Free Markets

Don't Ask Politicians To Fix a Supply Chain Crisis They Created

Governments may not be able to make an economy, but they've proven they can break it.


In recent weeks, multiple trade associations have asked the Biden administration to provide some relief regarding supply-chain issues that create shortages and push prices up around the world. Some of their requests (relief from tariffs, in particular) are good policy at any time, since barriers to trade hamper prosperity and innovation. The fact, though, that industry representatives see partial solutions to current economic problems in the federal government undoing its earlier interventions is a glimpse at the bad policies that brought us a world of empty shelves and clogged ports—and which may continue to plague us in the future.

"Tariffs on raw materials, low tech/cost components, equipment, and finished goods which are not adequately produced in the U.S., are causing delivery delays of critical products and/or higher consumer costs," the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute, the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association point out in a white paper sent to the Biden administration last week. "Plant shutdowns and/or slowdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, including current difficulties attracting new employees despite competitive pay and benefits, have reduced manufacturing productivity," they added.

Separately, the American Apparel & Footwear Association also asked for tariff relief to ease "the chaos and cost increases caused by the shipping crisis."

The trade associations fret over serious worldwide supply chain issues often represented by backlogs at ports, but also involving the inability to source both components needed for production and finished goods. Some of the international disconnect between supply and demand can be attributed to specific policies, such as lockdowns that make it difficult for factories to satisfy customers.

"Governments have struggled to secure doses [of vaccine] and have imposed costly lockdowns that have left many factories without workers," Reuters reported in August of manufacturing woes in Asia.

Likewise, Britain's dearth of truck drivers has been laid at the feet of the border barriers imposed by Brexit, which certainly didn't help. But neither did the suspension of the approval process for commercial drivers or lockdowns that idled workers.

"Covid has had an impact and the most obvious Covid impact is that normally about 35,000—40,000 tests are done a year for HGV [heavy goods vehicle] drivers and had to be suspended quite rightly for Covid, and there's a backlog of tests," the head of a dairy co-op told the Yorkshire Post.

"Foreign labour was not scared out of Britain due to an abstract legal change; it was driven out by the Government's lockdown policies in response to the pandemic, which shuffled many from their jobs onto a souped-up dole," charges British economist Philip Pilkington, who points out that Ireland, which remains in the EU, also has a driver shortage. "Many realised that the dole is better where they came from on the continent, especially relative to the cost of living, and so they left." Pilkington also points to the delay in testing drivers as contributing to the shortage.

Lockdowns also changed people's lives, closing offices and factories and confining people at home. That resulted in massive and unpredictable shifts in demand and unreliable supply. Do you remember the disappearance from supermarkets of flour and yeast early in the pandemic? Who knew that people with time on their hands would discover their inner bakers (at least for the time being)?

"The period of contagion, self-isolation and economic uncertainty will change the way consumers behave, in some cases for years to come," observes the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. "The new consumer behaviors span all areas of life, from how we work to how we shop to how we entertain ourselves. These rapid shifts have important implications for retailers and consumer-packaged-goods companies."

How many of these changes will be permanent, and which will revert to old patterns after restrictions on normal life disappear? Businesses planning for the future have to guess, with their survival at stake.

"The idea that an economy could be indiscriminately shut down and turned back on without far-reaching consequences, as if a light switch or lawn mower, is utterly damnable," charges economist Peter C. Earle. "It could only come from the mind of an individual, or body of individuals, with no understanding of or consideration for the extraordinary interdependence of the productive sector."

"Market economies tend to be pretty good at getting food on the supermarket shelves and fuel in petrol stations, if left to themselves," agrees Pilkington. "That last part is key: if left to themselves. Heavy-handed interference in market economies tends to produce the same pathologies we see in socialist economies, including shortages and inflation. That has been the unintended consequence of lockdown."

Unfortunately, there's almost certainly more pain on the way. Electricity is now in short supply in China, partially because a drought has hobbled hydropower, but also because the government makes it impossible for electricity producers to compensate for rising coal prices.

"Power plants buy coal at market price but are not allowed to raise electricity rates on customers beyond small margins set by national planners," notes the Los Angeles Times. "When coal is expensive, many plants report 'maintenance outages' and reduce or stop operation rather than suffer losses."

That may ease the shipping logjam, but only because there will be fewer goods produced by factories shuttered by blackouts. Europe, too, suffers soaring energy prices as demand recovers from pandemic lockdowns even as prices rise for fossil fuels and governments' planned transition to renewable energy proves vulnerable to nature's whims. That also leads to manufacturing slowdowns. You can expect the consequences to cascade around the world, with yet more empty shelves.

The danger is that people see economic problems caused by earlier fiddling and then demand even more government intervention. The semiconductor shortage, for instance, can be attributed to production curtailed by lockdowns as demand for computers soared among populations compelled to work and study from home. But the trade-group white paper that asked the Biden administration for tariff relief also begged it to "Ensure that semiconductor supply is fairly and transparently allocated across industry sectors and that the Administration does not—explicitly or implicitly—favor any one sector."

