We've learned a lot of words and phrases in the past couple of years: the Great Resignation, PPE and, of course, COVID.
Now expect to hear more on a controversial term some people are using to explain current economic conditions: "greedflation."
The idea behind the term is to link record corporate profits from some industries with rising inflation rates. Essentially, proponents say firms are pushing up prices for what they produce at a rate higher than their costs and are pocketing the excess.
But others say the term is just another conspiracy theory at play for the general public, trying to find someone to blame for inflation beyond basic issues of supply and demand.
Its use is split along political lines, with supporters such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calling for a temporary windfall profit tax on companies increasing prices beyond their own costs while conservative-leaning groups refer to a "witch hunt."
Catherine Rampell at The Washington Post says the term oversimplifies the economy without addressing the need to increase supply.
"The problem is, it's really hard to figure out what is the right price for something," she told Madeline Brand in a podcast for public radio station KCRW. "I get it. People are mad. I'm mad. I don't like paying more for stuff and people with fewer resources are really suffering.
"[But] this fixation on greedflation, or whatever you want to call it, at best does nothing to help inflation, worse it could distract from the tools that are helpful ... and in the worst-case scenario encouraging them to do some things that could be actively harmful like price controls."
For a good 10-minute primer on the term, check out the Press Play podcast with Rampell at the KCRW website.