Happy Saturday, Activists! We hope you're having a good week. We have some new messaging and an important Call to Action. Today we’re breaking down the reasons for the spike in inflation so we can put the right framing on it. The media are not doing a very good job of listing the causes of our current inflation, and of course Republicans are blaming President Biden for all of it. This is the basic reason we started our Messaging Project - to counter the lousy issue framing out there in the public discourse. Put The Blame For the Inflation Rate Where It Belongs For one, the pandemic has affected supply chain issues that have led to higher prices. Republicans are blaming the stimulus packages as the sole cause and blaming President Biden. The recovery package has added to inflation, but that’s not nearly the whole story. The other major cause of our current inflation rate is simple – corporate profiteering. The evidence is just too strong to ignore. To quantify corporate profit's contribution to the rate, one economics expert calculates that spiked corporate profits add about 60% to our current inflation rate. So while the stimulus payments play a role, and helped millions of families in need to feed their children, corporate greed is playing a much larger role. Just a few examples:
Tyson Foods had record profits in the three months ending January 31. That’s almost double the profit, because it increased beef prices by 33% and chicken prices by 20%.
Proctor & Gamble already raised prices 6% and plans to raise more. Why? To increase profits. As one executive said – “Pricing has been a positive contributor to our top line . . . the consumer is very resilient.”
The retailers that sell those Tyson and P&G products are doing the same. As one analyst put it, “stores will ‘mark up the full rate of inflation plus a little bit more.’” And that’s what Kroger and others are doing.
Here’s a rundown of the large retailers using this past holiday season as an opportunity to spike their prices under the guise of inflation. Macy’s had a "strong" second quarter profit this year, and paired price hikes with stock buybacks, recently approving $500 million in buybacks.
A recent report shows that the big four oil companies – Chevron, Shell, BP, and Exxon – saw “record-breaking profits in 2021” of over $75.5 billion combined. The profits went to shower billions on their shareholders – including their wealthy executives whose salaries are loaded with stocks.
We need to push back against the Republican talking points about the real cause of our inflation, and tell our friends, family, and neighbors that the biggest reason for the current inflation rate is corporate greed. Here is this week’s message For Facebook and personal conversations: No matter what we look like or where we live, most of us work hard for our families. But the very same corporations that hold down our wages are now bragging to their Wall Street shareholders that they’re hiking up prices. Meanwhile, the politicians who rig the rules for these billionaires are spreading lies, hoping to place blame on programs we rely on, so they can hold onto power, while blocking everything our families need. We deserve real leaders, who stand with working people – not hand kickbacks to corporations. That’s why Democrats have introduced laws to stop corporate price gouging. curb education debt, make childcare and healthcare affordable, and raise our wages. For Twitter: Corporations that hold down our wages now brag to Wall Street that they’re hiking prices. Politicians rig the rules for them & lie to blame programs we rely on & block what our families need. In contrast, Democrats introduce laws to stop corporate price gouging & raise our wages.
CALL TO ACTION Save The USPS Postal Banking Service Senator Pat Toomey has done it again, ignoring, indeed damaging, the needs of those less well off. According to Public Citizen, he has "quietly slipped in an amendment to BAN postal banking into the Postal Service Reform Act." The USPS sells $12 billion worth of money orders per year. This is how lower income and elderly people can pay bills and make other monetary transactions. We can’t let this amendment stand. Call both of our Senators now and every day (leave a voicemail) and demand they make sure Toomey's amendment is removed from the bill. Sen. Casey – Phila office 215-405-9660; D.C. 202-224-6324; email link Sen. Toomey – Phila office 215-241-1090; D.C. 202-224-4254; email link For outside PA: Find your Senators’ phone numbers and emails at this link.
POSTCARDS Write to Philly Voters! See how to sign up to write postcards in Tuesday's newsletter at this link. We look forward to working with you!
35 DOORS PROJECT - JOIN THE TEAM! We recently had a fantastic 35 Doors Training meeting and a lot of you are very interested in getting started. See the full description of this project in a recent newsletter. Let us know if you're interested in joining the project and we can send you the recording of the training. We look forward to working with you!