The groups don't elaborate on what a semiconductor policy should look like. But if the government were to further meddle in the market to allocate products made scarce by earlier actions, it's hard to see how the result wouldn't be anything other than increased supply chain chaos.

NEXT: Brickbat: Never Let an Opportunity Go to Waste

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  1. So I heard yesterday that the reason for this supply chain fuck up, is because Europe has been slow processing their shipping containers. Which has caused a shortage of them, and basically nothing can be moved without them. Anyone know if there is any truth to that?

    1. I’m gong to guess even if this is true, that there are also other things going on to fuck up the supply chain, because lack of shipping containers wouldn’t explain why ships are waiting out at sea to get into American ports (I should also point out, neither would tariffs).

      1. wouldn’t explain why ships are waiting out at sea to get into American ports

        A large part of that is that there aren’t enough truckers willing to work in California. My uncle, for example, is a trucker and he’s stopped taking jobs in California because the pay isn’t worth the hassle of all the extra regulations his truck would have to meet, plus the cost of gas, plus the traffic, plus the increase in perceived risk due to defunding police and releasing criminals from prison.

        1. Oh, the pay is too low you say. He doesn’t want to work for it.

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          1. Are you capable of comprehending costs associated with trucking? And why California costs are higher than elsewhere?

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          2. He doesn’t work IN CALIFORNIA dumbass.

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          3. Yes, that’s exactly it. The California government is artificially raising the cost of doing business in California, and the artificially inflated cost of doing business in California isn’t worth the (also artificially inflated but no where near as much) pay.

          4. Another great example of borderline-autistic, sociopathic misfit communication, whose origin and intent are equally puzzling to the untrained, non-sociopathic recipient.

          5. It’s hard to be as stupid as shitlord without a LOT of practice.

          6. No, he said the costs are too high in CA. The pay is just fine elsewhere.

        2. I’ve heard just the opposite, that trucks are backed up with only one or two cranes being operated at the docks at a time.

          1. Ive heard the same. Union dock workers and also a lack of products to fill the containers for the trip back. Rail hubs are also a shitshow afaiu.

      2. Heard all these on the global front. Also the Suez Canal fuck up, didn’t help. And we had a number of factories/chem plants destroyed that sent ripples to the supply chain.

        Also more local front, warehouse staff and drivers hiring has been tough for many of my vendors (construction materials). Who of thunk if you pay people not to work, shit doesn’t get done?

        Murphy’s Law in full effect.

        1. Factories and chem plants destroyed? What happened? I heard about the Sue Canal, but not about factories being destroyed. Was it regulatory, accidents, or violence?

          1. Trane’s A/C plant had its roof collapse in Texas cause of the snow storm* (big problem for me). Chem plant in Louisana just went up a couple days ago and there was the one in Illinois over the summer.

            Texas having that snow storm probably didn’t help also.

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        2. and don’t forget about the many “vaccine” mandates causing workers to quit or go on furlough rather than take the poke. It will come crashing down in two weeks, as the deadline date for most to be injected will come and go, and very few who have not yet will get the poke. All those Amazon, FedEx, UPS, USPS, Old Dominion ,May, Gordon, Oak Harbour, trucks will be parked because there will not be enuogh “vaccinated’ drivers to run them. I’d think about getting back into that (I;ve got my Class A Ticket with endirsements and current medical) but will absolutely NOT accept that injection.

          This is a PRoBLEM created directly and proximally by government. Inteintioally.

          1. Spot on, and that’s the point that virtually everyone complaining on social media miss.
            Everything is interconnected, and the worldwide supply chains are incredible examples.
            Tariffs do NOTHING but increase end-user costs. Covid lockdowns don’t always work to save lives, as worldwide reports have clearly shown, but paying people more to stay home than to work carefully protected at their jobs has created probably millions of people being paid to NOT get back into their parts of the supply chains of dam’ near Everything!
            So, most of the driving forces that created the disruptions can be traced to government regulations “meant to help us.”
            And the Regulators’ success is measured by themselves by counting the number of regulations they create, not any downstream bad results.

            Same thing I’ve been saying for years, but the psychological barriers to hearing dissenting views keep nearly all people from rethinking their views and prejudices.
            All of the logistical and structural problems have feasible solutions, but when it comes to changing the minds of people who BELIEVE they’re Right, despite any contrary evidence is… fairly impossible.

      3. Ships waiting at ports in the US and Europe is simply the final step in the transport/logistics tail being slowed there. All those ships NOT going back to China full of empty containers is why one load of containers is sitting in Chinese ports waiting to be loaded while Chinese factories have no containers to ship anything.

