Pandemic supply chain in your area

turbodog

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Care to explain how any business sector jumps 900 % in inflation with the same labour issues when the majority of others dont? ;

Did you find the postal service in your country went to $50 to post a letter, did domestic shipping/transport/rail jump 9x over. Did manufacture jump this amount? Did you start buying flashlights for $1000 with $300 shipping because nitecore and UPS had 'less labor to work with"
...

Take a breath...

Postal volume has been dropping for years, a small uptick is not going to throw their business performance into disarray.

Trans-oceanic freight has been growing for years, and port capacity has been _tight_ due to a variety of reasons. So, given the huge increase in moving goods during c-19, it's not surprising at all that a business, sitting at the intersection of multiple resource-constrained inputs, will have drastic issues.

Speaking of Amazon... they saw the port issue coming years ago and negotiated with the smaller ports in the US to lock in availability & pricing. They also essentially bought their own oceangoing fleet and are registered, thus lessening the effects of c-19's supply chain issues. So, I'd say Bezo's wealth is very well earned and deserved.


 

turbodog

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Copper pricing:

1665275812679.png


Aluminum:

1665275844690.png


Any more questions?

Edit: In the US, there's a serious labor shortage. Due to c-19, some people exited the job market and have not returned. Some were killed by c-19. We just passed peak boomer-retirement/day also. And we are short ~2M immigrant workers.

So... a need for workers and no workers = increase pay for workers, leading to higher than normal inflation.

We did this to ourselves by promoting a huge population bubble (boomers), c-19 poor handling, and cutting back on immigration.
 
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mickb

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any more questions

Sure, the same one I already asked.

What other industries jumped 900% like shipping did, as per your explanation it being due to reduced labor. Still waiting here..

Nice cherry picking on those two commodities too.

Try these ones on for size
textile and apparel, polyester production, cements, plastics, allied chemicals, resins, fertilizers, toral manufacturing costs, total consumer price indexes , ALL COMMODITIES graph, ETC ETC ETC, download more at your leisure. You might want to put your climbing shoes on to handle the 2020-2022 part of the graphs ;)


And I'd be most interested to hear about "savings at the cash register" coming in a few months. Can you let me know when these occur exactly so I can be ready to have the same standard of living I used to?

I dont mean to be greedy but as a bunch of the worlds richest doubled and tripled their net worth during this disaster and continue to make bank during this Russia/ukraine sanction debacle, surely its not too hard with all that money coming in, to give the common man his 10-15% back?
 
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turbodog

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If you're saying that the world's wealthiest are the cause here, you're trying to reduce a very complex event into one central boogeyman.

If you took the world's richest, divided up the loot (somehow magically), spread it out equally over the time it took to acquire it (decades), then everyone would get a few hundred bucks a year, if that much. Do the math.

There are _several_ _major_ macroeconomic factors at play here. They will take a while to unwind, but they will. And it will be mainly capitalistic competition, not gov't action, that drives prices downward, selection upward, and quality upward.
 

KITROBASKIN

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Thanks TD for some words of encouragement:

There are _several_ _major_ macroeconomic factors at play here. They will take a while to unwind, but they will. And it will be mainly capitalistic competition, not gov't action, that drives prices downward, selection upward, and quality upward.
 

orbital

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quick note:

Earlier this Spring I bought some oil filters for my car for $5.xx ..couple months later they were $9.xx
This is not supply & demand, nor that the 4 cents of steel went up 8.

Do you think higher interest rates will lower the cost of those filters??
 
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knucklegary

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Actually, if you're talking about Wix XT filters, (made in USA) then it is supply and demand.
I can't speak for other brands, but I know my Wix filter has been scarce for these last two years. And, that is due to lack of production, since employees get paid more (gov't money) to stay home than return to work.. It has absolutely nothing to due with high or low interest rates.
 

jtr1962

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If you're saying that the world's wealthiest are the cause here, you're trying to reduce a very complex event into one central boogeyman.

If you took the world's richest, divided up the loot (somehow magically), spread it out equally over the time it took to acquire it (decades), then everyone would get a few hundred bucks a year, if that much. Do the math.
That's assuming a zero sum game. A few hundred more a year in the hands of the middle class, instead of the wealthy, is far more likely to be pumped right back into the economy. This in turn grows the economy, and the total wealth. Compound doing this over a few decades. The wealthy are still wealthy, but they end up with a smaller percentage of the overall pie (which is much larger than before).

