DemocracyNews & Opinion
by Mitch Jones
Food & Water Action is no stranger to fighting corporate greed. Our partner organization, Food & Water Watch, has been exposing corporate abuses for more than 15 years.
Greed and market power brings grievous harms to consumers, workers, and the environment. But with a convergence of crises — the COVID-19 pandemic, international strife, climate-fueled natural disasters — corporations are bringing it to a whole new level.
In the wake of these crises (many still ongoing), inflation is kicking people who are already struggling. And predictably, megacorporations are exploiting the moment to make even more money, while leaving everyday people in the dust.
To hold corporations accountable and bring relief to working families, we need a strong turnout in November’s midterm elections. Democrats may not be doing enough to tout their accomplishments, but they’ve taken the lead on reining in corporate greed and helping working families.
On the issues closest to voters — the same issues Food & Water Action has been mobilizing around — Democrats have a clear agenda. Their work can only continue if they hold onto their majority in Congress.
Our Energy Prices Are Rising at Every Turn
Fossil fuel corporations didn’t invent corporate greed, but they have perfected it. To keep their dying industry afloat, Big Oil has been cashing in on global instability to squeeze every last cent they can out of families.
We have blown the whistle on Big Oil’s outrageous maneuvers again and again. As important as our advocacy, though, Democrats in Congress have heeded our calls to action with policies that benefit consumers.
Look no further than the windfall profits tax introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The bill would claw back Big Oil’s ill-gotten gains and return them to struggling households. By maintaining and expanding the progressive majority, we can move bills like this forward for the benefit of working families.
More recently, U.S. consumers have faced climbing gasoline prices, while Big Oil sends scarce supplies abroad to the highest bidders. Food & Water Watch calculated that in 2021, the U.S. exported over 12 billion gallons of gasoline. That’s more than a month’s worth of our national gasoline consumption.
The trend continued in 2022: in the first six months of this year, the U.S. exported just over 6.4 billion gallons of gasoline -– a nearly 9% increase from 2021.
But again, Democrats in Congress listened to calls from Food & Water Action to ban gasoline exports. In October, Rep. Khanna introduced the Gasoline Export Ban Act to protect American consumers from Big Oil’s inflationary schemes.
Market Power Sends Grocery Bills Sky-High
While fossil fuel giants hurt consumers at the pump, their agribusiness counterparts squeeze us at the grocery store. Giant food corporations are using inflation and supply chain problems as cover to boost profits. In fact, net profit margins for the country’s four top food corporations are up over 300%.
We have long gone to bat against food corporations to help consumers. When food behemoth Smithfield lied to consumers about pandemic meat shortages, we sounded the alarm — and Democrats in Congress heard us.
Moreover, our research has meticulously exposed how the market power of a few megacorporations threatens our food, our families, workers, and the environment. Most recently, Food & Water Watch detailed how corporate speculation and the manipulation of commodity markets drives up food prices.
Fortunately, Congressional Democrats have a consumer-focused agenda that, once enacted, will give families much-needed relief at the grocery store. This includes legislation they introduced such as the Farm System Reform Act and the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act.
Both of the bills will help break the corporate stranglehold on our food system and level the playing field for farmers and consumers. Of course, the giant food monopolies profiting from consumer misery are fighting this legislation, as well as any common sense measures that curtail their power and benefit working families.
They’re using all of their power and influence to block the progressive agenda and elect more corporate shills in the midterm elections. But we’re fighting to stop them.
Democrats Will Fight Inflation by Fighting Corporate Greed
The November midterms will decide whether we can make common sense consumer protection a reality. Corporate profiteers are desperate to break the progressive majority. And if Republican corporate mouthpieces seize power, consumers will continue to suffer.
Food & Water Action is working tirelessly to mobilize voters in support of candidates who will serve them. We are striving toward a future where a few billionaires and corporations can no longer profit off our suffering; a future with a livable — affordable, accessible — future that we can all share.
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