(ReliableNews.org) – With the holidays right around the corner and supply chain issues affecting businesses and consumers across the United States, families wonder when it will all end. After a nearly two-year-long pandemic, the last thing struggling Americans want to hear is they are to blame. White House press secretary Jen Psaki pointed the finger of blame for the supply chain problems right at the US citizens during a briefing on October 26.
"So many people across the country are purchasing more goods online," Psaki said. "Maybe some of it is from habits that developed during the pandemic." https://t.co/9cl9eAQQfm
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 28, 2021
She said the combination of American consumers ordering online coupled with the US economic recovery is increasing the volume of imported products causing the bottlenecks. Many interpreted her words as a clear case of victim-blaming.
The Supply Chain Impact
While it’s true the increase in demand is contributing to the supply chain troubles, that’s a sign of economic recovery and only part of the story. The other problems causing product flow interruptions in the United States and around the world result from a combination of factors t boiling down to the laws of economics.
The pandemic led to labor shortages in warehouses and transportation, essential parts of the supply chain. Not only have sickness, precautions and mandates played roles in the bottlenecks, but many workers have quit their jobs in hopes of finding better pay, leaving key businesses short-staffed with the remainder trying to pick up the slack.
Many companies like Walmart and Target are trying to entice workers to join their forces by offering attractive benefits, but it may be a case of too little, too late. The typical holiday rush will likely suffer this year as consumers will have to pay higher prices and wait longer to receive items they buy — if they can find them at all.
What to Expect Going Forward
President Joe Biden recently announced his team is focusing on the supply chain issues and will provide “federal support” to those who need it. In the meantime, store shelves continue to empty without the promise of a timely refill. The executive director at the Kendrick Global Supply Chain Management Institute in California, Nick Vyas, warned that it might be “at least four to six months” before the supply chain returns to normal.
Until the government and businesses resolve this supply vs. demand issue, Americans will have to be creative and plan ahead indefinitely to take care of their families during and beyond the holiday season. If Vyas is correct, the US will continue to endure empty shelves and soaring prices until at least the spring of 2022.
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