Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is arguing that “corporate greed” is responsible for a surge in car prices.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently revealed that consumer price inflation in the United States has reached a rate of 6.8% — the largest year-over-year increase since June 1982, as well as the sixth straight month in which inflation remained above 5%. The agency’s inflation report indicated that used and new vehicles — up 31.4% and 11.1% in price, respectively — are contributing heavily to the inflationary pressures.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, economists attribute the price increases to supply chain bottlenecks, which are limiting the availability of computer chips and prompting automakers to slash production. In a letter obtained by CNN, however, Warren told Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo that the “immense market power” of semiconductor manufacturers is to blame.
“This market concentration has reduced competition, allowing giant corporations to deliver massive returns for shareholders,” Warren wrote. “But it has harmed consumers by enabling these dominant companies to increase prices and underinvest in key capabilities, which has the effect of also reducing product innovation and product quality.”
“These semiconductor manufacturers are putting stock price, profits, and growth ahead of the needs of American consumers and workers,” the lawmaker continued. “As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, this behavior can lead to terrible consequences and shortages for our country.
Warren also blamed former President Donald Trump for the chip shortage — and lauded President Joe Biden for his attempts to address the problem.
“Although the Trump administration did virtually nothing to stop this harmful consolidation, under President Biden the federal government is beginning to step up to challenge industry consolidation that could harm supply-chain resiliency,” Warren said.
In a statement to CNN, the Semiconductor Industry Association refuted Warren’s arguments.
“Some of the Senator’s other assertions are simply wide of the mark,” explained John Neuffer, CEO of the trade group. “The semiconductor industry is one of the world’s most fiercely competitive, innovative, and economically impactful sectors, revolutionizing entire segments of the economy and dramatically improving our way of life.”
“Today’s semiconductors are magical, containing tens of billions of transistors on a chip the size of a quarter,” the statement said. “Unmatched by any other industry, the semiconductor industry has delivered breathtaking value to consumers. Fifty years ago, transistors were a billion times more expensive than they are today.”
This is not the first time that “Senator Karen” — as Elon Musk recently named her — recently “called the manager” over high prices.
Warren recently accused Tyson and other poultry companies of “price fixing,” “excessive consolidation,” and “plain-old corporate greed” as meat prices reached record highs — dismissing the impact of inflationary pressures largely induced by the Democratic Party’s spending agenda.
“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 said in a letter to Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter. “When companies have monopoly power as massive suppliers, they can jack up prices of the goods they sell.”