Chair Powell's Testimony

In light of Consumer Price Index projections and in advance of Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell’s appearance before the House Financial Services, it’s important to understand that inflation fears are overstated and misrepresented.  We cannot allow misguided fears about temporary, manageable inflation to lead to misguided monetary policies. As Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research, told Bloomberg Business: “Inflation fears at the moment are really just a smokescreen for choosing not to invest.”  Interested in learning more? Join Dr. Mabud and other leading economists for a press call TODAY at 4 p.m. ET. RSVP for the call HERE. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND ...

Groundwork Collaborative Names Michael Mitchell Director of Policy & Research

Economic policy expert joins progressive think tank at a critical inflection point for U.S. economy Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2021) – Groundwork Collaborative announced today that Michael Mitchell has been named the organization’s new Director of Policy and Research. Mitchell brings extensive expertise in economic policy to Groundwork, having served as a Senior Policy Analyst and most recently, Senior Director and Counselor, Equity and Inclusion at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). “I am so honored to join Groundwork, an organization that has been at the forefront of the fight for a more inclusive and equitable economy,” said Mitchell. “I’m looking forward to working with the team to realize our...

Memo: June Jobs Day By the Numbers

Groundwork Collaborative wants to make sure you have the full context on the U.S. Labor Department’s June Employment Report and the investments we need for an equitable recovery and a truly inclusive economy.  Groundwork’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud said it succinctly: For all the exciting news in this jobs report, don't forget that the Black unemployment rate is still 9.2 percent. That's intolerable. We can't afford to get complacent when so many around the country aren't yet feeling the recovery. #jobsday To speak with Dr. Mabud, please contact Jae Aron at press@groundworkcollaborative.org. This month’s jobs report exceeded expectations, adding 850,000 jobs. 9.5 million workers were unemployed in June...

The Infrastructure Debate Is About Black Women

By Kate Taylor Mighty From COVID-related deaths to unemployment rates, Black women have suffered disproportionately in category after miserable category throughout the crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. In every boom and bust on record, Black women almost always fare worst — and economists have observed that their exclusion holds back the broader economy. Misogynoir, or the combination of misogyny and anti-Blackness directed toward Black women, is even worse than a scourge on individual Black women — it poisons policies and norms in every corner of our society. Misogynoir has defined the “care debate” on Capitol Hill and in the press in the days and weeks since the White House proposed new investments in care...

Climate Change Puts Homeowners of Color at Greater Economic Risk

June 26, 2021

When Hurricane Harvey struck Texas in August 2017, it dumped 27 trillion gallons of rain on the greater Houston region, submerging about a quarter of the metropolitan area. To this day, it remains the wettest storm on record in the United States. The hurricane, which research would later find was 15 percent more intense and three times as likely due to climate change, caused financial hardship for thousands of families.

New Research from Groundwork Collaborative Shows Impact of Trade on Black Workers, Economy

June 21, 2021

New Research from Groundwork Collaborative Shows Impact of Trade on Black Workers, Economy  The authors, including Dr. William Spriggs of Howard University, examine how U.S. trade policies interact with a fundamentally broken labor market to harm Black manufacturing workers.  These results offer a path forward for more equitable trade policies that center workers and communities of color Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2021) – New research from Groundwork Collaborative highlights how failed U.S. trade policies over the last several decades have disproportionately harmed Black workers. The brief’s authors — Grace Western of Groundwork Collaborative, Daniella Zessoules previously of Groundwork Collaborative, and Nyanya...

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud Featured in The Hill re Inflation

June 15, 2021

ICYMI: Groundwork’s Dr. Rakeen Mabud Featured in The Hill re Inflation  Ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, it’s important to understand that inflation fears right now are deeply misguided. The bottom line: Continued investments in our economic infrastructure are deeply needed, popular, and economically sound.  As Dr. Rakeen Mabud, Groundwork’s Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research told The Hill:  “We cannot let misguided [inflation] fears keep us from investing in the workers and families who make up our economy, because the cost of inaction right now, especially for the most marginalized communities, far outweighs the costs of manageable inflation.”  Learn more...

Groundwork Collaborative names Lindsay Owens, PhD, new executive director

June 10, 2021

Economic policy expert and political veteran will lead and advance progressive economic agenda Selection hailed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal, Labor Leader Sara Nelson, and others Washington, D.C. (June 10, 2021) – Groundwork Collaborative announced today that Lindsay Owens, Ph.D., has been named the organization’s second executive director. Owens, a highly-cited economic sociologist and longtime policy advisor to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, had served as the interim executive director since January 20th. Owens is the first woman to lead the progressive nonprofit. "I am incredibly honored to lead the outstanding team at Groundwork in...

Biden Faces Backlash Over 'Shameful' Capitulation to GOP Governors as They End Unemployment Lifelines

June 5, 2021

Biden administration officials publicly signaled Friday that they have no intention of putting up a fight as the Republican governors of 25 states prematurely cut off emergency unemployment programs, yanking key lifelines from millions of jobless workers and depriving local economies of billions of dollars.

MEMO: Jobs Day #BeyondTheNumbers

Groundwork Collaborative wants to make sure you have the full context on today's jobs numbers and the investments we need for an equitable recovery and a truly inclusive economy. Read a topline summary below and check out Groundwork’s Chief Economist, Rakeen Mabud’s, take on today’s jobs numbers here. To speak with Dr. Mabud, please contact Jae Aron at press@groundworkcollaborative.org.  The May Jobs report shows us the deep and urgent need for continued investment in the people who keep our economy going. While the American Rescue Plan has provided a critical lifeline for millions around the country and put us on the path to recovery, we will only achieve a full, inclusive economy by committing to large-scale...

Opinion: New developments puncture the GOP’s ‘working-class’ makeover scam

June 3, 2021

Last month, when the GOP purge of critics of Donald Trump was at its frenzied peak, the party hit on a clever way to put a positive gloss on it. This was necessary, Republicans insisted, to maintain the GOP’s new status as a “working-class party,” by keeping millions and millions of salt-of-the-earth supporters of the former president in the fold.

Biden’s budget seeks to level racial, economic playing fields despite ‘out of touch’ Republicans

May 30, 2021

President Joe Biden wants the country to invest $6 trillion by prioritizing working families and children. One of the largest proposed investments in the American public since the New Deal, Biden’s new budget places a premium on equity in several areas and reducing racial and economic disparities. Including previously introduced proposals such as investments in infrastructure, jobs, childcare and early childhood education, the new Biden budget seeks to reposition Americans. Biden’s budget incorporates both the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan. The White House outlined several areas of the proposed federal budget that would advance racial justice, including investing in climate justice, upgrading and...

Bosses are acting like the pandemic never happened

Vox
May 28, 2021

For more than a year, the Covid-19 pandemic changed how America worked. Grocery store cashiers, line cooks, janitors, and millions of others — about a third of the American workforce — saw their jobs become dangerous overnight, as they were asked to keep coming to work in person in spite of the viral threat. Meanwhile, millions more transitioned from going to an office to working from their homes — the percentage of workers logging on remotely rose from 17 percent to 44 percent once the pandemic began. And workers in both groups had to figure out how to take care of their kids when schools and day cares across the country closed their doors. Among employers and in the culture at large, there was at least some minimal...

'End this game': Dems urged to ditch GOP after 'woefully inadequate' infrastructure offer

May 27, 2021

Republican senators on Thursday unveiled an infrastructure counteroffer calling for just $257 billion in new spending over the next eight years, a proposal that intensified pressure on the Biden administration and Democratic leaders to abandon their push for bipartisan compromise and unilaterally press ahead with a sufficiently bold package. While a group of four Senate Republicans led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia presented the GOP offer as a "serious" $928 billion plan that "delivers on much" of what President Joe Biden requested in earlier talks, roughly $700 billion of the money in the proposal would be repurposed from unspent coronavirus relief funding that was approved to help cash-strapped state and local...

Seizing the moment to make our care systems more equitable

The Biden administration’s $600 billion in proposed federal funding for childcare and long-term care is rightly being framed as an investment in the nation’s core “infrastructure.” Indeed, a robust and equitable care infrastructure is as necessary for generating economic activity as roads and bridges, with important spillover effects to the rest of the labor market. Beyond boosting the economy as a whole, investments in care can also be configured in ways that directly address deeply rooted racial and gender inequities within our society. The Just Recovery Survey, which polled 3,100 working people nationally in late 2020, illuminates the exploitation and lack of protection that women of color experience as direct...

Elizabeth Warren wants Joe Biden to go bigger on child care

May 20, 2021

A new report from the Massachusetts senator argues for a bigger investment in what she argues is a key part of infrastructure. When Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) ran for president, one of the first policies she unveiled to establish herself as the wonk candidate was a proposal for universal child care and pre-K. Warren delivered her speech for last summer’s virtual Democratic National Convention from a pandemic-shuttered daycare and used her five minutes of primetime to elevate child care as “the basic infrastructure of this nation.” She’s kept up the refrain for child care as Democrats hasten to secure an economic legacy beyond the pandemic relief package the party passed earlier this year. On Thursday, Warren...

The black box economy

Vox
May 17, 2021

The pandemic economy has been strange and unpredictable from the get-go. Throughout the past 14 months, the twists and turns have been surprising: The housing market boomed, the stock market soared, people got into day trading, everyone hoarded toilet paper, and lumber became a must-have. There’s been widespread disagreement about how much support from the government was needed, whether the country was doing too much or not enough, or whether help would come at all. We won’t know whether the country overshot or undershot the response for years, and there’s still uncertainty about what’s happening in the labor market, prices, and other areas. And the prevailing theme has been one that has nothing to do with the economy...

The resurrection of Reagan's "Welfare Queen"

May 14, 2021

To supply corporations with exploitable low-wage workers, Republicans and media millionaires are exhuming one of history’s most grotesque lies. In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan and the GOP settled on a strategy: Building off their “silent majority” dog whistle that signaled a backlash to the civil rights movement, Republicans conjured a racist “welfare queen” myth, pretending that too many lazy, parasitic Americans were getting rich off of unemployment benefits that deterred them from getting a job. That rhetoric was boosted by conservative Democrats, including Joe Biden who warned of “welfare mothers driving luxury cars.” Republicans have spent decades trying to resuscitate Reaganism, to the point where...

Advocacy groups launch campaign to ‘Stop Deficit Squawks’ in Washington

Groups Call Out Deficit Fearmongering as Pushing an “Artificial Crisis” Used to Block Critical Spending to Help Everyday People WASHINGTON, D.C. — This morning as Congress returns to Capitol Hill, a coalition of nearly twenty progressive advocacy groups launched Stop Deficit Squawks, a campaign targeting so-called ‘deficit hawks’ in Washington. The coalition will push back on the true agenda of ‘deficit squawks’ – groups and individuals that incite fears about the federal deficit to create a self-described “artificial crisis” and block critical investments in the everyday people who make up our economy. The campaign comes as Congress takes up President Biden’s signature economic bills, with a fight over the...

Progressive groups target Koch network, other critics of Biden spending plans with new campaign

May 10, 2021

Several progressive organizations have banded together to launch a new influence campaign to target groups, such as billionaire Charles Koch’s political network, which have pushed back on significant elements of President Joe Biden’s multitrillion-dollar agenda. Details of the campaign, called “Stop Deficit Squawks,” were first shared with CNBC. It launched Monday. Nearly 20 groups have signed on to the campaign so far, including Patriotic Millionaires, a group of millionaires who believe the rich should pay higher taxes. Activist groups Indivisible and Tax March, which is currently running a seperate campaign calling for higher taxes, are also involved. The effort will initially target the Koch-backed Americans for...

US voters want much more Covid-19 relief—and they want it now: Poll

May 10, 2021

"Simply put, more is required to ensure that we build a more resilient, equal economy that works for more people." A majority of likely U.S. voters—and especially younger ones and people of color—support immediately spending much more on coronavirus pandemic relief than the nearly $2 trillion in President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, a poll published Monday by ProsperUS, the Green New Deal Network, and Data For Progress revealed. "This new polling shows that voters across the political spectrum see relief packages passed and government spending up until this point as only a down payment on a full recovery." —Claire Guzdar, ProsperUS The survey (pdf) found that 57% of all respondents—including 77% of Democrats...

