CHARLES PAYNE: All of a sudden supply chain issues are a Main Street topic because more and more folks are going to stores and coming back empty-handed.
The demand is there but products aren’t on the shelves.
Last year, the nation went through a period of uncertainty that led to a run on a lot of things including toilet paper. That was the result of shutting down the economy completely. It should have been a wake-up call to move away from business as usual.
Maybe the inability to get that special gift for Christmas could get folks to seek solutions from those in charge.
Think of reasons for the current supply chain crisis:
- Lack of U.S. workers in key areas including truck drivers
- Sky-high energy costs around the world – China restricting electricity for factories
- Sky-high shipping costs and lack of containers
- COVID-19 restrictions in China and Vietnam vastly reducing labor pool
This all comes back to why we aren’t making these products in the United States.
When America abandoned the heartland for cheaper labor around the world, we also abandoned the kind of investments that could sustain organic economic growth and possibility for folks to increase wealth from their labor.
Instead of widening the welfare pool and encouraging people not to work, the nation should be focused on investing in real growth and real opportunities. Americans don’t need or want to be coddled cradle to grave by a giant government that would have to erase wealth to keep the redistribution machine going.
In an era where everyone talks of sustainability taking exorbitant amounts of money from successful businesses and people can only work until both sources are tapped out.
Instead, our time and energy as a nation should be to use our gifts and blessings to create organic wealth and opportunities for more people.
To do this we need better roads and an expanded commercial rail system not would-be high-speed trains to small towns. We need tax incentives to build factories and warehouses. We need to upgrade our electric grid. We need to build more oil refineries and sawmills.
We need to teach skills from carpentry to truck driving and we need to recognize the importance of these jobs.
This supply chain crunch will smooth out over time and Main Street will move on to other stories. Now is the time to start investing to make sure we never have to worry about getting emergency medical supplies or that super-hot toy for a grandchild that never makes it to store shelves.