“The Great Resignation just hit a new high” – TTG

DALLAS — More than 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. In a sign The Great Resignation continues to grow, the data showed the accommodation and food services industry had the highest overall number of quits at an estimated 867,000. The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry had the highest month-over-month increase adding an estimated 56,000 quits in September.

Quits are generally voluntary separations initiated by the employee, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which track job separations across private and government industries. Overall total job separations, which includes quits, layoffs, terminations, and other separations, were little changed in September at 6.2 million, the data showed. 

Despite reporting an estimated 859,000 separations in September, the retail trade industry’s total number of separations dropped by 100,000. The south region of the United States reported the highest number of separations in September losing an estimated 2.5 million workers. The south region includes Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Comment: People are quitting their jobs in droves and still spending like drunken sailers on the first night of liberty. At the same time, consumer sentiment is at historic lows. That makes little sense. If you’re confident enough to quit your job and still spend like crazy, you can’t be feeling that down.

The job creators are still creating jobs, but can’t crack the code on how to entice people to work crap jobs for crap wages. Those that do try to hire workers by offering more money and benefits are having sporadic luck, but that trend is  contributing to inflation. The scarcity of stuff to buy due to supply chain problems is also contributing to inflation. Each one of these problems contributes to each other. The economy appears to be in the toilet. And yet, people are still leaving their old jobs and buying stuff like crazy. They can’t all have won the lottery. What gives?


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88 Responses to “The Great Resignation just hit a new high” – TTG

  1. BillWade says:

    I suspect that those that suddenly quit in Sept were H.S/College kids going back to school, at least a little bit of propaganda perhaps. There are quite a few restaurant owners here in SW Florida who are saying that their staffing has just about stabilized after a very very rough almost two years (hey, why wash dishes for $300 when you can stay home and smoke weed for $600).

    Our restaurants are packed and the servers are pulling in good money. I spoke with one owner just a few hours ago and he’s teamed up with two other owners and they are about to donate 300 10-15lb turkeys to anyone in need, they seem confident going forward.

  2. Babeltuap says:

    Because it’s easy to find employment. I may get fired for the shot but do not care. For one, we always lived well below our means. Really don’t even need to work at this point but I will go back to work if fired. This time though self employed from home. I can’t speak for anyone else but I don’t need to cutback and from the looks of things where I am neither does anyone else. Good paying jobs everywhere not requiring a shot.

    • TTG says:

      You are right. It is now easy to find employment if you want it. My local paper listed some of the statistics this morning. There are 10 million jobs available, far more than pre-pandemic times. Only half a million were hired last month. There are 5.5 million fewer people looking for those jobs than before the pandemic. The majority of those 4.4 million who quit their jobs last month got new jobs – better jobs, better paying jobs and, I suspect, a lot are opting for jobs outside the measured economy. Self-employment, gig work, local work where you get paid under the table are all possibilities.

      All this is not good for those who build their business model around readily available cheap labor. Decades ago, it was explained to me why there were not a lot of German restaurants in Germany compared to Italian restaurants. Germans didn’t have the large families to employ in those restaurants. The Italian families in Germany at that time were large enough to sustain a family restaurant.

      • Fred says:


        “There are 10 million jobs available, far more than pre-pandemic times. ”

        Did the paper say how many of those jobs were ones that had been declared “non-essential” during the various state shutdowns and thus were vacant by state or local order and are now no longer “non-essential” and available to be filled?

  3. Fred says:


    Where did you get your economics education? I ask because none of your conclusions are supported by anything in the article you linked too, or by generally accepted principles of economics. Inflation is a monetary problem, not a “supply chain” problem. This administration increased the amount of money in circulation by hundreds of billions of dollars, THAT is what is driving inflation.

    People are quitting jobs, so how do you know They are the ones “spending money like drunken sailors”? As an anecdotal example, North Florida regional medical center is experiencing high turnover in the food service part of the facility. They are being hired almost immediately as CNAs. They do that, not because of the vaccine mandate (also not mentioned in the article), but because CNAs are currently being paid $20/hour, rather than the $15 they make in food service.

    “What gives?” If costs are up by only the 6.5% the government admits too, spending on the same things at the same rate is up that much too. Gas is up 30+% year to date, due to pipeline shutdowns and further regulatory action by the Biden administration, that impacts all inbound and outbound freight. The Biden administration announced a 27% increase in food stamp benefit value. That allowed agricultural and retail food sellers to raise prices accordingly.

    • TTG says:

      You think inflation is just a monetary problem? That’s just silly. A contributory factor, sure, but supply and demand is a big factor. If there’s not enough workers to fill the jobs available, the price of that labor goes up. If there’s not enough stuff on the shelves that people want to buy, the price for the stuff that does make it to the shelves goes up.

      A factor that figures into high energy prices is shareholder demand for higher profit and dividends from the energy companies. The shareholders were sucking hind tit for the last few years while energy markets were weak. Now they want to be paid.

      • Fred says:


        I am happy to hear that you think that when the shelves get reststocked all the prices are coming down across the board. I guess Milton Friedman didn’t know what he was talking about. Maybe the Nobel committee should ask for that award to be returned.

        “A factor that figures into high energy prices is shareholder demand for higher profit and dividends from the energy companies. ”

        You must have missed Biden’s first EO that shutdown all those engergy sources. And his nominee for Comptroller of the Currency’s most recent comments.

        “The shareholders were sucking hind tit for the last few years while energy markets were weak. ” SMH. I wonder what it was that Trump managed to do to make us a net energy exporter, get unemployment to the lowest point in decades, and get wages rising.
        “An oil glut in the wake of the shale oil boom, which has vaunted the U.S. to the top of global energy producers, has caused some of the sector’s stock-market troubles.”
        Oh, that’s what the bastard did.
        Thank goodness the people now in DC are worried about energy stock performance rather than the American citizens’s standard of living.

  4. akaPatience says:

    Baby Boomers have stayed in the workforce longer than expected but may be retiring at a greater rate at this point. Vaccine mandates may account for some of the quits too. Dropping out for good is of course unsustainable for younger people. They’ve been spoiled somewhat by government checks this past year, and from the leisure (and likely less demand for productivity) Work From Home can afford, but idleness can’t go on forever. I wonder if credit card debt is anywhere near an historic high?

