The White House and congressional Democrats have decided that bashing businesses for rising prices is more politically useful than admitting Washington fault for the debt-fueled federal spending, misguided incentives and epic money creation that are driving inflation.
As prices rise across the economy, every day brings new potential scapegoats for Mr. Biden to exploit. The Journal’s Sharon Terlep reports on the latest from
Procter & Gamble Co.
The Cincinnati-based consumer-products giant said sales increased 6% in the quarter ended Dec. 31 compared with a year earlier, fueled in part by the company’s largest average price increases since the spring of 2019.
Executives on Wednesday said its price increases will continue throughout 2022, and predicted higher profitability and improved margins in coming quarters even as labor, freight and raw-materials costs continue to balloon due to the global supply-chain turmoil.
P&G rivals including Unilever PLC and
have also been lifting prices, giving the president a pretext to examine the entire consumer-products industry if he wishes to continue avoiding accountability. As for P&G, Ms. Terlep’s report suggests the White House can also find numerous targets among the company’s suppliers:
On Wednesday, executives said there is no relief in sight from higher costs for labor, transportation of goods and raw materials such as fuel, resin and pulp.
By the president’s logic, rising labor costs across the economy mean that along with employers, workers have also become more greedy during his administration.
Goods and services may be scarce, but the president can take comfort in an abundant supply of potential scapegoats for inflation. The Journal’s Dan Gallagher reports on Neflix:
The streaming giant is raising its prices for the U.S. and Canadian markets. The new ones—announced Friday—amount to an 11% increase across the board for its three subscription plans. That is notably more than the company’s last round of increases in October 2020, which raised the price on only two plans and amounted to an average raise of about 8%.
The Journal’s Justin Lahart reports on the real-estate industry:
As of November, the median selling price for a new home was $416,900, according to the Commerce Department, which compared with $331,800 in February 2020, before the pandemic struck. Rising material and labor costs are part of why prices have gone up so much, but there is still the question of how high a price people will be able to afford in the year ahead.
And even if consumers can manage to finance a purchase, what will they be able to afford on those occasions when they leave home? Alexandra Steigrad of the New York Post reports:
“The Most Magical Place on Earth” is being rebranded as “The Most Expensive Place on Earth” by angry customers who slammed
for price hikes at its Disney World and Disneyland theme parks.
Disney customers took to Reddit over the past week to rip the Mouse House’s theme parks over higher admission fees, as well as a subpar experience that includes more expensive, lackluster food and staffing shortages…
Late last year, Disney said it would increase ticket prices at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, Calif., this year, noting that its popular single-day ticket price would jump 6.5% to $164 for admission to one park, while a two-day park hopper pass would cost $319, up nearly 9 percent.
It’s almost as if the problem is not company- or industry-specific, but instead a general problem of too many dollars chasing too few goods. As for the other possible explanation, before announcing the next scapegoat the White House should first explain how exactly the inauguration of
caused American greed to hit its highest level in decades.
James Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”
Follow James Freeman on Twitter.
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