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We’re going to take you back a couple of February’s ago, not that long, but really a different time. February 2019, An American C-17 cargo jet takes off from an Air Force base in Florida. It’s bound for South America. The media are covering this. It’s a big story that day. Inside the plane, pallets of wheelchairs and crutches. These are gifts from the people of the United States to the long-oppressed population of Venezuela.
Venezuela’s socialist economy famously had collapsed utterly. By that point, there was no toilet paper in Caracas. People were eating zoo animals to stay alive. The average Venezuelan had lost more than 10 pounds from starvation. So the point of sending humanitarian aid to Venezuela was to show the world that Americans are decent. But more than that to the American system works. This country is so rich that we can afford to send crutches and wheelchairs to our enemies.
Again, that was 2019 it wasn’t the Berlin Airlift, it was the other day. But a lot has changed. We’re not shipping any more crutches or wheelchairs to Venezuela or anywhere else for that matter, and we’re not because we don’t have enough for ourselves.
Less than a year into the Joe Biden administration, the United States faces massive and potentially dangerous shortages of just about everything. Just this week, one of the largest health care providers in the western United States, it’s called Intermountain Healthcare, began soliciting help from its own patients. According to a local news report. Officials at Intermountain Health Care were urging people to “check their closets, attics, and garages for used metal crutches and other walk-assist equipment.” Dr. Joseph Kamerath runs the Intermountain Physical Rehab Operation in the state of Utah. “I’ve never seen this,” he said. “I practice health care in various continents. I recently moved from the Middle East. Every time I come back to practice health care in North America, I’m so grateful for our supply chain that we take for granted. And now all of a sudden, we can see that we can’t order anymore.”
Can’t order anymore. Not a small thing when you run a hospital. Multiply that story, times an entire continent and you begin to understand the current state of the American economy. Hospitals begging for medical equipment. Essential goods unavailable everywhere. Supply chains frozen just months before Christmas. It’s not improving. It could get much worse very quickly. Here’s a snapshot of where we are tonight.
REPORTER: The supply chain issue could be hitting your Thanksgiving dinner this year. Grocery stores are warning there could be a shortage of turkeys REPORTER: Stores are seeing shortages of pet food, frozen food and diapers REPORTER: Doug Fabioli has spent two decades as a winemaker but a lack of bottles nationwide could put his supply at risk REPORTER: A shortage of ketchup is effecting restaurants around the country. Quantities of single serve package have dwindled, leaving it in short supply REPORTER: There are shortages of everything from bread to potato chips to toilet paper REPORTER: Suddenly you can’t just buy the stuff you want. Book publishers are having trouble getting paper. Car companies can’t buy computer chips. Builders are having trouble getting lumber. Container ships are waiting in port for days to be unloaded
Yeah, it’s everything. Diapers, pet food, ketchup, bread, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Now the ports, particularly the port of Long Beach and ports in the West Coast, have gotten a lot of attention recently, but the problem is bigger than that. It’s not just crowded ports. The problems begin thousands of miles away. Over the past year, the average time it takes for a container to reach the United States from across the Pacific from Asia has jumped by nearly 50 percent. It was 51 days, now it’s 74 days. That’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Among other things, that means that most of what you buy in the store or order online is about to become much more expensive. As Fox’s William La Juenesse reported recently, so much of our retail economy now depends on the cost of shipping goods from China.
La Juenesse.: A record 159 ships, 63 in port, but, 96 offshore, waiting, sometimes weeks, to dock. Longshoremen say they’re ready to heed the president’s call for 24/7, but when the ports asked truckers to work the 3 to 7 a-m shift, not enough showed. RAMON PONCE DE LEON, PRESIDENT -ILWU LOCAL 13: We have three shifts. First, second and third. They choose not to work the third because there’s no one comes to pick up the cargo on the third shift because on the other side of the supply chain, there’s no place to take the container. La Juenesse: The cost of a shipping container from china to LA is $16,000 up 330% from a year ago, and once here, the trucking rate per mile is up 23% not including fuel.
So trucking costs just one link in a very long and quite complex chain, trucking costs up nearly twenty-five percent, not including fuel. But of course, in real life, we do include fuel. Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for Americans who don’t live in the urban core. That’s most people. According to AAA, the average price of gasoline per gallon is now $3.30. So to refresh your memory, just a year ago, it was about $2. Now this country has immense energy reserves. Up until recently bragged about being quote energy independent that was going to free us from our dependence on the Middle East and all those pointless wars that killed so many Americans and drained our Treasury. We are proud of that.
How did we get energy shortages in a country that has more energy than it can consume? Well, that was not accidental. It was entirely intentional. It was the result of policies that came from Washington. And maybe that’s why Joe Biden does not seem upset about it when asked. Now, cars may be a threat to the global climate, but more pressing cars equal physical autonomy. They’re yours. You can take them where you want. And by this point, we know very well where this administration stands on the question of physical autonomy. This is what Joe Biden said when he was asked about this.
