By NATE JACKSON October 14, 2021
There are factors far beyond any president’s control, but Biden’s actions likely won’t help.
The supply chain is a mess. That much we’ve already said clearly — not that Americans weren’t already painfully aware of the issue, which is front and center for good reason. But there are some new developments that merit attention.
First of all is a concerted strategy of collusion between Democrats and the Leftmedia. All the mainstream media outlets are playing up these dramatic shortages that Americans are experiencing so Joe Biden can come to the rescue in an attempt to improve his abysmal approval rating by appearing to do something. More on that in a minute, but suffice it to say, ignore the MSM churn.
That isn’t to say the shortages and bottlenecks aren’t real. They most certainly are, and major inflation is the result of it all.
One huge factor in the bottleneck is Democrat unions. Union workers are not unloading all those containers on ships anchored off of both coasts. They’ve been working two shifts instead of three until just a couple of weeks ago. Union truckers are not showing up to ship goods around the nation. Why? Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa and others are holding the supply chain hostage for higher wages for union workers.
Unions aren’t the only ones to blame, however. California Democrats imposed regulations on the trucking industry that are as insane as their new off-road gas engine mandates. The state now doesn’t allow trucks older than 2011, and the replacements that will soon be mandated are more expensive and less available zero-emission trucks. Moreover, non-union truck owner-operators largely served the ports in question until California banned them from doing so. Democrats want to take these California regulations and put them in federal law as part of their $5 trillion spending package.
Meanwhile, fewer people are choosing truck-driving as a career in the first place, which makes it difficult to replace the roughly 91,000 truckers no longer in the industry since the pandemic began. “Currently, 20% to 25% of all truck drivers are still missing,” said Mike Kucharski, head of JKC Trucking. That means bottlenecks getting products on store shelves.
Another major factor is that U.S. retailers and Chinese manufacturers ramped up production over the last three months without anticipating the implications of shipping and supply chain capacities in California. Certainly a lot of those products are finding their way to store shelves. Our publisher Mark Alexander says, “I was in Walmart and I didn’t see any shortages of anything.” But a lot of them are sitting in containers off the coast.
All of this brings us back to Joe Biden, because, of course, this mess is partly his fault, even if he does promise to “fix it.”
“Shutting down pipeline projects and barring fracking does not help reduce energy costs,” writes Jim Geraghty. “The vaccine mandate undoubtedly is creating staffing issues at some companies, even if they are minor ones.” Moreover, he says, “Pete Buttigieg didn’t cause the worsening backlog of cargo at our ports, but … isn’t that the sort of thing a Secretary of Transportation is supposed to keep an eye on?”
Biden first stepped in to fix things some four months ago by creating a “task force to address short-term supply chain discontinuities.”
How did that work out?
So stunningly well that, once again, it’s Biden to the rescue just in time to save you from having to explain to a child why you couldn’t get them a Christmas present. The White House is out with another “fact sheet” on its “efforts to address bottlenecks at ports” in California.
“President Biden knew that there would be massive economic challenges emerging from the pandemic,” the White House tells us. No kidding, Sherlock. “The Biden Administration acted quickly to get the economy moving again.”
How did that work out?
We’ll see what the new actions actually do, but we had to chuckle when Biden’s “fact sheet” claimed credit for UPS and FedEx pledging to increase 24/7 operations and volume of goods shipped. That’s all well and good, but Biden didn’t build that. And someone should send a memo to the U.S. Postal Service, which just announced that it will deliberately slow down deliveries of what we all already call “snail mail.”
We’re curious why that didn’t make Joe Biden’s brag list.
Kidding aside, problems with the supply chain are likely to persist well into 2022. Here’s hoping voters remember it come next November.