According to Fox News, the former CEO of Home Depot and Chrysler, Bob Nardelli, warned Wednesday that U.S. labor shortages have transitioned into supply chain delays and shortages that have become a national emergency.
By declaring a state of emergency, Nardelli said, the U.S. government could utilize the military to assist with unpacking containers at ports and help to relieve the backlog, getting products into stores.
Not only would this help alleviate product shortages including foods and paper products, but it may also help keep inflation down since supply and demand issues would be lessened.
“Many of my colleagues, both in the public and private sector, are getting increasingly frustrated that we keep reporting an increase in the number of vessels,” Nardelli said on Fox & Friends.
Cargo ships stuck
Dozens of container ships containing hundreds of containers full of goods are stuck off the coast of Los Angeles as labor shortages have delayed the docking and unloading of the vessels. In addition to causing shortages and empty shelves in stores, environmentalists are now complaining that the ships running their backup diesel engines for days is making air quality onshore poor.
“We have one of the best militaries in the world,” he continued. “These are men and women who have the capability to unload cargo and transport cargo.”
“I’m not a lawyer and for sure not a politician, but it seems to me if we declared some type of national emergency, we’d put these men and women on the ground and break this problem,” he suggested as a solution to the problem.
Most industries in the U.S. have been short-staffed for months now for a combination of reasons, including overly generous unemployment, reluctance to work in public during a pandemic, and school/day care closures that require a parent to be in the home with children.
No short term fixes
Nardelli doesn’t see short-term solutions like stocking up or buying early for Christmas as solutions to the supply chain problems, either.
“It doesn’t solve the problem by telling people ‘buy early for Christmas.’ It doesn’t solve the problem to tell people to go buy a chest freezer and stock up on meat and poultry. We’re out now tin-cupping for oil when we had reached energy independence. It just challenges common sense,” he said.
“It’s not getting better,” he concluded. “We need to be aggressive. We have the capabilities. We have the willpower. Somebody just has to make the decision to go fix these problems.”
With the lack of leadership at the top, however, a fix may be a long time coming.