Robert Reich, a former secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, is explaining why he believes the United States' inflation problem is indicative of a much larger issue.
Since the onset of the pandemic, prices have risen across the nation at an unprecedented speed. On Wednesday, November 10, it was reported that the consumer price index, which consists of "a basket of products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents," has increased by 6.2 percent since last year.
Since Democrats control both chambers of Congress, Republicans are wasting no time pushing the blame on them.
"This will be a winter of high gas prices, shortages, and inflation because far-left lunatics control our government," Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida posted on Twitter Thursday.
This will be a winter of high gas prices,shortages & inflation because far left lunatics control our government— Marco Rubio (@Marco Rubio) 1634190231
Although former Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell believes the issue is temporary and a result of "supply bottlenecks," Reich also points to a structural reason that may only worsen over time. According to Reich, corporate control is a big part of America's inflation problem.
"But there's a deeper structural reason for inflation, one that appears to be growing worse: the economic concentration of the American economy in the hands of a relative few corporate giants with the power to raise prices," he wrote.
"If markets were competitive, companies would keep their prices down in order to prevent competitors from grabbing away customers. But they're raising prices even as they rake in record profits. How can this be? They have so much market power they can raise prices with impunity."
However, Reich believes there is a way to resolve the structural issue. He concluded, "This structural problem is amenable to only one thing: the aggressive use of antitrust law."