Joe Biden wants to transform care work in America

April 30, 2021

We must start by viewing care work as an essential component not just of the economy but of life itself. President Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan seeks to revitalize manufacturing and decarbonize the atmosphere. But one of its most vital elements is how it would transform the care economy. The state has always shaped how care is provided, but in this country the sector has been malformed since its creation. Biden’s proposal, following decades of work by activists and academics, would establish new preschools, build day cares, and fund the care of the elderly and disabled, but it also goes beyond that: It would fundamentally restructure care work in America. Throughout the 19th century, the government played a central role in...

The Nation’s Moment of Truth: The economic and moral case for investing in caregivers

April 30, 2021

Investing in a robust care infrastructure would not only create new jobs, but would also allow many others to come back, spurring the country’s economic engine. This article is a Part 2 of a two-part adaptation of the feature article from the Spring 2021 issue of Ms. Get caught up on Part 1 here. The Biden-Harris administration and the 117th Congress have an opportunity to center care work as essential work through major public investments that could establish universal access to high-quality care. Investing in care cannot be an afterthought in our recovery response. Federal investment in child care, residential health care and home health care can create high-quality employment opportunities for millions of workers...

Biden is flirting with a better economic paradigm. Young people need him to commit.

April 30, 2021

As children of the 90s and early aughts, millennials came of age beset by problems both too large to ignore and too expensive to fix: debilitating student debt, worsening climate change, skyrocketing inequality. When we looked to our government to address these problems, political leaders of both parties clutched nervously at their purse strings. “How will you pay for it?” we were asked again and again, less a question than a rhetorical veto. Promised a world of steady abundance—Fukuyama’s end of history, the zenith of global capitalism—we were met instead with an unshakeable austerity. Yes, global ecosystems were careening toward collapse. Yes, the wealth gap was eroding the foundations of our democracy. Yes, our...

The Nation’s Moment of Truth: America’s legacy of devaluing care

April 29, 2021

Our current caregiving crisis is the inevitable outcome of an outdated ideology that has resulted in insufficient investments in our care infrastructure and in our people. The COVID-19 pandemic “is the most discriminatory crisis we [women and girls] have ever experienced,” Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, executive director of U.N. Women, said at the opening of the 65th Commission on the Status of Women in early March. Her statement rings just as true in the U.S. as elsewhere in the world. Since the start of the pandemic a little more than a year ago, American women have lost a net total of 5.4 million jobs—1 million more than men—and by the end of February nearly 3 million women had left the workforce entirely, many of them to...

Joe Biden is about to test the politics of going big

Vox
April 28, 2021

The Biden administration’s theory of policy so far is to go big. The same goes for its politics. Taken together, President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion American Jobs Plan and newly introduced $1.8 trillion American Families Plan come out to slightly over $4 trillion in proposed new spending. It’s an enormous investment in American job creation; the last bipartisan infrastructure bill Congress passed in 2015 clocked in at about $305 billion — about one-thirteenth the size of Biden’s proposed plan. And Obama’s $800 billion stimulus plan of 2009 was about one-fifth of Biden’s plan, not even taking into account the $1.9 trillion in Covid-19 relief that has already been signed into law. That sheer amount of proposed federal...

Planes, trains, and working women

April 16, 2021

The carpenters training facility near Pittsburgh looked just like the sort of place where President Joe Biden would roll out a jobs and infrastructure plan. There was the circular saw perched on a workbench, easy to spot near the phalanx of American flags behind Biden’s lectern. The emblem of the carpenters’ union, a jack plane within an interlocked ruler and compass, hung high on the wall, perfectly framed in photographs of the president in profile. And then, of course, there was the location itself: Pittsburgh, a city still synonymous with the grind and glow of steel manufacturing more than half a century after much of the industry had left. The setting matched the string of Bidenisms the president unspooled early in his...

Why big-spending Biden can shrug off GOP warnings of inflation

April 12, 2021

Republicans are warning that President Joe Biden is taking a risky gamble that he can carry out his massive spending plans without triggering runaway inflation. Biden is betting on history as his defense. The specter of raging inflation — the erosion of consumer purchasing power — has become central to the debate about whether the government can afford Biden’s multitrillion-dollar “Build Back Better” programs. But years can go by before soaring inflation ever takes hold — and Biden will probably be gone from the White House if the country finds out that his critics were right. The U.S. experienced punishing, double-digit inflation starting in 1974 and it stayed high through the early 1980s, dragging down...

“Care is infrastructure, silly”: Feminists defend caregiving funding in Biden’s Jobs Plan

April 12, 2021

Just a few weeks after President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and his proposed American Jobs Plan demonstrated his commitment to prioritizing care work in the quest towards economic recovery, the idea of investing in the country’s caregiving infrastructure and workforce is being ridiculed and dismissed. We expected it from Senate Republicans who to a person, are opposed to both of the president’s plans—but we were a little surprised to see a POLITICO Playbook article characterize the proposed investments in care workers as “certainly a laudable goal, but it’s silly to call it infrastructure and no previous politician who put forward a similar caregiving proposal has done so under the guise of infrastructure...

This top Biden economist has a plan: Create jobs, address inequality, ignore trolls

NPR
April 11, 2021

The U.S. economy added more than 900,000 jobs last month. For most White House officials, that would be considered a banner number. For Janelle Jones, the top economist at the Labor Department, there is much more work for the Biden administration to do. Jones, the first Black woman to ever hold her position, says it would take a year of similar jobs reports just to get back to where the economy was before the pandemic. But even then, she says, getting back to the status quo is not enough. "I'm not really going to be satisfied if we return the economy to February 2020," Jones told NPR. "I think we can do better than that. I think we can return the economy to a time when wages were growing for workers, when bargaining was strong...

Rejecting Biden's $715 billion proposal, Jayapal says Congress must slash the 'Bloated Pentagon Budget'

April 10, 2021

Joining fellow progressive lawmakers in rejecting President Joe Biden's request for a $715 billion Pentagon budget, Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Saturday argued that Congress must slash military spending and "invest that money into our communities" as coronavirus infections rise across the U.S. and mass layoffs continue. "This budget adds twelve billion new dollars for weapons of war; just think how that same amount could be used to invest in jobs, healthcare, and fighting inequality—especially as we fight back a once in a century public health and economic crisis." —Rep. Barbara Lee "We're in the midst of a crisis that has left millions of families unable to afford food, rent, and bills. But at the same time, we're dumping...

STATEMENT: Groundwork applauds the Biden administration’s bold approach to investing in our future

April 9, 2021

Washington, DC – Today, Groundwork Collaborative’s Managing Director of Policy and Research and Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud released a statement in response to President Biden’s request to Congress to authorize an increase in federal spending in 2022 on domestic priorities:  “Today President Biden asked Congress to invest in the future and recovery of millions around the country. By investing in critical issues such as education, public housing, COVID-19 relief, and addressing the climate crisis — the Biden administration has taken a bold approach in addressing domestic priorities, while also heeding the lessons learned in the wake of the Great Recession.  “While it is impossible to address years of...

Economists warn Democrats 'going too small' on infrastructure risks economic and climate catastrophe

April 9, 2021

Pointing to the nation's tepid recovery from the 2009 financial collapse as a cautionary tale, economists are pressing Democratic lawmakers to dramatically expand President Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal in order to equitably rebound from the coronavirus crisis, achieve full employment, and combat the existential climate emergency. In a 38-page report (pdf) released Thursday, Dr. Adam Hersh of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Dr. Mark Paul of the New College of Florida argue that the costs of allowing the economy to run "too cold" by under-spending on pressing needs far outweigh the risks of inflation and other potential consequences of overshooting. "We agree that it's time for...

NEW REPORT: Congress must go big on upcoming investments; Economists warn of costly long-term consequences for America’s future if Congress fails to act

April 8, 2021

NEW: Economists Adam Hersh and Mark Paul show that inadequate fiscal policy cost the economy at least $8 trillion over past decade – more than $32,000 in lost income per adult Paper calls American Jobs Plan “a step in the right direction,” cites economists’ calls for up to five times the spending in proposed bill – up to $10 trillion – to get economy on track  Washington, DC – Today, Groundwork Collaborative released a new report from Dr. Adam Hersh, Director of Washington Global Advisors, LLC and a Research Associate at the Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Dr. Mark Paul, Assistant Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at New College of Florida, highlighting...

Top White House economist defends 'care economy' as infrastructure

April 6, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top White House economist Cecilia Rouse on Tuesday defended President Joe Biden’s plan to spend $400 billion on the “care economy” as a legitimate infrastructure investment and key part of his drive to address persistent economic inequities. Republicans have blasted Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure package as riddled with liberal spending priorities, and want to strip out funding for home- and community-based jobs taking care of kids and seniors. Rouse told an online event that was faulty thinking. “So many people said, ‘Oh, the $400 billion that are being proposed for the home care workers or the home care sector, that’s not really infrastructure,’” she said. “Well I beg to differ. I...

U.S. must invest heavily to stay no. 1 economy - White House economist

April 6, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States must invest heavily in its workforce, infrastructure, research and development to remain competitive and stay the world’s largest economy, Cecilia Rouse, chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on Tuesday. U.S. investments in R&D had fallen by a third as a percentage of economic output since 1960, while spending on infrastructure had been halved over the last 50 years, Rouse told an online event hosted by the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and Groundwork Collaborative. She said the United States ranked “dead last” in spending on its workforce, compared to other advanced economies. U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration won approval for a $1....

More than 200 economists to Congress: Seize “historic opportunity to make long-overdue public investments” to boost economic growth

WASHINGTON – Today, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth released a statement urging Congress to prioritize “robust and sustained investment in physical and care infrastructure along with science and technology to solve the problems of the 21st century.” The statement—led by Hilary Hoynes, professor of public policy and economics at the University of California, Berkeley; Trevon Logan, professor of economics at The Ohio State University; Atif Mian, professor of economics, public policy, and finance at Princeton University; and William Spriggs, professor of economics at Howard University—is endorsed by more than 200 scholars, including one former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve...

Support increased public investment in home- and community-based long-term care

We support President Biden’s overall plan to improve the care infrastructure of the United States, including his specific proposal to invest $450 billion in expansion and improvement of home and community-based services for the long-term care of those experiencing disability or the frailty of advanced age. A large body of evidence-based research indicates that this investment will help: *Increase access to home and community-based services.1 Current Medicaid funding for such services falls far short of serving all eligible families, with elderly women representing a disproportionate share of those in need of assistance. While institutional care is also important, funding shortfalls sometimes lead to unnecessary placements...

Biden plan spurs fight over what ‘infrastructure’ really means

April 5, 2021

Republicans say the White House is tucking liberal social programs into legislation that should be focused on roads and bridges. Administration officials say their approach invests in the future. WASHINGTON — The early political and economic debate over President Biden’s $2 trillion American Jobs Plan is being dominated by a philosophical question: What does infrastructure really mean? Does it encompass the traditional idea of fixing roads, building bridges and financing other tangible projects? Or, in an evolving economy, does it expand to include initiatives like investing in broadband, electric car charging stations and care for older and disabled Americans? That is the debate shaping up as Republicans attack...

We’re witnessing government in action — and it’s delivering

April 5, 2021

Over the last half century, U.S. economic theory and policymaking have been rooted in the false promise of “free markets,” and politicians on both sides of the aisle have worked to minimize the government’s role as an economic driver and force for the collective good. Bolstered by the political power of the private sector, elected leaders have spread the misguided belief that markets alone could deliver economic freedom to people and communities. And then through deregulation, corporate tax cuts and constant attacks on the government’s ability to function, policymakers have been able to erode the trust, power and influence of the public sector and prevent government from doing the good work that would prove them wrong. This...

Biden's infrastructure plan does not come close to tackling the vast extent of America's new housing crisis.

April 4, 2021

Read on Insider.

