Groundwork’s Chief Economist Reacts to NY AG Price Gouging Protections

March 2, 2023

Groundwork’s Chief Economist Reacts to NY AG Price Gouging Protections

Today, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced proposed new rules to protect New Yorkers from unfair price hikes.

In response, Groundwork Collaborative’s Chief Economist Dr. Rakeen Mabud released the following statement:

“I applaud Attorney General James for protecting consumers and cracking down on the corporations that have been taking advantage of families and small businesses for far too long. The proposed rules will directly target big corporations that have been jacking up prices on essential goods to boost their bottom line.”

“States and policymakers across the country should take note of Attorney General James’ proposal and work to protect consumers from exploitative corporate behavior.”

The proposal includes banning companies from taking advantage of “market disruption to increase their profits for vital and necessary goods and services,” during times of “extreme weather events, military action, energy disruptions, strikes, or national or local emergencies.” Other rules proposed by Attorney General James that would protect consumers from price gouging can be found here.

Dr. Mabud has been sounding the alarm on corporate profiteering:

“My organization and I have listened to hundreds of earnings calls. And what we hear on these earnings calls is very clear. CEOs are very forthright to their investors that inflation has been good for business and that they’re raising prices on the consumer in order to bring in record profits…We saw the highest profits on record for non-financial corporations in the U.S. at $2.08 trillion.” [PBS Newshour]

“The bottom line is that big corporations are still doing very, very well thanks to price hikes and inflation, whether those price hikes were implemented now or at the beginning of last year…Because of decades of rampant consolidation across industries in our economy, it’s very hard for consumers to push back against these price hikes.” [Vox]

“Inflation has fallen for seven straight months and the labor market continues to be relatively strong. It’s increasingly clear that we don’t have to manufacture mass joblessness and economic devastation to bring down prices. The Fed should stop trying to do just that.” [The Hill]