ICYMI: Experts Show Why Corporations, Not Workers, Are Behind Rising Prices

March 21, 2022

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 between rising prices for consumers and bigger profit margins and buybacks for CEOs and Wall Street investors. Excerpts from the respective pieces are below. 

Salon: Stop blaming workers for inflation: Corporate greed is a much bigger factor

“After two years of lauding these same workers as “essential” and “heroes,” CEOs are turning around and blaming them for rising prices — all while these same executives are robbing the bank in plain sight.”

“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.”

“While there are other factors in driving up prices, such as increased demand as a result of the pandemic, corporate executives simply can’t stop bragging to their investors about how they are enjoying the highest profit margins in 70 years.”

The American Prospect: We Need to Talk About Profits 

“While mainstream economists, think tanks, and journalists obsess over every tenth of a percentage point of inflation and unemployment, profit analyses remain something you find only in shareholder reports, IRS filings, or Bloomberg consoles.”

“Ignoring profits is not just an intellectual problem, but a political and social one. Never has it been more glaring….Yet far less known to most Americans is that around the same time as this consumer price increase, there was a staggering jump in corporate profits.”

“If economics were a more diverse discipline, Americans would be hearing a very different story, one in which the starting baseline for modeling the economy is not the assumption of perfectly competitive markets but rather corporate concentration and asymmetrical market power.”