Biden jobs plan seeks $400 billion to expand caretaking services as U.S. faces surge in aging population

April 2, 2021

President Biden’s jobs plan proposes a massive investment in home care for the elderly and people with disabilities, as America’s caretaking system faces strain from the nation’s looming demographic challenges. The White House’s American Jobs Plan calls for spending about $400 billion over eight years on “home- or community-based care” for the elderly and people with disabilities. That amounts to roughly a fifth of the overall price tag of Biden’s plan, the first of two related economic proposals expected from the White House. The push to substantially expand in-home health-care services was one of the last major provisions added to the jobs plan, according to two people with knowledge of internal White House...

Corporate tax increases are good policy, good for the economy

April 1, 2021

Washington, DC – Today, Groundwork Collaborative, Center for American Progress, Economic Policy Institute, Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, and the Roosevelt Institute released the following statement on the revenue proposals in the newly announced American Jobs Plan: “We welcome today’s announcement that the American Jobs Plan (AJP) will increase the corporate tax rate, reduce tax incentives for offshoring, crack down on the games that multinational corporations play to avoid paying tax, and begin to reverse the devastating underfunding of the IRS that has allowed corporations and the wealthy to dodge taxes with impunity.  “The spending ambitions of the AJP are rightly the main focus of much of today’s...

The latest economic research demonstrates why concerns about federal budget deficits and U.S. debt levels are overblown

Overview A growing number of economists are reconsidering long-held views about the appropriate level of public borrowing and the consequences of federal budget deficits and debt on U.S. economic growth and well-being. Their cutting-edge research suggests that previous concerns about deficits and debt, such as increases in inflation and interest rates that affect U.S. Treasury bonds, are overblown. Instead, the available evidence indicates that the United States boasts substantial fiscal capacity to make needed public investments that could power a more broad-based and sustained economic recovery and support more equitable long-term growth. And the current low-interest-rate environment is one in which federal budget deficits...

Bold public investment is popular and key to ending this crisis

In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic first gripped the United States, over 525,000 people have perished and millions more – disproportionately people of color, disabled people, women, and those at the intersection of these identities—are still struggling to get by. The historic scale of the economic and public health crises we’ve faced was not inevitable. It was the result of decades of austerity policies and systematic disinvestment in the public sector at local, state, and federal levels. We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of the past. Over a decade of research shows that the economics of austerity are flawed, broadly unpopular, and racist. And while accelerating vaccine distribution and imminent federal fiscal...

Stimulus aid will sustain 1 million child care jobs. Biden’s jobs plan must do more.

The American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden earlier this month will help ensure the economic security of millions of families. For many parents, the most meaningful part of the package is the investment in child care. This is especially true for the countless mothers who are burnt out with managing jobs and caregiving, facilitating virtual learning, providing essential work at non-essential wages, or struggling with job loss. Not only will this provision stabilize the sector and support mothers, fathers, children, and other caregivers, it will also sustain over a million jobs, which will begin to build the bridge that will bolster our economic recovery. As President Biden prepares to introduce a new plan aimed at...

As Biden prepares to unveil infrastructure plan, progressives push $10 trillion investment

March 29, 2021

With President Joe Biden set to start unveiling his two-part infrastructure plan later this week, congressional progressives on Monday officially announced their proposal to invest $10 trillion over the next decade in renewable energy, green buildings, and environmental justice initiatives while creating over 15 million well-paying union jobs. Building on the introduction last September of a resolution "recognizing the duty of the federal government to implement an agenda to Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE)," key Democrats have joined with climate, labor, racial justice, and other groups to push for the major investment. "The THRIVE Act is the agenda that establishes the pillars for...

White House dramatically increased tax proposal as it sought to address tensions over next big spending plan

March 29, 2021

When President Biden’s team began putting together his infrastructure and jobs package this February, the White House National Economic Council circulated an internal proposal calling for about $3 trillion in new spending and $1 trillion in new tax hikes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. But soon enough, some members of the economic team second-guessed themselves, concerned that the plan could jeopardize the nation’s long-term financial stability. The officials worried that the large gap between spending and revenue would widen the deficit by such a large degree that it could risk triggering a spike in interest rates, which could in turn cause federal debt payments to skyrocket, said the people...

Democrats confident they can pass $3tn infrastructure bill

March 28, 2021

Biden willing to push through spending package partly funded by tax without Republican support Read on Financial Times.

POLITICO Playbook PM: The public option and the push for earmarks: Nuggets from our latest poll

March 24, 2021

TRANSITION — Rakeen Mabud is now managing director of policy and research and chief economist at the Groundwork Collaborative. She previously was senior director of research and strategy at the Time’s Up Foundation, where she spearheaded the Time’s Up, Measure Up initiative. Read on Politico.

Economist Rakeen Mabud joins Groundwork Collaborative as Managing Director of Policy & Research, Chief Economist

March 22, 2021

Washington, DC — The Groundwork Collaborative (Groundwork) announced today that Dr. Rakeen Mabud will be joining its team as Managing Director of Policy & Research and Chief Economist. Dr. Mabud previously served as the Senior Director of Research and Strategy at TIME’S UP Foundation, where she spearheaded the organization’s signature Time’s Up, Measure Up initiative.  “Rakeen’s strategic and policy expertise across economic, racial, and gender lines makes her exactly the kind of leader our economy needs at this critical time,” said Tina Tchen, President and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation. “We look forward to collaborating with Rakeen and the Groundwork team to help make our workplaces and our economy work for...

'Even Manchin Called for $4 Trillion': Progressives Say Biden's Infrastructure Plan Falls Short

March 22, 2021

Having cleared its first major legislative hurdle with the coronavirus pandemic relief package that President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this month, his administration is now hard at work on a long-awaited infrastructure plan—but progressive advocacy groups responded critically on Monday to reporting about the legislation’s possible $3 trillion price tag, warning it is not enough. “The Biden team’s infrastructure proposal signals what the climate justice movement has been saying for decades: to stop climate change, we need to scale up public investments to create millions of good jobs, build up our renewable infrastructure, and take care of our communities,” said Ellen Sciales, press secretary of the Sunrise...

The U.S. Economy won't recover until Black workers do

March 18, 2021

Now that President Biden has signed the American Rescue Plan into law, millions of struggling families will get some of the relief they have so desperately needed for the last year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents will have more money in their pockets to make ends meet for their families. Millions of children will begin to be lifted out of poverty. And state and local governments will be able to resist buckling under the pressure of stretched budgets and resources. The American Rescue Plan means that relief is around the corner, and is a major down payment on a commitment to creating a more resilient, inclusive economy. Recovery, however, is not yet guaranteed: The U.S. will not reach full recovery until we reach full Black...

Joe Biden’s economic recovery has a narrative. Now, it needs a legacy.

March 17, 2021

Joe Biden took a victory lap when he went on the TV airwaves for his first presidential address last Thursday. “America is coming back,” he announced, a comeback premised on the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package he’d signed into law earlier that day. If history proves Biden right, he will have already offered future generations something fond to recall as they gaze upon his oil painting: It was under our 46th president that the United States defeated a pandemic and yanked the economy back from a precipice. But Biden did not campaign on the stimulus as his lasting economic legacy. That was just the prerequisite for an ambitious job and infrastructure package, one he promised would not simply pull the economy out of a...

Government spending is a priority for young voters, not the national debt

March 17, 2021

As the U.S. faces down a continuing pandemic, a decimated economy, and a mounting climate crisis, many debates on Capitol Hill can be reduced to the following question: Should the federal government spend now to build a better world for future generations, or avoid adding to the national debt in the short and long term? However tortured the congressional debate may seem, it is likely voters are clear on their answer: Spend now to save the future. Data for Progress and Groundwork Collaborative recently conducted a poll that found that 56% of voters, including 53% of Independents, “preferred to secure a healthy economy and planet for future generations than limit the national debt for future taxpayers.” The consensus was even...

Is Tennessee's problem state debt, or the wealthy governing the state?

March 16, 2021

On March 11, former Govs. Phil Bredesen and Bill Haslam, and Gov. Bill Lee spoke at the right-wing Millennial Debt Foundation about the national debt, we should ask why they are more focused on the deficit than addressing economic recovery or the needs of Tennesseans. The collective wealth of America’s 651 billionaires jumped by more than $1.3 trillion to a total of $4 trillion at the end of December. Meanwhile, that same month more than 185,000 Tennesseans were unemployed. In a time of vast income inequality and polarization, unmatched since the Great Depression, our leaders, past and present, must acknowledge the long-standing economic pain that far too many Tennesseans have suffered. How did we get here? For many years...

The problem is work

Vox
March 15, 2021

Erica, an Indiana mom, was working part time last spring as a computer scientist. At the same time, she was taking care of her first-grader, preschooler, and toddler at home, with schools and day care centers in the area shuttered due to the pandemic. During one of her work shifts, she was nursing her toddler while trying to read at her desk, “and he swung his leg, and it somehow landed in my tea, and it kicked the teacup over,” she told sociologist Jessica Calarco and her team as part of a study of pandemic parenting. “Tea all over both of us, all over the desk, all over the chair, all over the wall, and then he bit me at the same time.” It’s a scene likely all too familiar to the millions of parents still trying to work...

Bridging Black and women’s history months: why “Black Women Best” can deliver liberation for all

March 5, 2021

It’s the end of Black History Month and the start of Women’s History Month, but you know what never ends? The crucial need for our society to center women of color—in everything, especially the economy. This is what “Black Women Best” is all about. Coined by Janelle Jones, the Black Women Best framework contends that when Black women—arguably the most structurally marginalized group in America—are centered in U.S. policymaking and politics, then we can produce better economic outcomes and a stronger society for everyone. Jones is the former managing director of research and policy at the Groundwork Collaborative and now serves as (the first Black woman!) chief economist at the Department of Labor (DOL)...

As Senate rushes $1.9 trillion bill through Congress, Biden faces doubts over whether it’s still the right package

March 4, 2021

The pandemic was exacting a brutal toll when, six days before his inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden first released his $1.9 trillion relief proposal. The economic recovery was backsliding, coronavirus cases were surging, and vaccines were just starting to get out. Nearly two months later, as the Senate plans to begin voting Thursday on a nearly identical package, the economic and public health outlook appear to have changed. The economy is doing better, coronavirus cases have plateaued at a high but much-reduced level, and Biden has said there would be vaccines for every American adult by the end of May. For policy experts and even members of Biden’s own party, the improving picture is raising...

US trade policy has failed Black and Latino workers

CNN
March 1, 2021

Last week, President Joe Biden's nominee for US trade representative Katherine Tai -- a well-seasoned trade expert with decades of trade experience -- faced the Senate Finance Committee for confirmation. The job will not be an easy one. As the nation's chief trade representative, Tai will inherit a turbulent legacy of trade policy decisions during a particularly difficult time in which a pandemic continues to ravage countries, communities and working people across the globe, especially workers of color. Often, the mainstream narrative on trade promotes an idea that White workers from the Midwest have suffered most from recent US trade policies. But a growing body of evidence has shown this is not the case. A recent...

1 in 7 US children live in poverty. Misplaced fears over single mothers could be why.

Vox
February 26, 2021

One in seven American children live in poverty, according to the Center for American Progress. Despite the nation’s wealth, the United States has one of the worst child poverty rates among similarly developed countries. A new poll from Vox and Data for Progress indicates that despite the popularity of child welfare programs, one of the reasons we’ve failed to help millions of children could be a concern that’s dogged public welfare programs for decades: widespread concern that some may take advantage of these benefits. The introduction of Sen. Mitt Romney’s Family Security Act earlier this month centered child poverty in the national political conversation and drew praise...

Biden's 36-year-old economist has her eye on an equal recovery

February 26, 2021

In a one-bedroom apartment above a Washington neighborhood of bars, clubs and brunch spots, Janelle Jones is busy trying to fix the U.S. labor market -- one economic report and one Mario Kart race at a time. The Biden administration appointed the 36-year-old as the Department of Labor’s chief economist, a little-known position that will influence the futures of millions of people. In between wading through endless spreadsheets, enduring hours of video meetings and analyzing reams of economic data, she picks up the video-game controller to clear her head. The first Black woman in the job, Jones is the economist for America’s workers at a time when 10 million are jobless and entire industries are hollowed out by the pandemic...

