Shortages Strike America

Stores all across America are dealing with empty shelves as shortages wreak havoc

The Washington Post

Stores all across America are dealing with empty shelves as shortages wreak havoc

Emma Larkin, Staff Writer

While the term “pandemic” may cause one to think of the public health crisis we all faced last year, the United States has also experienced a new shift into an economic crisis. The U.S. is facing a concerning increase in the amount of shortages on common, everyday items.

When the world went into lockdown in March 2020, few people predicted the effect this would have on the economy. More importantly, no one could have predicted where we would be a full year and a half later. Many states are still fighting against COVID but now have to deal with product shortages, price increases and a huge demand for many common household items.

The automobile industry is becoming increasingly more expensive. Prices of gas, used cars and tires have risen as the demand for these items exceeds the supply. Additionally, small and everyday items, such as paper, have become more and more expensive over the last year.  

“Everything across the board is getting more expensive. A lot of it is supply chain issues. Production is down because of the pandemic. We are seeing issues with freight. Freight costs have increased exponentially because freight companies can basically dictate whatever they want at this point.” Will Crabtree, owner of print shop Tampa Printer, said.

Crabtree has also said they were unable to purchase their regular paper in bulk, and now have to choose other distributors. This has cost them much more money and Crabtree may have to raise those prices to the consumer as the shortages continue.

When the pipeline that carried gasoline from Texas to the majority of the Northeast was shut down due to a reported cybersecurity attack, the future of gas prices started to climb. Colonial Pipeline had their entire system go offline which prevented fuel transportation to the east coast causing gas prices skyrocketed due to the roughly 45% of their fuel being used there.

With all these shortages, a common question on everyone’s mind is how long will this last? While there is no definitive answer to the shortage issues gripping our economy, we can hope to see things return back to normal and stores becoming more and more stocked as the new year rolls in.