I was sitting up at work last night and a story from the Daily Mail UK caught my eye. The story discussed how Isaac Larian, the CEO of MGA Entertainment, complained during an interview with Fox News how President Biden’s efforts to address the supply shortage that’s affecting US imports were “too little and too late”. Give me a second while I make the wanking motion as I wouldn’t expect anyone to go on Fox News singing the praises of how effective Biden is handling the cards he’s been dealt.
Now, this is a billionaire who says he has been in the toy industry for decades. He even said “I’ve been doing this for 42 years. I have never, ever seen something like this before.” Larian also added. “And frankly, the administration knew about this and what they are doing is too little, too late to save this holiday.” While reading the article, I did not see a single admission by Larian or the writer telling the role that company CEOs played in causing this supply crunch. Instead, what I saw was the appearance of the right wing media trying to pin the entire issue on the Biden administration.
For proof, here’s a few stories I came across including the referenced Daily Mail story.
- Republicans demand Pete Buttigieg testify in Congress over the supply chain crisis | Daily Mail Online
- Biden is ridiculed online as #EmptyShelvesJoe as frustrated shoppers complain about shortages | Daily Mail Online
- Maker of Bratz dolls says Biden’s attempt to remedy supply chain woes is ‘too little, too late’ | Daily Mail Online
- Tucker Carlson: Supply chain struggles could spell bad news for Democrats | Fox News
- Sen. Blackburn Blasts Buttigieg for Taking Paid Leave amid Supply Chain Crisis (breitbart.com)
- Report: Supply Chain Crisis Impacting Grocers, ‘Shelves Were Bare’ (breitbart.com)
Anyone who has been in a business where just in time shipping is involved with productivity already knows that the current administration is not responsible for the current situation. This situation has been in the making for decades. When I worked retail in the 1990s, just in time shipping was replacing warehousing because the decision makers decided that cutting warehousing costs to increase profits was a wise business decision. This is a part of the destructive aspect of capitalism where the extraction of profits takes precedent over everything else including common sense basic business decisions.
To explain the differences in warehousing supplies vs just in time shipping, here’s a simple example that anyone should understand. Warehousing would be like a family coming up with ideas of what they want to have for dinner for an entire week. Then, the family goes grocery shopping to buy all the necessary supplies to prepare the meals for the entire week. Those groceries are brought home and stored in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry as required. Just in time shipping would be planning the meals for the entire week. Instead of one grocery store trip to buy everything, the family would make a trip every day to the grocery store to buy just the items needed for that day’s meal.
If you’re able to rub two brain cells together, you can see where the embedded flaw lies between the two approaches. In the former approach, the family can return to the store during the week to purchase any items that were not in stock during the initial visit before they’re needed for that day’s meal. With the latter approach, if the items are not in stock that day, then the meal cannot be prepared.
Here’s a twitter thread that goes into the details of the problem at our shipping ports.
It’s well worth the time spent reading it to understand the effect just in time shipping has on our entire economy. Beyond just in time shipping, the crisis is also fueled by offshoring. When it became cheaper to make goods abroad and ship them here to sell, that also plays a part in our supply chain. We would not be discussing how to unload hundreds of container ships that are anchored offshore around the countries if the goods were still made here. Domestic goods are easily transported over rail and by truck without the extra time required to offload them from massive cargo ships. Domestic production removes links in the supply chain that can cause the system to lock up as it currently has.
This tweet here summarizes it all in a few characters.
The lack of long term thinking and planning is why we have a supply crisis, and not Joe Biden. The pandemic plays a role, but with an effective planning strategy, the effects of unexpected disasters like that can be mitigated.
Don’t let these folks con you into thinking this is a problem because of the current administration. This crisis has been in the works for a long time. Biden just happens to be the person sitting in the captain’s chair as the ship has run aground. We’ve been on a course with disaster for decades. The problems faced by capitalism today are due to capitalism’s greed overriding common sense. The CEOs bought the legislation they wanted to maximize profits, so now they need to own the repercussions of their greed. Businesses caused the crisis, so they should be properly attributed as such and not the sitting president.