Concerns cloud Democrats’ scramble to salvage raising the minimum wage with a workaround

February 26, 2021

After the Senate parliamentarian dashed Democrats’ hopes of crowbarring a $15 federal minimum wage into the COVID-19 relief package Thursday night, members and their staffs have been scrambling to figure out a way around the ruling. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT), who chair the Senate Finance and Budget Committees respectively, have proposed a backdoor approach that the parliamentarian might approve of, one that would involve changing tax policy. Wyden put out a statement saying that his proposal would impose a 5 percent penalty on the payrolls of big corporations if workers earned less than a certain amount. He also called for a tax credit equal to up to 25 percent of wages for small businesses that pay...

How Biden learned to go big

Vox
February 16, 2021

President Joe Biden appears ready to do what it takes to get the American economy back to full capacity — and then some. Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package to help steer the economy through the pandemic, and he’s planning to propose a second spending package — one with an even heftier price tag — that invests heavily in infrastructure, climate, and caregiving. His administration is focusing on those most in need, and is even willing to run the economy a little hot for a while to get the gears churning. “What gives me the most hope is that he’s given every indication of understanding the urgency of this moment,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told Vox in a recent interview. She said Americans...

Could Biden make U.S.- China trade better for workers?

February 15, 2021

In November, the Siberian anticyclone blows cold, dry air into Beijing. Lakes freeze over, and social life moves indoors. There was an icy fog on the November evening in 2017 when fire engulfed an informal structure on the sprawling megacity’s periphery. Nineteen migrant workers died in the blaze. City plans called for a reduction in Beijing’s “low-end population,” and its administrators used addressing fire safety as a pretext to comply. Over the following two weeks, police went door to door evicting migrant workers, often giving them only a few hours to clear their belongings before their homes were demolished. Up to 100,000 migrant workers — people denied access to social services by dint of leaving...

'It is not a budget item,' Democrat Kyrsten Sinema falsely says as she joins Joe Manchin in opposing $15 wage

February 12, 2021

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema on Friday joined fellow conservative Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in opposing the inclusion of an overwhelmingly popular $15 federal minimum wage bill in the coronavirus relief package, falsely claiming that the proposed pay raise for 32 million workers is "not a budget item" and thus should not be part of the reconciliation measure. "What's important is whether or not it's directly related to short-term Covid relief. And if it's not, then I am not going to support it in this legislation," Sinema (D-Ariz.) told Politico for a profile published Friday. "The minimum wage provision is not appropriate for the reconciliation process... And it shouldn't be in there." "There is no basis in economics or common...

The risks of going too big on stimulus are real — but going too small could be riskier

Vox
February 8, 2021

America has badly fumbled the response to the pandemic so far, and it’s hard to imagine the country is on the brink of severely overshooting it. Still, some economists are starting to raise concerns that it’s possible to overshoot the response. President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan is getting new scrutiny. Larry Summers, who served as treasury secretary under Bill Clinton and as National Economic Council director under Barack Obama, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post published on February 4. In it, he argues that Biden’s proposal, in its “ambition, its rejection of austerity orthodoxy, and its commitment to reducing economic inequality are all admirable.” Still, he wonders if Biden might be...

Despite the historic crisis, Sinclair report focuses on whether the pandemic relief bill is too big

February 5, 2021

A Sinclair report which focused almost exclusively on the amount of money appropriated and spent so far to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States misleadingly suggested that the $1.9 trillion relief package currently under considerations would come at too high a cost. Many economists, however, say that this level of spending is necessary to help those struggling during this crisis -- and indeed some believe it's not nearly enough to ease the huge economic hardship the pandemic has inflicted on our country. President Joe Biden’s bill, called the American Rescue Plan, includes direct economic relief such as $1,400 checks for Americans, extended unemployment insurance, housing assistance, child care assistance...

POLITICO Playbook PM: Greene admits 9/11 ‘happened,’ Dems seek Trump under oath

February 4, 2021

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK I — PRESSURE FROM THE LEFT … A new progressive coalition called ProsperUS, launched by the Groundwork Collaborative, is sending a letter to Democratic Hill leaders urging them to hold firm on a $1.9 trillion relief package — and view it as only “an initial down payment.” The letter … List of signers Read on Politico.

Opinion: As a new economic consensus emerges, lefty groups seek to put muscle behind it

February 2, 2021

It’s hard to escape the sense that a new consensus is emerging among Democrats of all ideological stripes in Washington, moderates included, one that is finally getting out from under the long shadows of the post-Ronald Reagan neoliberal era. Prompted by the massive crises of the moment and underscored by President Biden’s unexpectedly progressive approach, this consensus has moved beyond reflexive skittishness about deficit spending and prioritizes bold government action over centrist compromise as a goal unto itself. As political scientist Stephen Skowronek recently told Michelle Goldberg: “The old Reagan formulas have lost their purchase, there is new urgency in the moment, and the president...

'Inhumane': As CBO warns employment won't recover until 2024, GOP offers mere 3-month extension of jobless aid

February 1, 2021

As the Congressional Budget Office projected Monday morning that U.S. employment likely won't recover to pre-pandemic levels until 2024, a group of Senate Republicans unveiled a $618 billion coronavirus relief proposal that would only extend emergency jobless aid for three months—an offer that Senate Democrats immediately rejected as cruel and unacceptable. "The package outlined by 10 Senate Republicans is far too small to provide the relief the American people need," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement. "In particular, a three-month extension of jobless benefits is a non-starter." "Many states still have not gotten benefits out the door after Donald Trump's...

The GOP stimulus counteroffer, explained

Vox
February 1, 2021

Two weeks after President Joe Biden released his opening bid on an economic stimulus plan, Senate Republicans have put theirs out. And there is quite a bit of distance between them. In an outline unveiled Monday, 10 Republican lawmakers laid out their $618 billion proposal, with less than a third of the funds in the $1.9 trillion rescue plan Biden has introduced. The offer shows a fundamental difference in how Republican lawmakers want to approach the public health and economic crises: Namely, they want something more targeted and aren’t interested in a comprehensive approach. Biden — and many economists — have argued that the country does need more expansive support to endure the fallout from Covid-19. Democrats are...

U.S. unemployment rate to remain above pre-pandemic level through decade, CBO says

February 1, 2021

The nation’s unemployment rate will not return to its pre-pandemic levels through the rest of this decade, meaning millions could be out of work even after vaccines are widely distributed, according to a projection released Monday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The nonpartisan budget office also projected a faster-than-expected rebound in economic growth as the nation’s economy recovers more quickly than analysts had initially expected. The U.S. economy is expected to grow by 4.6 percent this year before returning to more typical growth levels of slightly above 2 percent by 2023. Last year represented the worst year for gross domestic product since World War II, with the pandemic...

First 100: Democrats reconcile themselves to reconciliation

January 29, 2021

It’s January 29, 2021 and welcome to First 100. You can sign up to have First 100 delivered to your email by clicking here. The Chief The fate of Joe Biden’s first and most important legislative priority looks like it will become an all-Democratic affair. After some discussions yesterday, Democrats are ready to take the first steps to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. That begins with passing a budget resolution through the House and Senate, which will happen as soon as Tuesday, a congressional source tells me. Once the budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2021 passes through both houses of Congress, with specific reconciliation instructions, than a reconciliation bill can...

Biden wants the biggest stimulus in modern history. Is it too big?

January 29, 2021

President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue package includes money for many goals: expediting the rollout of coronavirus vaccines; reopening schools; expanding unemployment benefits; sending more cash payments to most Americans. But when you skip the line-by-line details and look at the overall numbers, something striking becomes evident. The administration’s proposal, when combined with the $900 billion in pandemic aid agreed to in December, would amount to a bigger surge of spending, both in absolute terms and relative to the depth of the nation’s economic hole, than has been attempted in modern American history. Mr. Biden’s proposal — or even more limited versions of it that appear to have a better...

How Biden’s stimulus bill could actually build back better

Vox
January 29, 2021

As President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress gear up to pass an economic relief package, their most pressing task is addressing the recession. But some economists and activists are hoping Biden and other lawmakers will also take a longer view. The Covid-19 recession has revealed many structural problems in the economy. Vast socioeconomic and racial inequality. Insufficient support for parents, who have been asked to do much more as schools and child care close down. Low-wage workers deemed “essential” are paid very little while being asked to risk their health and lives to do their jobs. All of these problems preceded the pandemic, but Covid-19 magnified them. So some experts and advocates have called for an economic...

As White House floats skimpier relief bill in bid for GOP support, progressives warn going small would Be 'catastrophic'

January 28, 2021

With the Biden White House reportedly weighing the possibility of splitting its proposed coronavirus relief package into two parts in an effort to attract some Republican support, leaders of the Congressional Progressives Caucus are warning that anything less than the president's $1.9 trillion opening offer would represent an unacceptable betrayal of economically desperate Americans. In a letter (pdf) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, more than two dozen members of the CPC Executive Board wrote that "if we aim too low, the financial consequences will be catastrophic, long-lasting, and borne by the American families who can least afford it." The letter was...

Progressives warn against scaling back relief bill to gain GOP support

January 28, 2021

With the Biden White House reportedly weighing the possibility of splitting its proposed coronavirus relief package into two parts in an effort to attract some Republican support, leaders of the Congressional Progressives Caucus are warning that anything less than the president’s $1.9 trillion opening offer would represent an unacceptable betrayal of economically desperate Americans. In a letter (pdf) to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday, more than two dozen members of the CPC Executive Board wrote that “if we aim too low, the financial consequences will be catastrophic, long-lasting, and borne by the American families who can least afford it.” The...

POLITICO Playbook PM: Biden’s big vaccine challenge

January 21, 2021

FIRST IN PLAYBOOK — James Hewitt is now comms director for Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.). He most recently was associate administrator for public affairs at the EPA and is a State Department alum. TRANSITIONS — Mike Burns is now deputy assistant HUD secretary for public affairs. He previously was deputy comms director for the House Appropriations Dems. … Todd Kim is now deputy general counsel at DOE. He previously was a partner at Reed Smith. … Rachel Millard is now a VP on Edelman’s financial comms team. She most recently was deputy director for public affairs at the CFTC, and is a John Thune alum. … … Lindsay Owens is now interim executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative. She previously was a senior...

Biden calls for bold rescue plan to tackle economy

January 15, 2021

Just days before his inauguration, President-elect Joe Biden announced the “American Rescue Plan,” a $1.9 trillion recovery plan to combat COVID-19 and get the economy and the nation on track. In remarks Thursday night, Biden called for expanding direct financial assistance and relief including another round of direct cash payments to individuals, $400 in supplemental unemployment insurance, economic support for states and local communities. Urging immediate action Biden challenged the country to take bold steps to get the country on track. “[This is] a crisis of deep human suffering in plain sight,” said Biden. “And there is no time to wait. We have to act and act now.” Biden says his plan would cut child poverty...

Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus plan, explained

Vox
January 14, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden has unveiled his opening bid on Covid-19 relief and economic recovery: a $1.9 trillion stimulus deal meant to help the United States address the health and economic crises induced by the pandemic. The proposal, called the American Rescue Plan, is divvied up into three buckets: $400 billion for dealing with the coronavirus, including vaccines and testing; $1 trillion in direct relief to families; and $400 billion in aid to communities and businesses. It includes money for testing, vaccines, and public health workers; $400 a week in extended federal unemployment insurance through September; rental assistance; emergency paid leave; and funding for reopening schools, among other items. And, as Democrats...

Biden's $1.9 trillion relief plan: $400 unemployment boost, $1,400 checks, and billions in additional aid

January 14, 2021

With less than a week until he takes office amid a raging public health and related economic crisis, President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief and recovery plan that progressive economists and activists welcomed as "an important start." The need across the nation is extreme, with Covid-19 cases rising and the U.S. death toll nearing 390,000. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) noted Thursday that "another 1.2 million people applied for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits last week, including 965,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 284,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)." "There are now 26.8 million workers who are either unemployed, otherwise out...