      4. the lack is not for the sea freight cans. It is for EMPTY ones. When port real estate (the huge fields of macadam where all the cans are set during transfer from one “mode” to anohter) is filled to capacity already, WHERE will the cans being offloaded go? No space to drop them.
        Also impending injection mandates are causing thousands who have made an iinformed decision to NOT get the shots terminate their positions, and this extends to truck drivers, equiipment operators, both hired by the port operations or subconttracted to them. I live in a smaller port city (some bulk, moslty cans) and the Port Authority, a local government good ol boy’s club, have determined that even the independent truck drivers who drive into/out of the port for loads must bet the poke or stop coming into the port facility. IN two seeks, when the mandate hits hard, there will simply not be enough workers to keep the port open. That means ships will lay by, loaded, cannot unload, idling, at high expense, because our idiot guvnr “HATH DeCIDeD” that everyone involved SHALL be injected, like it or not, or not be there.

        I wonder what HE will do when the state starves and can’t go anywhere because goods are not availble BECAUSE of his mandate? It will not go well for this dimwit once enough of WE THE POEPLE realise it is ALL his doing. No conscience, religious, health, ADA, had the virus and thus are naturally immune exceptioins for anyone. He is stuck on poke or walk.

    2. Probably not; no way to pin that on Trump.

      1. Don’t give up. There is always a way.

        1. It doesn’t even have to make sense, it just has to be repeated.

    3. Probably. Europe has no shortage government intervention into its own markets.

    4. This problem is all across the board. China didn’t shut down during the pandemic and so they kept shipping stuff to the US. We were shut down, so we weren’t shipping anything back. The Container Ships were better off returning to China empty, rather than waiting to load empty containers onboard. It would get them one or two additional trips during the year.

      The problem is 100% due to the lockdowns.

  2. When central planning fails, it just means the central planners need more control to centrally plan harder. It’s simply common sense that having somebody in charge of organizing an economy and a society is going to result in better outcomes than just leaving it up to the chaos of individual choice and letting everybody just do whatever they want. Nobody needs 24 different kinds of deodorant and it’s just wasteful duplication of services to allow 24 different kinds of deodorant to exist. And it’s the same with everything else – why do we need more than one car company, more than one grocery store, more than one bread company, more than one restaurant chain? I say we let the experts decide what’s for our own good.

    1. And everybody knows there’s no greater expert than the mighty slayer of Corn Pop!

      1. Dammit, now I want Corn Pops for breakfast

        1. And a Sloppy Joe for supper.

          1. Tara Reade had a sloppy Joe for supper, and she didn’t even want it.

        2. Those aren’t on the approved list.

        3. ^Cereal Killer!

        4. Sorry, Kellogg is on strike.

      2. Turns out he’s not an expert on everything. In fact he isn’t even aware of some things according to his climate czar.
        “[Biden] asked me. He said, ‘What’s the situation?’ And I explained- he had not been aware of that. He literally had not been aware of what had transpired,” Kerry said in an interview broadcast on French television. “And I don’t want to go into the details of it, but suffice it to say, that the president, my president is very committed to strengthening the relationship and making sure that this is a small event of the past and moving on to the much more important future.”

        1. To be fair, John Kerry has always had a warm, trusting relationship with the French. Why, he even had James Taylor come and sooth their pain after al-Qaeda killed reporters at Charlie Hebdo.

    2. >more than one restaurant chain

      In the future all restaurants are Taco Bell?

      I never figured a Stallone dystopia film would be so prescient.

    3. When central planning fails, it just means the central planners need more control to centrally plan harder…


      Think of all the shit the government has overreached with in the last six months, and consider this is without the empty shelves that are inevitable and coming from their criminally irresponsible lockdowns, “stimulus” checks, etc. Let alone made worse by China’s problems.

      What’s going to happen when shelves are bare, and not just missing toilet paper and hand sanitizer like before?

      It’s not going to be the end of incumbents, like would be expected in past years. The democrats are finished loosing elections. It’s going to be even more overreach, which is what is fueling the problem to begin with.

    4. Hell, who says we even need any of that stuff at all? Maybe bread. But then it’s not for me to say. The State knows what we need. It will decide and provide.

      1. Biggest problem is what does the ‘State’ *really* provide?
        When’s the last time Biden himself grew a crop of corn for the people?

  3. More government is not the answer.

    1. Unless, “What do collectivist retards demand more of every day?” is the question.

      1. Or “What can fuck up the supply chain even more?”

  4. Typical Libertarian take – “it’s the government’s fault”. No doubt things could have been done better and always could be, but the pandemic shut it down, not the government last summer. People were afraid to go to stores, bars, and restaurants, even where they could and producers of lumber, wire, and concrete were afraid to keep producing products for a market with anticipated low demand. Were people have any options, they are staying home instead of working in a feared toxic environment and now Libertarian paranoia is feeding anti-vaxx BS that is a double hit on the economy. You want the economy to rebound and be free again? Do your part, get your shot and tell others to do the same.

    1. The government imposed the restrictions. Products couldn’t be made because factories were shutdown by government.
      My work never stopped. Some did the work from home deal due to the school systems (that we still were told to fund) preventing their kids from attending.
      If you are old or have a compromised immune system, take additional precautions. If you are fat, put down that coffee.

