In a bold move that challenges conventional economic theory, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., has sparked a fresh debate by endorsing a video that claims inflation is largely a "propaganda" term used by "corporations" to deflect blame for high prices. The video, shared by Ocasio-Cortez on her Instagram Story, was produced by the Aotearoa Liberation League, a left-wing group based in New Zealand that advocates for social and environmental justice, and challenges industry-driven food myths that, according to them, harm humans, the environment, and animals.
The video presents a provocative argument, attributing the rising prices not to the traditional economic concept of inflation, but to corporations’ profiteering motives. It accuses corporations of deploying the term ‘inflation’ in a bid to obscure the connection between their increased profits and the escalating costs of goods and services. This perspective, intriguingly labelled as ‘vague-washing’, asserts that corporations, and not an "invisible monster," are the real culprits behind inflation. This narrative, if accepted, could have profound implications for our understanding of the economy and the role of corporations within it.
AOC Labels Inflation as ‘Corporate Propaganda’
US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently shared a video on social media suggesting that the term ‘inflation’ is largely being used as a "propaganda" tool by corporations to escape blame for soaring prices. The video was originally posted by the Aotearoa Liberation League, a New Zealand-based left-wing group that champions the eradication of "industry-driven food myths" and acknowledges the detrimental effects of colonialism.
Inflation vs. Corporate Profits
The video argues that while prices continue to rise, the corporations selling those products are reaping massive benefits. It suggests that the aim of capitalists is to disassociate these two factors using the notion of inflation. "Inflation" was described as an example of "vague-washing," meaning it can be blamed on anything except corporate profits.
The Power of Propaganda
The notion of corporations setting prices for their products seems to be forgotten amidst the powerful propaganda around inflation and the cost of living, according to the video. "If a corporation raises its prices, and then makes record profits, that’s not some invisible monster. It’s just a bunch of greedy shareholders," the video’s narrator noted. The speaker also agreed with an advocate who labeled this a form of mass gaslighting.
Inflation: A Complex Issue
Inflation, the increase in the cost of goods and services over time, also considers the diminishing purchasing power of currency. Economists remain divided on the primary causes of last year’s significant price hikes, but many attribute it to some extent to the economy’s recovery post the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Stance on Inflation
Ocasio-Cortez echoed the video’s sentiments last year, pointing to big businesses as contributors to inflation. She suggested to Yahoo News in 2022 that many of these price increases could be due to straightforward price gouging by corporations.
The debate around inflation continues to be a hot topic, with differing perspectives on its causes and effects. While some point to economic factors like the COVID-19 recovery, others like Ocasio-Cortez and the Aotearoa Liberation League argue for a more critical examination of corporate practices. This highlights the need for ongoing scrutiny and dialogue around economic issues to ensure a fair playing field for consumers and corporations alike.