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What's Up With Inflation and All These Shortages?

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    #61
    It is my understanding that the oil spill from the pipe line in California was caused by a boat anchor striking the pipe line. Keep in mind, we are talking about an anchor that probably weighs 5 times more than your car.

    The explanation I heard for why the anchor was down was the boat could not get into port due to congestion.

    One solution to all of this is to buy more goods that are Made In America.

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      #62
      Originally posted by myrdale View Post
      One solution to all of this is to buy more goods that are Made In America.
      I like this idea, but have you tried doing this? Harder than it sounds, and it requires an appetite for high prices in many instances. Sometimes that's fine on principle alone, but "buying American" isn't going to save our manufacturing economy or ease our woes, even if everyone starts today. A lot of stuff just isn't made here anymore.

      There's a huge buzz about microchips right now. Congress wants to make chip manufacturing appealing in the US with tax incentives. That's great, but about 30 years too late. Other countries have already eaten our lunch there. We won't get ahead without huge investments in STEM.

      Comment


        #63
        No end in sight for labor shortages as U.S. companies fight high costs

        https://www.reuters.com/business/no-...qPKzu2wn8KD438

        A couple months ago a few of us were bantering about whether the government was paying people covid unemployment to sit at home and eat cheetos instead of working. Well, turns out that wasn't the case -- it never really was -- and here we are after those programs have ended. People have found better jobs and are doing more enjoyable things with their lives. Are we proud of them yet?

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          #64
          So once we stopped the unemployment payouts the workers were supposed to have come back but they haven't? Have they figured out where these people went? Is it that people won't work for low wages? Because now i keep hearing how it's the cost of labor that is causing a lot of shortages.
          LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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            #65
            Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
            So once we stopped the unemployment payouts the workers were supposed to have come back but they haven't?
            That's because that was never the issue.

            The pandemic disrupted (and continues to disrupt) the labor market. Millions of women were forced out of the workforce due to childcare issues and/or eldercare issues. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have died and many of them were care givers so somebody else has had to replace them. More often than not, that responsibility falls to a female family member. So if, for example, dad was caring for mom but dad died of COVID, daughter is now caring for mom full time and can no longer work.

            Many people, displaced from their jobs, took the opportunity to find better work or to start their own businesses. And there has been an ongoing labor movement. Workers are no longer accepting lousy pay and lousy working conditions. They'd rather not work at all than put their lives in risk or be verbally and even physically abused on the job. There have been endless stories of customers hitting, spitting, cursing, and even killing store employees for something as simple as being asked to wear a mask. Who wants to do that for $10/hr?

            COVID is also still going strong in most places. If you have any sort of elevated medical risk, you may not yet feel safe returning to work. I know several people who are immunocompromised and have not gone back yet. They have a working spouse and they can afford to remain home so they do. I think there is some belief that it's all low income workers who are missing from the workforce, but it's all sorts of workers.

            Salary is part of the issue but even that isn't the whole story as many jobs have raised what they're paying, sometimes substantially, and are still struggling to find people.

            Workers are voting en masse and demanding better treatment.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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              #66
              Yes!! And here's an article to drive this discussion home.

              US Unemployment Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since Pandemic
              https://apnews.com/article/coronavir...b0602f63a41b46

              Comment


                #67
                Another piece of the labor issue is people who were nearing retirement and took this as the final push to get out. Many were working just to stay busy and because they generally liked what they were doing and liked their coworkers, but then COVID came along. Jobs went remote so the social interaction went away. They didn't need to be working just to sit at home on their computer all day. Or they worked in a public setting and, as I mentioned above, working conditions have deteriorated, or their jobs totally vanished for a few months and they just didn't bother going back when things started to reopen. Or, being older, they were in the high risk group and weren't willing to put themselves at risk. So they retired.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #68
                  As for inflation, I will admit that I don't generally pay much attention to the cost of food and groceries but it's been impossible to ignore the past couple of weeks. I went grocery shopping yesterday and spent over $150 which is nuts. We never spend that much, and I shop for us and my mom. Some of the price increases are rather dramatic, at least percentage-wise. One beverage my mom gets regularly used to be $.89 a bottle. Yesterday it was $.99. Sure it's only a dime, but that's a jump of over 11%. I picked up a couple of 12 packs of soda. They were on "sale" two for $10. Not that long ago, we'd typically pay $3 or less per pack. It's definitely encouraging me to drink less soda, which isn't a bad thing.