COOPER: Do you have a timeline for gas prices? When do you think they may start coming down? BIDEN: My guess is you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by going into the winter. I mean, excuse me, in the next year. 2022. I don’t see anything is going to happen in the meantime, that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices. // I don’t have a near term answer
Gas prices. That’s not some kind of esoteric question. Again, for most people who don’t work at non-profits in Washington, gas prices are essential. They determine how much money you have day today. And yet Biden’s response the most blasé imaginable. I don’t have a near-term answer. I don’t have a near-term answer.
But that’s not always his answer really depends upon what the question is. So, for example, the administration felt that it had to import thousands of unvetted, unvaccinated Afghan refugees. Biden did have a short-term answer. In fact, he described it as a national emergency. It couldn’t wait. Not one moment. And so the Biden White House mobilized the entire US government to get those people into your neighborhood. That was very important to them. But your household budget, how much money you have, whether you can take your kids out for dinner? Who cares? Deal with it legacy American, you have no right to expect more. That’s their position.
So say goodbye to cheap gasoline, probably forever. That was the basis upon which our modern society was structured. That’s why we have suburbs that, by the way, the administration hates what most people enjoy living in. Can’t live in suburbs with gasoline that you can’t afford, and it’s not just gasoline heating oil too. And jet fuel and natural gas and all the other immoral hydrocarbons. Cheap fuel is over in this country, and it’s intentional. Permanent shortages ahead.
And by the way, it’s not just fuel. Go ahead and try and build something right now, we dare you. The following construction materials have now been listed as quote delayed, meaning very tough to get. They include adhesives, appliances, copper drywall, electrical equipment, fabricated metals, furniture, HVAC equipment, lumber, PVC pipe, steel and so on. Essentially, pretty much everything. Good luck fixing your house or, for that matter, filling your fridge. Many common goods, the ones you bought in the grocery store last year without thinking about, are now effectively luxury items.
REPORTER: The statistics are staggering – showing food prices rose 4.6% this year compared to last year. When it’s broken down to specific food items, the numbers are even higher with dramatic increases in meat, poultry, fish and eggs. They ring in at almost 10.5% more
So what’s going on here? We’ll be honest, Joe Biden didn’t do all of this, a lot of things are going on here and they’re happening all at once. The main driver of this is that over time we’ve become completely through various administrations, both parties, we’ve become completely dependent on China. The Chinese Chinese Communist Party effectively is our new OPEC with the word they can shut down our economy. At the same time, the ideologues in the White House are raising energy costs. Just in case you thought, maybe we could make up some of the gap in domestic manufacturing, that’s impossible with energy costs this high. You need cheap energy in order to have a manufacturing economy. Period. Ask anyone in the business.
And then to add to this, there is a labor shortage once again, the result of long-term sad trends. But that has been dramatically exacerbated by policies from the Biden White House and that labor shortage is hitting paradoxically at exactly the moment when there’s an unemployment crisis. That is bizarre and it’s scary.
Tonight, the labor force participation rate is 61.6%. Now, what does that mean for perspective, in the middle of the 2008 meltdown, when we felt the foundation shaking and people thought the entire U.S. economy was going to crater, the labor force participation rate was five points higher than it is today. And then look closer at the numbers, something called the prime age male labor force participation rate, which, let’s be honest, is the essence of this whole thing. Now that measure includes men aged 25 to 54 in what we used to call the prime of their lives. Currently, that rate is about 88%. What does that mean? Well, for perspective, we’ll take you back to 1976, which if you were alive and living in America then, you remember as a pretty grim time economically. Inflation was wreaking havoc on the economy. We were worried about energy prices again. Even then, the labor force participation for working age males was nowhere near as low as it is today. It was about 94%.
So to be very clear about these numbers, they have no precedent. Right now at exactly the moment when we need hundreds of factory workers, thousands across the country, you are seeing factory workers walking off the job.
Reporter: well this is certainly no small showing by members of the local union as well as other GE employees who say they’re not just frustrated by the vaccine mandate, they also feel betrayed by the company they say didn’t give them enough time to choose. Ge worker: these factory workers have done a great job of working through covid, and I think this is just a slap in the face to them. Another GE worker: we have been essential for 18 months, and now we went from heroes to zeros. // Reporter: more than 200 Schenectady employees walked out on their General Electric jobs in protest Friday
So take three steps back what’s going on here? Well, this administration has targeted a very specific portion of the population, targeted them for ideological and political reasons, blue–collar men. The idea is they supported the wrong party, they have retrograde attitudes, they engage in wrong think and we’re going to crush them. And so systematically, they have.
The mandates are only one way in which the Biden administration has decided to hurt this specific group of Americans. The problem is, and this might not be evident to the geniuses who work in the Biden administration, you can’t run a country without these people. They’re the ones who know how to do things, not just report to the H.R. department but fix things, build things, keep the power grid going, fly your airplanes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And it’s exactly this group that is being ground to dust beneath the heel of the ideologues in the Biden administration.
