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Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue defends value of work, says 'evil' is to blame for inflationary policies

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Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Goya Foods CEO Bob Unanue blamed "evil" for the high prices facing Americans in this inflationary economy, calling out the Biden administration for pursuing policies he said intentionally disincentivize work.

Unanue was interviewed on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" Thursday when he said that the government is fueling inflation with policies that discourage able people from reentering the workforce.

"At the core of inflation, and it's out of control, especially in food, is evil. Our desire to control us," he told host Tucker Carlson. "When I was a child, my parents said, never take candy from a stranger. And they're giving out candy, incentivizing people not to work. They're taking away our purpose, our spirit, our reason to get up every day. And they're doing it without their own candy. They're taking our candy, and using it to incentivize us not to, that's very inflationary."

Data from August showed that inflation grew 8.3% year over year as the economy exited the COVID-19 pandemic. The White House celebrated that the 8.3% number was lower than the 8.5% inflation reported in July, but for Americans struggling to buy groceries, the top-line inflation numbers make little difference.

Food prices have soared to record-breaking levels, with grocery costs expected to rise an average of 11% by the end of the year. That would be the largest year-on-year increase since 1974, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Labor Department data shows that since last year, Americans are paying substantially more for staples like eggs (38%), chicken (16.6%), milk (15.6%), potatoes (13.3%), rice (12.7%) and fresh fruits and vegetables (8.2%), Fox News reported.

On top of rising prices, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says there is a labor shortage caused by hiring rates being outpaced by the number of people quitting their jobs since November 2020. Durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and education and health services industries are each facing worker shortages.

Though both the Trump and Biden administrations spent billions of dollars on COVID-19 relief payments to people who lost their jobs or refused to work during the pandemic, Unanue described how Goya Foods "never stopped working" and defended the value of work.

"Work is essential. It gives us our reason," he said.

He went on to praise the new presumptive prime minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, who in 2019 gave a speech decrying how global "financial speculators" have sought to undermine national and religious identity to make people "the perfect consumer."

"You know, God -- I love this gal Meloni from Italy, you know she has this 'fascist' speak, God, family, country. You know, you need to have a purpose. She says we all have our genetic code. Each one of us is made in the likeness of God with our own identity. So we all have a purpose," Unanue said. "Now, you take that purpose away by the very few who want to own us, enslave us, control us, for their own greed and power."

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