If we want a real boogeyman, it's neoliberal economics which has failed everyone but the wealthy:

There are _several_ _major_ macroeconomic factors at play here. They will take a while to unwind, but they will. And it will be mainly capitalistic competition, not gov't action, that drives prices downward, selection upward, and quality upward.
There are several bubbles that need to be popped first. The main one is real estate, and the secondary ones are in the stock market and commodities. Interest rates need to return to historical norms. That means savings accounts paying 5%, and mortgages at 7% or 8%. The last two decades have decimated those who depend upon interest income to survive. As a result, they had to roll the dice and put money in the stock markets to have any hope of a decent return. That helped inflate the markets.

Speculation (mostly in real estate and commodities) aren't helping things, either. Those could both end with a simple change in rules, especially real estate speculation. It should be illegal to rent single family homes, or for a corporation to own them. Ditto for trailer parks. Anyone buying commodities should have to demonstrate that they're an end user, not a middleman. While some of inflation is indeed simply supply and demand, a lot of it is manipulation of markets by those with the resources to do so.
 

jtr1962

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And, that is due to lack of production, since employees get paid more (gov't money) to stay home than return to work.. It has absolutely nothing to due with high or low interest rates.
That boogeyman ended last year when the enhanced UI and expanded child tax credits both died.

A lot of people close to retirement decided to just retire. We lost over a million people to covid. Easily ten times that number have long covid and may not be able to work again. Quite a few people decided to start their own businesses, rather than continue to be wage slaves. And we're short a few million illegal immigrants who would fill a lot of the jobs with worker shortages.

I personally see automation as the only long-term solution. The largest demographic (the boomers) will be completely out of the work force in less than a decade. There just aren't enough younger workers to replace them one for one. Automation to enhance their productivity is what we need, but that takes time to come online.
 
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jtr1962

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I dont mean to be greedy but as a bunch of the worlds richest doubled and tripled their net worth during this disaster and continue to make bank during this Russia/ukraine sanction debacle, surely its not too hard with all that money coming in, to give the common man his 10-15% back?
That requires a rollback on the part of the wealthy of how much money they think they "deserve" to make. Case in point are banks. Until maybe the 1970s, banks profited solely on the margin (the difference in rates between what was paid on savings accounts, and what was charged for loans). This was typically 2% or 3% (i.e. savings accounts paid 5%, mortgages were 7% or 8%). Then they started getting into credit cards and saw they could make a lot more. After that they started with fees on savings and checking accounts. To make a long story short banks became a lot more profitable by gradually sucking more and more money from working class people. On the other side all industries did it by increasing wages slower than general inflation, making real wages lower. They did it all slowly, like boiling a frog in a pot of water. Anyone notice the drive to make software subscription based, instead of just a one-time purchase? Often financing gave greater margins than the product being sold, as was the case for GM and others. Private companies even profited enormously on student loans, with all sorts of illegal collection fees designed to ensure people with loans are paying them for the rest of their lives. The end design of this is to ensure a large fraction of the population is living paycheck to paycheck, so they have a ready supply of desperate workers willing to work for near slave wages at jobs with no future.

The one common theme in all of the above is investors got higher returns than before, and got used to those returns to the point where they now feel entitled to them. I've read if companies simply returned to 1990s profit margins, that would end inflation. They wouldn't be doing charity work, simply getting the kinds of profits they were happy getting 30 years ago, instead of today's obscene profits. The working man would get his 10% to 15% back and then some. But for now they won't do it. Maybe people need to start boycotting buying anything they can until the prices drop.
 

bykfixer

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Shortage of legal (or illegal) imigrant workers? So the 8 to 20 million illegals already here just went back home? The influx was stemmed some during covid no doubt but there is definitely not a shortage of imigrants still here.

The gubment printing some $10 trillion in monopoly money may have played a part in the runaway inflation? Hmmmm, nah couldn't be. Nor is that ESG thing deciding who gets to win and who does not, or the absolute monsoon of regulations coming out of Washington DC and state houses? Nah, not that, those are the good guys doing it "for the children".

Meanwhile more and more perfectly healthy people of all age groups collect government assistance because it's cheaper to stay at home than it is to got buy a car, insure it, pay the taxes and fees, fuel it to drive it to a part time job. Plus the requirements to work have become so relaxed there are homes with 3rd and 4th generations of Americans who have never held a job.

Sure the gubment figures say record low unemployment but they only count the people looking for work. They say jobs are being created because more people are being hired but the truth is a large swath is people taking on a second job, even a third.

Sadly the truth many don't want to hear is it's all being done on purpose. Done by the people who many think actually have their best interest. Much of it done by folks invisible to the watching world on a global scale.

