You can always tell when Biden’s White House aides panic over the president’s sliding approval numbers. They send him out to bully people.
Last month, he ordered private employers to mandate vaccinations for their employees. This week, new inflation numbers prompted Biden to call out companies involved in the global supply-chain bottleneck.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, followed up by acknowledging consumer concerns about Christmas deliveries. When asked if the administration can guarantee holiday packages will arrive on time, Psaki said, “We are not the Postal Service or UPS or FedEx, we cannot guarantee.”
No kidding, but Biden’s view is that the global supply-chain crisis is something that can be fixed through force of will. As economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason points out, there are many causes for the bottleneck: labor shortages at factories and ports, energy shortages, ships getting stuck sideways in canals, bad weather, unexpectedly high demand for some goods, and more.
Cowen discusses a couple of problems that are linked to government intervention. On labor shortages: “In some cases government benefits may be keeping them from working. That adds further delays to trade networks.” Biden’s decision to extend overly generous unemployment benefits is still biting back.
Biden could do things that stop making the supply-chain problem worse. But instead, he’s playing King Canute and cracking the whip on the private sector to, damn it, fix the entire problem. All this just proves how little Biden understands his job or comprehends economics.