                  Dining out has gotten crazy, too. Prices have really shot up. We ordered Chinese last week and the same order that used to be in the low to mid $30s was now just over $40. Other meals out have gotten equally pricey. As much as I enjoy a good meal out, I find myself less and less inclined to do so, or being much more price aware when I'm ordering.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #69
                    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                    As for inflation, I will admit that I don't generally pay much attention to the cost of food and groceries but it's been impossible to ignore the past couple of weeks. I went grocery shopping yesterday and spent over $150 which is nuts. We never spend that much, and I shop for us and my mom. Some of the price increases are rather dramatic, at least percentage-wise. One beverage my mom gets regularly used to be $.89 a bottle. Yesterday it was $.99. Sure it's only a dime, but that's a jump of over 11%. I picked up a couple of 12 packs of soda. They were on "sale" two for $10. Not that long ago, we'd typically pay $3 or less per pack. It's definitely encouraging me to drink less soda, which isn't a bad thing.

                    Dining out has gotten crazy, too. Prices have really shot up. We ordered Chinese last week and the same order that used to be in the low to mid $30s was now just over $40. Other meals out have gotten equally pricey. As much as I enjoy a good meal out, I find myself less and less inclined to do so, or being much more price aware when I'm ordering.
                    Yes - the question in my mind is, how should consumers adjust?

                    I was looking at some data from the Fed earlier this week. The price of wheat and beef are both projected to rise by a lot this year. The figure of 15% to 17% sticks in my mind when I think about it.
                    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                    202.468.6043

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                      #70
                      Originally posted by james.hendrickson View Post

                      Yes - the question in my mind is, how should consumers adjust?
                      Lots of ways to adjust to rising food prices.

                      Change brands.
                      Shop more at discount stores like Aldi and Lidl.
                      Pay attention to sales.
                      Eat less meat.
                      Do more from-scratch cooking and buy less convenience food.
                      Eat out less.
                      Buy in bulk when it makes sense and won't go to waste.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment


                        #71
                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                        Lots of ways to adjust to rising food prices.

                        Change brands.
                        Shop more at discount stores like Aldi and Lidl.
                        Pay attention to sales.
                        Eat less meat.
                        Do more from-scratch cooking and buy less convenience food.
                        Eat out less.
                        Buy in bulk when it makes sense and won't go to waste.
                        Don't have discount stores, but less waste and more from scratch cooking is a big one. And stocking up on sales are the only things helping right now, but I think it's the new norm the expectation of these prices. I don't think that we are going back down anytime soon.

                        Also everywhere is help wanted signs. And I think people are not working for a reason. Childcare, helping family etc.
                        LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                        Comment


                          #72
                          Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                          Also everywhere is help wanted signs. And I think people are not working for a reason. Childcare, helping family etc.
                          These are some of the major reasons, I'm quite certain. Just from my personal experience, we've struggled to get reliable long-term or even short-term childcare, and I've heard similar stories from friends across the country. And we've had many friends & family members out of work or moving to remote work or part-time in order to provide assistance to family members, whether with medical/assistive care, childcare, or otherwise.
                          "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

                          Comment


                            #73
                            For most on this forum including myself, these higher prices really mean nothing to us. The market is at an all time high. I checked my account yesterday and I'm up $162k from Jan 1. That's not even including my wife's accounts. I can pay an extra $2 for a rotisserie chicken or an extra $8 per box of diapers at sams club. I know this doesn't apply to most people but we're (this forum) the exception.

                            But it's still nice to find deals on certain things. Not sure if I'll ever abandon that type of shopping. But, if I want something and it's not on sale and it went up 20% and it's not hundreds of dollars, I'll probably just buy it.
                            Last edited by rennigade; 10-28-2021, 06:58 PM.

                            Comment


                              #74
                              Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                              Lots of ways to adjust to rising food prices.

                              Change brands.
                              Shop more at discount stores like Aldi and Lidl.
                              Pay attention to sales.
                              Eat less meat.
                              Do more from-scratch cooking and buy less convenience food.
                              Eat out less.
                              Buy in bulk when it makes sense and won't go to waste.
                              Vote out the people who promoted the policies that exacerbated this mess.

                              Comment


                                #75
                                Originally posted by myrdale View Post

                                Vote out the people who promoted the policies that exacerbated this mess.
                                Unfortunately these people who were voted in are the ones that most people want to be in charge of things like this.

                                The masses have spoken, this is what they want. Like the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.

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