      1. The government didn’t shut down factories. What producer was going to keep cranking out supply in those conditions? Virtually none.

        What did government due? Created the market for vaccine development by guaranting purchase of millions of doses.

        Thank you President Trump.

        1. Paper mills. Food production facilities. Utilities. Refineries. Just to name a few.
          For those without compromised immune systems or oversized waists and younger than 60, this is the flu.
          Government shutdown places of work. Thank you blue state governors.

        2. Fuck Joe Friday.

        3. *Troll Alert. There’s no way he believes what he’s saying here. He can’t be this stupid.

    2. Fine. But what is the government going to do about it? Surely they’ll fix this because they’re the font of all Wisdom, yes?

      1. They will shutdown demand as a followup to shutting down production!

    3. As far as I can tell, the only evidence we have that lockdowns don’t hurt the economy is a study in the USA only, comparing county-with-lockdown next to county-without-lockdown for foot traffic in stores, and concluding that lockdowns had less affect.

      I’m not sure how effective a methodology that is, especially for making inferences about lockdowns as a whole globally such that you can claim lockdowns everywhere have little affect on economies.

      Furthermore, how do you separate consumer fear from lockdowns instituted by nearby governments? I assume people would be less scared if no governments locked down.

      Also, how do you use consumer foot traffic to measure the economic impact? Since when do we measure economic activity by stow foot traffic? That’s a very incomplete measure. I can imagine numerous ways economies could be impacted by lockdowns which would not show up in foot traffic studies.

      I’ve been meaning to read the paper and look at the data, since I’m wondering how the authors addressed the issues of this work often cited by the best randos on the internet who I doubt cared enough to look themselves since they loved the abstract so much. But I learned long ago to always read the paper and check the data. I remember when the same people told me Trump was a Russian spy.

      1. Try looking at unemployment numbers and inflation. Thanks.

    4. So I just imaged seeing cops shutting down businesses on the daily? Cop and health officials didn’t arrive at the gym I have an ownership stake in?

      Go fuck yourself.

    5. People were afraid to go to stores, bars, and restaurants, even where they could

      Then why did the government need to forcefully shut them down?

    6. You want the economy to rebound and be free again? Do your part, get your shot and tell others to do the same.

      Oh, and I love this. Do what I say and no one gets hurt!

      1. Joe’s (Mike) incapable of admitting when something doesn’t work and is all aboard the propaganda train.

    7. “…tell others to do the same.”

      Not ask; tell. Cultish zealotry, and it’s creepy.

      Anecdotal – I now know 5 people personally who have contracted C19 after receiving the magic jab. One hospitalized with pneumonia.

      1. Pneumonia is just the French word for covid.

      2. 4 here and none of the cases I have encountered of are unvaccinated folks.

    8. …but the pandemic shut it down, not the government last summer.
      Gotta be OBL’s evil twin or something.

    9. “No doubt things could have been done better and always could be, but the pandemic shut it down, not the government last summer”

      This is willfully stupid.

      Covid-19 didn’t make the decisions to lockdown our economy. The decision to lockdown our economy was made by Cuomo, de Blasio, Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, and other progressive politicians. Other governors and mayors refused to lockdown their economies or refused to do so harshly and for so long. It’s one thing to defend the choices progressive made, quite another to pretend they didn’t even make a choice!

      The Covid-19 virus did NOT make the decision to lock our economies down at any time, and plenty of non-progressive politicians chose to keep their economies open. If there’s a more accurate term than “willfully stupid” for someone who can’t tell the difference between a virus making our choices for us and a number of progressive politicians purposely locking down their own economies, I don’t know what it is.

      “Propaganda victim” maybe?

      1. Ken, it’s called markets.

        “Government policies restricting business operations and personal mobility were less important than consumers’ self-imposed limitations in contributing to the steep drop in economic activity during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to findings presented in Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020 (NBER Working Paper 27432). Voluntary behavioral changes occurred because of consumers’ fears of catching the virus, researchers Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson show. They conclude that repealing restrictions is not a particularly powerful tool for restarting growth so long as individuals continue to fear infection….”

        1. Lefty shit, what you post is called “lies”
          Fuck off and die. Slowly and painfully.

    10. STFU and get a productive job. That means not working for the government, or satisfying government regs. Do something or make something that people who also have productive jobs want to pay for.

    11. Hey look, Joe is here with all the talking points from Reddit.

      ” but the pandemic shut it down, not the government last summer.”

      For about a month. And then the government had to forcibly shut down the businesses. Or are you going to REALLY insist that when the Government sent cops and health inspectors out to shut down businesses and ticket church goers, they were just helping people do what they wanted to do?