  5. Poul says:

    Interesting too also observe that the Labour Force Participation Rate is much lower than 12 years ago and a bit lower than before the COVID-19 crisis hit. Any ideas of what have changed?


  6. TV says:

    “crap jobs for crap wages”
    If you’re unskilled, or minimally skilled, don’t expect investment banker comp.

    • Fred says:


      Being an FBI informant doesn’t appear to take any skill at all yet seems to be very lucrative, along with being consequence free.

  7. JK/AR says:

    I will not be making the argument that what’s happening is all to do with this


    (I am however aware “sources” in the state north of me are reporting similarly)

    But I am of the opinion there’s a sea change only now beginning to show its effect. Big Government shutting down the economy on what to many, appears Big Government’s whim delivered a supremely bad message.

    Other things I reckon are at play here too, whether the “mostly peaceful protests” are amongst those I suppose Time (and Big Government statisticians) can only tell.

    I only hope whoever is staffing the toilet paper production lines aren’t paying attention to any of this stuff.

  8. Deap says:

    Count down to 2022. Can this be changed by a partisan change of direction? Did “covid” in two years create a new critical mass of non-working adults? Or did “covid” just enhance what was already lurking out there – people who like free things, instead of working, saving and investing. Can you blame them. Have we faced this scenario before?

  9. zmajcek says:

    Famous youtuber (and business owner/employer) Louis Rossmann gives some interesting reasons why this might be happening. Here’s a link to the video:


  10. KMD says:

    John Michael Greer has an idea why this may be happening. Money quote.

    If you want people to put up patiently with long hours of drudgery at miserably low wages, subject to wretched conditions and humiliating policies, so that their self-proclaimed betters can enjoy lifestyles they will never be able to share, it’s a really bad idea to make them stop work and give them a good long period of solitude, in which they can think about what they want out of life and how little of it they’re getting from the role you want them to play. It’s an especially bad idea to do it so that they have no way of knowing when, or if, they will ever be allowed to return to their former lives, thus forcing them to look for other options in order to stay fed, clothed, housed, and the like. (We can set aside the question of vaccine mandates for now—that’s another kettle of fish—but of course those feed into this same effect.)

    He thinks it’s an unintended result of the lock-downs. The whole post is an interesting read.


    • Artemesia says:

      Chinese youth are Lying Flat rather than do drudge work for crap wages.

      What will that mean for Walmart’s inventory?

      On the flip side — might a constriction in the supply of cheap Chinese clothing offer an opportunity for Americans to establish clothing manufacturers again?

      I recall reading a New Yorker article about a woman in New York who got through the Depression by sewing high-end attire for children. iirc she eventually became very wealthy.

      • Aletheia in Athens says:

        Well, yeah, to provide the rich has always been a solution in times of scarcity..

        But, I wonder, who will cloth the underpayed, the lumpenproletariat?

        Do you think they wll commit to work and live in tatters while, morevoer, watching how multiple surging health conditions put an end to their tool, their phisical work force?

        Will they settle fro watching the elegant pass by while languishing in their trailers and tents?

        It was a very bad idea to make the working class thought they were middle and upper middle class through the illusion of widespread mass consumption and loan culture…People will find it difficult to accomodate themselves the new condition the elite have planned for them..

        Social peace is not to be expected…

        • Deap says:

          Younger people celebrate going off the grid. There is a new thrift and independence ethic brewing. Of course, that mean they probably will not vote either.

        • Artemesia says:

          Aletheia, I wrote, then erased, the prequel to the story of the lady who became a millionaire. I had written about how I and many of my cohort sewed our own clothes, and that hand-me-downs was our generation’s fashion label.

          Quilt groups (and Etsy) take up that impulse today; they can easily readapt to kid-clothes rather than bed clothes, and no quilter worth the name does not have a stash just begging for a project.

          • Aletheia in Athens says:

            To sew your own clothes you need time….

            Working women who moreover do their homework by themselves, plus study and try to cop with the incresing demand by employers on continue doing work during employees´ leisure time, of course unpayed, scam widely allowed by the current dictatorial states trying to opress the masses along the sold out of the unions to this same dictatorial states for subsides and the pharma industry for bribes, do not have time to sew, unless they rob it to sleeping hours, which would facilitate their premature demise, advancing the dictatorial ruling class´ goal of erasing workers as they age so tha to avoid paying career acquired rights…

            On the other hand, I agree, knowledge does not occupy place, and thus, knowing how to sew and ownong a sewing machine could provide your income in case of being obligues to resign your job and career due the vaccine mandates…
            Also in the coming barter economy forced to appear by the dictatorial measures being impossed on the working class, you could easily exchange sewing for food or any other kind of service/good…home schooling, medical services, nursery, gardening, transport, and so on…

      • longarch says:

        I hope it’s true that large numbers of Chinese workers are lying flat. Certainly it is true that some Chinese workers are lying flat. The Chinese media sometimes reports on Chinese people who want to lie flat but can’t manage to reduce their expenses.
        (Obviously, I never trust the Chinese media.)

        The following source is of unknown quality, but some of its facts appear correct — it presents a nuanced picture:


        It seems that most Chinese people who “lie flat” do not have zero work ethic and do not collect welfare. Further, it is not just one simple category: many different demographic sectors “lie flat” in different ways. A bachelor with no hope for marriage “lies flat” by earning very little and spending very little, whereas young married people “lie flat” by rejecting conventional married consumption levels and refusing to have children. Outside of the people who really “lie flat” are the miserable 996 workers who are forced to be physically present from 9 am to 9 pm 6 days a week, but who waste the employer’s time by gossiping about the “lying flat” lifestyle.

        • Deap says:

          Unintended consequences of one child policy in China – the birth of a hugely spoiled and doted upon generation, now coming of age. Who, of course, will not settle making pennies a day fashioning silk flowers or plumbing fixtures for western export.

    • Eol says:

      JMG has a great point.

      Government just took this very drastic decision, which has had cascading effects at all levels. I personally know over 10 couples who separated because of lockdown, forced unemployment and other malaise associated with the “policy response”. It only makes sense that these uninentended consequences also happen at the individual level too

    • DWhite says:

      That quote is taken completely out of context. The next sentence says: But there’s more to it than that.

