Nodland: Supply chain nightmare before Christmas
Fmr. Sen. George Nodland, R-Dickinson, shares his thoughts on the ongoing supply chain woes.
December is noted as the traditional “shopping month of the year”. Some retail businesses have said that the month represents 25% to 40% of their total sales for the year. This year looks like it will be different than most years due to the shortage of goods and lack of workers in the United States. People seem to have more money to spend, thanks to the government give away programs, but they cannot, always, buy what they want.
The supply chain of goods and services is broken. Sad to say, most of the items purchased by the public in December, are made in other countries than the United States. The delivery of these items are been delayed for weeks due to various reasons. The situation is slowly improving, but not fast enough to previous year’s capacity. One reason is the lack of warehouse space for containers. Another reason is the labor shortage for unloading ships and loading of trucks. Another reason is a shortage of truck drivers to deliver the containers to businesses in the country.
Why has this happened this year and not in the past many years? Some political leaders today blame it on the pandemic, which shut down businesses last year and caused the manufactures of the products to shut the factories down and now, cannot start up and produce the products fast enough to meet demand. Some people blame it on the lack of workers who do not want to go back to work due to the pandemic issues.
I personally have my thoughts for the problem:
First, I believe that the worker shortage is caused by the government give-away programs to discourage people to go back to work. Also, the regulations with vaccine requirements is causing other workers to not seek these jobs. The overbearing regulation of states like California, which require truck drivers to belong to a union in order to pick up containers, is causing a large shortage of truckers. Most truck drivers work as independent contractors (they own their truck) as they haul products for many different companies. The overbearing regulations of hours driving and unloading products for truck drivers are another issue.
I believe the problem can be fixed with some common sense and American ingenuity. First, we get rid of the government regulations that hamper the truck drivers and dock workers. Let the independent drivers come into the ports and get the containers at any hour of the day. Let the dock workers work any hours they want or as many hours they want. Our Governor extends the hours for truck drivers when there is a need such as fertilizer, hay, or other product shortage in North Dakota. Is that too much of a problem for the Governor of California to do the same now?
Also, I believe it is time for the public to demand more products to be made in the United States again. We have allowed products to made in other countries due to cheaper prices. This is not good for the consumer and our Country. It may cost more for the product, but the result is more jobs, more economic activity and wealth for the average American. Our country needs to get back to solving our problems with sound and open minds and leadership!