      And by the way, just to show how FULL OF SHIT Joe is when he makes unsubstantiated claims about “lumber wire and concrete” – Lowes had a 28% YoY increase in sales in Q2 2020, and 30% YoY increase in sales in Q3 2020, and anticipated a Q4 of 20% higher. Everyone KNEW they had skyrocketing demand. The idea that Lumber companies “anticipated” anything different is a fantasy.

      THEY WERE SHUT DOWN. Canada closed its borders. This was 100% caused by the government.

      1. Overt, they were shut down partly over demand expectations and partly for Covid safety protocols and workers staying at home. The “government” did not tell them to close.

        “A spokesperson for the lumber industry said it had in fact been predicting “pretty good housing starts” and the shutdowns were “all about employee safety,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO of the Council of Forest Industries, an industry lobbying group for Canadian producers, a large supplier of softwood structural lumber for the U.S.

        The price jump was “a classic case of supply and demand imbalance,” that followed a “massive supply chain disruption” due to Covid. “Never before in history have we had that kind of price appreciation so quickly,” Yurkovich said.

        Mills temporarily shut down to implement new safety protocols and acquire personal protective equipment. Some mills took down time. Others had to cut back production because workers got Covid. Mills were short-handed when demand hit…”

        1. “…The “government” did not tell them to close…”
          The “government” did exactly that, lying pile of lefty shit.

    12. Joe Friday is a troll and just another sockpuppet of piece of shit fire extinguisher conspiracy theorist White Mike. He likes to pretend JF is smarter and more polite. As usual, he fails.

      Check out the awkwardly worded request for a citation.

      Here he is, getting his ass handed to him for his utter failure at critical analysis.

      Feel free to heap derision and scorn on him whenever he appears. Feel free to mute him. Please try not to be distracted by him or amplify his comments with serious response. He is not interested in honest discourse.

      He is frequently supported by chemjeff and sarcasmic. Feel free to treat them similarly.

      1. White Mike is a wonderful ambassador for what he opposes.

      2. Translation of Chuck P:

        “I’m a chicken s..t Libertarian who can’t hold up an argument, but I know some cuss words and I’m going to use them because I’m tired of having my simple ideas challenged and having no other answer.”

        1. Joe! Fuck off and die!

    13. >>but the pandemic shut it down

      troll better.

    14. Go back to your child porn you daft shit.

    15. “Typical Libertarian take – “it’s the government’s fault”….”

      Typical take by steaming pile of dishonest lefty shit.

    16. It’s the government’s fault. Not just for the overreaching lockdowns and overly generous benefits to keep people out of the workforce, but failure to approve enough ports (the same reason airports are crowded) and mandating union membership for the union-allocated high paying longshoreman jobs and then flooding the economy with printed cash to spike demand.

    17. If people weren’t going to stores there would be a surplus of unbought goods not a shortage. Failed economics 101 I see.

      1. He can’t even count to 101.

    18. If they were afraid to go to these places there was no need for lockdowns.

    19. ^Funny; The area’s demanding more lock-downs, more masks and mandatory vaccination are also the very SAME area’s suffering the most.

      Keep your idiocy LOCAL! You really believe your own sh*t – then shut down your businesses, go hide in the basement, toe the Nazi way —– BUT DON’T FORCE OTHERS TO BE AS STUPID AS YOU!

  5. I appreciate Reason pointing out that the lockdowns, putting people on fat unemployment benefits, etc. is partially responsible for some of the rises in energy costs we’re seeing, but someone might point out that Congress is presently fighting over implementing Green New Deal proposals in Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill that are intended to drive up the cost of energy from fossil fuels.

    To whatever extent the UK is having trouble distributing petrol to gas stations, that’s nothing compared to what will happen as a consequence of the provisions in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill. Looking back to the mistakes we’ve made in the past is important because it shows us what to avoid in the future. But let’s not ignore the avoidable mistakes the Democrats in Congress are actively fighting to make right now.

    Reason is also smart to go after the tariffs and look at what is happening in China. Biden has essentially doubled down on Trump’s tariffs and, even worse, is pushing China to follow through on their promise to Trump to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products from the United States. That made more sense before the pandemic than it does now. In a period of inflation, why is the Biden administration pushing China to buy commodities from the USA?

    1. “For the October-December period, exports to China “reached a historic high of $14.4 billion, largely a result of strong shipments of soybeans, corn, sorghum, wheat, cotton and chicken paws,” USDA said. “Outstanding sales of many of these products remain high, with corn sales at unprecedented levels.”

      The 2021 fiscal year began Oct. 1 and therefore includes former President Donald Trump’s last three months and 20 days in office. It’s likely that U.S. farm exports to China will set a new record for the 2021 calendar year as well, barring an unexpected downturn.”


      “Trump’s gift to Biden: Record ag exports to China”

      I understand that Trump negotiated these purchases (prior to the pandemic), but why is Biden still pressuring China to buy these commodities now that inflation is a serious problem?

