On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated his claim that meat companies, specifically the Big Meat conglomerate, are to blame for rising meat prices.
Amid inflation that has only gathered steam, meat prices specifically have risen 20% compared to a year ago.
Psaki made his comments during the daily White House briefing.
Thanks to a softball from Bloomberg’s Jordan Fabian, Jen Psaki reiterates that meat and poultry companies are the reason we’ve seen the price of beef, chicken, and pork skyrocket at the grocery store. pic.twitter.com/pp8U9JoSQc
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 8, 2022
Psaki put the blame squarely on Big Meat:
“Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for beef, pork and poultry products, and the data shows, and I think their record profits are evidence of this, that there have been increases in meat prices as companies have generated recent income. record profits,” Psaki said in response to a reporter’s question about the price of food stocks and profits.
“If you look at the historical precedent here, 50 years ago ranchers made more than $0.60 for every dollar a family spent on meat,” he said. “Today, they receive about $0.39,” she added. “Fifty years ago, pig farmers earned between $0.40 and $0.60 for every dollar they spent. Today, it costs around $0.19, and big companies are still making big profits.”
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Psaki said: “It certainly shouldn’t work that way. As the President said many times, capitalism without competition is not capitalism, it is exploitation. And we remain concerned about the lack of competition in this industry.”
In December, Psaki said that the inflation was due to “corporate greed”:
Always Play the Victim: See how Jen Psaki backs up the argument that “corporate greed” is the reason things are more expensive with oil, gas and meat companies purposely making life difficult for the American people. pic.twitter.com/16nPA4sK3t
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 14, 2021
Is there something in that?
Psaki’s comments are a common refrain among the left, to the effect that all social ills are invariably caused by “greed” or capitalism.
Never mind that the federal government has massively increased spending during the pandemic, both under President Trump and President Biden. Or that the Federal Reserve continues to boost the economy.
But there might be some truth to Psaki’s claim.
The Registry in Des Moines reported Friday on a recent settlement by a major meat company: “Meat industry giant JBS has agreed to a $52.5 million settlement in a beef price-fixing lawsuit that some say supports their concerns about how the lack of competition in the industry affects prices.
“Colorado-based JBS did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and company spokeswoman Nikki Richardson said JBS will continue to defend itself against other plaintiffs in the case, but said JBS decided the settlement was ‘in the best interest of the company,” the Registry noted.
The report added: “A federal judge reviewed the settlement Thursday and will rule later on whether to approve it.”
Of course, highly regulated industries they can tend to conglomerate, which can obviously lead to less competition and higher prices. And there is no doubt about it: if a major conglomerate was pricing above their market price, they will be higher.
But the Big Meat conglomerate does not explain all inflation. prices of the food has exploded along with gas, vehicles and other sectors.
It is disingenuous to overlook what is probably the main cause of inflation right now: reckless government spending, currency devaluation, and supply chain issues brought on by COVID-19 lockdowns.
“Greed” is absolutely a factor: greedy politicians spending trillions we don’t have, financed by debt and inflation.
For the Biden administration or anyone else on the left to recognize these factors would mean taking a hard look in the mirror.
So don’t expect these kinds of admissions from Psaki any time soon.