It’s Friday. I really wanted to write about something fun today. I can’t.
I’m just stunned at the cost of things. The shortages of things. How’d we get here?
Let’s start with baby formula. I mean, baby formula??!!
How’d we get here? According to the Wall Street Journal, the baby formula shortage started in Washington. The shortage began after Abbott Laboratories shut down a plant in Michigan after four babies who had consumed formula fell seriously ill.
Abbott has a huge part of the baby formula market in this country. The others are having trouble making up the gap.
The FDA Commissioner was asked by Congress yesterday why the agency didn’t do something about this months ago when the problem was discovered? Few answers.
Relief is on the way. The White House is moving forward with plans to fly in formula from other countries. It could take weeks though for things to get back to normal.
Gas prices. How’d we get here? Let’s start with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That pushed crude oil prices higher.
CNBC says crude prices were already on the rise before the war. Remember during the early days of the pandemic, oil prices hit record lows? Negative. We weren’t driving. The need for gas fell off the cliff.
Now, the world is open again and that has led to a surge in demand. Energy producers were just not ready after cutting back during Covid.
The cost of everything else. How’d we get here? You can blame the cost of fuel on that too. Specifically, diesel.
Target CEO Brian Cornell says, “We did not anticipate that transportation and freight costs would soar the way they have as fuel prices have risen to all time highs.”
Even if you can afford it, can you find it? Supply chain. How’d we get here? Fox Business reports that consumers are struggling with not only higher prices, but shortages in common goods.
In fact, 41% of purchases were hindered by supply chain shortages. This comes from a report by Morning Consult.
The report says, “While bottlenecks have loosened for a handful of product types due to fortified supply chains and cooling goods demand, consumers reported increasing difficulty obtaining products in categories such as grocery, housing-related items and vehicles.”
But why? Why can’t I find sugar free Vitamin Water? Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China’s Covid lockdowns. That’s according to CNN.
Supply chain disruptions are driving prices up. It might be 2023 before things improve. Simply put, we got here because problems have just piled on top of one another.
The pandemic really did a number on us. Our health. Our economy.
I’m sure I have oversimplified this explanation of how we got here. That said, we are here. Now, we gotta get out.
One thought on “How’d we get here?”
Baby formula shortage, gas prices, Ukraine, inflated prices, recession, mass shootings, and a nation divided over the abortion/right-to-life issue. And then today you threw another monkeywrench in the cogwheel with the story about Bradenton ending their curbside recycling program. Is this a harbinger of things to come with other communities too? In my own county (Pasco) we ended the recycling of glass over a year ago. Apparently there is very little market for recycled glass and the glass clogs the sorting machines anyway. Not cost feasible. And your news story made the point that over 50% of items in recycle bins are sent to the landfill anyway because the entire bin is contaminated if just one item in the bin is dirty. We do not have the personnel nor the technology to separate clean items from dirty items. Instead, residents are expected to clean each item before disposing of it – which is a waste of clean drinkable water. It seems to me that nationwide curbside waste recycling programs were enacted by legislatures across the country under pressure from loudly vocal (and often militant) environmental groups with the necessary research. Are they really cost effective? Are they really making meaningful impact on cleaning up our environment and reducing waste? Are they really there just to make the public ‘feel good about themselves’ and falsely believe they are doing our environment some good? I think it is time we go back to the drawing board and re-examine why we are in this garbage mess in the first place. Yesterday I bought two bags of groceries and used my own reusable canvas totes to bring the groceries home. BUT those groceries were already packaged and re-packaged in plastic and cardboard and styrofoam containers. Do we really need all this packaging? Recently I bought a LEGO toy as a birthday gift for a grandnephew. It was packaged in a cardboard box which in turn contained hard plastic containers to hold the parts, which in turn contained plastic bags for all the little plastic pieces. Then to compound the overpackaging sin I myself wrapped the gift in wrapping paper. I think this is a big story that I hope Fox 13 will follow up with. I think what happened in Bradenton is a harbinger of what may happen with recycling programs all across the country – particularly because municipal budgets are very tight and money may best be spent elsewhere.