Covid-19 was a test. A test many of us failed.
2B1D3D94-7C12-4EFC-98B1-2572D363D680.jpeg
 
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orbital

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Actually, if you're talking about Wix XT filters, (made in USA) then it is supply and demand.
I can't speak for other brands, but I know my Wix filter has been scarce for these last two years. And, that is due to lack of production, since employees get paid more (gov't money) to stay home than return to work.. It has absolutely nothing to due with high or low interest rates.
+

It wasn't Wix or any specialty brand.
Mine are about as hard to find as cans of Coke.
 

orbital

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Shortage of legal (or illegal) imigrant workers? So the 8 to 20 million illegals already here just went back home? The influx was stemmed some during covid no doubt but there is definitely not a shortage of imigrants still here.

The gubment printing some $10 trillion in monopoly money may have played a part in the runaway inflation? Hmmmm, nah couldn't be. Nor is that ESG thing deciding who gets to win and who does not, or the absolute monsoon of regulations coming out of Washington DC and state houses? Nah, not that, those are the good guys doing it "for the children".

Meanwhile more and more perfectly healthy people of all age groups collect government assistance because it's cheaper to stay at home than it is to got buy a car, insure it, pay the taxes and fees, fuel it to drive it to a part time job. Plus the requirements to work have become so relaxed there are homes with 3rd and 4th generations of Americans who have never held a job.

Sure the gubment figures say record low unemployment but they only count the people looking for work. They say jobs are being created because more people are being hired but the truth is a large swath is people taking on a second job, even a third.

Sadly the truth many don't want to hear is it's all being done on purpose. Done by the people who many think actually have their best interest. Much of it done by folks invisible to the watching world on a global scale.

Covid-19 was a test. A test many of us failed.
View attachment 33131
+

Well worth a full quote.
 

jtr1962

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Shortage of legal (or illegal) imigrant workers? So the 8 to 20 million illegals already here just went back home? The influx was stemmed some during covid no doubt but there is definitely not a shortage of imigrants still here.
Here's some numbers on that:


Yes, shortage. Despite the increase in absolute numbers of illegals here, the working age population of US citizens is decreasing. Those workers need to be replaced. Right now immigration is the only way. If we were smart we would allow more legal immigration so we could vet the immigrants based on the skills needed to fill the jobs. We don't, so instead we have the current situation of illegals crossing the border hoping they'll do better than they're doing in their home country.
The gubment printing some $10 trillion in monopoly money may have played a part in the runaway inflation?
It's a little more nuanced than that:



Hmmmm, nah couldn't be. Nor is that ESG thing deciding who gets to win and who does not, or the absolute monsoon of regulations coming out of Washington DC and state houses? Nah, not that, those are the good guys doing it "for the children".
Government has been deciding winners and losers since post WWII. Who helped make an automobile-based transportation system and suburbia a reality? In large part, government. Other countries decided to keep rail and concentrate on their cities.
Meanwhile more and more perfectly healthy people of all age groups collect government assistance because it's cheaper to stay at home than it is to got buy a car, insure it, pay the taxes and fees, fuel it to drive it to a part time job. Plus the requirements to work have become so relaxed there are homes with 3rd and 4th generations of Americans who have never held a job.
It's not as easy as you think to qualify for assistance. My former brother-in-law got cancer about 20 years ago (he's fine, it hasn't come back). He couldn't work. My sister tried and failed to get any kind of help, despite the fact she made an average salary and had one child. This is in NY, a blue state with relatively generous benefits and more lax rules. I can't get any kind of help with my mother, despite the fact I haven't had a day off caring for her since January 26, 2018 (the day she got home from rehab).

Given the cost of car ownership, the equation is heavily tilted against part-time work actually putting you ahead meaningfully. Do the math. Even a cheap car might cost $100 a week to own. So that's $100 in after-tax income you need just to break-even. If your spouse is already working, your additional income is taxed at their incremental rate, which is at least 17.65% (lowest federal bracket plus FICA tax), but could be well over 40% for higher incomes in high tax states. So now you need to earn at least ~$120 a week just to pay for the car, never mind being ahead. Let's say you work 20 hours a week at $10 an hour. $200, you clear $165 after taxes but before car expenses. After car expenses, you have a big $65 for 20 hours of your time, plus travel time. There's no universe where that's worth it, even if you're not getting government benefits. If you can walk or bike to work, yeah, then it's worthwhile if you're broke.

This reminds me of the late 1980s when my boss was trying to get me to come in for 4 hours Saturday (at straight time per the union contract), instead of working 4 hours overtime during the regular work week. I showed him the numbers. $28 less about 1/3 for taxes, and $5 for car fare. That meant I cleared about $14 for about 6 hours of my time, once you counted the extra commute day. He understood. He didn't expect me to work for a net amount not much over $2 an hour. So he was fine with the OT.

