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

Inflation cooled off and remained unchanged during the month of July, providing President Joe Biden and vulnerable Democrats a reason to celebrate ahead of the midterms. However, on Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its consumer price index, which reports that the cost of paying rent inflated by 6.3 percent over the past year, the largest increase in 35 years and a clear signal that the housing crisis enflamed by the COVID pandemic continues. The rent inflation index reflects landlords raising rents on existing tenants; it does not include the prices of new leases when tenants move. A…

98 Million Skipped Treatment or Cut Back on Spending to Pay for Care This Year

As inflation hit a 40-year high this year, nearly 100 million Americans skipped care or cut back on necessities to cover the rising cost of medical treatment in a nation infamous for its for-profit system, according to polling results released this week. Inflation rose to 9.1% in June — and healthcare inflation was at 4.5% — when Gallup and West Health asked people across the country how they had handled higher healthcare costs over the past six months. As the groups revealed Thursday, 38% — representing an estimated 98 million people — reported doing one or more of the following:…

Bowman Unveils Bill to Allow Biden to Identify Profiteering and Regulate Prices

Amid soaring inflation and record corporate profits, progressive Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-New York) unveiled a bill on Thursday aimed at combating the increasing costs for expenses ranging from housing to gas. The Emergency Price Stabilization Act would create a sub-task force within the White House to monitor price raises and corporate profiteering, potentially making recommendations to the president to regulate and moderate prices in food, energy, housing, health care and transportation. The group would have subpoena power over corporations’ financial records in order to determine if companies are raising prices for profit or out of necessity. “From impossible rents and…

World Oil Production Is Rising, With No End in Sight

It may seem hard to believe, but only 15 years ago many of us were talking confidently about “peak oil” — the moment of maximum global oil output after which, with world reserves dwindling, its use would begin an irreversible decline. Then along came hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and the very notion of peak oil largely vanished. Instead, some analysts began speaking of “peak oil demand” — a moment, not so far away, when electric vehicle (EV) ownership would be so widespread that the need for petroleum would largely disappear, even if there was still plenty of it to frack…

Report: CEOs Are Driving “Greedflation,” Raising Prices to Pay Themselves More

The AFL-CIO’s latest annual analysis of top executive pay was published Monday with the following conclusion: “CEOs, not working people, are causing inflation.” In recent months, corporate bosses and top Federal Reserve officials have pointed to workers’ wages as a factor in surging prices, which have pushed overall inflation in the United States to a four-decade high. But the AFL-CIO’s new report attempts to reframe the national inflation discussion, emphasizing that while wage increases won by ordinary workers are drawing outsized attention from policymakers and executives, CEO pay hikes significantly outpaced the wage increases of rank-and-file employees last year. Titled…

“No Child Should Go Hungry”: Democrats Push to Extend Universal School Meals

Democrats in both chambers of Congress are urging House and Senate leadership to help extend a school lunch waiver program that’s kept millions of children from going hungry over the past two years. In a letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last Friday, a group of nine Democrats led by Rep. Katie Porter (D-California) asked the Democratic leader to schedule a vote to extend waivers for school meals for this week, ahead of the program’s scheduled expiration date on June 30. “With higher food costs forcing families to stretch their budgets, free school meals can bring down costs for…

Corporate Profits Soared to Highest Levels in 7 Decades Last Year

A new paper published Tuesday shows that U.S. corporate price markups and profits surged to their highest levels since the 1950s last year, bolstering arguments for an excess profits tax as a way to rein in sky-high inflation. Authored by Mike Konczal and Niko Lusiani of the Roosevelt Institute, the analysis finds that markups—the difference between the actual cost of a good or service and the selling price—”were both the highest level on record and the largest one-year increase” in 2021. “Markups this high mean there is room for reversing them with little economic harm and likely societal benefit,” Konczal…

Federal Reserve Puts Burden of Curbing Inflation on Global Working Class

On Wednesday, at the end of a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell announced a tightening of monetary policy in response to the highest U.S. inflation in 40 years. The burden of this measure will fall disproportionately on the working class, both in the U.S. and abroad. In a press release the FOMC said the current inflation rate reflected “supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher energy prices, and broader price pressures.” The Fed raised its benchmark policy rate by 0.75 percentage points, the first increase of this magnitude since 1994. This…

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

As large corporations post record profits, nearly two-thirds of voters agree that corporations are taking advantage of the pandemic in order to raise prices, new polling has found. 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. This belief is widely held regardless of political affiliation, according to the survey. Seventy-six percent of Democratic voters…

Inflation Crisis Is Being Resolved on Backs of Workers. It Doesn’t Have to Be.

On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its latest report on inflation, and the news is not good for working people. According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) — which measures the cost of consumer products — inflation for all goods, including food and energy, rose again in January, this time by 0.6 percent. This latest increase brings the yearly rate of inflation up to a whopping 7.5 percent, a figure not seen since the early 1980s when out-of-control inflation and a stagnant economy amounted to an all out economic war on U.S. workers. While wages for this…

Fed Chair Jerome Powell Says Corporations “Are Raising Prices Because They Can”

In a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that corporations may be raising prices arbitrarily to pad their profits while the public suffers under high inflation rates. Powell said that higher prices for commodities like groceries could be chalked up to corporate greed, at least partially. This statement echoes recent research that shows that businesses are seeing some of their highest profit increases since 1950, using inflation as an excuse to reach further into consumers’ pockets. The statement came as the result of prodding from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts). During a confirmation…

Sanders Takes Aim at Manchin’s Argument Against Build Back Better: “Not True”

Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday countered fellow Sen. Joe Manchin’s recent Fox News appearance with an op-ed on the right-wing outlet’s website aimed at rebutting the West Virginia Democrat’s falsehood-laden talking points against the Build Back Better Act. “Manchin, the Republicans, and corporate America say this bill will add to our national debt and make inflation worse. Not true,” wrote Sanders (I-Vt.), the chair of the Senate Budget Committee. “Unlike the bloated military budget that Manchin recently voted for, which adds $778 billion to the deficit this year alone and costs four times more than the Build Back Better Act…

Translate »