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Consumers in Buffalo dealing with rising prices

"Stop the greed"
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Posted at 6:23 PM, Mar 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-07 18:23:39-05

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — The New York State Attorney General's office is watching out for you, keeping a close watch on all potential price gouging.

Attorney General Letitia James launched the first-ever “Rulemaking Process”.

The state will check in on major corporation, making sure they are not using the pandemic and inflation as an excuse to unfairly boost prices.

Consumers in Buffalo have had enough.

“Stop — stop the greed — stop the gouging — enough is enough!” declare Linda Shupe, Cheektowaga resident.

Linda Shupe of Cheektowaga reacted Monday to about rising gas prices.

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Linda Shupe of Cheektowaga has had enough with higher prices.

“It’s high. What are you going to do with the whole Russia thing?” Remarked Shupe.

If your car is your main way to get around, we know you're feeling the pinch, just like Tasha Thompson, Niagara Falls resident.

Thompson was pumping gas at the station located at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Amherst Street in Buffalo Monday.

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Tasha Thompson, Niagara Falls resident, at the gas pump.

“When you pulled up and saw the prices today, what did you think?” Buckley asked.

“I didn't even know because last time it said $4.25. I didn't know it was $4.64,” Thompson replied.

Thompson says she’s now going to have to shell out more to fill-up.

“Usually it was $40 before the gas went up — now it's $4.64, so it's probably going to be like $50,” said Thompson.

“I haven't filled up this week and I’m kind of holding off,” remarked Laurie Flury, Buffalo resident.

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Laurie Flury, Buffalo resident.

These price hikes, also forcing people like Flury to keep a closer watch on her spending.

“Budgeting wise — our budget needs to change to kind of go along with inflation,” Flury reflected.

“All they do is pay. Pay and pay and pay — that's the outcome of this structure that we established basically at the founding of our country,” Natalie Simpson, chair, associate professor Operations Management & Strategy, UB School of Management.

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Natalie Simpson, chair, associate professor Operations Management & Strategy, UB School of Management, in Zoom interview.

Simpson says she's glad the state attorney general is watching for price gouging and making sure corporations are not breaking the law.

“Companies aren't people. They're actually just legal machines. The machine is programmed to maximize shareholder profit,” explained Simpson.

Simpson says unless companies are breaking the law, not much will change with rising prices.

The attorney general says since the start of the pandemic there have been several instances of major corporations “steadily increasing costs”.

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Beef prices rose during pandemic.

The AG says beef prices have jumped 30-percent, yet the meatpacking industry is seeing a 120% increase in profit.

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The AG lists items that rose during pandemic and with inflation.

“The pain that we are feeling is the pain of — there just not being enough for a variety of reasons — variety of goods that drives the prices up,” noted Simpson.