Rule Of Threes Applies Everywhere; Part 6
Well, I'm starting a little early this week (and following weeks) because of some schedule changes at the paper. It is now Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. And once again, miracle to relate, the Biden regime has not committed massive treason since I my last article submission (9-24). He and his party have committed some fairly major acts of stupidity which I will maybe get to later in this piece, but for now I will be carrying on with the economics crisis that is hitting us.
Last week, I laid out some of the problems on our end in getting ships unloaded and reloaded and the goods to where they belong. Our inability to do that means we have empty shelves in stores because (and I cannot emphasize this enough) we do not make things anymore in our country. We sometimes assemble things but we have to have critical parts imported from overseas, primarily from China. If you do not believe me, look at car production. We assemble a lot of cars in this country. And we now have fields of not completed cars and trucks awaiting parts. Because today engines are microcomputer controlled both for fuel efficiency and to reduce emissions. It is illegal under Federal laws to sell those cars and trucks without such controls. In addition, many options for comfort and convenience are microcomputer controlled.
The problem preventing those controls from being installed during the assembly process is that microcomputers each require specific microcomputer chips. Where are most of those chips made? No, not in the United States. And no, not in friendly countries we trade easily with. Like most things, we buy and use, they are imported from China. Now think about ALL the things in our world that are made with those microchips, or whose repair parts have those chips. Yeah, it does not look good.
Have you tried to buy HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) equipment recently? Most of it is made in China. On a blog I frequent and write at, I have another writer I communicate with. While the blog is actually more politics and economics, his particular field is HVAC wholesale sales. He is working 12+ hours a day trying to scrounge what he needs to keep his long time customers who do either repair or new installation supplied with what they need to stay in business. Incidentally, those efforts are creating some really loyal customers.
Have you tried to get the specialized food grade pumps used in mass production of foods that end up in stores? D**n hard to do now. And something that may affect food availability in stores down the line. Because machines eventually break in food factories and have to be replaced. And the replacements have to come from China. Oh, and it does not only affect eating type consumables. I personally know of a brewery that just finished a new facility that more than doubled its capacity. This was something that took a couple of years to do. The specialized pumps they need should have been delivered and installed over a year ago. They can operate, but until they get the pumps in (from China) they have to do a lot of running and opening and closing big manual valves.
All the behind the scenes machinery that keeps our stores operational, are imported to one degree or another. Now go to those stores. Walk up and down the aisles of any department store stopping at random to look at the items on the shelf. Reach out and look at the packages of whatever you stop by. You will find three sure things. Most of the items are not made in the USA. The majority of the items, big and small, are made in China. And of those things that do say made in the USA, how many of them have parts that come from China?
Now think about the 10,000-21,000 shipping containers on each of the scores of container ships waiting to get into an unloading berth at an American port. And the delays in getting them unloaded and reloaded Remember from last week that the process used to take eight hours. A day or so ago, I found out that as a result of Covid and our reactions to it, the average dwell time of a container ship in a berth unloading and loading is six days. The wait time for rail transport from the terminals is 16 days. And the wait time from the destination rail yard to get to the warehouse is yet another week. And it is getting worse. Keep in mind that we started pre-Covid with eight-12 hours at the berth, the wait time for rail transport from the terminals of less than 24 hours, a day or so more to get to the distribution warehouse.
Toss in another factor. The price we pay for something is in part dependent on shipping costs. Pre-Covid cost LESS than $2,000 to move a standard shipping container from Asia to the U.S. Today it can cost up to $25,000. I have seen reports that the newer, larger container ships (no, not made here but in Japan, South Korea, and yes China) can make back 80 percent of their construction costs on their first voyage. Part of the low prices of basic goods is based on the fact that in the exquisitely designed supply chains there are fractional pennies in savings at each step of the way from manufacture to store for each item shipped. They are dependent on everything running right, on time and efficiently. None of which apply right now. So yes, prices are going to go up, even if the government was not trying to induce massive inflation. Which they are.
One other thing. In the first part of this series, I mentioned that shipping containers do wear out. Not unexpected, as they are built as consumables and not permanent structures. You have the stresses of loading the cargo on it, the stresses of picking it up (literally) and moving it around in the air while inserting it into its pre-ordained slot aboard ship, the movement of the ship on the voyage (and yes the ship is big, but the ocean is bigger and moves the ship and containers), and then the stresses of picking it up (literally) to unload, the train trip and then perhaps the truck trip. They wear out and have to be replaced.
There is a problem with this. You see, most of those containers are made in China. That is not a good thing, for all the reasons listed above for other imports.
This does not sound good for us. And to be honest, we are in far worse shape than we were a couple of years ago. And we may well end up looking at today as “the good old days.” And yet, as bad as it is for our poor country; bad enough for me to want to use descriptors that they would not print in any language, we can be sure of one thing.
THINGS ARE FAR WORSE IN CHINA. And that is where I will pick the subject up next.
At the beginning, I said I would mention the most recent felony level stupidity of Biden and the Democrats. It comes down to requiring all government employees in Democrat polities EXCEPT those who are supporters of the regime (teachers, Post Office employees, etc.) to be vaccinated against Covid by today or be fired. Leaving aside the hypocrisy of allowing certain political groups to be exempt; they are ignoring some basic things. There are those whose religious faith bars such vaccinations. There are those who have had Covid already and therefore already are more immune than those who are vaccinated. But the main things I am concerned with here are medical personnel and first responders.
A significant percentage of doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel are saying no. They are the ones who have been exposed for more than two years treating Covid and apparently have neither caught it or spread it. I will admit that this phenomenon deserves study. Instead they are either being fired or are quitting.
This means that a large number of medical facilities will have to close or greatly reduce their patient populations. I admit to being a cynical bugger, but this strikes me as a possible gateway for a declaration of a state of emergency, another lockdown, and executive orders akin to what is happening in Australia where the police are going door to door, and civilians on the street are being shot with rubber bullets for being on the street. If stretched out long enough, it might even allow the regime to guarantee the results of what they will call an election in 2022 and 2024.
I am not a trusting soul.