Labor shortage about to get worse for hospitals, police and fire departments. Also any company with over 100 employees.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

As you read the following articles, keep in mind the LA County Sheriff and the Riverside County Sheriff have both said they will not enforce any vaccination mandate for their staff. In addition, the Chicago police union is in court trying to get and order to prohibit the vaccination dictat.  Officers who are not in full compliance have been pulled off patrol.

Imminent problems:

  • There are widespread firings on near-term horizon for police officers, firefighters, and hospital workers.
  • 90% of companies with over 100 employees expect to lose staff from their already understaffed organizations because of vaccination mandates.

Chronicles Magazine – 10/18/21 – The Impending Mass Firing of America’s Unvaccinated In the midst of an existing shortage of workers and a labor force participation rate that has come close to recovering from the government-imposed recession, there is soon to be another major problem hit the economy: the pending firing of large numbers of people who refuse to get vaccinated or for whom employers refuse to provide any exemptions.

The massive hit to employment is likely to hit police, firefighters, doctors, and nurses particularly hard. The resulting, fully expected consequence will be deterioration in public services.

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You cannot turn an economy off, then turn it back on. Here are the results when hubris makes you think you found the magic switch. Part 3.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The supply chain for so many of the things we buy is messed up at every step of the logistics system. Former CEO of Walmart pointed out the steps in the supply chain that are tangled up:

  • Loading ships at ports in Asia.
  • Ships are stuck in the water waiting to unload.
  • Unloading at ports in the US is another chokepoint.
  • There are not enough truck drivers.
  • Not enough labor and the various points in the distribution system inside the United States.
  • Shortage of people to put stuff on the shelves.

Essentially every stage of the distribution channel is tangled up. Biggest thing that could be done to get things moving normally would be more people to work at every step of the distribution system. Labor shortages, in other words.

This post discusses two articles:

  • California has imposed restrictions on trucking which has drastically reduced the number of trucks which can be operated in the state.
  • One article provides us a survey of a dozen other articles, each of which describes a different aspect of the supply chain disaster.

Part one of this series can be read here. Part two here.

The Last Refuge – 10/14/21 – The California Version of The Green New Deal and an October 16, 2020, EPA Settlement With Transportation is What’s Creating The Container Shipping Backlog – Working CA Ports 24/7 Will Not Help, Here’s Why Author spent three days researching reasons for the backlog of containers here in California. Checking resources, researching details, and other research showed some surprising things.

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This week’s round of flaming hypocrisy from public officials.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock?

Without even trying to find such news reports, examples keep jumping out which show senior politicians, health officials, and sundry members of the elite caste ignoring the rules you and I must follow. The examples just don’t stop.

The most recent illustrations from the California governor, New Jersey governor, and New Jersey Attorney General are discussed below.

Following is a list of my previous discussions on the ever-expanding list of senior officials who don’t bother to follow the rules they imposed.

Another post published a moment ago asks the question whether these officials really believe the rules they dictate are even required.

California Governor

Yahoo! News – 10/9/21 – Gavin Newsom’s daughter not yet vaccinated as implement sweeping mandate – California has now imposed a mandatory requirement that all students in public and private schools be vaccinated against Covid-19. The diktat was announced for children 12 through 15 as soon as the FDA gave approval for the Pfizer medicine.

The governor has not had his daughter, who turned 12 recently, vaccinated yet. Does he lead by example? Does he comply with the requirement? Not yet.

The second reason is that she has

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Instead of being just flaming hypocrites, perhaps our “leaders” don’t really believe Covid restrictions are needed.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Let’s picture a situation where politicians and public health officials believe eating seedless grapes is dangerous, will make a tremendously large number of people horribly sick, and will inevitably kill lots of people.

Let’s pretend that grape-sickness is so dangerous that even inhaling trace amounts of grape-breath from other people will make you terribly sick, with a frightening chance grape-breath will kill you.

Let’s picture said politicians and public health officials banning seedless grapes and insisting that none of us ever eat them again because they are so terribly dangerous.

Now let’s picture dozens of those politicians and public health officials being photographed and video recorded eating seedless grapes.

And breathing on each other.

In public.

With cameras rolling.

Knowing they are being recorded.

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What’s likely to happen with inflation? More of it and for extended time.

Rising costs and constrained shipping capacity is driving inflation and disrupting supply chain across the economy. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Indicators I can see suggest inflation is going to continue at a high rate for quite some time.

This is a bigger issue for charities that for businesses.

For charities, inflation will push up the expenses of performing ministry and providing help to those in need.

Simultaneously, it will put pressure on donors because the money they have left over after rent, groceries, and gasoline will be shrinking. That will put pressure on contributions. Charities cannot push through an increase in contributions like a business can push through increase in prices.

