When the Cupboard is Bare

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America’s latest buzzword is the I-word: Infrastructure.

Of course, too many leaders, legislators and laypersons, alike, fail to think big; to look beyond the roads, bridges, utility poles, sewers etc; and more to the point, fail to factor America’s current supply chain woes into such discussions.

To take the artsy, charitable, euphemistic road, let’s refer to these minimalists as “traditionalists”; not that they’d think big about even maintaining a minimalist tradition, either.

Anyway we look at this, untold decades have passed sans proper upkeep and upgrades to the mechanisms that move commodities from point A to point B.

And, once we factor in pandemic panic buying… well… I’m sure most of us are all too familiar with the end result phenomenon of store shelves / fixtures that… that…

Uh… let’s just say that if you’re in the market to buy dust bunnies, there’s NO shortage of ’em.

Such was the case, yesterday…

ISO a couple loaves of bread, my original intent had been to do a quick in ’n’ out at my local supermarket. That’s when the mere sight of picked over shelves instantly morphed me into a panic buyer.

I mean, those last 2 jars of my fave peanut butter were mine; ditto that re the last 7 cans of tomato sauce, 1 can of coffee and 5 packages of breakfast biscuits (which, btw, had been out-of-stock for 6 long weeks). Hell, I even upped my bread purchase from 2 to 6 loaves (my intent to freeze the surplus).

At that juncture some comfort food was in order and, as you may have already guessed, I wound up snagging the 1 last box of doughnuts.

Bottom line, instead of spending under $10 I wound up forking out over $80.

It was on the drive home, that I got to thinking; what if, in some instances, the cause of the empty store fixtures is not, exclusively, supply chain related?

Now, here’s where the issues, not unlike the actual undelivered products, can start to pile up.

  • Labor shortages due to an evolving workforce; one that’s disgruntled with back breaking, gut busting, low paying, laborious drudgery.
  • Unscrupulous CEOs squirreling away surpluses within their warehouses; thereby fabricating the very “shortages” which trigger all too real panic buying.
  • In the short term, these head honcho’s will manage to exploit shoppers ISO viable alternatives; coerce us into settling for less popular brands / substandard products.
  • In the long run, these conman-managers will get to greedily witness the primo merchandise flying off the shelves when they DO eventually get around to the restocking.
  • And, sans any doubt, only doing so AFTER they’ve reprogrammed the check-out barcode scanners to assess values which far exceed each item’s MSRP.

Yep, there’s never any shortage when it comes down to inflation / price gouging.

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Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

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