When it comes to inflation, Elizabeth Warren and the rest of the army of Marxists running the far-left wing of the Democrat Party are blaming big business for the problem instead of Washington’s out-of-control spending, which is why she has introduced a bill that will make it illegal for businesses to earn a profit during times of war, public health emergencies, and natural disasters.
Specifically, Elizabeth Warren blames corporations for what she is calling “price gouging” during difficult times, and she wants to bring the big boot of government down on the throat of the free market to “put a stop to corporate gouging that drives prices for families.”
The prices Americans are paying for groceries and other essentials are at all-time highs. One of the reasons?
Giant corporations are price gouging & reaping record profits. We need to put a stop to corporate gouging that drives up prices for families.
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 11, 2022
Warren’s bill would penalize companies for price gouging during times of war, public health emergencies, or natural disasters — which would have encompassed all of the last two years had it been in effect (via Reason.com):
“The prices Americans are paying for groceries and other essentials are at all-time highs. One of the reasons?” asked Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) on Wednesday via Twitter. “Giant corporations are price gouging & reaping record profits. We need to put a stop to corporate gouging that drives up prices for families.”
Warren holds that such problems must be solved by the federal government in the form of a new bill that would limit the prices companies can charge consumers during times of “exceptional market shock.” That includes times of war, public health emergency, or natural disaster—which would have encompassed all of the last two years, barring firms from raising their prices to adapt to difficult and fast-changing economic circumstances. (Emphasis mine)
Putting aside for a moment the fact that Elizabeth Warren’s entire political career has been based on her extreme Marxist ideology, her intentionally vaguely worded bill bears a striking resemblance to actions taken by Joe Biden back in February to use the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate companies for earning what it called “excessive profits” amid surging inflation and supply chain issues.
Last week, Joe Biden gave a speech addressing the economy and inflation, and instead of providing a plan, he chose to recycle his anti-free market talking points, mixed with a dash of “tax-the-rich” politics:
“My plan is to lower … everyday costs for hardworking families and lower the deficit by asking large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to not engage in price gouging and to pay their fair share in taxes.
“The Republican plan is to increase taxes on the middle-class families and let billionaires and large companies off the hook as they raise profit and — raise prices and reap profits at record number — record amounts.
“And it’s really that simple.”
Like Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren also believes inflation is being driven by corporate greed and “price gouging,” which is why profit-making businesses are the target of her economically illiterate legislation.
Warren’s bill, introduced with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D–Wis.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D–Ill.), would empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate and penalize companies guilty of “unconscionably excessive price increases.”
What are “unconscionably excessive” prices? Warren’s bill doesn’t say (of course). She gives her FTC buddies free rein to figure that out for themselves, but firms will be “presumed to be in violation” of the law if they use “the effects or circumstances related to the exceptional market shock as a pretext to increase prices.”
Warren describes an “exceptional market shock” as follows:
“Any change or imminently threatened (as determined under guidance issued by the Commission) change in the market for a good or service resulting from a natural disaster, failure or shortage of electric power or other source of energy, strike, civil disorder, war, military action, national or local emergency, public health emergency, or any other cause of an atypical disruption in such market.” (Emphasis mine)
“As determined under guidance issued by the Commission” is Washington politispeak for doing whatever they want, whenever they want because “guidance” is subject to change with conditions (via Jonah Goldberg’s G-File):
In short, the FTC would be the economic conscience of the nation and its commissioners would have free rein to let their conscience be their guide. In effect, obscene profits would be determined by Potter Stewart’s standard for obscenity, “I know it when I see it.” The problem is a market system that punishes companies when their investments pay off but doesn’t compensate them when they don’t (or vice versa) isn’t a market system. It’s a form of bureaucratic autocracy.
Now, it’s absolutely true that, say, oil companies are making big profits right now. But in 2020, they suffered what some might call unconscionable losses. ExxonMobil lost $22 billion in 2020 alone. And yet, the people now denouncing Big Oil’s greed didn’t congratulate Big Oil’s “generosity” when it was losing money. (Emphasis mine)
Obviously, Warren’s bill is intentionally vague concerning the definition of “price gouging” as people typically understand it, which will make it easier for the federal government to institute price controls in the very near future, especially when you add-in her obtuse description of an “exceptional market shock.”
By the way, Donald Trump’s inflation-inducing protectionist policies (aka trade war) have played a part in the current economy. His tariffs on washing machines, solar panels, steel, aluminum, and a host of Chinese-made goods are a “secondary but noticeable contribution” to overall inflation right now, according to Ed Gresser, a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative. (Emphasis mine)
Elizabeth Warren’s Marxist “solutions” to the inflation problems she and her party — along with many Republicans — are responsible for creating in the first place is simply more of the same ol’, same ol’ from the Massachusetts senator.
Warren has always blamed billionaires and corporations for everything from high college costs and the lack of affordable housing to the current supply chain problems while conveniently leaving out the role government has played in creating and/or worsening the problem — by subsidizing student loans, imposing restrictive zoning laws, and implementing trade-limiting rules like tariffs and the Jones Act, for example.
It’s tempting to write-off the Marxism and Democratic Socialism of loony toons like Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren as simply too-far-fetched to be a real threat to liberty. But when Joe Biden gives the FBI and the DOJ the power to investigate companies and charge them as criminals for making a profit, and when Elizabeth Warren introduces a “price gouging” bill giving the FTC the same kind of power over big business, we can no longer afford to dismiss their radicalism.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.