Here are a few of the articles I have read recently pointing towards ongoing rise in prices:

  • Rent component of CPI will increase substantially over the next year because of the way the index is calculated.
  • Shipping costs have already skyrocketed.
  • Multiple food producers are struggling with rapidly increasing costs.
  • Major food producer expects their costs go up 11% in the next year with prices they charge to go up by 4%.
  • The phrase “stagflation” is back in play. Oh joy, a possible (likely?) return to the Carter administration.

Asia Times – 8/27/21 – US rent hikes will explode consumer inflation in 2022 – Anecdotal information indicates rental prices are skyrocketing.

A friend of mine priced the apartment they are living in to help a relative who was moving into the area. Price for this exact unit is 50% more than when they signed their annual lease a number of months ago.

An acquaintance reports the price for renting a particular house went up while they were thinking about it for a day or so.

Two friends report landlords renting apartments expect six months rent in advance and some landlords renting houses are expecting a year in advance. A year.

Article mentioned above says the reports floating around in the media indicate rent hikes overall are around 10%. Yet the CPI shows only 2% increase in rent.

How can that be?

Fascinating detail of how the CPI is calculated explains the anomaly and also points towards dramatic increase in the rent component of CPI over the next year.

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You cannot turn an economy off, then turn it back on. Here are the results when hubris makes you think you found the magic switch. Part 2.

Modern Cargo container ship giving an idea of the amount of cargo that can be carried. Each of those containers is one semi-load on the freeway. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Seems like most industries have a tangled supply chain. The entire transportation system is sorely distressed.

The elitists in federal and state governments have a staggering level of hubris. They think waving their hands, clicking away on their laptops, and issuing press releases will make the entire economy bend to their will. What they accomplish is willfully causing disruption in your life and in my life.

Here are merely a few of the recent articles describing the tangled impact of Covid dictats and sundry government policies:

  • Lots of cargo ships are waiting to unload off the California coast.
  • Large port operator expects disruptions to last into 2023.
  • Workers in transportation sector warn of possible system collapse.
  • Chip shortage for carmakers will last into late 2022.

Looks like it might take another 15 or 18 months to untangle the worldwide supply chain.

Wall Street Journal – 8/17/21 – Cargo Ships Are Again Idling Off Jammed Southern California Ports – Back in the middle of August the tally of cargo ships sitting off to coast of California was 37.

A tweet I saw this morning (10/9/21) from someone flying out of Long Beach indicated the individual counted 50 ships waiting to unload.

At around 10,000 containers per ship that is somewhere around 370,000 containers waiting to be unloaded back in the middle of August and is now currently somewhere in the range of half a million containers sitting off the coast.

Article says a few months ago it was only nine. Normally it is zero.

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You cannot turn an economy off, then turn it back on. Here are the results when hubris makes you think you found the magic switch. Part 1.

Random stock outages are still common. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The supply chain in most industries is tangled up somehow somewhere.

The people in federal and state governments with the staggering level of hubris to think they can wave their hands and make the entire economy do their bidding are willfully causing disruption in your life and in my life.

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Another Fed official actively trading. This time in advance of major action by the Fed.

The facade of the Federal Reserve Bank. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Another senior official in the Federal Reserve had odd trades in 2020.  This brings to three the number of extremely senior Fed officials doing strange things.

On 2/28/20 the chairman of the Federal Reserve issued a statement saying that the evolving coronavirus would require close monitoring by the Federal Reserve. Unusual release also indicated there were risks emerging in terms of economic activity.

Such statements get close attention by the investment markets because they contain any hint of what the Fed is thinking and what the Fed might do. The market then responds to those statements, inferring what it means and what those actions might do to interest rates and the stock markets.

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USPS to further slow down mail delivery. Intentionally.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The Post Office is going to slow down delivery of mail.

This is good information to know for charities, CPA firms, and those few of us who still use first-class mail to pay bills.

Before 10/1/21 the goal for USPS was three-day delivery anywhere in the country. This pushed USPS into sending a large volume of mail by air, which is far more expensive than ground transportation.

The new goal is five-day delivery anywhere in the country. This will allow sending most mail by USPS-owned trucks. Reading between the lines of official statements there will also be increased use of rail.

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Financial conflict of interest on the federal bench and stock trading by presidents of regional Federal Reserve Banks. Alternate headline – Is there any group of powerful people who bother to follow the rules?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Major investigative effort by the Wall Street Journal revealed 131 federal judges who own stock in one of the firms appearing before them in 685 lawsuits.

The Journal found that about two thirds of all federal judges disclosed ownership in individual stock. Of those who made such disclosure about one fifth had a conflict of interest but did not recuse themselves.

For CPAs, this illustrates the importance of our independence rules, both independence in fact an independence in appearance.

What shall we call judges who were trading stock of litigants who were appearing in front of them? Perhaps a reasonable label would be integrity impaired fools. Even those judges who had a trivial investment and had a mere procedural motion in front of them have a serious appearance of conflict of interest and thus impaired integrity.

It would be wise for CPAs to read this story as a caution to keep a scrupulous eye on their own independence. The same lessons can be drawn by leaders of nonprofit organization.

