This is from Stacey McCain. I don’t have to worry about California. I do have to worry about container ships, instead, bypassing New Zealand completely. My brother’s firm has had to hire its own ship to get things needed to make their product. Which is… toilet paper.
And Kea has been waiting since February for her sink taps. Still. On. Order.
Sundance at Conservative Treehouse has a long article explaining this: California passed an emissions law that required trucks to meet standards that the majority of trucks in America can’t meet. Basically, about half the truckers in America are banned from operating in California. Because California ports — specifically Los Angeles and Long Beach — are the most convenient for shipments from Asia, this policy created a transportation problem that major importers tried to solve by diverting shipments to other ports. So then you had ships from Asia going through the Panama Canal to reach ports in New Orleans, Tampa, Jacksonville, Savannah, etc. However, the necessary infrastructure (especially cranes to offload cargo containers) to handle the increased loads at those other ports could not be created overnight. Thus, the bottleneck in California (caused by that state’s stringent emissions laws) led directly to bottlenecks at every other port in America.
Peter Grant has a video up on the issues of supply chains. He has some recommendations, speaking from North Texas.
That’s it in a nutshell. If you know you’re going to have to make major purchases in the next year or two (e.g. vehicles, appliances, home improvements, etc.), it’s probably worth buying them now, even on credit, provided you’re reasonably sure you’ll be able to repay that credit. I’ve recently gone so far as to buy some extra consumables on my credit card, because I wanted to extend our preparations for emergencies but didn’t have enough cash on hand. Frankly, with the mess our economy is in right now, I regard that as prudent forethought.
Yes, there are risks involved in that approach. For example, if you know your car will need a new set of tires sometime in the next year or two, you might decide to buy them now, while they’re still affordable and relatively freely available. However, what happens if you have a bad accident and your car is written off? Its replacement (assuming you can afford a replacement!) may use tires of a different size, and/or may not need new ones in the short to medium term. I guess that’s simply a risk one runs. Furthermore, if tires become harder to find and more expensive, I daresay you’ll be able to sell those you have for enough money to get back what you spent on them, and perhaps a bit more. There are pro’s and con’s to everything. Sometimes, one has to make a choice and live with the consequences.
Remember, too, as Mr. Schiff reminds us (and as I’ve pointed out for years), that the inflation figures cited are so much twaddle.
The issue with Peter’s advice is that You have to know you have a regular source of income. With the vaccine mandates — at present for border workers, but there is ministerial announcements last week for health care workers and teachers, and a statement today that it could include prison guards — the assurance that you have your usual income is uncertain.
This is meaning people are tightening their pockets while inflation in NZ is almost five percent and food inflation nine percent. We have almost finished fixing Casa Kea. The budget is now tight. It will remain so.