The Problem and The Solution - The U.S. economy, in all its glory, has been a bastion of global growth in standard of living, innovation, and tax avoidance for over a century. Today, the world's largest ever economic power center continues to put the team on its back while causing plenty of problems along the way. Right now, it is U.S. demand that is boosting exports in smaller economies around the world while simultaneously being an absolute menace to global supply chains.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta pins the nation's annualized GDP growth for the final quarter of 2021 at 7%. Amazingly, that's pretty damn high by global standards, beating out estimates for 2% in Europe and 4% in China. That demand and expansion coming from sea to shining sea is having a mixed effect…to say the least.
First, imports from other nations to the U.S. are holding up strong. This comes at a time when, for many of those smaller economics, the COVID-19 pandemic was nearly a full-blown killshot. Exporting to the U.S. allowed money to continue to be made and flow around those economics, propping up companies and feeding families along with it.
At the same time, we have done nothing but talk about supply chain disruptions and inflation all year long. Well, have we stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, we're the problem here? If demand for goods domestic and abroad from American consumers wasn't so god damn high, we might not be seeing the same inflation figures from our pushing up of prices. Moreover, supply chain disruptions only come when there is an imbalance between capacity and demand. Not that this is ever really at what economist's call "equilibrium", but right now, the imbalance is exceptionally high, at least partially (probably mostly) because of the insatiable appetite of U.S. consumers.
Moral of the story? Sorry, but also, you're welcome.
Let ThemTakeTests - The Omicron variant is f*cked and big dawg Joey B is here to do something about it…we hope. President Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. would distribute 500mm at-home COVID-19 tests kits, or about 1.52 tests per U.S. citizen, free of charge.
I was going to say this couldn't have come at a better time, but if the phrase "the sooner the better" is actually true, then we are pretty damn late. Hopefully "better late than never" is also true because the spike in cases we're seeing right now is the furthest thing from comforting. Average daily cases are up over 20% since two weeks ago, while over two-thirds of those cases are reported to be the dreaded Omicron variant.
With the assistance of these at-home tests, hopefully Americans can become more aware of when they've caught a case and can take more precautionary measures, like not having to leave the house and go stand in a crowded line for +2hrs just to find out you're officially a super-spreader.