Power and Profiteering: How Certain Industries Hiked Prices, Fleeced Consumers, and Drove Inflation
On September 22, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, will hold a hybrid hearing to examine the role that excess corporate price hikes have played in driving the inflation that U.S. consumers have been experiencing since early 2021.
Supply chain disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and other factors have contributed to global inflation over the last two years.
Excess corporate price increases—the practice of corporations with market power raising prices more than is needed to offset higher costs—have emerged as another potent driver of inflation. Certain corporations and industries have increased prices under the guise of covering pandemic-related increases in costs, resulting in record-high profit margins even as many Americans struggle to make ends meet.
Recently, inflation has begun to fall slightly from its peak, and gas prices have fallen for the last 14 weeks. While input costs have begun to decrease for many businesses, certain corporations and industries are keeping prices higher anyway, prolonging inflationary pressures that have harmed American consumers.
These excess price hikes have an outsized impact on traditionally marginalized communities, including low-income communities and communities of color, who spend a higher portion of their incomes on the goods most impacted by significant price increases, including energy and food.
Robert B. Reich
Carmel P. Friesen Professor of Public Policy
The Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor
Director, Macroeconomic Analysis
Rakeen Mabud, Ph.D.
Chief Economist and Managing Director of Policy and Research
Tyler Godspeed – Minority witness