      • Deap says:

        JMG forgot the part about letting them quit their jobs while still giving them money with no strings attached.

        If they had to make a choice between grinding drudgery jobs and eating, which would they choose. If they had to give up their internet, gym membership, cell phone and dope if they could not pay for them, would they finally chose that grinding drudgery of a job?

  11. Pat Lang says:

    How about the people have lost the work ethic and would rather loaf?

    • Mal says:

      Loaf? Like the Robber Barrons that conspire to maintain their wealth…those poor peeps may be on to something.

      Cheers Mal

      • Fred says:


        Yes, those “peeps” are on to the path of rude awakenings when the tax payers decide not to fund their “I live, I deserve” your money lifestyle.

    • Aletheia in Athens says:

      World ethics is easy to lose when an arbitrary condition, like being forecefully vaccinated with an experimental genic therapy which is causing severe side effects including death is more important than their whole careers´experience and service.

      Asking you to risk your life and good health in exchange of continuing working way overpasses work ethics, in fact belonmgs already to the most important ground of human dignity and enters fully, invasively and shamefully in the muddy waters of slavery and willing self sacrifice for spurious interests like those of the wannbe dictators and pharma and tech corporations who widely and so profitably cooperate with them…

  12. Aletheia in Athens says:

    In a context of a full consolidation of what at all lights is surfacing, from the blurring fogs of the first moments of panic and fear of the pandemic, as a full dictatorial state, whose requirements to continue working pass through requisites of clear ideological depuration as the vaccine mandates are on de facto acquisition of certificates of “good citizenry”, one is to guess that the human being ( especially that inhabitant of the “land of provision” “the land of the free”, promises millions of family histories along the country testifie is in the very essence of their aim in migrating to the new continent…), in its remaining ancestral instinct of survival, would organize itself to try to live underground when the conditions in the surface do not ever more favor survival or progress from current miserable condition, but on the contrary, increasingly imply increasingly submissive and humiliating measures, now even life menacing .

    Recall here that black market is always undermining of the economy of a country, and thus was amongst the multiple factors, included lack of freedom to travel and move, plus ideological depuration, which lead to the fall of the USSR…

  13. upstater says:

    “Highly Paid Union Workers Give UPS a Surprise Win in Delivery Wars” [Bloomberg]. “The massive labor shortage that’s rocked the U.S. since the pandemic and disrupted long-established employment relationships hasn’t had much impact on UPS, which pays its unionized drivers the highest wages in the industry. That’s helped it maintain a stable workforce and rising profits throughout the current disruptions. Meanwhile, lower-paying, nonunionized FedEx racked up $450 million in extra costs because of labor shortages. And while UPS easily beat earnings expectations and predicted a rising profit margin in the U.S. for the fourth quarter, FedEx signaled that its profit margin will fall further. The lack of workers is taking a toll on its reliability, too. FedEx’s recent on-time performance for express and ground packages has sunk to 85%, while UPS has met deadlines on 95% of those packages, according to data collected by ShipMatrix Inc.” • A unionized workface as a competitive advantage. Who knew?

    Family friends operated as contractors FedEx and “owned” 3 businesses that made deliveries on about 30 routes. It was virtually impossible for them to make money beyond barely paying expenses. All employees were paid only slightly above minimum (they couldn’t afford more) and employee trunover was almost 100% per year. FedEx squeezed them all very hard. They sold their franchises and just broke even after 5 years working 12-16 hour days 6+ days per week. So much for their delusion of building a retirement nest egg!

    • Fred says:


      Hooray, 4 decade long career employee – in Chicago – is retiring with a great pension. Nothing like some puffery at Bloomberg to sell a story.

      This fact in the article: “FedEx operates two distinct delivery networks: one for its overnight air delivery business, which is handled by FedEx employees, and another for its ground parcel service, which uses independent contractors….” is important.

      I wonder if anyone at Bloomberg bothered to see what the impact of California law AB 5 on “Independent contractors” might be and how that affects FedEx? Then there is Amazon creating its own delivery service. Do the world renowned reporters at Bloomberg know who did that work before and how much revenue might have been lost by losing the contract, or whether that might actually have been a good thing to dump? I seem to recall Trump ripping the USPS leadership a new one for charging less than cost to Amazon for package delivery.

      Mr. Black, the author of the article you quoted from, didn’t put any of that information out there. If you look at his Twitter account it looks like he hasn’t been active very long. One would wonder what he’s been up to, other than some superficially important pieces like this. Congrats to the guy who had 40 years with a single employer those, that work ethic and willingness of a company to keep someone employed that long are now very rare.

  14. Deap says:

    Full and readable text of court decision that stays Biden’s OSHA injection mandate. In principle, courts do remain our last line of defense against deep state overreach, when our other branches of government fail to protect us.

    Trump’s court appointment legacy, installing more strict constructionist jurists just may be what saves this nation:


  15. Sam says:

    One of the outcomes from the asinine lockdown.

  16. Mark Logan says:

    A factor may be in the Boomer demographic bubble being at it’s tail end. The last of the Boomers are retiring, opening a lot of good paying career opportunities for younger people, and employers are now forced to accept those they know will need extensive training. Many in the service industry may have discovered this during their COVID unemployment in which, to maintain their unemployment benefits, they started applying for jobs which they never thought they had a shot at getting.

    • Fred says:


      “The last of the Boomers are retiring,…” I think that will be another half decade before the last boomer generation employee is 65.

      “employers are now forced to accept those they know will need extensive training”

      If you look at the administration’s recent revisions to visa and immigration policy that won’t happen at all; you’ll get millions of H1B and other program requests from employers, those applications will require no training at all for the position and too damn bad for the US Citizen who might need some kind of training.

      • Mark Logan says:


        You’re right about that. I had thought the boomer demographic ended around 1960, but I see it actually includes those born up to 1965.

        Nevertheless a big chunk of the bubble are now qualifying for Medicare, and a lot of them have significant funds stashed away in IRAs and paid off houses with very high values. We have had a spate of guys who qualified for Medicare and decided they’ve got enough, and some others who intend retire the day they do.

        The HVAC people in this area are offering a $1,000 recruitment bounty for anyone who can find a qualified HVAC worker. The kids today have opportunities they simply didn’t have just handful of years ago.