The truth some people don't want to hear is that the pandemic gave people free time to really analyze their situations. Many who were mindlessly working these extra jobs did the math, saw that it was a waste of their time, and quit. Maybe they had to cut expenses a little. Many times they didn't. I still remember the time I helped one of my neighbors with her finances (this was in the 1990s). Similar conclusion. She was actually behind working after you counted child care expenses and extra income taxes. It was a no brainer for her to quit work and enjoy more time with her children.
Sure the gubment figures say record low unemployment but they only count the people looking for work. They say jobs are being created because more people are being hired but the truth is a large swath is people taking on a second job, even a third.
Almost certainly true. The real unemployment rate, defined as the number of people working divided by the working age population (termed the labor force participation rate), is at levels which existed during the Great Depression. As for second or third jobs, maybe if workers were paid proportionally to their gains in productivity since WWII those wouldn't be needed.
Sadly the truth many don't want to hear is it's all being done on purpose. Done by the people who many think actually have their best interest. Much of it done by folks invisible to the watching world on a global scale.
Agreed. As I've said already, the wealthy want a desperate underclass who is forced to labor for them. Indentured servitude never disappeared. Now we just call it living paycheck to paycheck. Then you have others doing this for even more sinister motives, on both sides of the political spectrum.
Covid-19 was a test. A test many of us failed. View attachment 33131
Orwell only got it partly right. It's not the government which controls our lives, but giant corporations with unelected leaders. You know the old saying never let a good crisis go to waste? That's exactly what happened here when businesses used some of the issues caused by covid as an excuse to raise prices above and beyond their cost increases. If prices had only gone up with cost increases, profits would have remained flat. The fact you see record corporate profits across the board tells me they milked the situation for every dime. Why should a 6 oz bag of potato chips cost $3.99? It probably costs them a dime to make.
 
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bykfixer

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I have to shake my head sometimes. The answers are simple, easy to see but folks want to continually post blame where they've been told to place the blame. Corparate greed, slave wages, the usual nonsense. Those are just symptoms of the disease.
Bottom line, cats are barking and dogs are pirring and nobody seems to see it.

The bag of potato chips is $3.99 because the truck that brought it to the store paid $1000 for the tank of fuel to get it there. That tank of fuel was $400 two years ago. The furnace that cooks the oil to fry those chips uses fuel that has doubled in cost. Why? It aint because Putin invaded Ukraine.

When the potatos that grow to use in those chips double in price because the largest fertilizer producer on planet earth sliced production in half this year.....not because of the pandemic. Can't blame corparate greed for that and be correct.

The globalists are playing Russian roulette with our lives while the world leaders split the profits. The term "quadrillion" was recently used to describe how far in debt the largest banks are now.

Mick raised a lot of good points. Right or not those are valid points worth considering, but too many want to say "nuh uh, they wouldn't do that". Yes they would, and probably are at least to some degree.

The smoke screen is there for a reason.
Here's why
A8AA504A-BEE6-43C3-A2E7-7E788E84399B.jpeg
 
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jtr1962

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When things seem to defy explanation, I fall to the age old way to figure it out-follow the money. Who is profiting from this? It sure as heck ain't the working classes or the poor. It's a mix of corporations and political leaders, along with those getting rich off government contracts. Why does the US still spend more on national defense than the next ten wealthiest countries combined? It sure as heck isn't because of need. It's because defense contracting is very lucrative. Those who profit from it are in the pockets of politicians who dole it out.

It goes on. In my neck of the woods, why does it cost $4.45 billion to build 1.8 miles of subway, when even in high labor cost Europe the same thing would probably cost half a billion tops? Again, follow the money. Well-connected construction firms pad contracts. Labor unions pad labor expenses. People skim off the top. The same thing happens with roads in red states, just in case you think this is a blue state only thing.

A better question to ask yourself is why are we still so dependent upon commodities that fluctuate wildly in price when we've had viable alternatives for years, even decades? Yes, you can blame rising fuel costs for some of this. You can pin some of those rising costs on lowered production, others on government policies. But in the end why aren't we using primarily energy sources with stable prices, like nuclear, solar, wind, wave energy, geothermal? Follow the money. You can use smokescreens to raise oil prices far beyond your cost increases without as many people screaming bloody murder. Indeed, why are oil companies posting record profits this year? And why is OPEC poised to cut production just as prices are falling? Answer-because they can get away with it. We've become so conditioned to oil price shocks we don't even flinch any more. We just accept them, even if we don't like the resulting higher prices. If we were using any of the other energy sources, there's zero chance of raising the prices dramatically. What excuse would you give? The sun cut its output by 50%? And that's partially why we've failed to get off oil. You can't gouge people with the other energy sources like you can with oil.

EDIT:

Here's another good example of what I'm talking about:

 
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