The story doesn’t end with the federal judges, but we start there. More discussion in a moment about stock trading by presidents of two regional Federal Reserve Banks, who are the ultimate insiders.

Failures to recuse when federal judges have financial conflicts of interest

The investigative report may be found at the Wall Street Journal, published online 9/28/21:131 Federal Judges Broke the Law by Hearing Cases Where They Had a Financial Interest.

A 1974 federal law requires federal judges to monitor their investments, maintain personal awareness of those investments, and then recuse himself of any case in which they have a financial interest, no matter how small their interest may be.

In spite of a 40-year-old law and in spite of software that checks disclosed ownership against parties to the lawsuit, 12% of federal judges completely blew off the ethical obligation. That means one out of eight judges failed to recuse themselves when they had a financial interest in a case before them.

I’m wondering if there’s any group or category of people in this country who have significant power or influence who actually bother to follow the rules

More specific tallies from the article:

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Those Covid bugs are really smart. Alternate headline: The ruling caste knows that masks are useless.

Those little critters are smart enough to follow written instructions from the LA Department of Public Health. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Those little Covid critters are really, reeeeeally smart.

How smart are they?, I hear you ask.

They are so smart that they accessed, read, and comprehended correspondence from the Los Angeles County Department of Health that all those people sitting shoulder to shoulder at the Emmys were perfectly safe without wearing any masks.

Thus, those little bugs obediently obeyed.

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More flaming hypocrites reveal themselves.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The list just keeps growing of politicians, rule makers, and other assorted self-appointed elitists who show they don’t have to obey the rules they demand we follow.

Illustrations from the last few weeks:

  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, her new husband, and Kansas congresswoman Sharice Davids ignore mask rules at wedding.
  • Bunches of elitists at $30,000 per person gala event blow off masks while all the server staff are covered.
  • S.F. Mayor London Breed blows off masks at a nightclub and blows off the requirement to wear masks which she imposed.
  • Not one person at the Emmys, which was held in an enclose space, located in Los Angeles County, sitting eight to a table when not crowded on stage, is wearing a mask.

8/30/21 – Washington Free Beacon – Photos: Elizabeth Warren Partied Maskless With Actual Native Americans at Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s Wedding – The New Mexico governor ordered a mandate to wear masks at any indoor activity. The order was issued on August 17, effective August 20, to remain in effect until at least September 15.

On Saturday, August 28, 2021, the order was widely ignored at the wedding.

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Protests emerging around the world against lockdowns and vaccination mandates.

Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock.

For example, multiple protests have taking place all across France for the last 10 weekends or so.

Over the last several months protests have developed in multiple countries. Seems that people are fed up with being told they can’t move around, go to restaurants, or enjoy entertainment without getting government permission to do so.

Here are some of the articles describing people who are fed up:

7/31 – Wall Street Journal – Covid-19 Vaccine Health Pass Feeds French Protest – Photos of protests in France show massive crowds. Estimates are 204,000 people gathered in many cities across the country to protest the so-called Health Pass, which is needed to get into restaurants or movies or museums. There were 14,000 people protesting in Paris at four different locations with 3,000 police officers mobilized to control the crowds.

This is the third weekend in a row with massive protests. Last week there were 161,000 across the country with 11,000 in Paris alone.

7/31/21 – The Local – In Pictures: over 200,000 people protest against health Pass in France – Ministry of the Interior reports there were protests at 184 locations.

Lots of pictures of big crowds in the article.

8/2/21 – The Guardian – Hundreds arrested in Berlin protests against Covid restrictions – The government of Germany does not allow protests against Covid restrictions, according to the article. Regardless, there were 13 protests around Berlin on 8/1.

Police used pepper spray, truncheons, water cannon, and armored vehicle to break up crowds. Over 600 people were arrested.

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$5.5 Million. Cost to taxpayers to cover legal costs of churches forced to close their doors in violation of constitution. Another $9.5M to defend cases.

Things that should not have been banned during the government imposed shutdown. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Over five million bucks.

That is how much money state and county officials have taken from California taxpayers. Why did they need to take that much money out of our pockets?

Because they can’t read the constitution and thus decided that churches and religious faith are not essential. Due to their lack of reading comprehension they ordered all churches in the state to close their doors.

The Supreme Court found said reading failure to be a flagrant violation of the free exercise clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Thus the state and various counties are starting to reimburse churches for their legal costs.

How much?

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Additional three settlements in California for violations of First Amendment.

Because of its attacks on the first amendment, the State of California has been doing a lot of this lately. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Turns out there are even more settlements for religious freedom civil rights violations in California than I have yet covered.

Current tally is over $5 million reimbursement for legal fees in 11 settlements, 8 of which are for repressing free expression of religion. One settlement did not have any dollars attached.

In addition, the state has spent $9.5 million in an effort to defend its willful violation of civil rights.

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