        • Fred says:


          Yes on both things. There is a massive amount of retirement savings that’s going to start flowing out of IRAs/401Ks. Plus the physical relocation from North to South, and not just for the weather. HVAC can be a great career, though the competition is fierce in a lot of places.

  17. walrus says:

    This event seems to demonstrate yet again the validity of the “freeze, unfreeze, refreeze” model of some human behaviour.

    The pandemic lockdowns, shutdowns, closures and work arrangements were enough, even without the vaccine “mandate” to thoroughly destabilise people and cause enough discomfort for them to get off their #$#es and do something about their life situation.

    To put that another way, many people put up with personally unsatisfying and low paid jobs because they are too lazy to find something better. The pandemic pushed them over that edge.

    After a while their old behaviour asserts itself – refreeze.

    It will be interesting to see where the resigned went. Into schools, their own business, the underground economy, government dependence, whatever.

    • Fred says:


      If you look at the details in the data I believe you’ll find that it is the middle-class and upper pay tier employees who are leaving for greener pastures in greater numbers. Many of the ‘low paid jobs” people sat on their ass because the supplemental unemployment gave them an effective pay-rate of $25 an hour. In states that stopped paying that they’ve been forced to go back to work.

      • TTG says:

        That supplemental unemployment ended for half the states back in June. The great resignation picked up steam after that and is hitting the low paid restaurant and hospitality sectors the hardest.

  18. Sam says:

    Why are our ports so clogged? The answer is a legal revolution that created an ocean carrier oligopoly. I trace the rise of modern shipping barons – and port-clogging ultra-large container ships – to Bill Clinton’s 1998 deregulation of shipping.


    Combine the lockdowns with the creation of oligopolies and we see the supply chain problems that are taking place now.

    • TTG says:

      I have no doubt there is an ocean shipping oligopoly, just like there are oligopolies in energy, food processing, big ag and in plenty of other economic sectors. But I do doubt the shipping oligopoly is a major part of our supply chain problem. The ships are lined up at the ports and the containers are piled high on the docks. And there they sit. There’s not enough trains and trucks to move them further. There’s certainly more to the supply chain problems than that, but not enough truck drivers is a big part of it.

      • Deap says:

        Covid restrictions have hit cargo shipping crews as well – leaving many unable to leave their ships, even after their contract has expired.

        There are people, often very far from home, on all these idling ships. They all have huge daily operating expenses, even when going no where. Among the biggest players in cargo shipping are the Danish Maersk and the German Happy-Lloyd. Stalled cargo ships are not going through the larger new locks at Panama either, which reduces their expected revenues.

        A real eye opener is the website “Marine Traffic” which you can filter for any type of ocean craft – from personal sail boats to cruise ships the mega tankers. By far the vast ocean is covered nearly wall to wall with cargo ships.

      • blue peacock says:


        We have created oligopolies across every major market segment in the past 40 years supported by both parties. The revolving door has ensured that the monopolists have staffed the FTC, FCC & DOJ among other agencies tasked with ensuring a competitive marketplace and enforcing Robinson-Patman and other laws. The other element is the capture of the judiciary and new levels of sophistry through legal doctrine like “consumer harm”. If you’d like to learn more, I suggest two well-researched books Goliath by Matt Stoller and the Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition by Jonathan Tepper.

        Even statist publications like the Guardian are starting to write stories about it.


        Media consolidation has led to the media oligopoly to become a platform for propaganda. There’s nothing better to exemplify it than the Russia Collusion hoax where a dossier was ginned up by the Clinton campaign, disseminated by the propaganda outlets in hysterical tones of a Manchurian Candidate and then used by the intelligence & law enforcement agencies to deprive citizens caught in the cross-fire of due process with FISA warrants with the attempt to take down a duly elected POTUS.

        Part & parcel of this market consolidation has also been the financialization of the economy and financial speculation that has given Wall St untold riskless profits as their speculation is backed by future generations through government bailout when their speculations fo awry. This has had the other consequence of the dismantling of the American industrial base to offshore it to China and other locales to feed those financial profits.

        Now we also have this climate change hype that is further entrenching these folks. China in the mean time is marching ahead growing their economy and the standard of living of their people taking advantage, utilizing all available energy sources to power this industrial growth and competitiveness.

        In the mean time the average American spends their political energies in partisan distractions while continuously voting either Tweedle Dee or Tweedle Dum. Their standard of living has been declining while wealth concentration has been accelerating to an unprecedented level of wealth inequality in the history of the American experiment.

  19. walrus says:

    The Ports are clogged because of endemic low productivity, lack of competition, feather bedding unions, stupid legislators and general incompetence plus no political will to fix the problems.

    I mean statements like: “We are going to try working 24/7” – are you for real??? Every other port in the world runs 24/7 even in little old Australia! Panamax container ships carry something like 17,000 TEU and the ship owners will sacrifice their newborne to save as little as 15 minutes on a turnaround…and you aren’t working 24/7?? What planet?


    Then there is the clogging of the ports themselves so that delivery drivers – who are paid per trip can’t do their usual three drops a day so they look for truck work elsewhere.

    Then, allegedly, California has restricted what age trucks can be used.

    Then, allegedly, union drivers are used instead of contractors, and I will bet that the Port work practices are shocking.

    And the Government chose this moment too enforce a nationwide drug and alcohol testing records system that allegedly cost the industry 80,000 drivers.

    But the best bit; the transport secretary, Buttegeige and his boyfriend are on maternity leave for three months and have stated their faith in “market Forces” to fix the problem!

    • KMD says:

      This truck driver with 20 years experience agrees and doesn’t think the problems in the ports are going to be resolved any time soon.


      He points to a shortage of container chassis as a major issue also. I remember reading news stories of shipping containers being dropped and left in Long Beach neighborhood streets recently so that could be the reason.

      • TTG says:

        That article by the 20 year truck driver is solid. He sees the problems in the entire supply chain, not just one element. My father in law was an independent long haul truck driver for years. He left the field when he realized his expenses were always going to eat up most of his earnings. The author’s article point out the same thing. The transportation industries will do nothing on their own to improve the independent drivers’ lot. That would only eat into their profits. Even beyond the plight of the independent drivers, the industry has no immediate incentive to improve the many other supply chain problems because, due to supply and demand, they can now charge more for their current limited and broken shipping services. It’s all about profit.

