Most shoppers in the US never thought they’d experience empty store shelves. My brother-in-law recently said, “It feels like war time”, referring to our grandparents’ stories of shortages during WW II. It seems that every industry has been affected. If you’re wondering what 2022 might bring, this video from TODAY gives a brief overview.

If you’re curious about the cause of these shortages, this article from The Atlantic gives a great explanation of the “veritable hydra of bottlenecks” that have resulted in delays, empty shelves, and rising costs.

On a recent episode of Fresh Air on NPR, Wall Street Journal columnist Christopher Mims explains how normally-efficient overseas shipping systems became overwhelmed during the pandemic. Spoiler alert…according to the author, “I think that the supply chain problems we’re having now, which are at the root of current inflation, are going to persist for a long time. And part of that is because we just have more demand for goods and that seems to be persistent.”

It doesn’t seem that purchasing will return to normal anytime soon. At least understanding the cause of the problem helps us keep perspective and – maybe – gain patience.

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