There’s a serious supply chain problem festering in the United States right now, and it’s likely going to get worse before it gets better. Store shelves in many areas of the country are empty, the merchandise they normally display remains boxed in shipping containers moored aboard at least 60 giant container ships parked off the coast of California, waiting to be offloaded. The supplies, goods and merchandise are there, they’re just not moving.
Making matters worse, the excuses for this logistical logjam, offered by Democratic officials, union leaders and their media allies, make little sense unless examined through a political lens.
Researching the issue yields a variety of flimsy explanations. In a recent article by USA Today, they don’t even bother to get to the root cause in one of their typically sketchy “fact check” articles, instead they distract readers and downplay the crisis in defense of their natural political allies:
The delay in getting the container ships to port comes as pandemic restrictions ease and consumer spending increases, according to the New York Times. As a result, shortages of some products, like semiconductors, have caused slowdowns in production.
The “slowdown in production” has nothing whatsoever to do with the logjam of gigantic container ships loaded with already-produced merchandise now sitting off the coast of California, but USA Today offers it up here as a mere distraction, a nonsensical smokescreen belched out to obscure the truth.
Some media outlets have at least started asking the labor unions to explain why they are having trouble offloading the cargo. But labor union leaders aren’t about to blame themselves for the crisis, are they? Consider this finger-pointing whopper of an excuse from Teamsters President James Hoffa:
“One of the major problems with the current state of logistics is the shortage of port truck drivers.”
I’d love to know how Mr. Hoffa would explain this photograph published by the LA Times four days ago showing at least 50 semi trucks lined up 7 lanes wide, all trying to get into the Port of Los Angeles. It sure doesn’t look like there’s a shortage of truck drivers, it looks like there’s a shortage of people willing to be honest about the problem.
The truth, as usual, is simple, but politically damaging, which explains why legacy media outlets like USA Today and others are loath to report it.
California’s liberal leadership, beholden to labor unions, won’t dare challenge their allies to roll up their sleeves and do their jobs. The state, like many others under complete Democratic control, is suffering from political pandemic paralysis. The labor unions have seized on the most extreme COVID-19 safety protocols as negotiation leverage for whenever the next labor contract comes up. Big backlogs and supply chain logjams like this are solid gold for union bosses when it comes time to negotiate the next labor contract.
And because unions are the natural allies of the Democratic party (the overwhelming majority of all union donations – 89 percent in the 2020 cycle – flowed to Democrats), the Democratic Party leaders in California and Washington aren’t about to point the finger of blame at their most generous financial benefactors. So instead, they invent excuses to buy themselves time to exploit the crisis as best they can.
The longshoremen in California are only the most high profile example of labor unions using COVID-19 protocols as excuse for negotiating leverage ahead of their next labor contract. We’ve also seen those same safety protocols taken to the extreme and used as leverage by teachers unions, too. In Florida, some school districts took the safety protocols and contact tracing to such an extreme they were eventually forced to abandon the practice because they’d sent so many kids home from school with “possible exposure” they’d never have been able to resume classes.
All of this begs the question: would a Republican governor in California (or a Republican president in Washington D.C.) have allowed California’s port crisis to fester for as long as it has? The port backlog has been going on in California for almost all of 2021. The reason it’s starting to make national headlines is because the supply chain issues are starting to manifest themselves across the country, threatening the upcoming holiday shopping season.
With the union grinch threatening to steal Christmas, even President Joe Biden’s handlers have decided it might be politically expedient to capitalize on the crisis and pretend to lead. Last Wednesday, Team Biden held a press conference from the White House in which they proclaimed the problem was “solved” after helping to broker a deal with labor union leaders that they say will transition the beleaguered port of Los Angeles, the largest in the world, into “round-the-clock” operations.
Nearly a year into a nightmarish logistics quagmire, and the most powerful Democrats in the nation are just now realizing it might be time to transition to 24/7 operations?
If the roles were reversed and Florida found itself at the epicenter of an identically massive logistical crisis at the Port of Miami or Jacksonville, or the Port of Tampa, the media pressure placed on Governor Ron DeSantis to engineer a solution would be difficult to quantify. Under no circumstances would DeSantis have been able to dither for 10 months before figuring out how to get the ships unloaded to break the logjam.
It’s easy to imagine a host of executive orders DeSantis would have issued along the way to alleviate the pressure at those ports, up to and including calling up the National Guard to lend manpower that could be used to build out staging areas for screening sensitive cargo, using the military’s rather impressive logistics teams to move massive amounts of cargo off the shore and into the waiting distribution centers, and relaxing some of the more absurd COVID-19 safety mandates that California has issued. Even now, Florida’s port leaders are begging for more cargo ships to come to Florida’s ports to avoid the liberal disaster unfolding in California.
It turns out, all it really takes is a little leadership, and fewer union bosses standing in the way.