• Polling

Americans Blame Corporate Profits and CEO Salaries for Price Increases

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 By Maryann Cousens
Download Full Report

Poll: Corporate Profits and CEO Salaries

This Navigator Research report contains polling data on what Americans see as the drivers of inflation, as well as messaging guidance to communicate about corporate greed causing costs to rise.

The share of Americans who blame corporate greed as the main cause of inflation has risen significantly over the last two years.


85 percent of Americans say “corporations being greedy and raising prices to make record profits” is a cause of inflation, with a majority who say it is a major cause of inflation (59 percent), a 15-point increase since January 2022 (from 44 percent then to 59 percent now). The share blaming corporate greed as a major cause for inflation has increased across partisanship, including among Democrats by 17 points (from 55 percent then to 72 percent now), independents by 17 points (from 45 percent then to 62 percent now), and Republicans by 13 points (from 32 percent then to 45 percent now).

  • The share who blame corporate greed for inflation is now nearly identical to the share that blame government spending (84 percent cause, including 59 percent who say it is a major cause). Four in five also blame supply chain delays as a cause of inflation (80 percent); however, only 37 percent say it is a major cause.
  • 90 percent of Americans working in service industry jobs believe “corporations being greedy and raising prices to make record profits” is a cause of inflation, including two in three who believe it is a major cause (66 percent).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: The Share Who Blame Corporate Greed for Inflation Has Steadily Risen, and Is Now On Par With Government Spending

The most convincing message on price increases highlights corporate profits and CEO salaries.


The most effective way to communicate about corporate greed is communicating that CEOs have benefitted from big bonuses as prices have been raised on families and small businesses. Three in four Americans find it convincing that “corporate profits and CEO salaries are at an all-time high, outpacing inflation: corporations have given their CEOs big bonuses and their shareholders big stock buybacks, while raising prices for families and small businesses” (76 percent convincing), including nearly seven in ten independents (68 percent), two in three Republicans (67 percent), four in five Americans who say they either somewhat approve or somewhat disapprove of President Biden’s handling of the economy (81 percent), and three in four Americans who are unfavorable toward both Biden and former President Trump (76 percent). 

  • Seven in ten Americans also find it convincing that “the amount that corporations are paying to produce things has risen by just 1 percent over the last year: and yet, the prices they are charging consumers have gone up 3.4 percent… these big corporations are pocketing the difference and overcharging American consumers” (72 percent convincing), including 74 percent of those who are unfavorable toward both Biden and Trump.
  • A similar seven in ten share also find it convincing that “corporations that raise their costs to pad their profits are responsible for 54 percent of the price increases that consumers have had to pay: as our supply chain has improved and the economy has stabilized, corporations continue to pad their bottom lines at the expense of American families and small businesses, rather than passing savings along to consumers” (69 percent convincing).
  • Reminder: In 2022, a Navigator survey found the most effective policies Americans believe will combat inflation include legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, legislation that would help prevent price gouging by corporations, and raising taxes on the wealthy.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Rising Corporate Profits and CEO Salaries Are Most Convincing on Corporations’ Role in Price Hikes
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Talking About Record Gas Company Profits Drives Up the Share Who Blame Corporate Greed for High Gas Prices
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Americans Are Most Concerned That Corporations and Their CEOs & Executives Are Making Excessive Profits

A Vast Majority Agree That States With Abortion Bans Should Have To Provide Lifesaving Care Protections

Polling data on how Americans in states with potential abortion bans and protections view the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) ahead of the oral arguments at the Supreme Court.

Three in Five Americans Support a National Law Protecting Abortion Medication

Poll on abortion rights in the U.S., including support for creating a federal protection to access prescription abortion medication and trust in the Supreme Court as the Court prepares to hear arguments on abortion-related cases.

Three in Five Constituents Support Congress Taking Action to Federally Protect Medication Abortion and IVF

Battleground poll on the recent Alabama Supreme Court decision impacting IVF, including the most concerning outcomes from the decision and support for Congress federally protecting both medication abortion and IVF.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,000 registered voters from January 25-January 29, 2024. 100 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 75 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 100 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.

Like the info here?

Get it directly in your inbox when new polls are released.

About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org