Psaki Again Blames Big Meat For 20% Increase In Beef Prices

On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki repeated her claim that meat companies – specifically the conglomerate of Big Meat – are to blame for increasing meat prices.

The beef price is up by 20% in the face of inflation, compared with a year ago.

During the White House daily press briefing, Psaki spoke.

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Big Meat

Psaki attributed the fault to Big Meat 

“Just four large conglomerates control the majority of the market for beef, pork, and poultry products, and the data shows, and I think their record profits are evidence of this, that there have been increases in meat prices while the companies have generated recent record profits,” Psaki said in response to a reporter’s question about the price of food stock and profits. 

“If you look at historical precedent here, 50 years ago ranchers got over $0.60 for every dollar a family spent on beef,” she claimed. “Today, they get about $0.39,” she added. “50 years ago, hog farmers got $0.40 to $0.60 for each dollar they spent. Today, it’s about $0.19, and the big companies are still making major profits.”

Psaki said, “It certainly shouldn’t work that way. As the President said many times, capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism, it’s exploitation. And we have continued concern about the lack of competition in this industry.”

In December, Psaki said the inflation was due to “corporate greed”:

Are There Any Other Ways?

Psaki’s comments are a common refrain among the left, in that all societal ills are invariably caused by “greed” or capitalism. 

It’s not surprising that both President Trump (and President Biden) have dramatically increased spending in the midst of the pandemic. The Federal Reserve keeps pumping the economy.

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But there could be some truth to Psaki’s claim.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday on a recent settlement by a major meat company, “Meatpacking giant JBS has agreed to a $52.5 million settlement in a beef price-fixing lawsuit that some say supports their concerns about how the lack of competition in the industry affects prices.”

“Colorado-based JBS didn’t admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and company spokeswoman Nikki Richardson said JBS will continue to defend itself against other plaintiffs in the case, but she said JBS decided the settlement was ‘in the best interest of the company,” the Register noted.

The report added, “A federal judge reviewed the settlement Thursday and will rule later whether to approve it.”

High-regulated industries may be more likely to conglomerate, leading to less competition and higher costs. And no doubt about it – if a major conglomerate was fixing prices above their market price, they’ll be higher.

But the Big Meat conglomerate doesn’t account for all the inflation. Gas prices, vehicle and food prices are all on the rise.

It’s disingenuous to gloss over what is likely the primary cause of inflation right now – reckless government spending, monetary devaluation, and supply chain issues brought on by COVID-19 lockdowns.

“Greed” is absolutely a factor: greedy politicians spending trillions we don’t have, financed by debt and inflation.

This would be a difficult task for the Biden administration and anyone on the left that acknowledges these facts.

So don’t expect these kinds of admissions from Psaki anytime soon.