Do you actually have an opinion on this? Or just wasting virtual ink?
The first clue that this article is written for a low attention space audience is this:
In competitive markets, profit margins should approach zero, as long as there are reasonable substitutes available for a given product. But corporate profits as a share of the American economy have risen dramatically over the last two decades, from 5% of GDP to nearly 12%.
Totally non related statements, despite the "but" in the second sentence. You could have a fully competitive market, with profits "approaching zero", and also having an economy in which most or even all of the GDP is made up by corporate profits. Heck. If every single business in America just filed papers changing them into some form of corporation we would see that 100% number. How much profit each corporation makes on each sale is irrelevant to the total percentage of sales/profits/whatever that said corporate profits are of the entire economic picture.
Examine this analogous pair of statements:
"In competitive sports the point difference between the winning and losing team should approach zero" (true statement, the closer the games are, the more "competitive" they are, right?).
"But in the NBA, total points scored over each season has increased by 20% over the last 10 years". (no clue if that's actually true, but we'll pretend it is for this example).
No one in their right mind would conclude from these statements that the NBA has become less competitive, right? Cause you didn't actually point out whether the average point difference per game has changed. Total points in the NBA per season could mean more points per game (maybe rule changes that make it easier to score, but as long as both teams can equally take advantage of the rule changes, it's still competitive). It could also simply be because the NBA expanded the number of teams in the league, or maybe extended the season to more games. It means nothing. Similarly if the percentage of business done in an economy by corporations increase, then the total share of US GDP those corporation profits represent will increase as well. Doesn't tell us anything about how competitive the markets are. Just that maybe more small businesses are incorporating or something.
The article more or less goes downhill from there. I'm not saying that businesses in general (and certainly not something unique to corporations) don't try to increase profits when they can, but that reality is already baked into the cake. They were doing that before now and will continue to do so in the future. The question is what external effects caused this current increase? And yeah, excuse to pad profits or not, it's the inflationary effects going on. Which, in this case, are almost entirely being pushed by incredibly poor fiscal policy by most western governments.
I'll also point out that we're only seeing the first phase of that inflation. The first thing that happens is price increases. And of course, some of that is going to be profit padding. But businesses do that in preparation for phase two: wage increases. What do you think just happened at the end of this last fiscal year, when employees were all looking at 6-7% inflation in the economy, and then staring at their 1.5-3% yearly salary increase? Yeah. Businesses (especially big businesses) are all bracing for the inevitable demand for higher pay to make up for the increased cost of living, which means that they need to squirrel away profits to plan for that.
None of this is surprising, yet some folks seem surprised anyway. These are all normal predictable market responses when you literally pay people to not work, and then wonder why demand is outstripping supply. It's what happens when the political Left actually is able to implement their utopian dream of growing the economy via demand spending. Um... yeah. It "grows". So does inflation. Shocking. Or... not.