The reality of ‘greedflation’

May 26, 2023

Critics have accused the Sainsbury supermarket chain of ‘profiting from high prices’. Oh really, you don’t say!

This BBC article is typical of many media reports about price-gouging or ‘greedflation’ at the moment. It reflects a widespread impression that there is a ‘reasonable capitalism’ where companies pay reasonable wages and make a reasonable profit, and an ‘unreasonable capitalism’ where there are price-gougers, snake-oil charmers and rip-off merchants who are just out for profit, any way they can get it.

Capitalism is not ‘reasonable’ in this way. Reasonable firms go bust. Only the most ruthless survive, and to survive, they have to keep maximising profits, regardless of the human or environmental cost.