Groundwork Collaborative calls Biden Plan “important start,” calls for additional investments to continue getting economy back on track

January 14, 2021

Washington, DC - Groundwork Collaborative released the following statement in response to President-elect Biden releasing his COVID-19 rescue proposal:  “The economic case is clear: only massive government investment in workers, families, and communities can pull us out of this crisis. While this proposal on its own won’t be enough to tackle this crisis, make people whole, and get our economy back on track, it would be an important start. The plan includes key provisions for people-centered relief. Congress should immediately move to pass President-elect Biden’s plan and send it to his desk to be signed into law as quickly as possible” said Claire Guzdar, director of campaigns and partnerships at The Groundwork...

For an equitable economy in 2021, we must center Black women. Here are four ways how.

January 4, 2021

Post-election, there has been an outpouring of appreciation for Black women voters, whose organizing and turnout at the polls led to victory for President-elect Joe Biden. It is a fact: Without Black voters and high turnout among Black women, President-Elect Biden would not have won. Now, his administration not only has an opportunity, but a responsibility to be accountable, listen deeply to Black women, and implement policies that show up for us the way we showed up for Biden. “Trust Black Women” and “No path to victory without Black women” must be more than statements: They’re bare-minimum requirements. We show up reliably—yet we remain among the most disenfranchised populations in the United States and have...

U.S. needs estimated $4.5 trillion in stimulus to recover, analysis argues

December 12, 2020

The economy may need up to five times more money than what lawmakers are considering to return to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new analysis. The Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economic think tank, found that a stimulus package worth $3 trillion to $4.5 trillion would be required for American businesses and workers to work at their full potential and the real unemployment rate to fall to 3.5%. “We need stimulus, and we need it fast,” Mark Paul, a political economist at the New College of Florida and co-author of the report, told Yahoo Money. “Every day that we wait, we risk disenfranchising more people from the economy. Every day that we wait, more people are facing evictions and falling behind on...

Call me ‘pro-Black’ But don’t call me ‘anti-racist’—on Philippians 2:4 and rooting for everybody Black

December 12, 2020

Covid-19 and the measures taken to contain it over the last several months have contributed to a surge of interest in racial justice and anti-racism, exemplified by nationwide protests, random acts of reparations, book buying, and innumerable social media posts. That Angela Davis quote—“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist”—started popping up in my Instagram feed regularly. Besides books by Angela Davis, there have been and are still being written books similar to How to Fight Racism, This Book Is Anti-Racist, and Antiracist Baby. One can read books called So You Want to Talk About Race and White Fragility. People are making a living as anti-racist educators and business...

The exponential failure of doing nothing

December 11, 2020

For the past few weeks, the COVID Tracking Project’s graphs have haunted my Twitter feed with growing regularity. If you, too, are online, then you’ve probably seen them. The data collected from across the U.S. has shown a disturbing uptick of covid-19 cases in spring, a bigger hump in summer, and an uninterrupted sheer mountain of cases still on the rise as we enter winter. Hospitalizations have followed a similar trajectory and now, deaths are set to do the same. We’ve reached the point of comparing daily covid-19 death totals to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in an apparent attempt to snap people out of their reverie and accept that this is a humanitarian crisis. Staring at the covid-19 charts bears a shocking...

'Deeply disturbing' surge in layoffs spotlights cruelty of Trump-GOP refusal to boost unemployment benefits

December 10, 2020

Hours after the U.S. reported a staggering 3,000 coronavirus deaths in just 24 hours, the Department of Labor announced Thursday that an additional 1.3 million Americans filed jobless claims last week, further bolstering the case for a bold relief package and spotlighting the cruelty of the Republican leadership's continued opposition to boosting unemployment benefits. According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 20 million Americans are currently receiving jobless benefits just over two weeks before funding is set to expire for a pair of key emergency unemployment insurance (UI) programs—a lapse that would hurl millions of people off a "benefit cliff." "The 1.3 million who applied for UI last...

What it would really take to save the economy

Vox
December 8, 2020

The clock is ticking on much-needed stimulus for the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only is it too late to stop some of the damage, but chances are, any stimulus that does come is going to be much, much too little to be effective. The latest bipartisan offer on the table in Congress is a $908 billion stimulus bill. It’s a substantial number that’s about $500 billion more than Republicans recently proposed. But according to a new paper from economists Adam Hersh and Mark Paul commissioned by the Groundwork Collaborative — a progressive economic think tank — really reviving the United States economy could require three, even four times that: The pair estimates Congress would need to pass $3 to $4.5 trillion in...

Perspective | I’m joining Biden’s economics team. Here’s some of what I’ll be thinking about.

December 3, 2020

I’m going into the Biden administration as a member of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, so this is my sign-off column. I’ve greatly appreciated the chance to scribble out my thoughts on the economy and economic policy here. By way of saying adieu, I thought it might be fun to look back on a few of the pieces whose ideas and points seem most germane to the nation’s economic challenges, particularly in some of the areas I’ve emphasized over the years, such as fiscal, monetary, tax, and trade. Fiscal policies (taxes, government spending, deficits and debt): I’m leading with this because it’s an area where I’ve argued economics has made real progress. The key things we’ve...

The government’s failure to provide economic relief is killing people

Vox
December 2, 2020

When Covid-19 began spreading across the United States this spring, the federal government put in place a series of protections to help workers and families weather the economic impact. Then, one by one, the government took them all away. Expanded unemployment insurance, which helped keep millions of laid-off workers out of poverty, expired at the end of July. Federal stimulus checks were issued to millions of taxpayers once, beginning in April, but never again. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans meant to keep small businesses afloat expired in August, even as many of those businesses faced a second surge in cases. And it’s about to get a lot worse, with a host of benefits from student loan forbearance to the...

It’s not just Trump: COVID-19 Is the test that conservatism was built to fail

November 30, 2020

Nearly nine months into this COVID crisis, the virus appears to be raging completely out of control in the United States. Last week, we set new, dismal records for both hospitalizations and new cases, and daily deaths from COVID have now reached levels we haven’t suffered since the spring. Worse, there does not appear to be any plan in place to arrest the spread and bend the curve back downward, at least not from this outgoing administration. At the same time, the economic recovery from the spring’s shock has demonstrably slowed, with unemployment claims ticking back up, job creation slowing, and small business closures accelerating. The scale and degree of the failure to handle this public health and economic crisis is...

Are Black women being “centered” in this economy yet?

November 23, 2020

In her victory speech on Nov. 7, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris referred to Black women as the “backbone of democracy,” but could they be the backbone of the economy too? Janelle Jones, managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative, spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal earlier this year about why focusing on helping workers who are typically left behind — specifically, Black women — could benefit everyone. With the presidential election and a few more months of economic recovery behind us, Ryssdal called Jones back to check in. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. Kai Ryssdal: I want to pick up with something that you raised the last time we had you...

Donald Trump lied about passing pro-worker industrial policy

November 2, 2020

One of the most striking features of the 2016 presidential race was Trump’s ability to outflank Hillary Clinton on economics. Say what you will about him, but Trump made the return of manufacturing jobs a central component of his political identity. His rallies were filled with lines like this: “If I’m elected, you won’t lose one plant, you’ll have plants coming into this country. You’re gonna have jobs again. You won’t lose one plant again, I promise you.”Like so much of Trump’s presidency, the rhetoric is dramatically out of step with his ability to chart a new industrial policy for the country. A damning report titled “Promises Unfulfilled: Manufacturing in the Midwest,” authored by Policy Matters Ohio and...

Fed's focus on racial inequalities could sharpen under Dem sweep

October 30, 2020

The Federal Reserve is grappling with how it could play a larger role in tackling longstanding racial disparities in the U.S. economy, even as the COVID-19 pandemic reverses recent progress. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on people of color, who have lost their jobs and are dying from the virus at a faster rate. It has also underscored existing wealth gaps in the U.S. economy that put them on shakier financial footing heading into the severe downturn brought on by the pandemic. Fed leaders have spoken openly about those concerns this year, a focus welcomed by economists and policy experts who have continually pressed the central bank to acknowledge those wealth barriers. They also say they hope the Fed's worries...

“Where did all these jobs go?"

October 30, 2020

At a rally in Dimondale, Michigan, in August 2016, candidate Donald Trump promised a shining future in which “millions of workers on the sidelines will return to the workforce.” He went through a list of accurate statistics showing how Michigan and the auto industry had been hurt by trade policy – pointing out, for example, that one in four Michigan manufacturing jobs has been lost since passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump claimed that he would bring “a complete revitalization of the Michigan manufacturing sector,” and that his win would be “a victory for the wage-earner [and] the factory worker.” In order to be elected, says Jason Krzysiak, an electrician for the...

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated existing weaknesses in telemental health

Rates of emotional distress are surging amid a deepening economic recession, a reckoning with state violence against the Black community, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The closures and restrictions necessary to mitigate the coronavirus’ spread have also massively disrupted in-person, outpatient mental health care at a time when an unprecedented number of people need support. To preserve people’s access to care during the public health emergency, telehealth availability has been rapidly scaled up and regulatory barriers temporarily removed. But increased emergency use of telehealth services and platforms must not occur at the expense of user privacy nor can inequitable access to such services remain unaddressed. Policymakers and...

The failed economics of care work

October 19, 2020

What is something “worth” in the marketplace? Who gets to decide that? If you ask someone steeped in classical economic theory, they will tell you that something is worth exactly what someone else is willing to pay for it. They will say that the “market” decides, through the laws of supply and demand. And they will say that all of these individual market transactions come together to make up “the economy.” It should be clear to most of us by now, but classical economic theory doesn’t actually explain how the economy works, at least not in a way that is meaningful to those who actually live in it. Care work is a perfect example. Classical economic theorists would tell us that care work simply isn’t very valuable...

The Black woman's guide to the COVID-19 Economy

October 17, 2020

I wish I had paid more attention in my economics classes in college. But at 20 I didn’t understand how markets, pricing strategy, and monetary policy had anything to do with me. Then, in my 30s, my marriage came grinding to a halt, and I found myself confronted by the prospect of losing my home. I still remember my hand shaking as I called Countrywide to see if I could qualify for my mortgage on my own. I didn’t make enough money to stay in the house. I was surprised when the bank representative said, “No problem” and offered me an adjustable rate mortgage. I breathed a sigh of relief. My 2-year-old daughter and I would be able to stay put. It turns out that readjusting your mortgage interest rate every few years is a...

U.S. budget deficit breached $3.1 trillion in 2020 as pandemic slammed economy

October 16, 2020

The U.S. budget deficit eclipsed $3.1 trillion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, according to government data released Friday, by far the biggest one-year gap in U.S. history. The data are a stark reflection of the staggering blow that the coronavirus pandemic has dealt to the U.S. economy. The deficit — the gap between government spending and tax revenue — shows the dramatic surge in spending the U.S. government approved to contain the pandemic’s fallout earlier this year. The deficit last year was about $1 trillion, which represented an elevated level but pales in comparison with this year’s tally. For 2020, the government spent $6.552 trillion, up from $4.447 trillion one...

Majority of Americans believe economy is rigged

October 16, 2020

As a Black woman and the child of immigrants, Zainab Giwa has felt for a long time like the economic system in the U.S. is rigged. “It’s not built for people like me,” said Giwa, 29, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island. “I think my name is a barrier. I think the fact that I don’t have generational wealth to rely on so that I can take some lower paying jobs with some level of cushion… knowing that I can fall back on something is a reason why I say that.” More than 80% of Black people feel similarly — that the economy is rigged in favor of certain groups, according to the latest Marketplace-Edison Poll. So do about 70% of women, and nearly two thirds of all Americans. “I’m not surprised that folks think...

NEW MEMO: Path to repealing Trump’s tax cuts for the rich

October 15, 2020

Memo lays out how worst of Trump tax cuts can be dismantled quickly while laying foundation for progressive tax reform New memo is a step-by-step guide to quickly repealing the Trump tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations Washington, DC – Today, Groundwork Collaborative released a new memo laying out a roadmap for how President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) could be dismantled quickly and in a way that ends the massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations, brings in trillions of dollars of new revenue, fixes our broken international corporate tax system, helps families who were excluded from the TCJA, and lays the foundation for continued progressive tax...

