Q: If we produced more of our needs “at home,” we wouldn’t have all that supply chain stuff that makes it hard to receive the things we need and the prices wouldn’t go up so much.
Yes and No. U.S. companies were producing an abundance of gas and oil for our own needs, even to sell. When Government policy changed, we needed to purchase energy from abroad just when world supplies hit the winds of war and unreliable markets—prices soared.
What we forget is that fuel supplies are the lifeline of transportation, especially trucking, that carries all our daily needs (shoes, drugs, auto parts, etc.) to stores and outlets from ports, rail cars and “Made in America” factories—those connections I mentioned.
If UPS pays more for fuel, from jets to delivery trucks, their rates creep up. When Walmart, Safeway or corner stores pay more to stock shelves, they must charge more. At the same time, wages rise in order
to retain workers impacted by these same pressures.
Plus, every extra Government printed Covid dollar devalued its worth so, the same dollar now buys much less. And if there’s less produced or shipped, there’s more demand with a weaker dollar. Put all this together, it spells inflation!
Q: Besides price hikes, what other changes erode our finances?
Consumers can’t help but notice “shrinkage.”
Coffee production encounters many “growing pains,” and now a several ounce diet trimmed the old 12 oz. package no matter the brand.
Ditto for potato chips, same price, same bag but less…can’t count ‘em.
And so it goes from candy bars to soap. “Don’t even try to wash this,” my daughter warns about a well-designed but iffy-fabric blouse. With cost-cutting everywhere, even high-end clothes, furniture, etc. aren’t what they used to be.