Why You Should Be Very Worried About The Supply Chain

It’s hanging by a thread and killing the economy

Shelly Fagan

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Photo by Ian Taylor on Unsplash

Since the onset of COVID, consumers have been experiencing disruptions in the supply chain. The bad news is that it’s going to get worse.

The media and government don’t want the public to panic when they encounter empty store shelves, but it’s impossible to ignore that the shortages at the grocery store are a serious problem, and becoming too big to hide.

In June, King Yuan Electronics Co, one of the world’s largest chip-testing companies, temporarily suspended operations due to COVID-19 infections at a factory in central Taiwan. The technology world was already struggling with supply chain issues at the time. This exacerbated the shortage of semiconductor chips which has been estimated to cost car manufacturers $210 billion in revenue this year alone. The White House acknowledges that this disruption could knock one full percentage point off the GDP, resulting in waves of shutdowns, and “hurt the hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers employed in manufacturing jobs across the automotive and heavy trucking sectors.”

While chips are needed for many products — including heating and cooling systems, computers, smartphones, appliances, gaming hardware, and medical equipment, it isn’t the only shortage plaguing industry.

Wood pulp has increased in price over 50% per metric ton over the last year which is driving up prices for cardboard, printing, books, and toilet paper. A coffee shortage is predicted after a record drought in Brazil, and too much rain in Colombia. And in China, power cuts have led to the production shutdowns of 160 companies in textile, dyeing and chemical fiber industries. And there are dozens of other shortages such as automotive parts, pharmaceuticals, appliances, and more.

It’s not a matter of fixing one problem. A cascade of failures in raw materials, production, shipping, staffing, labor, and weather disasters may last for years. Unless you live off-grid and grow everything you eat or use, your life depends on goods being transported around the world. We are truly a global economy. Everyone living in modern civilization can expect to experience some level of deprivation.

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Shelly Fagan

Complicated subjects made accessible. Politics, Basic Income, Philosophy. I follow back.