Submitted by Andy Gipson, Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce
“There’s a coming disaster in American commerce fueled by an idle workforce, provide chain shortages, inflation, and federal mandates.”
As we enter the fourth quarter of the 12 months, 2021 is shaping up as one other one for the books. Whereas life for a lot of is getting again to a pre-pandemic “regular,” Individuals proceed to endure the various impacts of COVID-19 – particularly the federal government’s response to the pandemic. The “Delta variant” reminded everybody that this virus (like all viruses) does mutate and may simply rear its ugly head once more. However proper now, the issues we face are the direct results of a mixture of federal authorities insurance policies leading to severe challenges to commerce in Mississippi and nationwide.
Labor shortages are inflicting important issues for a lot of industries, together with agriculture, meals service, trucking, delivery, healthcare, and retail to call a number of. Federal authorities insurance policies have made it extra worthwhile for the American workforce to remain dwelling reasonably than offering an sincere day’s work for an sincere day’s pay. From manufacturing to meals service, industries throughout the board are confronted with the duty of manufacturing extra merchandise with considerably much less labor. Farmers – giant and small – are feeling the impacts too. As an example, our catfish and meat processors are having hassle discovering sufficient workers, to not point out the problem of discovering regular, dependable on-farm labor which has been a difficulty for many years. For instance, it’s been a larger problem this fall to acquire enough labor to assist harvest after which haul crops to the elevators. These are only a few examples leading to fewer merchandise on the cabinets, longer wait instances for providers and better costs resulting from inflation.
Persistent labor shortages have intensified the logistical challenges being felt throughout most industries. The rising backlog at ports is inflicting larger provide chain bottlenecks. Individuals had turn into accustomed to getting what we would like on the drop of a hat, however that’s not the case even for Amazon Prime clients. Now, container ships are sitting at ports for weeks ready to be unloaded. As proof, we have been informed again in September to start Christmas buying early to make sure presents could also be delivered on time. As a result of main scarcity of truckers, rail and port staff, provide chains have been severely disrupted at ports nationwide with too few port and rail staff to unload and reload cargo.
In current experiences, it was famous that these labor shortages and provide chain disruptions are making it tough for even our college methods to get cafeteria meals merchandise. However Mississippians perceive the meals and grocery challenges transcend college cafeterias. We’re all feeling this in our properties, budgets and kitchens as we feed our households proper right here in Mississippi. Meals costs proceed to extend, and these worth will increase shouldn’t be interpreted as placing more cash again into the pockets of farmers.
The truth is, our farmers are experiencing a lot increased enter prices in 2021 as they proceed to work producing American meals, fiber and shelter. There are important elevated manufacturing prices, reminiscent of increased feed, gas and fertilizer prices which are all mirrored in increased grocery costs. And rising gas costs are affecting not solely farmers, however each single American at our fuel pumps with common costs now topping $3.00 a gallon in Mississippi.
So as to add insult to harm, the Biden Administration not too long ago introduced an unprecedented nationwide federal vaccine mandate threatening thousands and thousands of American jobs and probably eliminating the livelihoods of thousands and thousands of working Individuals, even these employed in healthcare, our first responders and the non-public sector.
There’s a coming disaster in American commerce fueled by an idle workforce, provide chain shortages, inflation, and federal mandates. However there’s a answer, and the disaster may be averted. It’s a typical sense answer: staff should preserve working, and people not working should get again to work. To succeed in this aim, federal and state governments should reverse their anti-work insurance policies and encourage extra folks and the subsequent era to enter the workforce. We’d like extra folks working, not much less. Individuals ought to take a lesson from our farmers and loggers who’ve at all times continued to work onerous from “solar up ‘til solar down” to place meals on our plates, garments on our backs and a roof over our heads. Individuals, it’s time to get again to work!
Submitted by Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson