With inflation running rampant The United States and the Biden Administration scrambling for a solution to what’s become a major political and economic crisis, new polling data and swing-state focus group results shared exclusively with Common Dreams One approach is especially effective: Challenging corporate greed
The research firm GBAO conducted the recent survey on behalf of Fight Corporate Monopolies. national surveys and focus groups Two key battleground states have shown that voters are especially responsive to and supportive messaging that links price hikes to big business profiteering.
For example, GBAO finds that 74% of voters say they would be more likely to back a candidate who supports outlawing price gouging as a way to “crack down on companies using inflation and the pandemic to raise prices.” Voters, facing pain at the pump, become even more supportive when the surging profits Mentioned are oil and gas companies.
“There is hardly any difference across party lines in engagement on these policies, suggesting an opportunity for either party to define itself as a champion on corporate accountability,” GBAO notes in a memo Provided to Common Dreams.
Speaking for themselves during focus group sessions held in April — when inflation was up 8.3% compared to the year before, the highest level in four decades — voters in Wisconsin and Arizona confirmed their view that corporate profit-seeking is contributing to the price hikes U.S. consumers are seeing at grocery storesRestaurants, gas stations, and other places.
One voter, identified by her as a Black woman living in Wisconsin, said that corporations are using the U.S. to infuse their prices. global economy as a “convenient excuse to line pockets.”
Another, identified as a Latina from Phoenix, said that “there is a greed factor in the raising of prices.”
“I think they go up whether there’s a pandemic or not,” she added, “but companies are covering their losses from the last couple of years.”
Inflation in the U.S. has only gotten worse since April as Russia’s war on Ukraine roils global energy markets and corporations push higher costs onto consumers, even after raking in record profits In 2021.
Federal data published last week showed that inflation was up 8.6% in May compared to a year earlier, exceeding analysts’ expectations and sparking fears of more aggressive interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, whose chair Jerome Powell has expressed a desire to “get wages down.”
In a statement responding to the latest figures, President Joe Biden vowed that his administration will “continue to do everything we can to lower prices for the American people.”
The president briefly spoke out about price gouging in fossil fuel companies. It is “important,” Biden said, “that the oil and gas and refining industries in this country not use the challenge created by the war in Ukraine as a reason to make things worse for families with excessive profit-taking or price hikes.”
Progressives have urged Biden to more forcefully highlight that dynamic even as top members of his own administration — including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen — dismiss it Powell supports the widely disputed belief that modest wage increases are fueling inflation.
Administration officials have been engaged in an internal struggle over whether to publicly link corporate profiteering to surging prices. As the Washington Post reported in February, members of the White House Council of Economic Advisers have “raised objections to the idea that a spike in prices was due to corporate power.”
However, economists outside the field have confirmed that there is a clear connection. An April blog post, Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute pointed to data indicating that growing corporate profit margins “account for a disproportionate share of price growth.”
Helen Brosnan, Fight Corporate Monopolies executive Director, noted that there is ample evidence to support the argument linking record profits to rising inflation. Polls conducted by GBAO over the past few months have consistently shown that voters support record profits. blame corporate greed For the inflation spike.
“The results of our massive survey effort couldn’t be clearer,” Brosnan said. “Ahead of the midterms, voters across the nation are eager to support candidates who embrace economic populism and prove to the American people that corporations are no longer above the law.”