DANIEL VAUGHAN: Inflation and shortages run rampant in Biden’s America – again

Stop me if you have heard this one before: American consumers are finding grocery stores with empty shelves and shortages across the board, in all key categories — and what remains is priced even higher as inflation surges higher.

We’re a year into the Biden administration, and the inflation story has gone nowhere, nor has the supply chain disruptions. After spiking a football like they solved everything for Christmas, reality has settled back in for everyone.

You know things are bad when news reports on inflation are finally coming out to explain to people what is happening — again. 

NBC News ran a report titled: “Here’s why store shelves are empty again in parts of the U.S.” The emphasis is mine because they’re right; this isn’t the first time people wonder why they go to a grocery store and the shelves are empty, or gasoline prices continue going up.

The important thing about these media reports: They are a lagging indicator. Media reports are a bit like COVID-19 tests. They tell you what was happening 10 to 14 days ago. Liberal outlets feel compelled to explain the situation to Americans because they know no one in the Biden administration will do that work. The NBC report starts by saying:

The recent spread of the omicron variant among supply chain workers, sour weather and even a recall of bagged salads and vegetables have caused Americans to once again find barren shelves at supermarkets or retail stores.

While industry leaders hope this latest supply chain foul-up will be a short-term frustration, it comes amid the ongoing challenges they’ve faced during the pandemic: shipping delays, congestion at ports, labor shortages and more.

The first paragraph is supposed to provide context for why these shortages occur. But the reality is simple, and it’s the second paragraph: None of the structural and ongoing supply chain issues have been solved by the United States government. The Biden administration has had no plan and tried to ignore the problem.

In fact, their tune is the opposite. After the holidays passed, the White House gave a briefing where they said there are more supply chain challenges than they anticipated.

National Review reports that shipping companies like DHL have a much dire warning: They expect supply chain issues to persist on the shipping side through at least 2024. 

Per National Review:

[A report from DHL] calls the U.S. “the bottleneck of global trade.” It points to Los Angeles and Long Beach as global outliers on congestion and waiting times. It blames that on a “lack of rail cars, shortage of truckers and a chassis deficit.” Those longer-term domestic issues would suggest that even as global markets stabilize somewhat by 2024, the U.S. will still be lagging behind.

If those supply chain issues persist, a certain level of inflation pressure will also remain. Combine that with China’s continued insistence on zero-COVID policies, shutting down their ports and other things, and you take the supply chain issues and make them global, not local.

Included in these issues is the severe shortage of truck drivers. According to NBC News, “Jon Samson, an executive director at the American Trucking Associations, said…his industry was already short 80,000 drivers before the pandemic — a challenge it has struggled through — but now it is having trouble getting the trucks loaded and unloaded, and abiding by the delivery times it is supposed to fulfill.”

As usual, the Biden administration is nowhere to be found. Joe Biden is busy failing to convince the Senate to change its filibuster rules to try and pass his doomed voting rights legislation. His latest speech did little more than anger and divide, with Democratic senators jumping ship. And even though we’ve been dealing with these exact supply chain issues for a year now, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg made his first visit to the California ports a few days ago.

If Buttigieg’s trip is anything like Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip to the border, we can be assured absolutely nothing will take place. This administration can barely cobble together a coherent speech on a given day; policy seems beyond them. That’s partially why the attempt to make the press ignore these things by focusing on other pointless things, like filibuster debates, helps the Biden administration.

Biden and his team legitimately have no plan. That statement is true of the pandemic, Afghanistan, inflation, and supply chain issues. Incoherence and muddling through with no prospects of fixing a fixable problem describes the Biden White House.

The problem is that Americans can’t ignore inflation, shortages, or anything else. If you grocery shop, you experience the shortages firsthand. If you’re standing at the cash register, you’re experiencing the sticker shock directly. These are not academic issues or debates; it’s a genuine description of what is happening to everyday Americans.

Biden ignores that to his political peril.