'Maybe we should be': Rebuke and ridicule after Mike Lee says 'we are not a democracy'

October 9, 2020

Covid-19 infected Sen. Mike Lee has received sharp pushback this week following tweets saying the U.S. is "not a democracy." "Maybe we should be," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quipped in response to the Utah Republican. The latest controversial remarks from Lee, who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee, came in a series of tweets Wednesday into Thursday during and after the first vice presidential debate. "Democracy isn't the objective; liberty, peace, and prospefity [sic] are. We want the human condition to flourish. Rank democracy can thwart that," Lee wrote in a separate tweet. "The word 'democracy' appears nowhere in the Constitution, perhaps because our form of government is not a democracy...

America needs a stimulus package now. Here are 3 things it should include

October 9, 2020

With negotiations toward a new economic aid package seemingly at an impasse and President Donald Trump earlier this week threatening to pull the plug on talks until after the election, the already fragile and uneven recovery is being dealt a devastating blow. The president has argued that the economy is "doing very well" and leading the world in recovery. But huge swaths of America are still gripped by a deep recession, and there are some troubling signs that things are going to get worse before they get better. Just last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report, and the news was not encouraging. While the economy added more than 600,000 jobs in September, that total was way down from the job...

GUEST VIEW | GM clawbacks make sense, but why the new tax credits?

October 8, 2020

The union jobs at General Motors Corp.’s massive Lordstown assembly plant provided a good life to thousands of hardworking Ohioans. The plant anchored the Mahoning Valley. Ranked as the top GM North American plant for quality in 2018, it supported jobs at suppliers scattered across the area. The revenue it generated funded public schools, health care and emergency services. When GM shuttered the plant last year, it opened a gaping wound in the northeast Ohio economy, hurting thousands of families across the region. By ending operations years before its agreement with the state expired, GM violated the terms of tax incentives the State of Ohio had granted. Thankfully, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority on Sept. 28 approved an...

Commentary: America needs jobs, not campaign rhetoric

October 5, 2020

At a January rally in Toledo, Ohio, Donald Trump bragged that he had “100% fixed our disastrous trade deals and brought jobs and factories back to the great state of Ohio.” Next door in Michigan, the president claimed he’s “brought back our manufacturing jobs.” But in the first presidential debate, Trump was so busy bulldozing his opponent and moderator he didn’t even raise the issue until Joe Biden provoked him. “Ohio had the best year it’s ever had last year,” the president declared. “Michigan had the best year they’ve ever had. Many car companies came in from Germany, from Japan, went to Michigan, went to Ohio and they didn’t come in with you,” he told Biden. For...

Column: Despite what he says, Trump has been a job killer

October 4, 2020

At a January rally in Toledo, Donald Trump bragged that he had "100% fixed our disastrous trade deals and brought jobs and factories back to the great state of Ohio." Next door in Michigan, the president claimed he's "brought back our manufacturing jobs." But in the first presidential debate, Trump was so busy bulldozing his opponent and moderator he didn't even raise the issue until Joe Biden provoked him. "Ohio had the best year it's ever had last year," the president declared. "Michigan had the best year they've ever had. Many car companies came in from Germany, from Japan, went to Michigan, went to Ohio and they didn't come in with you," he told Biden. For Chuckie Denison, those boasts are hard to swallow. The Ohio autoworker...

Why Biden would start tax increases at $400,000 a year

Joe Biden’s magic number for tax policy is $400,000. Households earning less than that in adjusted gross income won’t pay a nickel more in direct taxes, the Democratic presidential nominee promises. Higher-earning households will pay more—in some cases, much more. The dividing line is no accident: It was intentionally set to far exceed any definition of the middle class. And it spares much of the coastal professional class that is an important part of the Democratic coalition. “Anyone making over $400,000 can comfortably be classified as a group that can afford to pay a bit more,” said Ben Harris, a campaign economic adviser. The promise attempts to emphasize that the party’s tax-increase plans are focused...

Why Trump will lose Ohio

September 30, 2020

It is always dangerous to publicly predict the outcome of a presidential election, especially in a purple state like Ohio. But I’ve done it twice, in 2011 and 2016, months in advance, when both of my predicted winners, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, respectively, were behind. This year, I am predicting that Trump will lose in Ohio. That might seem like a somewhat safe bet, since the most recent Real Clear Politics polls for Ohio show Democratic nominee Joe Biden with a very slight lead. Then again, at this point in 2016 the Real Clear Politics average showed Trump ahead by less than 2 percent, and Hillary Clinton ultimately lost Ohio by 8 points. So it’s worth considering how the Democrats will overcome the political...

The U.S. trade policy and Ohio

September 29, 2020

U.S. trade policy. How’s it been working for Ohio? Alan Guebert, who writes for the weekly Ohio-based rural newspaper Farm and Dairy, wrote the following in his most recent column: “Farmers and ranchers are learning another costly lesson that most already knew — trade wars aren’t just unwinnable, they’re damnable. The proof is any time any one of them looks at any current futures market chart or any monthly bank statement.” Guebert went on to take note of the USDA’s 2020 Farm Income Forecast. “It showed that annual federal farm program payments in each of the last four years, FY2017 through FY2020, respectively, were $11.5 billion, $13.7 billion, $22.4 billion, and $37.2 billion. U.S. farm country, $85 billion...

President is a 'walking scam,' says AOC as records show Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both 2016 and 2017

September 28, 2020

Financial records that President Donald Trump has persistently fought to keep hidden from the American public show that the billionaire real estate mogul didn't pay a dollar in federal income taxes in 10 of the 15 years prior to his White House victory and paid just $750 in both 2016 and 2017, revelations that further expose the extent to which the U.S. tax code imposes greater burdens on the working class than the ultra-wealthy.  "There's so much in these tax returns that are not just about Trump, but about how the rich have different rules." —Michael Linden, Groundwork Collaborative "In 2016 and '17, I paid thousands of dollars a year in taxes as a bartender. Trump paid $750," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez...

Trump's corporate-friendly trade, tax, and labor policies betrayed manufacturing workers in Midwest: Study

September 28, 2020

Manufacturing workers in four crucial Midwest states that President Donald Trump won in the 2016 presidential election have been hurt the most by the Trump administration's trade and industrial policies. That's according to a new analysis—titled "Promises Unfulfilled: Manufacturing in the Midwest," released Monday by The Century Foundation (TCF) and Policy Matters Ohio, with support from The Groundwork Collaborative—which adds more evidence that, contrary to the White House's proclamations that the president successfully ushered in a revival of manufacturing jobs, Trump's trade and industrial policies have been bad for U.S. workers. In their analysis of job and wage growth trends since 2000, researchers found that even...

STUDY: Trump’s trade, tax, industrial policies have let down midwest manufacturing workers, communities

September 28, 2020

New analysis finds that manufacturing workers in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin fared the worst under Trump’s policies Cleveland, OH — Manufacturing workers in four key Midwest states that voted for President Trump have been the most hurt by Trump’s trade and industrial policies, according to a new analysis released today by experts Andrew Stettner at The Century Foundation (TCF) and Mike Shields at Policy Matters Ohio, with support from The Groundwork Collaborative.  The study, which looks at job and wage growth trends since 2000, finds that even before COVID-19 collapsed large segments of the economy, the manufacturing sector in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin had entered a recession. A...

Opinion: Trump’s trade policy failed the workers he promised to help

September 22, 2020

Donald Trump came to power promising to fix a trade system that has hurt U.S. workers and businesses for generations. He railed against trade deals, raised alarm about the trade deficit, and promised to bring back jobs. “You won’t lose one plant, I promise you that,” he told Michigan voters in 2016. Four years later, Michigan has actually lost three major auto plants. Even before the pandemic, the state’s job growth had plunged to its lowest level in a decade, my co-authors and I found in a new report, with investment from the auto industry down 29%. Next door in Ohio, annual job creation also collapsed—from 36,200 in 2016 to just 3,700 in 2019. And the U.S. trade deficit has been higher every single year of...

How to save the economy for everyone

Vox
September 22, 2020

The United States is in the midst of its second major economic decline in the span of just over a decade, and this one is, in many ways, bigger and scarier. “This crisis is far worse than the one that we faced in 2008,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was in the trenches of the last downturn, told me. “It started with a pandemic, and the economic fallout can’t be arrested until the pandemic is under control.” Millions of people are currently unemployed, with hundreds of thousands of workers newly reporting they’ve lost their jobs nearly every week. States and cities are facing enormous budget shortfalls, and thousands of small businesses are going under. Families across the country are facing the prospect of losing...

US workers need a new trade policy, not a Trump trade tirade

September 21, 2020

Back in 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump was right to rail that the trade policies of his predecessors were in part responsible for the ills of workers and the environment in America’s industrial heartland. After winning the election, President Trump embarked on a trade tirade, shredding and replacing past trade deals, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), while mounting trade wars across the globe. However, contrary to what President Trump is telling those same voters in 2020 as he seeks reelection, his trade policy has not improved the lot of the heartland or the country in general.  In fact, he has made it worse, as outlined in a new study we authored in...

Unpacking inequities in unemployment insurance

September 17, 2020

Abstract Over the course of eight weeks, the New Practice Lab interviewed Black and Latinx workers that lost their job or income due to COVID-19 about their experiences navigating unemployment insurance (UI). We also spoke with experts to better understand the policies and political landscape that have shaped the UI system. This report unpacks the compounding inequities that exist in the unemployment insurance system, making it less accessible for workers of color. Our hope for this report is that it might open people’s eyes to the deeply rooted, interconnected systems that hurt Black and Brown workers and their families. We also hope that policymakers might use it to broaden the type of experts they invite to the table...

Trump trade wars have led to lost US jobs and factories. We need a worker-centered recovery.

September 17, 2020

As he courts Midwestern voters, President Donald Trump is returning to hard-hit manufacturing regions where he made big, bold promises in his last campaign. “If I’m elected.... you won’t lose one plant, I promise you that,” he told Michigan voters at a rally in October 2016. In fact, his big stick approach to global trade negotiations would bring jobs back home. Or so he claimed. Four years later, it’s clear that Trump’s trade policies have failed U.S. workers. Instead of more good jobs, his ever-escalating trade wars have led to higher costs, lost markets, and more plant closures. Economic Policy Institute research shows that nearly 1,800 U.S. factories disappeared between 2016 and 2018. In manufacturing-heavy Ohio...

U.S. budget deficit to hit record $3.3 trillion this year, CBO says

September 2, 2020

The U.S. government will run its biggest budget shortfall ever this year, at $3.311 trillion, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The government’s fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and the record fiscal deficit had long been seen as a fait accompli in light of the massive levels of government support for the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “This pandemic is tragic on so many fronts and today’s massive borrowing is a cost of mitigating this pain. The warning bells this report contains should not cause a premature end to borrowing, but a commitment to dealing with the debt at the appropriate time,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal...

Poll shows number of unemployed people struggling to cover basic needs has nearly doubled since GOP killed $600 federal boost

September 1, 2020

After Senate Republicans allowed a $600-per-week boost to federal unemployment benefits to expire at the end of July, the share of jobless Americans struggling to afford basic necessities in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis nearly doubled, according to polling released Tuesday by Morning Consult. The survey found that "the share of unemployed workers unable to cover their basic expenses with their unemployment benefits rose to 50% in August, or an estimated 8.3 million Americans." Comparatively, 27% of unemployment insurance (UI) recipients couldn't cover the basics in July, while the weekly boost was still in effect. As the intertwined public health and economic disasters forced millions out...

One Month Into Emergency Unemployment Cutoff: Economic pain builds for workers and families, economy teetering on brink

September 1, 2020

Economists call impact of government support cutoff “devastating,” and Trump’s weak executive orders “too little, too late” Washington, DC –  Today, Groundwork Collaborative released the following statement and background calling on Congress to move quickly to reinstate emergency unemployment benefits following a full month of gridlock and delay that has hurt workers, families, and the overall economy.  “Not only is it unconscionable that the Trump administration cut the incomes of 30 million unemployed workers during a pandemic and eliminated key lifelines and support for families across the country, but over the past month we’ve seen the impact of his inaction ripple through the already-fragile economy and...

