If you’ve noticed not only a price hike at the gas pump but the grocery store, hardware storeand pretty much everywhere else lately, there’s an easy, but not simple, explanation — inflation. Though the blame seems to lie firmly on the backs of supply chain issues, many voters believe that there’s more to the current record-high inflation rates than just supply and demand issues.
A new survey from Data for Progress and the Groundwork Collaborative found that a vast majority of Republicans and Democrats alike think the culprit is more likely greedy corporations raising prices to pad their pockets and take advantage of the groundwork set by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Data for Progress polled 1,549 potential voters between February 18 and 22 and recorded 51% of Republicans, 76% of Democrats, and 62% of Independents — a whopping 63% of voters — believe that corporate greed, not rising wholesale costs and wage increases are at the heart of the current inflation crisis.
“Big corporations aren’t shy in telling their investors how they’re taking advantage of the pandemic to jack up prices and pad their own profits — and the public is noticing,” Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative, said in a statement earlier this week. “Policymakers should listen to voters by cracking down on corporations raising prices unfairly, addressing corporate consolidation and monopoly power, and increasing taxes on corporations.”
The survey results come on the heels of price increase announcements by corporations like Starbucks and Amazon, who raised the price of Amazon Prime by almost 20% for an annual subscription this year. Similarly, biotech giant Pfizer raised the price of many of its productsincluding breast cancer and heart disease drugs, after banking record profits in 2021 from its COVID-19 vaccine.
Aside from their thoughts on corporate price gouging, the survey also gauged voters’ thoughts on the role of government overspending, labor shortages, and supply chain problems in inflation. After corporate profiteering, 49% of voters think supply chain issues contribute to inflation “a great deal,” followed by government overspending (47%) and labor shortages (36%).
The vast majority of those polled also believe it’s time for the government to step up and address the problem. Eighty percent of voters think that “lawmakers should crack down on large corporations that raise prices unfairly, ”and the results are surprisingly bipartisan. Eighty-eight percent of Democrats and 77% of Republicans think it’s time for the government to put a stop to corporate price hikes.