      1. I had no idea they were called chicken paws.

    2. Ken, did you see Manchin is now willing to go up to 1.9 to 2.2T. Told you not to put your faith in him. He is also for a nuclear option rule change to allow a third reconciliation for the debt limit to be raised outside normal process.

      1. Can’t put faith in any of them. In a few months you’ll see a story about his new lake side home.

        1. His new lakeside manchin.

          1. *slaps forehead for missing that one*

      2. I’ve been talking about that for a long time–and saying that everything they cut out of the deal is a good thing. When Biden told the progressives that would need to cut about $1 trillion out of the $3.5 trillion bill, he was presumably talking about what Manchin would do. Before, Manchin’s agreement with Schumer said he would accept $1.5 trillion. Because the bill is nothing but Green New Deal spending and the expansion of socialist entitlement programs, anything they cut out of it will only be an improvement.

        There are still a couple of reasons to hope that the bill fails entirely, and I certainly hope it does. One of them is that the moderate Democrats in the House still aren’t on board. Manchin is one obstacle, but he’s not the only one. All we need is four Democrats in the House to refuse to commit political suicide in their districts, and they can’t get it done. The other hope is that the clock runs out. They may only have until October 18th to strike a deal, and time is not on Biden’s side. His approval ratings continue to drop, and the worse they get, the more moderate Democrats are likely to resist him.

        However, it is unreasonably to assume this bill will die when the Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the White House. The Republicans simply can’t dictate terms when they have no power, and it’s amazing that McConnell has been able to orchestrate this. Meanwhile, cutting $1.5 trillion out of the $3.5 trillion bill is a legitimate victory. It may very well be that the progressives in the House and Bernie Sanders (Budget chair) in the Senate are unwilling to cut that much out of the bill., much like the Republicans decided not to cut $721 billion out of Medicaid if it didn’t mean full repeal.

        1. “When Biden told the progressives that would need to cut about $1 trillion [$2 trillion] out of the $3.5 trillion bill, he was presumably talking about what Manchin would do. Before, Manchin’s agreement with Schumer said he would accept $1.5 trillion”

          —-Ken Shultz


          1. It isnt 2 trillion. Manchin is going to cave to 2.5 at a minimum. That is a guarantee.

            1. He guaranteed $1.5 trillion as a max number, which is a $2 trillion haircut from $3.5 trillion. I linked to July 28 agreement Manchin signed with Schumer telling the Democrat leadership his terms. When Biden came back and said 1) He was making the infrastructure bill passing contingent on 2) the budget reconciliation bill passing first, Biden also told the progressives that they would need to cut about $1 trillion out of the deal, that’s right. That happened on Friday, and that presumably meant that Manchin had come up from $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion.

              It still isn’t clear that Bernie Sanders and the progressives in the House are willing to cut that much out of the bill.

            2. Like I said, the Republicans decided that if ObamaCare wasn’t being repealed in its entirety, then they weren’t willing to repeal 85% of it.

              This kind of thing has happened before, and there’s still hope.

              Meanwhile, every bit of that $1 trillion they’re trying to cut out of the bill is evil. Some parts of it are more evil than others, but it’s all evil, and every bit they’re forced to cut is a good thing.

              1. Oh yeah, Ken, Obamacare was the GOP’s finest hour! They still promise to repeal it? More of that blue collar constituency you claim no doubt, that and red states refusing Medicaid money for the 13% of Americans without health insurance but who don’t qualify for welfare.

                1. Asshole Joe, O-care was Obo’s finest hour:
                  “You can keep your doctor!”
                  Remember that lying pile of shit, Joe? Almost as dishonest a piece of shit as you!

        2. This belongs in morning links.

          I’ve got more to say about this over there.

          1. If they ever get around to posting it.

        3. Meanwhile, proglodyte activists are hounding one of their own Dem Senators they need to persuade to support their 3.5 trillion dollar boondoggle:

          Apparently the entire 3.5 trillion is going to protect America, the planet, apple pie and motherhood:

          “Do you want to cut climate priorities? Is it elder care that you want to cut, or is it child care?” the mob asked her.

      3. “I’m not ruling anything out, but the bottom line is I want to make sure that we’re strategic and we do the right job and we don’t basically add more to the concerns we have right now,”

        That’s all that Manchin has said yesterday. It’s clickbait journalism goading you.

      4. West Virginia has cradle to grave Baba Mamas just like every other state in the country. Not a bad deal for the daddy’s, keep knocking up teenagers, free healthcare for mom and kids, cash coming in, free babysitting cradle up to 19 with community college, 25percent more food stamps and top it off with a federal public housing bill and section 8 voucher expansions and mandates.

        1. I wish you were wrong, but you’re not.

          About 10 years ago, in fucking Orange County, Moms and the kids were getting chips and Cokes at 711 in line in front of me, and the cashier told them they couldn’t use EBT/SNAP whatever the fuck they called food stamps then.

          “What do you mean?” said Moms, “we do this all the time!”

          “The card machines broke, we don’t know when it’s going to be fixed” said the cashier.

