Our Economy is Rigged Against the Middle Class: Congressional Republicans Enable Greedy Corporations to Exploit Working People

Our Economy is Rigged Against the Middle Class: Congressional Republicans Enable Greedy Corporations to Exploit Working People

May 24, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, hardworking New Yorkers have been slammed by the rising costs of everything from gas prices to groceries to rent and everything in between. Equally outrageous is that during that time, big corporations made astronomical profits as consumers got gouged. None of this happened by accident. Corporations were handed unprecedented power by Republicans in Washington to essentially rig our economy to get bigger and bigger and richer and richer. Thanks to the support of Congressional Republicans, corporations benefit from a tax code that leaves massive corporations paying less than the average, hardworking American. They’ve changed the rules to take bargaining power away from working people and keep wages from going up. They’ve also empowered greedy corporations to hike prices to make even bigger profits. 


Consequently, today, New Yorkers are stuck paying the price like never before.



  • According to AAA, the average cost of regular gas has reached an all-time high of $4.671 per gallon in the NYC metropolitan area. This time last year, the average price was $1.56 less. [silive]
  • The price of regular gas in New York increased by 6 to 7 cents per gallon overnight. Gas prices in New York have increased by 5% as of May 18th, over the previous week and in the last month by roughly 17% [NBCNY]
  • As they raise gas prices, oil and gas companies are reaping massive profits and returning billions to their shareholders – Exxon Mobil recently reported that its first-quarter profits in 2022 doubled from last year to $5.48 billion and announced billions in stock buybacks. 
  • Rep. Malliotakis owns Exxon stock, and her campaign has received money from Exxon’s corporate PAC.



  • A November 2021 study found that New York is the most expensive city for prescription medications, with drug prices 13.69% above the national average. [GoodRx]
  • Between 2015 and 2019, the cost of prescription drug treatment rose 55% faster than the average income of New York state residents. [AARP]
  • Malliotakis owns stock in Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, two big pharmaceutical companies, and she voted against allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. She voted with Big Pharma and against us.



  • Rent has become increasingly unaffordable in New York City. Median household income would need to nearly double to allow people to afford the median asking rent. This means a household must earn $110,000— following the recommended guideline of rent constituting no more than 30% of annual income— to rent an apartment at $2,750. [NBCNY]
    • The report shows that New York City residents are unable to follow the 30% guideline and that nearly a third of renters are spending more than half of their income on rent. [NBCNY]
  • Earlier this month, New York’s Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) voted to pass one of the largest rent increases in nearly a decade. If this regulation passes, over 2 million residents living in rent-stabilized homes will see rent increase by 2 to 4 percent on one-year leases and 4 to 6 percent on two-year leases. [NY Times]
  • While residents are at risk of evictions and rent increases, America’s 61 billionaire landlords have increased their wealth by $24.4 billion since the start of the pandemic.
  • Rep. Malliotakis voted against extending eviction protections for tenants during emergency shutdowns – putting herself on the side of wealthy landlords, not hardworking New Yorkers.



  • Americans have seen a consistent increase in the cost of food, with this month marking the 17th consecutive month of food price increases. As of April, the U.S. has seen the largest yearly increase in grocery costs in 42 years, with prices increasing by 10.8%. [silive]
  • Food prices have gone up dramatically in the past year as major manufacturers and retailers have made record profits — the cost of food prepared at home has gone up 10% over the past year. 
  • As grocery prices increased 6.5%, the country’s largest grocery chains benefited from price increases while seeing their 2021 fiscal year earnings increase by $1.37 billion for a total of $24 billion while increasing stock buybacks and dividends by over $10.2 billion for a total of $26.7 billion.
  • Food-related price hikes pose a particularly acute threat to the 42 million Americans who said they couldn’t afford enough food in January 2022. And the added cost of food threatens to deepen wider economic inequality, disproportionately harming minority communities.


Unrig Our Economy NYC is a local campaign to fix the rules of our economy to make it work for working people. When the middle class does well, all of us do well — which is why we’re fighting on behalf of working Americans and holding greedy and the politicians who enable them accountable.