In a not-so-shocking turn of events, Jen Psaki, the White House Press Secretary, made the most amazing move to double down on her claim that increasing meat prices are solely the result of profiteering from meat companies.
As reported back in December 2021, prices for consumers has risen at roughly a 7% pace, which has led to most American families seeing higher grocery builds and tighter budgets. Instead of talking about the egregious federal spending or lax monetary policy, many Democrat officials have slammed the blame squarely on supermarkets and meat companies just trying to squeeze out higher profits.
This past Tuesday afternoon, Psaki chose this hill to die on as she doubled down on her claims.
“Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for beef, pork, and poultry products, and the data show … that there have been increases in meat prices while the companies have generated recent record profits,” claimed Psaki seemingly in response to one reporter talking in her press briefing.
Thanks to a softball from Bloomberg's Jordan Fabian, Jen Psaki reiterates that meat and poultry companies are the reason why we've seen such a skyrocketing rise in the price of beef, chicken, and pork at the grocery store. pic.twitter.com/pp8U9JoSQc
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 8, 2022
“If you look at historical precedent here, 50 years ago ranchers got over $0.60 for every dollar a family spent on beef. Today, they get about $0.39,” she continued. “50 years ago, hog farmers got $0.40 to $0.60 for each dollar they spent. Today, it’s about $0.19, and the big companies are still making major profits.”
“It certainly shouldn’t work that way,” concluded the press secretary. “As the President said many times, capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism, it’s exploitation. And we have continued concern about the lack of competition in these industries.”
The statements from Psaki almost mirror the comments from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who recently tried to force Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter to open a formal investigation into the poultry companies.
“The heavily concentrated poultry industry, in which the top four companies (Tyson Foods, Inc. (Tyson), Pilgrim’s Pride, Perdue, and Sanderson Farms) control over half of the market, has seen disproportionate price increases this year,” Warren stated to Kanter in a note. “In May 2021, processed-poultry prices jumped to an all-time high, with consumer prices continuing to increase through October. And with the holidays approaching, American families are feeling these price increases at the grocery counter.”
“Lack of competition in the poultry industry is allowing these massive companies to squeeze both American consumers and farmers to fuel record corporate profits and payouts to shareholders,” she went on to state. “When companies have monopoly power as massive suppliers, they can jack up prices of the goods they sell.”
Tyson has gone out to state that the recent price increases stem from inflationary pressure. The company is also fighting with labor shortages that have been causing issues for companies and businesses all across the country.