We do not have a supply chain disruption causing this Christmas’s scarcity of goods and the coming of inflated prices. What we really have is a US economy that no longer produces products. We have become dependent upon Asia, principally China, for our toys, shoes, clothing, and computer chips. We cannot build cars, planes or missiles without the blessing of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Thity years of enjoying buying cheap junk made overseas by slave labor is finally coming back to punish us.
It has certainly become cheaper to find inexpensive products made overseas rather than to produce the products ourselves. Major chains such as Walmart, which at one time had a “Buy America” program which Seagate participated in until they discontinued it, now have their principal buying offices in China.
With the consumer opting for cheap low-quality goods, one by one US industries have closed their factories and found it more profitable to contract their products where people are being paid less, safety is not a key issue, pollution is ignored, and product quality is not a major concern. Production workers in Shanghai earn the highest average monthly wage in China, approximately 2480 yuan/month the equivalent of $350 USD. This is approximately double the national average.
As we head toward Christmas season, the big item in the news is the upcoming scarcity of toys and presents due to the disruption of the supply chain. Depending upon who is giving the spin on this topic, the excuses have included: shortage of dock labor; shortage of trucks and truckers; port bottlenecks because of containers not being unloaded quickly due to antiquated equipment; too many ships arriving at once; antiquated distribution within the U.S. etc.
However, the real problem is us. We have become a country of distributors of products made elsewhere. This is now costing our kids their Christmas toys, and adults their cars, printers, computers and widescreen t.v.’s. How sad.
Seagate has been been able to avoid most of this issue by operating our own factory, farms, and fishing boats at 100% capacity throughout the ongoing COVID epidemic.