Friday, December 2, 2022

Play

Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

Play

The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

Play

The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Report: Corporate Consolidation Seen as Major Driver of Inflation

Play

Friday, June 24, 2022   

Seven in 10 Americans view inflation as the most pressing issue facing the nation right now, and in Maine, a new report seeks to explore the causes, and what can be done to bring costs down.

James Myall, economic policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy and the report's co-author, said a variety of factors have come into play. He explained it is partly about supply and demand, and how they have shifted throughout the pandemic, creating bottlenecks. He noted the Russian invasion of Ukraine also plays a role, especially in food and energy costs.

Myall contended one driver of inflation Maine lawmakers could do something about is the issue of corporate consolidation.

"It's one of the things that lawmakers in Augusta can actually address," Myall asserted. "They can't do very much to address sort of some of these supply chain issues. But there are things they can do to limit the power of corporations to be able to set prices beyond rising costs."

The report showed prices for food, energy and other basic goods have increased as much as 16% in the last year, and corporate profits accounted for more than half of each dollar increase in prices. In the 40 years prior, corporate profits made up about 11% of price hikes.

Myall added wage increases have made a difference for some families in their ability to handle inflation, especially those in the restaurant and hotel industries in the face of worker shortages. But he pointed out wages have not kept pace with inflation, so they are not major drivers of it now.

"On average, we're seeing that wages have not increased as fast as inflation or have not kept pace," Myall stressed. "One of the things that's made it particularly tough for a lot of workers is that, even where folks have got pay raises, those have not been as much as the prices have been rising."

Myall emphasized prices have increased the most in the sectors where corporations have the most power. For instance, four firms control more than half of the meat-processing industry, and meat prices have skyrocketed.

The report includes recommendations for lawmakers, from new approaches to antitrust laws and addressing price gouging, to implementing a windfall tax and robust safety-net programs.


get more stories like this via email
According to the Brennan Center, at least one bill with a provision restricting access to voting was introduced in the legislature of every state except Vermont in 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…


Environment

Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…

Social Issues

Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …


Almost 60% of Black students and 50% of Latino students experience food insecurity, compared with 30% of their non-Hispanic white peers, according to a study by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…

Environment

The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …

Each year in the United States, an estimated 58,000 to 80,000 children younger than 5 are hospitalized due to RSV infection, according to the CDC. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …

Environment

As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …

Social Issues

2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …

 

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