          The family stood their looking perplexed, and some old coot behind me paid for their chips and Cokes.

  6. Only greedy people would think these shortages are a bad thing. In a properly woke future, doing without material things is a key virtue. Get used to it.

    1. Waiting in line makes everyone equal. If we let market forces set prices, the rich get stuff first.

      1. [WE] can all be poverty stricken, starving and homeless. Because that’s how people live in a Nazi-Regime. Well, until the government has to start setting up the gas chambers to ensure they themselves still have some food on the table.

  7. Shortages are the explicit and intended goal of tariffs.

    1. So, Brandyshit, are you happy we still have tariffs but no more mean tweets, TDS-addled asshole?

    2. You win the dumbass award for the day. Tariffs do not cause shortages, they raise prices on foreign products so that domestic producers don’t have to lose money trying to compete with slave labor. You know like the kind of goods produced in China.But don’t you worry, Biden’s butt rape business better plan will fix all that.

      1. Never-mind that International-Traders have run-up a debt of $7T on Trade;
        – surely subsidizing their shipping
        – giving them a tax-exempt status
        – allowing compulsively IP theft
        – allowing false advertising fraud (out of legal jurisdiction)
        – allowing the manipulate of the USD
        Is in the citizens best interest. I mean why charge International-Traders anything at all! Just put the entire National Defense bill entirely on Domestic-Traders while enforcing USA’S Nazi-Law over them specifically. International-Traders deserve a *free* pass because nothing builds a USA nation into a welfare case better than subsidizing foreign manufacturing.

        1. ^Suppose to be reply to Brandybuck.

  8. Sure would be nice to have the keystone pipeline right now.

    1. The keystone pipeline was built to transfer tar sands oil to be sold elsewhere. Tar sands oil is not used for making gasoline or diesel.

      1. Tar sands oil is not used for making gasoline or diesel.

        Assuming what you said is true, are there any derivatives of crude oil and tar sands oil that are substitutes for each other?

  9. B loves it when you beg him.

  10. Wait. I thought the Biden administration pretty much banned air conditioning and refrigeration ( the working reliable units or refrigerant used) as we know it. A/C and refrigerators are considered LUXURY ITEMS because Democrats say so and fuck you eat granola. Get ready for eating dried grains, polenta and canned beans for breakfast lunch and dinner.

    1. They don’t like market competition to climate control. 🙂

  11. We most certainly can trust the guberment to fix this problem almost immediately.
    Along the way though, expect power outages, interruptions in natural gas deliveries and only marginal restocking in grocery stores,….. mainly sugary cereals with LGBTQ themes on the box.
    Expect the local store you were used to patronizing has now shuttered along with your favorite restaurant…you know eating at restaurants is so bourgeoisie. It’s also racist and it’s not green either.
    Of course you will not be allowed to complain about it because it will be just another form of domestic terrorism.
    Not to worry though, your chocolate ration has just been raised to 20 grams this week from the thirty grams last week.

    1. Additionally, if there’s no food on shelves because delivery trucks are being highjacked, see the NYT ‘In defense of looting’. There’s so many white people domestic terror racists complaining about shit.
      READ THE NEW YORK TIMES, dammit.

  12. Did you know that Politicians are good for one thing?

    Drum roll…..


  13. Boris Johnson tells private industry the supply chain issues created by government lockdowns and minimum wages and unemployment benefits is their problem to fix:

    Boris Johnson tells business leaders it is their responsibility to prevent Christmas food shortages

    1. Government is awesome. Bigger Government builds back better!!!!!

  14. If only politicians had behaved better, then we would have gone along with their lockdowns and covid policies with less friction and we’d be out of this mess.

  15. Diane, politicians didn’t cause the Covid recession, scared Americans did, and now anti-vaxx idiots are trying to keep it going.

    Get your shot and urge others for the economy.

    1. Government forbade people from going to their places of work and then paid them more to stay at home. But yeah, government wasn’t involved with folks not working.

      1. Chumby:

        “:Government policies restricting business operations and personal mobility were less important than consumers’ self-imposed limitations in contributing to the steep drop in economic activity during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to findings presented in Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020 (NBER Working Paper 27432). Voluntary behavioral changes occurred because of consumers’ fears of catching the virus, researchers Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson show. They conclude that repealing restrictions is not a particularly powerful tool for restarting growth so long as individuals continue to fear infection….

        By comparing counties with and without restrictions, the researchers conclude that only 7 percentage points of the 60 percentage point overall decline in business activity can be attributed to legal restrictions. Most of the decline resulted from consumers voluntarily choosing to avoid stores and restaurants. The results were similar regardless of whether differences in restrictions arose because neighboring counties within a commuter zone shut down at different times or because some counties shut down while their neighbors did not. Consumer traffic began to decline before legal restrictions were imposed and was closely correlated with the number of local COVID-19 deaths.”

