Two Reasons

Insty linked to this post yesterday:

Retailers and logistics operators are struggling to find space to store the flood of goods that have swamped warehouses and weighed on their balance sheets.

Warehouse owners say more retailers are looking to add storage capacity, both for goods now reaching their networks of stores and distribution centers and as they prepare to keep more inventory on hand long-term to guard against stock-outs.

Well, yes.

What the article does not mention is that “forward buying” (the industry term for this activity) is also a retailer’s hedge against inflation:  buy at today’s price, to sell at tomorrow’s (higher) inflated price, and use the profits to forward buy still more, until inflation comes back down.

We Americans have been sheltered from the latter by our traditionally-low inflation rate. but now we’re going to feel just like consumers in Third World countries, for whom continuously-high inflation is an everyday fact of life.

Yet another reason to hate this fucking Democrat government.

Roll on November 2022, and roll on November 2024 even more quickly.

At What Price?

A little while ago I ordered something from Jeff Bezos, and was astonished to see that a “next day” delivery option was available;  this, mind you, for what I would consider a non-emergency item.  (On checking, it was for this TV series.)

Given how much work this entails for the actual workers at Amazon’s fulfillment center, it seemed a bit much.  So I’m not surprised whenever I see Amazon’s employees kicking back at the working conditions there, with timed (or no) bathroom breaks, performance metrics that would make an 18th-century textile company boss blush, and pay which quite frankly makes even a committed capitalist like myself feel embarrassed.

Small wonder that Bezos has fought tooth and nail against the unionization of his workforce.  And yet, even I, as (once again) a committed capitalist, can see that it’s precisely these kind of working conditions that caused the formation of workers’ unions in the first place.

And then the unions go overboard like those in the U.K., and we all hates on them unions… with good reason.

Here’s my solution to the Amazon situation.  I have no problem with Bezos offering rapid delivery;  but such deliveries should incur something like a 25% surcharge — with said surcharge amount being added in toto  to the paycheck of the worker who actually filled the order (and yes:  Amazon can tell which worker filled which order).

That has as much likelihood of happening as Biden’s socialists lowering income taxes, of course, because someone has to pay for Jeff’s toys.

Do not take this for an uncharacteristic (for me) shot at wealthy people:  I have no problem with people building wealth and spending money.

But I do object to the ill-treatment of workers at the bottom of the pyramid, all in the name of “customer satisfaction”.

Dumb Shits

Yeah, that’s right:  you fire a whole bunch of qualified workers because of some (unjustified) panic, and now you (unexpectedly!) have a skills shortage:

How much of this labor shortage is a direct result of Biden’s vaccine mandates and the airline industry’s reliance on the federal government to stay in business during the pandemic is not certain.  What is certain is that government mandated firing of pilots, crew and ground personnel over their vaccination status contributed to the chaos we are witnessing.
What we do know is that according to a report by Cowen and Company, airline pilot retirements are projected to accelerate through the mid-2020’s with 24.7 percent of pilots subjected to mandatory retirements between 2022 and 2026.  These 13,000 forced retirements are up about 70 percent from the previous five years as baby boomers age out of the cockpit.

Self-created problems do not engender sympathy.


I was going to talk at some length about the “supply-chain crisis” with respect to the grocery business, but Sundance did it for me.

And for what it’s worth, his diagnosis and analysis are absolutely 100% correct.  As long as there are no hiccups in any aspect of the supply chain, “just-in-time” supply is the Finance Department’s wet dream.  But note the term, “any aspect“.

A driver shortage, a spare parts shortage, a labor shortage, a packaging shortage or a fuel shortage, and the whole Jenga structure falls over.  If all of those happen at about the same time, the Jenga structure disappears completely and would take months if not years to be restored.

As we are going to see very soon.  Stock up now, folks, while you still can.  And for once, I’m not talking about ammo.