To narrow racial and economic disparities, Atlanta Fed chief Raphael Bostic is rethinking what the Fed’s mandate means

August 21, 2020

When Raphael W. Bostic, the first Black president to lead one of the Federal Reserve’s regional banks, published a searing essay during this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests calling for an end to systemic racism, he spurred an urgent discussion around the century-old institution about how to build an economy that includes all Americans. For Bostic — widely seen as one of the most distinguished leaders in economics, and who has also been subjected to indignities like being stopped by police for no reason — grounding his vision in the country’s history of injustice was key to focusing attention on how those structures persistently affect people’s lives today. “I’ve been Black all my...

Ivanka Trump's new program wants to fight unemployment by closing the 'skills gap.' But that's a fundamental misunderstanding of how the economy works.

August 15, 2020

White House advisor Ivanka Trump recently unveiled a new job training initiative that encouraged struggling out-of-work Americans to simply "Find Something New" — that is, train for a new career if they find themselves out of work. The website for the initiative states that "jobs are changing — and the pandemic has accelerated the pace." While it is true that the pandemic and the subsequent policy response have forced millions out of the labor force, Trump's diagnosis of the problem as a "skills gap" and her proposed solution, to push workers into skills training programs and different careers, is wildly off base. And even worse, it is a distraction from the real, and very serious, economic problems that actually need to be...

The economy, reset

August 14, 2020

The following is an edited transcript of “The Economy, Reset”, a Marketplace special series. Kai Ryssdal: There’s a part of an interview I did a couple of months ago with Raphael Bostic, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, that I keep thinking about: Raphael Bostic: For many people, the systemic racism is so ingrained in everything that we do on a basic level that they don’t even see it. They don’t think about it as a structured inhibitor of African Americans’ ability to do the things that other people get to do with no questions. Ryssdal: A “structured inhibitor.” And systemic racism that the rest of us “don’t even see.” George Floyd was killed by police on Memorial Day. And...

A new study undercuts a core GOP argument in the stimulus negotiations

August 6, 2020

Congressional Republicans and White House officials have argued against extending the weekly $600 unemployment boost, which expired at the end of last month, by claiming that it paid people more than they were making at their jobs. A study released Wednesday suggests that for most Americans, that isn’t true. In June, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, called the $600 checks a “disincentive” to work—a word later repeated by several GOP senators and by the president himself. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the checks “a bonus not to go back to work.” Central to Republican claims is a study from University of Chicago economists, published in May, which found that 68 percent of...

NEW PAPER: Underemployment far more prevalent in U.S. than official count; Findings have major implications for unemployment benefits, economic policymaking

August 6, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, the Center for Law and Social Policy(CLASP) and Groundwork Collaborative released a paper that shows there are more underemployed part-time workers than we realize and underemployment is higher among certain workers and jobs, which has several harmful effects that policymakers should understand—now more than ever.  Written by Dr. Lonnie Golden, Professor of Economics and Labor-Employment Relations at Penn State University and Jaeseung Kim, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of South Carolina, the paper, “The Involuntary Part-time Work and Underemployment Problem in the US,” introduces a new, more accurate way of measuring the extent of underemployment among part-time workers. The report...

Fed should address racial gaps in jobs, income, Dems propose

August 5, 2020

A group of congressional Democrats introduced legislation Wednesday that would require the Federal Reserve to pursue the elimination of racial disparities in jobs, wealth and income as one of its policy goals. The legislation would also require the Fed’s chair, currently Jerome Powell, to report every six months on the status of wealth and income gaps and the Fed’s efforts to counter them as part of its regular reports to Congress. The Fed now has a dual mandate that requires it to seek “maximum employment” and stable prices. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the top Democrat on the Senate...

Democrats introduce bill to give the Federal Reserve a new mission: Ending racial inequality

August 5, 2020

Congressional Democrats introduced new legislation on Wednesday that would make reducing racial inequality in the U.S. economy an official part of the Federal Reserve’s mission. The Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act requires the central bank to take action “to minimize and eliminate racial disparities in employment, wages, wealth, and access to affordable credit.” It would be the first major change to the Fed’s mandate since 1977 and would significantly alter the central bank’s focus. The Fed’s current mandate from Congress is to keep prices stable and maximize the number of Americans with jobs. The Black-White economic divide is as wide as it was in...

Unemployment recipients might not be ‘overpaid’ after all

August 5, 2020

One of the top talking points in the Capitol Hill debate over unemployment benefits might be wrong. Most unemployment claimants are probably earning less on unemployment than they did at their previous jobs, according to a new data analysis by the liberal advocacy group Groundwork Collaborative and the National Employment Law Project. A previous study by University of Chicago economists found that more than two-thirds of unemployment claimants received more in benefits than they did from work, thanks to an extra $600 weekly payment Congress created in March to help people who lost jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. The extra $600 expired last week, and lawmakers are at an impasse over whether to...

5 ways unions help people during mass unemployment

August 4, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for record-breaking mass unemployment in the U.S. in the post-World War II era. According to data from the Pew Research Center, April 2020’s unemployment rate was above 14 percent — a sharp rise from 3.8 percent in February 2020. Pew senior researcher Rakesh Kochhar notes that, when accounting for a decline in labor force participation, it is possible that the unemployment rate was as high as 25 percent in May 2020. For many of those workers, the loss of a job was sudden and unexpected. And the government at all levels was unprepared to deal with the influx of unemployed workers who were turning to their leaders for assistance. “Government aid has been slow to arrive for many...

Dr. Sandy Darity says conventional policy won’t help Black unemployment, Fed needs to finance reparations

August 3, 2020

The Black community has suffered from economic inequality for centuries and has yet to come up with a solution.  The Federal Reserve, the central banking system of the U.S., has all the tools necessary to close the racial wealth gap and should finance reparations, according to Dr. William A. “Sandy” Darity Jr., a Duke University economist and reparations activist. Those economic disparities are “a constant and Blacks are not perpetually in protest over those conditions. But violent anti-Black police action invariably leads to Black protest,” said Darity, one of the most prominent U.S. advocates for economic policies to close the wealth gap between whites and African Americans. Among the proposed initiatives Darity has...

The argument for cutting the $600 unemployment benefits doesn't add up

July 30, 2020

Earlier this week, Senate Republicans unveiled their stimulus proposal to help Americans who continue to suffer from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Included in the $1 trillion package is a proposal to cut the $600 weekly boost to unemployment insurance benefits, which is about to expire, to $200 per week for the next two months. Then, beginning in October, the unemployed would receive a payment that would replace 70% of their lost wages when combined with their state benefit. Those payments would continue through the end of the year. Conservatives in the Trump administration and in Congress say the current unemployment insurance benefit is too generous, and may even be discouraging people from going...

Some 2.3 million more seek jobless benefits; 52 million since March

July 23, 2020

WASHINGTON—A combined 2,345,946 people filed for state or federal jobless benefits in the week ending July 18, the Labor Department reported on July 23. That pushes the total official number of jobless, due to closures forced by the coronavirus pandemic, to 31,802,715 with 52 million having applied for benefits since mid-March. MSNBC reported the 52 million figure this morning as the real total number of people who have sought jobless benefits since the pandemic was officially declared on March 13. And pro-worker economists warn joblessness will rise again, as businesses are again forced to close in states getting hit with a resurgence of the coronavirus, and if the Senate’s GOP majority lets the weekly $600 federal...

'Unconscionable': As unemployment claims tick upward, GOP seeks to gut $600 weekly benefit

July 23, 2020

As U.S. lawmakers debate the details of extending or cutting federal unemployment benefits that have helped Americans weather the Covid-19 pandemic, jobless numbers rose for the first time in three months last week as millions remain out of work. "Congress needs to act immediately," Economic Policy Institute (EPI) director of policy Heidi Shierholz wrote Thursday of the need for an extension of the $600 unemployment benefit. "If they let the extra payments expire and then reinstate them, it will be a needless administrative nightmare for state agencies, and recipients—who will face a lapse in benefits several weeks in most states—will pay the price." Thursday's unemployment numbers hit 2.3 million, Shierholz wrote...

BREAKING: 2.3 million workers file for unemployment as COVID-19 surges; Trump and Congress must extend emergency unemployment benefits

July 23, 2020

Cutting emergency benefits to $100 per week, as some Republicans are proposing, would cause massive economic disruption and cost 4.25 million jobs Democrats and progressives are united: Extend expanded unemployment or risk “economic calamity” Washington, DC – Today, following the release by the U.S Department of Labor of weekly unemployment claims showing that another 2.3 million workers have filed for unemployment benefits last week, with a total of 34 million workers currently receiving or having applied for benefits, Groundwork Collaborative released the following statement and background making the strong case for Congress to move quickly to address the unemployment benefits cliff that is set to hit families and the...

NEW REPORT: U.S trade policies led to COVID-19 mask and ventilator shortages; Fixing policies will help workers and economy, prevent future shortages

July 23, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, Groundwork Collaborative released a new paper authored by Beth Baltzan, a fellow at Open Markets Institute, entitled “COVID-19 and The End of Laissez-Faire Globalization.” The new paper highlights how the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis has exposed and exacerbated the flaws in the current global trading system, specifically as shortages of live-saving supplies like masks and ventilators have emerged across the world and countries have resorted to export bans to address them. The paper includes specific recommendations for how U.S policymakers can solve these problems by arming our government with the tools they need to crack down on companies engaging in damaging practices to maximize their...

Progressives ramp up pressure on $600 unemployment benefits

July 22, 2020

Leaders from a slew of progressive organizations are pushing Congress to extend the additional $600 in unemployment benefits set to expire this week. In a letter to be sent Wednesday afternoon, the leaders of progressive advocacy groups such as the Center for American Progress, MoveOn, the Economic Policy Institute and the Roosevelt Institute, as well as the Service Employees International Union, said cutting the benefits would lead to "economic calamity." “Unemployment Insurance is keeping the economy afloat," they wrote in the letter, which was obtained exclusively by The Hill. "This $600 boost to unemployment benefits has helped millions pay rent, buy groceries, and keep the lights on. Slashing workers’ incomes now, by...

Progressives to Congress: Cutting incomes of 30 million Americans during pandemic risks “economic calamity”

July 22, 2020

Emergency benefits are critical lifeline for families and are keeping economy afloat; Cutting benefits would be “attack on black and brown workers” Progressives: Extend the full $600 with no cuts, tie to unemployment rate so support continues until crisis ends  “Cutting unemployment will cause irreparable harm, shrink the economy, and cost us millions more jobs over the next year” Washington, DC – Today, leaders of progressive research, policy, grassroots, and advocacy groups released the following statement calling on Congress to extend the full $600 expanded unemployment benefits that are currently set to expire at the end of the month or risk “economic calamity.” A full list of signers is below.  “When...

America is sleepwalking toward economic catastrophe

Vox
July 20, 2020

The country is ambling toward a cliff, putting millions of Americans’ lives and livelihoods in danger and all but ensuring prolonged economic distress nationwide. It didn’t have to be this way. Yet here we are, unable to shake out of it. The Covid-19 pandemic tossed much of the US economy into disarray earlier this year. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, and businesses across the country closed their doors as part of a planned shutdown. In March, Congress passed the CARES Act, an ambitious $2 trillion stimulus package to try to stop the bleeding. The plan was to buy the country time to get the virus under control and begin to safely reopen to get the economy on track to recovery. But things have not gone according...

Unemployment compensation runs out this month. Will Congress #SaveThe600?

July 16, 2020

Although the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen, the $600 weekly federal unemployment insurance payout to impacted workers is set to end on July 25 in most states. In order to save this funding program, the National Employment Law Project (NELP) is organizing a campaign to #SaveThe600. In late March, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This $2.2 trillion stimulus package supplements states’ unemployment insurance payouts to workers and businesses financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic crisis. A key provision of the CARES Act, known as the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) program, provides unemployed...

