Mass. Residents Deserve Inflation Relief

With money available, state should eliminate protectionist laws
By Jon Hurst, RAM President

As published in CommonWealth Magazine on June 18, 2022

A few of us are old enough to remember the last severe bout with inflation four decades ago. My first mortgage right out of college was a whopping 12 5/8 percent. Gas and food prices were through the roof, and families fell further and further behind despite rising wages.

In many ways the picture is as bad, or even worse, today. Energy prices and consumer essentials are far higher, interest rate increases are far from over, and the plunging stock market has become more important due to individualized retirement plans like 401ks. 

Yet, while inflation is hammering consumers and small businesses, government has never had it so good, with revenues driven by pandemic federal dollars; and tax receipts such as sales, income, and property taxes all driven far higher with consumer goods, wages, and property value increases.

Before the Legislature adjourns for the year and before Gov. Charlie Baker leaves office, it is hard to imagine a more pressing priority for our consumers, taxpayers, and small businesses than an inflation relief package. There’s not only plenty of revenue for relief, but there are plenty of antiquated and protectionist laws in Massachusetts which hammer consumers to the benefit of certain industries and suppliers. There has never been a better time to reform these protectionist laws, and to create marketplace forces to lower consumer prices. Here are just a few opportunities worth reforming, repealing, or suspending.

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Media Request

Boston Globe, Business Columnist, Shirley Leung, is looking to speak to retailers for a story on inflation and the economy, and the quandary some retailers may be having now  on determining how  much inventory to buy for the holiday sales season.  RAM members interested in talking with Shirley can contact her directly at [email protected].