        1. They avoided restaurants because they were closed. And the places with restricted seating lost more money staying open than closing their doors. And when the seating restrictions were sunset, they couldn’t bring back staff who were making more money getting unemployment.

        2. Joe Friday:
          Fuck off and die.

        3. But somehow items were flying off of the shelves. You don’t remember T.P. , chicken, beef, bread, rice, tortillas, canned soup, and flour shortages? Just stop joe, when you spew you talking points, it’s like a big retarded bomb goes off. I can here it now.


  16. Just for the record:
    I have never, ever asked the government to do anything.

    In several instances, I have requested my representatives to stop the government from something it was planning to do.

    1. But “Big Plans” using Gov-Guns makes criminal Nazi’s feel powerful and its gives their worthless existence in reality an false ego boost.

      [WE] can’t have worthless people *feeling* worthless now can we? Nobody should *feel* worthless especially one’s who refuse or have no interest in *earning* the status of being valuable.

      Lefty-Indoctrination (i.e. Gov-Gun-Gods)
      Value =/= Wealth
      Gov-Guns = Wealth
      And anyone has to ask why USA patriots despise the lefts “Big Plans”.

  17. “Ensure that semiconductor supply is fairly and transparently allocated across industry sectors and that the Administration does not—explicitly or implicitly—favor any one sector.”

    This is Crony-Capitalist-speak for “waaaaah… we misjudged that demand would bounce back midway through the pandemic so we didn’t stock up on chips and had no fucking backup plan. .. and in the meantime computer companies bought up all the capacity and no one is in a rush to help us out because we have high quality expectations out of line with the crappy prices we’re willing to pay SOOOOOOO we need you to MAKE them allocate us capacity because they’re being big meanies and not listening to our tantrums”

    Sorry, I’m in the semiconductor industry and it’s frustrating to see the automakers, after years of treating silicon manufacturing as a red-headed stepchild in their supply chains, completely in denial about their own culpability in this situation, and going to Papa Biden for help. Disgusting.

    1. So that is what is driving the auto shortage.

      1. It’s amazing the complaints you hear when the chips are down.

  18. Biden Didn’t slap on the Tariffs. Trump did.

    1. And droolin’ Joe has added to them.

  19. tends to produce the same pathologies we see in socialist economies, including shortages and inflation. That has been the unintended consequence of lockdown.”

    UNINTENDED? Are you SERIOUS? Nope. This is exatly according to plan, and working out perfectly for them.

    What U d NOT understand is what will”they” do with a collapsed non-functional economy and infrastructure…… WHO will drive the trucks, shlep freight in the warehouses, repair the trucks and equipment, stock the goods on the shelves, etc, once things are so collapsed no one CAN work even if they want t o?

    1. Socialists already play dumb when sh*t hits the fan. Everyone knows National Socialism building is a failed ideology; but criminalistic citizens desiring armed robbery will grow mountains of ignorance walls just to get some of that ‘armed robbery’ / ‘slavery’ left-overs.

  20. I don’t remember who said it early last year but it remains true — the politicians are going to find it was a lot easier to hit the ‘off’ button than the ‘on’ button.

    1. Made that comment regarding Newsom, and he has proven it so several times now with his open-close-open-close bullshit. Should have gotten him recalled.
      At the time, I also pointed out that neither Newsom nor even one of the SF gov’t officials has ever made their living by running a business; they come by their idiocy the old way: They EARNED it!

  21. One of the many things politicians and others fail to appreciate is that it’s really easy to shut down an economy; re-starting is daunting beyond belief. For Ford, as an example, to restart production requires getting hundreds of suppliers to restart their own production. That takes contracts; for each of those suppliers to restart requires contracts with each of THEIR suppliers, and on and on. In sum, our economy, with its current just-in-time ethos, requires the intricate coordination of millions of contracts and contractors, such that there is no one who can possibly understand it. THERE IS NO “ON” SWITCH to correspond to the “OFF” switch that political leaders so glibly tripped.

  22. Don’t Ask Politicians To Fix a Supply Chain Crisis They Created…

    Lefties must live in the most ignorant delusions ever created to not be able to see the WORST sectors of the market are controlled the HEAVIEST by their Gov-Gods toting Gov-Guns. I don’t think lefty-people think; I think they “feel”/fill their ego’s and that’s it.

    1. i.e. How to join a [WE] gang and ’empowerment’ and boost your pathetic ego. Without having to *earn* any Value.

  23. Also not talked about is the future small business owners who will never exist. People who have cash, worked hard for that cash. After seeing the lock-downs, many of them are very hesitant at staring businesses. They are more likely to lock the money into a home or invest in an IRA or stocks. So, corporations will get bigger because there will be less competition. They will give us lower quality products because of lack of competition. They will cut corners. They will hide a monkey wrench in our cans of soup. I already got a Campbells soup can with a rubber band in it, all due to Covid and less stringent government oversight.

  24. Still waiting for the politicians to fix something…or maybe not to screw something up. I think it’s pretty much hopeless after the last 100 years.

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