Raising the Standard of Living for Everyone Could Offset the Pains of Inflation

Many Americans are starting to notice the rising prices of goods, such as sour milk and carburetors. Politicians are warning about an inflation crisis.

You may be wondering which single force would cause the price for a dairy product to rise at the same rate as the price for a car component. Inflation is not all equal. Each sector has its own problems.

None of this can be solved by less government funding for our safety network, as some politicians suggested.

Some of it we can call pandemic inflation. Because our economy bounced back quicker after the COVID-19 shutdowns than anyone predicted — thanks largely to investments from the American Rescue Plan — people have more spending money and demand has risen faster than our underinvested supply chain could handle.

This is why prices have risen in lumber and auto manufacturing. At the same time, you’ll notice prices that had plummeted during the shutdowns returning to pre-pandemic levels. Think about plane tickets.

Meanwhile, recent price spikes on other goods that families depend on — like diapers, meat, and dairy — can be linked to corporate greed. The power to artificially increase the prices of necessities has been given to corporations by decades of monopolizing industries and cutting out competitors. under the guise of “inflation.”

Big business is simply trying to take advantage of this opportunity to say that they need raise their prices while still being profitable use those profits to engage in stock buybacks — which benefit shareholders and CEOs, not small farmers or the grocers who stock the shelves.

This is a problem for consumers and small, family-owned businesses that rely on it. bigger conglomerates Like Amazon Supply and market access. Many small businesses are facing financial difficulties as a result of higher prices from larger chains.

But the price pressures that hurt families the most are not caused by the pandemic — and in fact have been rising for decades.

By far the biggest ticket items on struggling families’ budgets are rent and child care. The housing crisis has become so severe that anyone earning less than the minimum wage can’t afford rent. in any U.S. state. The cost of child care is more expensive than college tuition in 30 states.

The Build Back better Act currently under discussion in Congress would address the housing crisis by building affordable units with a $150 million investment. The law would reduce out-of-pocket child care costs for families, increase labor participation and raise the wages of care workers.

Local policies such as rent control, which advocates recently won, are needed. St. Paul, MinnesotaThis could also help to regulate prices.

Some conservative lawmakers have used inflation as an excuse to not pass these programs. They have it backwards.

The best thing we can do to offset the pain of inflation — whatever its cause — and for the overall health of our economy, is to raise the standard of living for all of us. That means lowering the poverty rate and increasing wages to achieve full employment.

For too long we’ve supported an economy that depends on low-paid jobs, dangerous work, and big businesses monopolizing power. All of us are affected by this. Slowing down our economy to boost profits for corporations won’t eliminate the need for families to purchase the products they depend on or fix our supply chain issues.

We must create a system that supports a healthy economic environment for all. The Build Back Better Act would be a downpayment on a clean bill of health in the future.