So what does this mean for you? What’s going to have massive ramifications for your life? You can’t buy a refrigerator if there’s no one to build it. If there are no materials to assemble it if there’s no one to put it on a truck and drive it to your house. So it’s a problem for consumer goods.
But it’s bigger than consumer goods. At some point soon in this continental country that relies on its vital transportation grid. You may have trouble getting a flight.
Southwest Airlines, we brought you this story repeatedly, is continuing to see canceled flights. We just got this text from someone at the company. “Southwest still canceling or severely delaying over 1,000 flights daily due to crew noncompliance… As an example, this past Saturday saw 1352 cancelations or delays. In Dallas alone we had over half the baggage handlers not come to work.”
Again, these are the people who are being targeted for pain by the administration. And because no one like this works in the American media, there’s not one person at CNN or MSNBC who has any link to this part of the culture or these kinds of people. This story is essentially going unreported. Why are things not working? Because the people who know how they work are being fired or pushed to the point where they’re walking off the job?
So here we are at the end of October. Think ahead a little bit, what’s this going to look like in, say, six weeks when the entire United States decides to get on an airplane and visit the relatives for the holidays? Well, we’ve got Tuesday’s numbers from the website FlightAware. Southwest, just to name one example, had 863 delays, that was the most of any carrier. This is a huge problem and it is almost certain to get worse.
Now, the White House has been asked about this, about the transportation stoppages across the country. We played the tape before, and we’ll play it again because it tells you everything about their attitudes. Joe Biden’s chief flack being asked Why can’t people buy things in stores anymore?
REPORTER: People couldn’t get dishwashers and furniture and treadmills delivered on time, not to mention all sorts of other things. Jen Psaki: The tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed
You see the little smirk—that’s freshman year dorm room at Oberlin. Your treadmill didn’t come. Yeah, well, it’s not just treadmills. It’s bread. It’s dog food. It’s ketchup. It’s building supplies. It’s everything. It’s the fight to go see my ailing grandmother.
But these people have no tactile sense of what the country is like. And so instead of answering these most basic problems when you’re running a country, you care if people can take flights across it or if they can afford to drive their own cars or buy ketchup. Instead of answering any of these questions, they’re lecturing us about how we should be delighted that we have a new four-star trans admiral. That’s the prize they’re bringing to us. You voted for us, here’s your trans admiral, be happy.
Among other things, these are totally unserious people. They are purely ideological. They do not care if the actual country, the physical country, comes apart at the seams as long as the population dutifully repeats the correct slogans. Once you understand that, you understand why every day we get some frivolous new announcement about some social justice goal that in the end will not improve the life of a single American citizen.
Here’s today’s example. The State Department has just announced it will issue the first passport ever with an x gender marker. Huh? First of all, who cares? Second, why is the U.S. government trying to pretend that gender isn’t real? It’s the realest thing in human society. It’s the basis of civilization. But whatever they lectured us today quote, this is for those who don’t have identify as male or female. So you won’t be able to get on a plane because no one’s working at the airlines anymore. But at least you won’t get misgendered. OK.
Here’s another example. There’s an ongoing House Intel Committee hearing with the heads of the CIA, NSA and DNI, not on how the intel agencies have been weaponized against American citizens. No, that would be too germane. That might actually do something for you if they stop reading your texts and they’ll let you post what you wanted on Facebook. No, this hearing was about DEI. That’s not a new intel agency. It’s a new cult. It’s called diversity, equity and inclusion. So the hearing began with Adam Schiff complaining, and this is a key problem for most Americans, that all the Intel briefers he deals with are white men?
SCHIFF: I can’t help but notice that the large majority of IC briefers, though uniformly excellent, who appear before the committee are often White and male. We need to recruit officers with diverse backgrounds into the IC and then show them there’s a path forward to advance and grow their careers to top leadership positions.
Oh yeah, I just can’t help notice on my intel briefers are white men. Has that being a problem for you recently as you’re trying to fix your garage that’s falling down, but you can’t get joists? Is it a problem for you every time you fill up your truck for three dollars and thirty cents a gallon? If only we had more diverse intel briefers, this would be a better country. That’s what they think. That’s what they’re spending their time on and you’re paying for it.
The White House just issued its first-ever national gender equity and equality strategy that happened on Friday. Did you miss it? Maybe you were waiting in line trying to buy food? Well, one of the highlights from that plan, the White House, says it will work to end cash bail. Oh, that will make your life better.
But that’s not all. The White House also announced it wants to, and we’re quoting seek to eliminate barriers that prevent immigrants from accessing government-funded services. Ooh, that’s the whole game right there.
So you’re getting poorer. Gas prices are going up. We’ve completely lost control of the infrastructure in the country. What are the chances we’re going to have blackouts this summer when people dare to turn on the air conditioning about 100 percent? The White House, instead of spending a single moment trying to fix actual problems that actually affect your life, has turned the entire force of the federal government on this question. How can illegal aliens get more free stuff from the government? That tells you everything.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the October 27, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”