        I certainly don’t have any implementable answers, but Buttegieg better get his ass in the office and try to figure out some answers. The rest of the government and private industry also have to figure out how to either entice or coerce workers into filling all those job openings. Wage slavery doesn’t seem to be cutting it anymore.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Why didn’t these issues exists a mere 1.5 years ago. Not buying this explanation.

          Buttgig ain’t gonna do squat because he’s a clueless foolish little pansy; appointed because he is that. Liberals think it’s “heroic” to be openly gay.

          Let’s go Brandon!

    • Fred says:


      “Then there is the clogging of the ports themselves so that delivery drivers – who are paid per trip can’t do their usual three drops a day so they look for truck work elsewhere.”

      That comes across like you just read the puff piece on TIME which tries to make excuses for the problem. ‘Look how many CDL permits CA has issued.’ is part of that author’s story. LOL. As if that makes one a truck driver rather than a limo, school bus driver or, yes, a medical transport shuttle driver.
      A few basic questions on what the container terminal at the port does come to mind.
      The containers move out of the port area to where, a cross docking facility or dirctly over the road to it’s end destination? I doubt it is the later.
      The time for customs to inspect container manifests and cargo is how long?
      What security for entry into the port is there?
      What security for exit from the port is there?
      The last three are things Biden could direct his Transportation Secretary and DHS Secretary to address. However, as you point out, Buttegieg has shown that his Priveleges are far more important than the performance of his duties. Biden has let him get away with that for months. Kamala cackles as the issue gets worse, except: The concentarion of economic power in transportation shifts to major corporations and away from idependent businesses. Who owns WAPO and how does this benefit him? Curious minds might ask which other major players are contributing to which politicians who are doing exactly what about this destruction of the independent transportation sector and the middle class jobs that are involved in it?

      ” Government chose this moment too enforce a nationwide drug and alcohol testing ….”

      Are you reccommending we stop that, suspend it, or are you pointing out that thousands of truckers can’t pass a drug test?

      What are major manufacturers and retailers going to do about this problem? If GM/Ford/Stelantis/Toyota face a plant shutdown costing them $20+ million per day because their product is stuck on ships floating off shore what short term and long term plans do you put in place? Air freight new product? For how long.

      What’s the long term solution, or do they have one? Nothing says they must ship via the biggest ship into one or two bottle-neck points that are the container facilities that can handle that type vessel. I hope they have actually evaluated that risk and the cost of ‘we’ve always done it that way’. Retailers are going to lose tens of millions in revenue because of a failure to manage their supply chain risk; but at least there are no mean tweets. Corporate executives have got that going for them.

      Thanks for the link to the almost one decade old whitepaper. That seems a bit out of date.

      • Deap says:

        EPOCH Times*** is running a good article in its Southern California section this Sunday morning outlining many of the port back up issues: Calif environmental demands on types of trucks allowed, idling time restrictions, lack of facilities for the drivers themselves while they area asked to wait, aging workforce, failed drug tests, and “covid” shut down of truck driving schools ……are all hitting together.

        Drivers complain they just no longer choose to go to California ports.

        ***Yes, EPOCH Times has its own anti-CCP new age agenda, but today one must read widely and gain insights from multiple perspectives.

      • Eric Newhill says:

        Agree. these explanations are idiotic.

        This is a country that mobilized from a scant pre-war military to simultaneously defeat imperial Japan and Germany in four years; yet we can’t solve a freaking trucking choke point? Horse shit. There’s something else happening here and I’m beginning to think it is deliberate; just not sure exactly what “it” is. Definitely involves a lack of will, though.

    • Mark Logan says:


      That not having to run 24/7 pre-COVID indicates the reports that the bottleneck in our ports is not due to loss of capacity but increase of freight traffic are true, does it not?

      There have been many reports that much of the spending on service has been spent on commodities instead, and this is what is causing the problem.

  20. walrus says:

    Fred, Port productivity is THE issue. That is how fast containers can be craned off the ship and sent on their way to either the end customer or the transshipment facility where they break bulk. This has to happen by truck or rail. You would be using a minimum of two cranes per ship and the latest ones are automated. The key figure is the number of crane lifts per hour and the containers should then move without delay through the port and on to the customer. I don’t know what the latest figures are but I would have thought each crane should be lifting at least 30 TEU an hour.

    Not every port can take Panamax ships, you have to have a minimum channel depth and depth at the pier. The length of the channel matters too because the ship is not moving at cruising speed. Ship owners really do care about as little as fifteen minutes on a voyage.

    From what I’ve read, the ports are so clogged that drivers are waiting up to eight hours for a load – that is inn through port security, container dropped on chassis (we call them Skels short for skeletons) and out the gate through security. This is unsustainable. I don’t know what the inspection protocols are but here some stuff goes to bonded secure warehouses un inspected, other stuff may get x rayed at the port.

    I’ve heard crap about unpacking containers which is BS. Nobody freights goods on pallets because the space is too expensive. Containers are jammed floor to ceiling with product and you unload/palletise on arrival. It’s hard manual labor.

    This whole deal is classic time and motion stuff that America used to be masters of. Heads should be rolling in Government and the ports for letting this develop. The shortage of containers and the waiting fleet of ships off LA is screwing up the freight industry world wide.

    I’ve been around ports all my life before moving to the country. I leased a corner of a freight facility from a friend so I’ve seen how stuff arrives. I’ve worked on container crane maintenance but best of all I’ve gotten to steer a friends tug (60 tonne bollard pull) a few times as we lifted a ship off the wharf.

    • TTG says:

      The Port of Baltimore has been touted as a success on out local news a lot recently. Even Biden made a trip there to talk up his infrastructure plan. The port added new cranes, improved docks and dredges channels to handle larger ships and is experiencing none of the problems happening on the west coast. Of course Atlantic shipping isn’t near as massive as Pacific shipping. We’ve heard some reporting of ships from the Pacific rerouting to Baltimore, but I don’t know if that’s true, just a one off incident or just bullshit.

      Well, it’s not bullshit. Just found an interview with the Maryland Port Administration Executive Director describing the situation in the Port of Baltimore. They’ve been planning and working on this for near a decade.


