Washington D.C. — Recent polling shows corporations are facing a highly skeptical public over their claims they’ve had no choice but to raise consumer prices so high as profits have skyrocketed. Consumers are right to blame corporate greed for fueling inflation challenges across several industries. As watchdog group Accountable.US has documented extensively over the last several months, big industries – including big oil, meat packing, shipping, retail, clothing, food, trucking, and railroad – have reported massive new profits over the previous year, paid their CEOs huge bonuses, or rewarded shareholders with millions of dollars in new handouts after raising their consumer prices and service rates.
So many corporations have used the pandemic as an excuse to raise prices higher and higher, hoping consumers wouldn’t notice the record profits and the generous giveaways to investors and executives that followed the price hikes. But the polling shows consumers know they’re getting fleeced – because the math just doesn’t add up. Record-breaking profits had made clear that in many cases, prices are far exceeding any additional costs of doing business. Highly profitable companies do have a choice and they should start choosing to keep prices stable for consumers instead of padding their bottom line. If corporations refuse to rein in their greedy behavior, they should at least start paying their fair share in taxes.”
Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig
HIGHLIGHTS FROM KEY RECENT POLLING:
- Since January, there has been an 8-point increase in the share who say corporate greed is a cause of inflation (from 73% to 81%).
- Increases in blame for greedy corporations have been universal: there has been a 7-point increase among Republicans (from 64% to 71%), a 13-point increase among independents (from 67% to 80%), and an 8-point increase among Democrats (from 82% to 90%).
- Two in five Americans say a statement about oil and gas companies making $35 billion in profits while Americans pay more for gas is best described as “price gouging” (44%), while a majority describe pharmaceutical companies increasing revenue while Americans pay more for prescription drugs as “corporate greed” (54%)
- By a 60-32 margin, voters strongly agree that large corporations are using the pandemic to raise prices and increase profits — and reject the notion corporations have “no choice but to raise prices.”
- When asked whom they blame more for inflation — corporations for increasing prices to profit more, or the rising wages of workers — voters overwhelmingly blame corporations by a +55-point margin.