Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Play

Bill to expand tax credits draws on children's health data, Alaskans file petition opposing giant grocery merger, and a revised Colorado water plan prioritizes conservation.

Play

President Biden is set to give the State of the Union address, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy calls the national debt limit the United States' greatest threat, and Kamala Harris announces new pledges to offer more economic stability in Central America.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Minnesota Grapples with Inflation; Report Blames Corporate Profits

Play

Wednesday, April 20, 2022   

The bigger bite taken out of Minnesotans' paychecks by higher consumer costs is being seen in multiple ways - including the possibility of corporate profiteering.

A new report from the Groundwork Collaborative said corporations are taking advantage of the pandemic to drive up costs for things such as prescription drugs, groceries and diapers. The authors pointed to corporate earnings calls in which some CEOs openly boast about their price hikes.

Shirwa Adan, executive director of the Central Minnesota Community Empowerment Organization, which helps immigrants with needs such as job placement, said it's clear these individuals are feeling the squeeze.

"It's something that the community is feeling and those low-income families, maybe that are using government assistance, what you're seeing is whatever they will receive, it stays the same," he said, "but the prices have doubled across the board."

He also said he sees local residents scrambling to find higher-paying jobs to offset price increases. The report compiled information that details near-record corporate profits. And the U.S. Commerce Department noted these margins are at their highest level in 70 years.

Corporate leaders argued the spikes are largely fueled by supply-chain issues and labor shortages, but the Groundwork Collaborative suggested those arguments are a shield for decades of corporations monopolizing certain industries, creating less competition and worsening supply issues seen today.

Coleen Bui, who owns Shear Reflections, a hair salon in Worthington, said it's harder to buy products, the ones she can locate are more expensive, and her stylists have seen changes in customer activity.

"People stretch out their appointments further in between," she said. "It makes a difference on what the girls take in."

Shannon Berns, who founded Du Nord, a Minnesota-based small-business consulting firm, said clients are still in "recovery mode" from the pandemic and are now passing along price hikes for their products onto customers. She said some are raising eyebrows about the extra costs from suppliers.

"It's hard for them to understand why I just had my prices hiked 50% last month," she said, "and now you're hiking them again, by the same or more."

Minnesota's attorney general has called on state lawmakers to advance legislation on the issue, including updates to anti-competitive statues. But the report said a broader crackdown is needed, as well as more investment in supply-chain infrastructure, to make a difference.


get more stories like this via email
Michigan environmental activists have begun to focus on environmental justice issues in low-income communities that bear the brunt of industrial pollution and political indifference. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

By Tom Perkins for Planet Detroit.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Michigan News Connection with support from the Solutions Journalism Network…


Environment

By Jared Brey for Governing.Broadcast version by Deborah Van Fleet for Missouri News Service reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Public New…

Social Issues

South Dakota is once again locked in a debate over a bill concerning transgender youth. It seeks to ban gender-affirming care, with supporters …


Voters in Pittsburgh-area districts 32, 34 and 35 will head to the polls Tuesday to fill three vacancies in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. (MoiraM/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

While the Pennsylvania House is still out of session and won't resume until late February, the public and advocacy groups are voicing their concerns…

Social Issues

Better health and educational outcomes are being touted as the potential benefits as Minnesota lawmakers discuss whether to provide free school meals …

Sixty schools piloted College Board's new AP African American Studies course, which is set to appear in over 200 schools starting in the 2024-2025 school year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CORRECTION: YouthTruth surveyed more than 28,000 high school seniors from the class of 2022 and the class of 2019 in 19 states, including New York…

Social Issues

For more than two decades, a workforce development program in El Paso has invested in the economically disadvantaged to help them attain the …

Health and Wellness

Nebraska's long-term care facilities face staffing shortages and other factors that could lead to more closures if state funding isn't increased…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021