      • Deap says:

        Don’t forget Russia has a deep commercial interest in fostering more global warming, since it opens up the ice clogged Upper Siberian-Arctic shipping route – China to Europe and the Atlantic over the top of the world. Baltimore may be more forward thinking than it appears sitting on this new China shipping route.

        But agree the best move is buy local and stop buying cheap Chinese junk. Though with their current 200 million plus of newly minted millionaires, they are an intact economy internally on their own.

        Again, the stable genius succinctly cut to the chase first: MAGA

      • Eric Newhill says:

        It’s nonsense.

        I’ve decided that I do know what is happening here and it’s very simple and obvious.

        The US has by far the highest increase in CPI (inflation) of all industrialized countries and it also has by far the greatest growth in M2. The current correlation between a nation’s increase in M2 and its inflation is positive and strong. I just looked at the data

        The other countries don’t have “supply problems” too? Of course they do. Yet their inflation is considerably less; again, proportional to their loosing of monetary policy and printing of money; which they are all, wisely, doing a less of than we are.

        Nobel Prize-winner Milton Friedman, who in a classic study of the monetary history of the United States found that “inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” You can’t beat the fundamentals, though political apologists usually try to suggest otherwise (“It’s different this time. Supply chains and truck chasses”!).

        Brandon, er uh, Biden and his commie revolution have screwed us. They could fix this, but they won’t because they want to screw us (“they will own nothing and be happy”, “down with whitey and his evil county [insert your favorite idiotic democrat socialist meme of choice]).

        • TTG says:

          What does monetary policy have to do with the Great Resignation? Out of control inflation ought to cause people to cling to their shit jobs for dear life. Supply chain problems are hitting the entire world, not just the US.

          • Eric Newhill says:

            Sorry. Had a little target fixation going on for a minute.

            The spending like drunken sailors is due to monetary policy (govt handouts and low interest rates). Also, hoarding due to fears about the future.

            The job quitting is also due to monetary policy/inflation. People are selling their homes for the new crazy high prices, taking the profits and renting or buying a lower priced home and then enjoying a break from work.

          • Fred says:


            The individuals selling out and relocating were doing so pre-inflation, and for multiple reasons. Younger, ‘millenial’ to use the term, quitting have different reasons, and an average term per employer of less than 5 years, often less than two.

    • Fred says:


      From steevedore to international executive. My two years supervising distribution center operations is two decades past, but “Containers are jammed floor to ceiling with product and you unload/palletise on arrival.” Is wrong. That’s right out of “On the Waterfront”; nobody ships material across the Pacific that way. In addition unloading trucks is not “hard manual labor” It’s a forklift. and depending on where on the unloading dock you stage the material it is 10 minutes or less per truck.

      Yes productivity per pier matters and so do the depths of shipping channels ,etc you mention. Which is why I pointed out the bottlenecks these particular ports create for importers of JIT material like GM/Ford or even retailers. The issue of trucks in/out of gates becomes clearing customs and then how many gates are open each way? Who controls that – the port authority, the state of CA/WA?

      You and I could put a plan together to clear the container backlog, not counting the ships waiting to be unloaded, in about 4 hours. Buttigieg would need to get his head out of his a@@ and then hire McKinsey to consult with him for a week before he had any idea what to do. Meanwhile the small retailers continue to get hurt by lack of inventory, excess freight costs, etc. and thier customers continue to gravitate to Amazon/Walmart/Chewy etc. Just as happend when those retailers were declared ‘non-essential’. That government interfence started this mess. It won’t get much better until the government stops. But then again busting the middle class indepenant businesses, that’s a lefty marxist dream and exactly what we see playing out here. Biden’s handlers are quite happy to see this mess continue.

  21. BillWade says:

    Wouldn’t it be much better if we didn’t need all those imports and just made the goods here in the USA?

    One of my sons-in-law started a trucking company about 5 years ago. He hung it up last year as the EPA regulations just got too restrictive. The money in the business looks good until it isn’t.

    I’m not as confident as my restaurant owner friends are about the future. I’m seeing turkeys being rationed to a strict one only per customer, bacon and pork prices rising substantially, shortages, etc.. I don’t have a boat but am thinking real hard about getting one, something small and solar powered, fishing is going to get much more popular in the coming years.

    • Aletheia in Athens says:

      What they are going to ration is ammount of fuel you are allowed to use to drive your car, truck and so on..

      In fact they are already doing so in one of the penal colonies that are serving as example for the masses on what will be the great reset, Canada…

      “Life is short, very short, and taking into account its brevity it does not compensate the least for living it crawling before fanatics, scoundrels, ignorant and stupid. Even if they take everything from us, they can never deprive us of our integrity or of the other life that is much better. ” César Vidal.

      But, meanwhile the other life arrives, beware, that a fear carried to the limit is like a hungry tiger….that will go after you…


    • Deap says:

      Backyard quinoa gardens – kept the Inca’s alive, when the Spaniards cut off their supply lines. .

  22. JK/AR says:

    Uhm … I’ve noted on this comment thread several mentions to periphery issues to The Great Resignation but then lacking direct, personally knowledgeably experience in the general category of “problems at/with the ports” which, it seems to me is concomitant to and with a bunch of other relateds, … …

    This general subject has come up before as I recall which, in those beforetimes I’d thought this specific blog author’s post would’ve been most appropriate but, because of his use of the Queen’s English (he’s, in ‘the sense of’ once a Marine, always a – but then presently as he’s serving in a So-Cal ER/D role … his uhm “grating personality” might acceptably be cut some slack.

    Language Advisory:


    *There’s a follow-on post (of Aesop’s) but at present I [JK/AR] can’t recall the category.

  23. Eric Newhill says:

    No idea what’s going on because none of the explanations make sense to me.

    Just came back from weekly grocery shopping with the wife. We’ve had the same basic weekly load for the past few years. Since the kids left several years ago, we’ve settled into a diet that works for us. Staples are rice, beans, pasta, bread, eggs, bacon, sandwich meats, cheese, low fat ground beef, some chicken and veggies for stir fries, maybe some pork chops. Not the cheap stuff, but none of it is luxury grade either. Add in some beer and a bottle of mid range hooch. Then, as needed, some household cleaning items, paper goods, soap, etc. Typical grocery bill for the week has been $250; maybe $300 if we add in a couple of good steaks or sea food.

