PRESS RELEASE: ECONOMISTS REACT TO NEW CPI REPORT, URGE GREATER INVESTMENT IN WORKERS AND FAMILIES WITH BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2022

Contact: 
Jack Miller, Communications Director
[email protected]

ECONOMISTS REACT TO NEW CPI REPORT, URGE GREATER INVESTMENT IN WORKERS AND FAMILIES WITH BUILD BACK BETTER AGENDA 

Roosevelt Institute’s Lauren Melodia: “Inflation is leveling off, and there is near consensus in the field of economics that it will continue to decline in our current economic environment.”

Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Kate Bahn: “Focusing on improving worker outcomes will help families manage cost pressures. That can be done through social infrastructure programs like those included in the Build Back Better Act.”

Groundwork Collaborative’s Rakeen Mabud: “To bring down prices, policymakers need to double down on critical and long overdue investments such as those in the Build Back Better agenda, and tackle corporate greed and concentrated corporate power.”

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Roosevelt Institute’s Lauren Melodia, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth’s Kate Bahn, and Groundwork Collaborative’s Rakeen Mabud joined a press call hosted by Invest in America to discuss the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) report.

The speakers emphasized the need to solve supply-side shortages, lower energy costs, and invest in workers and families, all of which would ease the economic burden of rising prices. They also discussed how the policies in the Build Back Better agenda would address many of these concerns.

The following are statements from the call:

Lauren Melodia, Deputy Director of Macroeconomic Analysis at the Roosevelt Institute:
“Between December and January, the overall inflation rate stayed the same at 0.6%. Inflation is leveling off, and there is near consensus in the field of economics that it will continue to decline in our current economic environment. One area where prices are high is energy. The solution to bringing energy prices back down is to get the U.S. off its dependency on fossil fuels. We need a rapid transition to renewables, like wind and solar, which will also help alleviate inflation in this category. Many of the steps needed to make this transition are part of the Build Back Better agenda — they’re incredibly popular, they’ve been passed by the House, and we just need the Senate to pass them.”

 

Kate Bahn, Director of Labor Market Policy & Interim Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth:
“When trying to understand inflation and wage growth, we need to remember that wages have been artificially suppressed by employers for years due to lack of competition in the labor market. Focusing on improving worker outcomes will help families manage cost pressures rather than lead to a wage-growth inflationary spiral. That can be done through social infrastructure programs like those included in the Build Back Better Act, as well as long-standing labor policy priorities like increasing the minimum wage, protecting and expanding the right for workers to organize unions, and enforcing anti-discrimination protections.”

Rakeen Mabud, Chief Economist & Managing Director of Policy and Research at Groundwork Collaborative:
“Price increases are hurting workers and families – especially the most vulnerable – and these price hikes need to be addressed. Today’s CPI numbers don’t capture the full story: mega-corporations are using inflation as a cover for rampant profiteering that must be stopped. To bring down prices, policymakers need to double down on critical and long overdue investments such as those in the Build Back Better agenda, and tackle corporate greed and concentrated corporate power.”

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

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