In this year’s State of the Union Address, the President shared his vision for an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out. The key pillars of this vision: making more products …
In this year’s State of the Union Address, the President shared his vision for an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out. The key pillars of this vision: making more products in America and lowering costs for families. We’ve seen time and again that when given a fair shot, ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
Unfortunately, many Iowans aren’t getting a fair shot. Corporate greed, price gouging and record profits are sucking up the benefits working families might see from economic stimulus initiatives.
That’s why lots of folks aren’t feeling the economic recovery in their pocketbooks, despite record job creation and GDP growth. Some of the biggest, wealthiest corporations are squeezing every penny of profit out of every opportunity, while consumers grapple with steep price increases.
Cracking down on the meatpacking industry
While meat prices have increased for consumers, pay to farmers and ranchers has decreased — all while meatpackers have seen a 500% increase in net income since the start of the pandemic.
It’s gotten so bad that the federal government is now cracking down on corporate monopolies that are driving the steep price increases.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is leading the effort to:
• Expand and diversify meat and poultry processing to give consumers more choices.
• Give producers the opportunity for an ownership stake in processing facilities.
• Increase farmer incomes and create good rural jobs.
A $1 billion investment will help independent meat processors expand their operations, increase competition and lower prices for consumers.
In addition, the federal Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act, introduced in Congress by members of Iowa’s delegation, will bring more transparency to cattle pricing by increasing opportunities for negotiation and ensuring farmers and ranchers get fair prices for their livestock.
Iowa AG investigates fertilizer prices
Now, the Iowa Attorney General is investigating skyrocketing fertilizer prices over the last year.
In an effort to protect Iowa farmers and consumers, Attorney General Tom Miller sent letters to the CEOs of the major fertilizer manufacturers, asking their reasons for the price increases.
“The data suggest that manufacturers are taking advantage of higher farm incomes to increase their returns,” Miller said.
He noted that while farmers saw higher-than-average prices for corn and soybeans in 2021, the profits are being eaten by increased fertilizer prices, and warns that this could be yet another hit to the pocketbooks of consumers in the form of higher food prices.
Kevin Kinney represents Iowa Senate District 46, which includes Iowa and Washington counties, and Oxford, Hills, Shueyville, Swisher and Tiffin in Johnson County. Contact him at 319-631-4667.
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