The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Bring supply chain and manufacturing home

 

November 18, 2021



To The Eagle:

If you’re angry at the Biden administration about paying more for gasoline or groceries than a year ago, you should redirect your ire elsewhere- at those actually responsible for the highest annual inflation we’ve suffered in more than three decades.

Some recent price increases are temporary and due to supply bottlenecks, but there is a deeper structural reason for inflation that appears to be growing worse- the economic concentration of the American economy in the hands of a relative few corporate giants with the power to raise prices without fear of losing customers, because the competition isn’t there anymore.

The acceleration of economic globalization has led American industries to become more concentrated. Globalization has been a corporate boon throughout the industrialized world as corporations have engaged distant worldwide supply and manufacturing chains in order to pay as little as possible for materials and labor, and maximize profits. U.S. corporations moved manufacturing offshore to foreign partners. Investment bankers, corporate CEO’s and shareholders are profiting handsomely.

Disruptions by pandemic related lockdowns and slowdowns have exposed the deadly weaknesses a global supply chain and manufactory has inflicted upon our national economy. We are too dependent upon foreign sources, often our geopolitical adversary China, for essential materials and products.

China produces the bulk of our protective medical equipment and prescription drug ingredients. Our domestic production of essential antibiotics has disappeared. Trump administration trade policies contributed to serious shortages of semiconductors and other essential industrial components.

China mines and refines most of the world’s lithium and cobalt, essential to the production of high capacity batteries critical to our electric vehicle production and this administration’s renewable energy ambitions.

It’s past time to acknowledge the downside of our economic globalization. Bring the supply chain and manufacturing home, to guarantee America’s ability to make the stuff we need, and take the measures necessary to ensure that it’s sold at a price we can all afford.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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