Critics pummeled Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) after she blamed supermarkets and grocery stores for rising food prices.
“Giant grocery store chains force high food prices onto American families while rewarding executives & investors with lavish bonuses and stock buybacks. I’m demanding they answer for putting corporate profits over consumers and workers during the pandemic,” Warren said in a tweet on Monday.
Her tweet followed up a letter she sent to the heads of the grocery chains Kroger, Albertsons, and Publix, accusing them of using the pandemic and growing inflation to raise prices and fleece consumers.
“Your company, and the other major grocers who reaped the benefits of a turbulent 2020, appear to be passing costs on to consumers to preserve your pandemic gains, and even taking advantage of inflation to add greater burdens,” Warren wrote in the letter.
During the pandemic as local and state governments shut down restaurants and bars, grocery store and supermarket sales rose as shoppers’ options were restricted by heavy-handed mandates. Kroger and Albertson’s used the opportunity to buy back stock, while Publix increased dividends to its shareholders.
Warren accused the grocery chains of choosing greed over their employees.
“Your companies had a choice: They could have retained lower prices for consumers and properly protected and compensated their workers, or granted massive payouts to top executives and investors,” Warren wrote. “It is disappointing that you chose not to put your customers and workers first.”
Critics blasted Warren for attempting to cover the impact of inflation under Democrat control of Washington, D.C., by blaming the grocers.
“Some might say that Warren and her political allies were the biggest catalyst of the inflation we’re seeing now,” said Chuck Ross, an investigative reporter at The Washington Free Beacon.
“This crazy human,” Daily Wire’s editor emeritus Ben Shapiro quipped.
Pradheep Shanker, CEO of the Neoavatara Foundation, said, “There was a time Warren was a serious economist, right? Because she has become a complete clown now.”
In response to Warren’s letter, food industry representatives defended grocers, blaming the price spike on inflation and supply chain issues.
“Current price increases are due to a combination of supply chain challenges — from labor and transportation shortages to higher fuel costs and increased consumer demand,” FMI, the Food Industry Association said in a statement. “Grocers are doing everything they can to absorb these cost increases, and we ask consumers to continue working with us as we recalibrate our supply chains.”
Inflation has soared to the highest level in decades. In November, the United States hit its highest year-over-year surge in prices since 1990. As The Daily Wire reported:
The consumer price index, a basket of products economists use to track overall changes in price, surged 6.2% from October 2020 to last month, the fastest annual rate since 1990. Inflation during the month of October alone surged 0.9%, driving the year-over-year rate above the 5.9% that economists predicted. Monthly inflation in October was expected to clock in at 0.6%, according to CNBC.