    Now, without changing anything, the bill at the checkout counter is $450 – $480.

    Gas is up, as everyone knows. Ammo for guns is way up (if you can even find it). I’ve noticed that eating out at a decent place or going out for cocktails has become ridiculously expensive; bar tab of $60 – $100, for sure, and we’re not even gassed when we leave.

    I noticed that clothes are crazy priced too.

    Housing prices are astronomical. Yes, interest rates are low, but, even so, the cost of having a rook over your head, whether buying or renting, is exceeding the saving from the low rates.

    How is a working class family of four going to make it? I think they won’t won’t once the credit cards are maxed. Then what will the banks do when everyone starts defaulting?

    That’s the sitrep from main street America. I can totally understand the “Let’s go Brandon” sentiment.

    I don’t get it – and I have a masters degree in economics. Someone’s not telling us something key to the situation. I don’t believe it’s all containers anchored at sea. My groceries are coming on those; nor is my ammo

    • Eric Newhill says:

      Aside from typos, amending my comment. I do know what’s happening. It’s straight up monetary policy. Containers, etc are a political apology obfuscation.

      Loosening of monetary policy (i.e. surging money into the economy) is ALWAYS the cause of inflation. There is nothing new under the sun. The US has surged the most money and has experienced the most inflation. The other countries have inflation proportional to the M2 policies, despite also having supply chains.

      Trump started this and Biden took it to the next level. It could be corrected in 6 months, but they won’t. They don’t want to experience a little corrective pain now to avoid some major pain in two or three years. Probably trying to make it past the elections. Thanks a lot ass__es. Meanwhile, look over there…supply chains!

      • Deap says:

        Nancy Pelosi was just quoted (WSJ) claiming the pandemic will be over by mid-2022. So why wouldn’t Democrats cure inflation as well in the next 6 months as well?.

        Pelosi knows the election calendar better than anyone, which she proved when she tore up Trump’s SOTU address and she knew she had 6 months and “covid” to take him down in 2020.

        Now she knows she has 6 months to cure everything she created in 2020, for Democrats emerge shining and victorious in 2022. It was all theater – to bring the curtain down on OrangeManBad.

        One can rest assured good Catholic Nancy will be on the wrong end of fire, brimstone and pitchforks for the rest her eternal life. She is pure evil. Sociopathic evil.

        • Pat Lang says:


          The Council of Catholic Bishops in the US will consider if Joe Biden should be denied the Eucharist. As an unrepentant sinner, IMO he should be. His public scandal offered to the world says all that is needed about that. Pope Francis can be ignored by the bishops. The same should be applied to Pelosi, Giuliani et al. This a church matter. These reprobates are free to endanger their immortal souls under civil law.

        • Eric Newhill says:

          It would mean raising interest rates and stopping all of the “infrastructure” spending; stop all of the spending in general. Spending is all democrats know. So won’t happen.

          IMO, there is a huge bubble forming in the stock and housing markets. With inflation people aren’t going to be able to continue paying their bills. The bubble will burst, explosively if pressure is not received gradually with gradual monetary tightening applied beginning now. That won’t happen, though, because democrats gonna democrat. As Fred notes, they are saying stupid crap, like inflation is due to incomplete population vaccination. And containers and truck chassises.

      • blue peacock says:


        Credit has been on a tear since the 70s. The Fed’s balance sheet has been going exponential since the 2008 financial crisis. Loose monetary policy doesn’t have to lead to goods & services inflation as we imported lower prices as we awarded China Most Favored Nation status and entry into WTO by Clinton and the Republicans, although we’ve seen prices rising for at least a decade now with the creation of oligopolies and the death of competition. However, loose monetary growth does lead to asset inflation which we have seen in spades. This is all part & parcel of the increasing financialization of the US economy. As Lacy Hunt shows as non-productive debt grows it actually lowers real incomes of the economy as the productivity of debt declines. Meaning we need more & more debt for a unit of output. Another consequence of financialization is lowering productivity. Managements are now incentivized to use financial engineering as opposed to grow productive capacity with capital investment in productivity enhancing technology. Debt financed stock buybacks being a favorite tool.

        This has been going on for decades under both parties. Total credit market debt (consumer, corporate, financial institution, state, local and federal government) growth has to continue as cash flows don’t support it and unless more debt can be added at lower rates the whole credit edifice will collapse and bring down the asset values that provide the Top 0.1% their wealth. We’ve seen interest rates decline for going on 3 decades. Inflation has always been the most regressive tax but that is necessary to inflate away this debt load. As usual the average citizen pays as they have throughout this multi-decade episode and as history shows in other similar loose financial epochs. We can’t be hopeful as the majority of our fellow citizens act like lemmings to the propaganda machine as we have seen so many times from the buying of the Iraq WMD hoax fostered by the Republicans to the Covid hysteria by the Trump & Biden administrations representing the duopoly.

        At some point confidence in all this sophistry will wane and we’ll see it first in the bond market IMO when it runs away despite the Fed intervening to buy it all. When that psychological tipping point arrives is anyone’s guess?!

        • Eric Newhill says:

          Mostly agree, though I am not as adverse to financializing *in all* situations as you appear to be.

          Yes, this has been building for a long time and yes both parties indulged in it. However, They had a dragon by the tail and were hanging on pretty well until covid. Then they started whipping the dragon into a fury with massive infusions of poorly targeted money on top of their usual shenanigans. They won’t be able to hold on much longer. The dragon is even likely to turn around, fry them and eat them (actually, eat us, because we’re all in this mess they made, together).

          When that happens (the frying and eating), I don’t know either. You’re right that it will begin as a psychological shift, but, of course, there real and very poor fundamentals that won’t sustain the shift. I say one to two years, max. Again, I ask, how regular working people can even feed their families, let alone buy cars, keep a roof over their heads and the other basics – unless wages increased proportionally to CPI increases; and they’re not, won’t; can’t. Another issue is how all of this inflation that is so high relative to other countries impacts our trade, purchase of bonds, etc. So as we print money, we are going to have raise interest rates, or default (the start of the psychological shift?). The millions are upside in homes, cars, etc when increasing rates cause the bottom to fall out of those markets. So many ways it can and will go bad. Too many to enumerate in a simple comment. We are in a bad place and there’s no way out unless M2 starts tightening now.

