Supply Chain Blues

By Robert Holst

*Let me preface my comments by saying I am not a socialist. Not am I a communist. I believe a propert regulated market based economy is the one that works best. If you want to look at this problem through partisan political glasses then you’ll stay ignorant.

Those at the commanding heights of our global economy have ensured that The great supply chain hiccup will again be another wasted opportunity to discuss the global economy. They will make sure we don’t discuss how it has been arranged for the benefit of the few. The pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of our supply chain system. All of the issues we are having are directly traced back to maximizing profit. All of it benefits large corporations, executives and their shareholders over everyone else. Now of course I understand profit is an important part of it. But when so few want to capture so completely that profit we have these issues.
Start with our on demand manufacturing template. Nothing sits in warehouses. That costs money. On demand and pay to ship is cheaper. Low wage workers in South East Asia and China work much cheaper than Americans making it so that shipping and manufacturing is still cheaper than paying good wages and benefits here. The parts of the supply chain we can’t outsource, namely truck drivers have had their teamster union decimated so those wages stink and nobody wants the job so we can’t move things inside the country. Whether we like it or not China is the worlds manufacturing center. They make all the PPE which means empty shipping containers are sitting in countries around the world where they make nothing so they send nothing out. No boat is picking up empty containers so we have a container shortage on top of all that.
There is a huge hiccup in the line. We have politicians that are all to happy to use it to their benefit and misrepresent facts. We have corporations through their surrogates in media tell us it’s government. It’s a mess. And to top all that off like a cherry on a sundae of excrement we have a population that is addicted to spending money but wants the cheapest price they can get. It can’t sustain itself and we’ve seen the warning signs before numerous times after natural and man made disasters around the globe. But complacency, ignorance and profits make sure we do nothing. It’s too complex an issue.
So it’s reduced to: “That political party messed it up!”

Our politicians have the same understanding of the issues as they do quantum physics. That is to say they have none. The large corporations are chartering their own shipping vessels. They will weather this. How many smaller retail outlets and construction companies and supply companies will be able to? The corporations are benefitting from a broken system. They are pushing everything and everyone else out. But we will do nothing and say nothing. This is the real battle that nobody is showing up for. But take solace in the fact that surely your party and your media outlet is the “Good one.”

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