White House pushes 'pure giveaway' to rich investors while urging cut to pandemic unemployment aid

July 14, 2020

The Trump White House is publicly advocating a massive tax cut for wealthy U.S. investors while simultaneously urging Congress to pare back the expanded unemployment benefits currently serving as a financial lifeline for more than 30 million—and counting—jobless Americans. "Regarding the 'capital gains holiday,' remember this key stat: 82% of all capital gains tax is paid by the richest 1%. A capital gains tax holiday is a pure giveaway to the rich." —Michael Linden, Groundwork Collaborative In an interview on Fox Business Monday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said President Donald Trump wants included in the next Covid-19 stimulus package "a payroll tax holiday"—which critics warn is a stealth attack...

America needs some repairs. Here's where to start.

July 2, 2020

This weekend we celebrate the creation of the United States, though that project remains substantially incomplete. This year of crises has underscored the distance between the lofty rhetoric of our founding documents and the persistent inequalities of American life. This nation began as a set of promises that it has yet to keep. Millions of Americans, especially Black and Hispanic Americans, lack the economic security that makes other freedoms meaningful — and they are denied the opportunity to improve their lives. In recent months, under the banner “The America We Need,” the Opinion section has presented a wide range of ideas for reforging our economy, our society and our democracy. Some of the most important are...

The pipeline problem for Black women in economics

July 1, 2020

Fewer than .5% of Ph.D.s in economics were awarded to Black women in 2018. The Sadie Collective is trying to improve the situation by addressing the pipeline problems for Black women in economics and related fields. Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with the CEO and co-founder of the Sadie Collective, Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation. Kai Ryssdal: Tell me first of all, would you, a little bit about Dr. Sadie Alexander. Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman: I am so happy you asked about her. She’s amazing. So Dr. Sadie Alexander is America’s first Black economist. She received her Ph.D. in economics in 1921 from the University of Pennsylvania. And she also received her JD from...

Forget the stock market. In the real economy, there's coronavirus and mass unemployment

June 11, 2020

April and May were incredible months for the stock market, which has increased 30% since its March lows. April and May were also horrific months for workers, with 37.2 million filing for unemployment, the most on record for a two month period. That both of these statements are true offers real insight into what our economy is, who it works for, and what policies should be adopted to help it thrive. If you ask President Donald Trump about this, he’ll give you a pretty clear answer. In response to the news Friday that the unemployment rate in May was only 13.3%, which is well above its Great Recession peak and reflects tens of millions of Americans unemployed and underemployed, the president tweeted that “It’s a...

Calls grow for the Federal Reserve to target lowering the Black unemployment rate

June 10, 2020

As the United States faces a deep recession and protests over systemic injustices toward African Americans, calls are growing for the Federal Reserve to pay closer attention to the black unemployment rate when it makes its policy decisions. Jared Bernstein, an economic adviser to presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, says the Fed should make it a goal to get the black unemployment rate down. The national rate has rarely dipped below 10 percent since the government began keeping track of the black rate in 1972, and it has often been nearly double the white unemployment rate. “The Fed should consider targeting not the overall unemployment rate, but the Black rate,” Bernstein wrote in...

Black Women Best: Economics has a diversity problem, and here's how it affects everyone

A couple of years ago, I attended a luncheon at a large economics conference hosted by the American Economic Association. After taking my seat, they announced that the program would begin soon, and the high table filed in. As they walked in, one after the other, something seemed off, and then it hit me — not a single one of the panelists was Black. Naturally, I scanned the room to see if I could find any Black people at all. There were maybe three. Imagine sitting in a room with hundreds of experts and not seeing yourself. It makes you second guess whether you really belong or if you even have what it takes. When you don’t have proper representation in any industry, those underrepresented groups are going to suffer, and...

As Trump pushes tax cuts for coronavirus stimulus, lawmakers push back

resident Trump’s renewed push for a payroll tax cut as part of the next round of coronavirus stimulus is being met with bipartisan resistance on Capitol Hill, with even some Republican leaders questioning how effective the policy would be. As lawmakers debate the shape of the legislation, Trump’s push for a payroll tax cut likely presages a broader fight over the most appropriate next steps to mitigate the damage from the coronavirus recession and encourage a speedier recovery. Setting up a clash: As lawmakers debate the next package to address the pandemic, Trump on Sunday drew a line in the sand: "We are not doing anything unless we get a payroll tax cut," he said. Congress in March deferred employers' portion of the...

Normal is what got us here

May 5, 2020

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed how racial inequities are baked into our economic and health systems, in large part due to anti-blackness. One thing is for sure, we didn’t end up here by accident. Nationwide, as a result of the rules we’ve created and the narratives we hold dear, Black and Latinx Americans are testing positive and dying of coronavirus at disproportionately higher rates. These communities are overrepresented in jobs that put them at risk of both becoming infected and of being laid off. In California, Black and Asian women have the highest daily risk of exposure to COVID-19. The hotel and restaurant industries have been hit particularly hard by the virus, and Latinx Californians make up 80 percent of...

For Black people, the country returning 'back to normal' is not good enough

April 27, 2020

Over the past couple of months, we’ve watched as a pandemic has taken over the country while the Trump administration continues to ignore the advice of public health experts. Every day we learn more about the virus, the toll it’s taking on communities and the associated economic fallout. While all people are at risk, we now know that people of color, particularly Black people, are bearing the brunt of the effects of COVID-19. Black workers are overrepresented as essential workers, have a prevalence of underlying health conditions and are more likely to receive unequal treatment in the health care system. Recent data show that Black people account for one third of COVID-19 hospitalizations while making up only 13 percent of...

NEW COVID-19 POLICY POLLING: Voters demand further government action; Overwhelming support for immediate aid to families, frontline workers

April 22, 2020

70 percent want Congress to “do whatever it takes to provide Americans the economic support they need during this very difficult time”; 71 percent want “major, sweeping action to address the economic impact of the pandemic.” Poll finds Democrats credited with proposals that help workers, families; Republicans seen prioritizing corporate bailouts, business support. Washington, DC – Today, the Groundwork Collaborative and the Roosevelt Institute released new polling of registered voters on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Conducted by GBAO Strategies, the poll tested specific policies that have been enacted by Congress as well as those that are being considered as part of future relief packages...

Progressive Group Leaders to Congress: Major federal intervention needed to meet scale of crisis; Congress must put people ahead of corporations to save economy

April 9, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, leaders of progressive research, policy, and advocacy groups released the following statement calling on Congress to move quickly to pass a robust legislative package that meets the scale of this crisis. The leaders laid out four specific principles that must guide congressional action to ensure that upcoming legislation puts workers, Black and brown communities, and the most vulnerable families ahead of Wall Street and massive corporations. A full list of signers is below.  “The economic crisis sparked by coronavirus has exposed major structural flaws in our economy that made this crisis far worse than it needed to be, and it is clearer than ever that we need major government intervention to stabilize...

INEQUALITY/ECONOMY: New report reveals 3 million more in poverty, higher price increases for low income families

November 5, 2019

Report underscores ‘inflation inequality’: how low income families have been facing significantly higher cost of living increases than the wealthiest Americans ***READ THE REPORT HERE*** ***Press conference call to discuss report today at 10:30am ET – RSVP here*** Washington, DC – Today, Christopher Wimer and Sophie Collyer from the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University along with Xavier Jaravel of the London School of Economics, in partnership with the Groundwork Collaborative, published a new report that upends the conventional view of inflation rates and poverty in America and reveals that there are 3.2 million more Americans living in poverty than official numbers suggest. The report also...

New IRS inflation adjustments unfair for low income Americans, should be recalculated

November 2, 2019

Adjustments released today fail to account for higher inflation rates faced by low income families  Washington, DC – Today, Groundwork Collaborative Executive Director Michael Linden released the following statement on the new IRS tax inflation adjustments for tax year 2020.  "Rising inequality has caused inflation to increase more for low income families than for the rich, but because of the recently enacted tax law, the IRS has to use inflation adjustments that understate price increases for low and middle income families. Congress should instruct the IRS take inflation inequality into account." Today's announcement by the IRS comes after the Groundwork Collaborative released a new report by Christopher Wimer and Sophie...

GoozNews: Health insurance prices are soaring

A new survey by the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive think tank, shows that corporate CEOs and their finance officers admit on earnings calls that they are using war- and COVID-driven supply chain disruptions to hike prices over and beyond the actual increased costs they are experiencing. “Companies that historically might have kept prices low to pick up profit by gaining additional market share are instead using the cover of inflation to raise prices and increase profits,” Groundwork executive director Lindsay Owens wrote in this recent New York Times op-ed.

Financial Times: US companies boost capital spending to tackle supply bottlenecks.

A wave of recent disruptions, from coronavirus lockdowns to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and tensions between the US and China, have led many high-profile investors and executives to predict a reversal of the decades-long trend toward sprawling global supply chains and “just in time” inventory management. Recent quarterly reports from the largest US companies provide some of the first concrete signs that companies are following through on their plans, putting pressure on their profitability just as the economic recovery begins to lose steam.

'Black women best': Why putting Black women first may save us from economic disaster

In 2008, our economy experienced an economic crisis in which Black women lost 258,000 jobs—more than twice as many as the jobs gained by Black men. Our current economic crisis is unfortunately offering up disparity déjà vu. The ravages of the coronavirus have resulted in employment among Black women dropping 11 percentage points—more than any other group. Despite historically low unemployment rates in March, within a month of the pandemic, Black women’s unemployment rate has climbed to 16.9%, suffering the greatest job losses as compared with other groups. FIGURE A Employment has dropped sharply in the COVID-19 labor market—Black women face the largest lossesEmployment-to-population ratio by race and gender...

Rocky recovery to keep U.S. unemployment high, Fed’s Bostic says

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said he expects U.S. unemployment will be around 10% in the fourth quarter, with an uneven recovery from the Covid-19-induced recession. “We are going to see sort of some bumps on our journey through recovery,” Bostic said in a telephone interview, noting that the downturn especially is hurting minorities and low-income workers. “I think the second half of the year is going to be pretty strong, certainly much stronger than the first half, but I am not anticipating this will be a smooth, straight line up,” he said. Systemic racism in the U.S. has been a barrier for minorities, and there’s a “moral and economic imperative” to end discrimination, Bostic wrote...

Mounting unemployment crisis fuels racial wealth gap

The economic meltdown that has devastated the country amid the coronavirus pandemic has proven uniquely damaging for black Americans, threatening to exacerbate an already staggering racial wealth gap and fueling nationwide protests focused on racial justice. Black workers are more likely to be out of a job, to have lost income or to have left the labor market altogether, economic data and surveys show — and less than half of black adults are now employed. More than 1 in 6 black workers was out of a job in May, the Labor Department reported Friday, and the black unemployment rate continued to rise even as the overall rate ticked downward. Black workers are also more heavily represented in frontline industries that...

Maybe... pay people more,' Says AOC as data shows half of U.S. workers could make more from unemployment than low-wage jobs

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that data showing around half of all U.S. workers stand to bring home more money per week from beefed up unemployment insurance than they would from their regular full-time jobs is an argument in favor of raising wages, not the right-wing solution of rolling back benefits. "We should be asking ourselves why underpaid workers are being expected to labor for too little money in the first place." —Michele Evermore, National Employment Law Project "Maybe we should pay people more," the New York Democrat tweeted in response to a new Wall Street Journal analysis, which found that the average weekly unemployment payment for a laid-off worker will rise to around $978 once the temporary...

Four keys to a successful coronavirus rescue

Crises like pandemics, economic collapses and world wars have, at times throughout history, ended up reordering societies — shrinking the gap between the rich and the poor, or empowering the working class. The Black Death helped end feudalism. The Great Depression helped lead to the New Deal. Never has extreme economic inequality shrunk in a meaningful way, says the Stanford historian Walter Scheidel, without a major crisis. The coronavirus pandemic, as of now, is not on the order of the plague, but it’s hitting the United States during a period of agitation about worsening inequality and waning power for workers. Already, it has made stark how precarious life is for many American workers, causing some to revolt. How...