    • Deap says:

      Why shouldn’t food purveyors charge whatever they can, after seeing the masses roll over and do what ever Biden/Fauci told them to do?

      Enough of the American public rolled over like a defeated dog and showed their jugular in total submission. Everyone is now out for whatever they can get. Resistance is futile because “covid” crushed the American fighting spirit. We are now but putty.

      • Fred says:


        Is that what you did in CA, rollover? You are now out to get whatever you can get? That’s not what happened, or is happening, in a lot of places.

    • Fred says:


      Much to the chagrin of actual economists, the cause of inflation, as Janet Yellin and the CEO of Blackrock inform us, is the refusal of millions to get vaccinated with the various mRNA vaccines that provide immunity to the manufacturers.
      I’m curious to know how the virus signed all those executive orders, but then what’s rational thinking got to do with consolidating power in one party’s hands.

  24. walrus says:

    Over here, the shortages of products are real and caused by at least three sources:

    1) international shipping problems – there is a worldwide shortage of shipping containers and voyage planning is screwed up because of the Los Angeles Port problems and trucking. Empty containers aren’t moving back to China, etc. for refilling.

    2) The Australian version of “great resignation” – its real. People have been forcibly required not to work and just sit around during pandemic lockdowns. Some of them, not surprisingly, decided that they have better things to do than work for da man in a crappy McJob and are doing something about it. Big companies and bad employers now have staff shortages – which they richly deserve. Small, humane, employers, not so much.

    3) We lost a lot of cheap labor when international tourism and overseas student markets dried up. These kids on working holidays or at University here did a lot of manual jobs – waiting on tables, fruit picking, etc.

    And another observation and question: Is America experiencing a migration out of big cities and into small country towns? We are! Prices of country real estate have literally doubled and then some during the pandemic here. A realtor friend reports the average time a house is on the market in our town is four days! Properties are being sold sight unseen. Two weeks ago a scrappy hundred acres block with no water, no outlook, no nothing, not even good for grazing , except planning permission for a house, sold for $900,000.

    I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy the place next door when I could have a few years ago. I would have quadrupled my money by now. I thought about it, but decided against it.

    Food inflation is starting to hit partly because of the higher costs of labor to pick or process food. Meat prices are way up because farmers are still rebuilding herds after drought.

    I’ve now doubled the size of my vegetable garden to one and three quarter tennis courts. I hope my twenty tomato plants don’t get killed by late frosts this week. I’ve planted potatoes, sweet corn, pumpkin, watermelon, Zuchini, cucumber, tomatoes, beetroot, beans, Capsicum, Chillies, eggplant, chard, lettuce and chinese greens, Artichokes. Then there is the strawberry patch the raspberry bed and Asparagus.

    I’ve also started fly fishing for trout again. Deer? Maybe. They are a pest around here.

    • Pat Lang says:

      What kind of deer?

      • walrus says:

        Col. Lang,

        We have lots of what I think are fallow deer, little fellers with spots and a white rump. Bambi material. Its spring now and I know two or three mothers will be nesting in our lower hay paddock and i will have to get them out before Craig, our hay contractor, cuts the area to avoid gruesome scenes. The fallow deer will graze our place in summer and autumn because they need river access, the are a pest because they eat the garden shrubs, roses, olives, etc., unlike our resident kangaroos who only eat grass.

        Then there are Sambur Deer – big, about small cow size. Usually solitary. They will go through a fence not over it. I buried one last year after a ***&* illegal spotlight shooter gut shot a young stag in our driveway.

        I usually call in some keen local hunters who want the meat when the deer become too much of a nuisance. We also have a professional Kangaroo shooter we occasionally call to get rid of some of the big males who can be dangerous at times.

        I can do it all myself if i have to, but SWMBO isn’t a fan of game and I am not an expert butcher,

    • Aletheia in Athens says:

      “Two weeks ago a scrappy hundred acres block with no water, no outlook, no nothing, not even good for grazing , except planning permission for a house, sold for $900,000. ”

      Well, that seems all the way the clear formation of a real state bubble, when prices are no more rational related to the real value of a propierty…

      I think people is leaving for the country side in your country because there dictatorial measures are easier to avoid….

    • akaPatience says:

      Walrus, older Millennials are marrying and having children, thus their inevitable move from urban areas to suburbia and beyond. This was foreseeable. What wasn’t as foreseeable pre-Covid was how rapidly Work From Home would expand, making it more compelling to live in less-expensive, non-urban and even remote settings. As a downtown landlord, I’ve been seeing this trend for a few years now.

      Lockdowns and reduced hours of operations make downtowns less attractive. Again, why pay high rents for proximity to work and entertainment if there’s no work and entertainment? While it’s not too bad where I live, Australia’s austere policies are surely exacerbating the situation. Plus, I suspect multi-family dwellings with common areas like elevators and lobbies may be less attractive than single-family homes especially to those who fear contagion.

    • Fred says:

      “People have been forcibly required not to work AND JUST SIT AROUND during the pandemic lockdowns””

      The press reports here are that the government FORBADE these people from working ,or doing anything else. I’m shocked, ok not too shocked, you left that out.

      “We lost a lot of cheap labor when international tourism and overseas student markets dried up”

      I wonder what could possibly have caused that. If I may make a suggestion, don’t kick yourself too hard. You were not likely to know a genetically engineered virus would leak out of a Chinese level 4 lab. Or that your government would abandon defending freedom for authoritarianism.

  25. Deap says:

    What did Kamala Harris know, and when did she know it? Why did Kamala Harris in AUGUST 2021 warn that “climate change” would disrupt the Christmas shipping supply chain?

    Why in November 2021, is no one claiming “climate change” caused the supply problems, now manifest just as Harris predicted in August 2021.

    How in AUGUST did Harris know how this would play out three months later, when she told us to shop for Christmas early as she was leaving her “high level talk” in Singapore?

    Media quote:……………..”Kamala Harris said on Monday, August 23, how parents might need to do their Christmas shopping during a roundtable conference with business leaders in Singapore.

    Harris reportedly discussed Christmas and climate change but failed to talk about the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan since the Taliban took over weeks ago.

    Addressing the business leaders she was talking to, Harris warned that climate change and the pandemic had drastically impacted supply chain issues. …….”

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