Number of people drawing unemployment continues to improve, but very slowly, as of the start of November 2021.

The number of new claims for unemployment is slowly declining.

For the week ending 11/6/21 there were 267,000 new claims. While this is encouraging progress, keep in mind the number of people who are getting laid off is still far above the average of 212,000 per week all the way back in January and February 2020. We are still seeing more people laid off every week than before the pandemic began.

(Posts on my other blogs discussing the unemployment situation are going to be cross-posted to this blog. Intentional federal policies are a drag on the employment situation and thus need to be discussed here as a drag on our economic freedom.)

Here is a recap of newly unemployed over the last several months:

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Just how much money has the Federal Reserve created out of thin air and injected into the economy?

Got to wondering how much money the Fed has created out of thin air and then pumped into the economy.  The answer is a vague “bunches and bunches.”

How do I know that? Because of my reading over the last few years. I pay attention to such stories (yeah, yeah, I know – I’m weird – pray for me as you feel led). I also am aware the Fed pumped a lot of money into the economy when the pandemic started.

There have been lots of news reports commenting they have been pumping something in the range of $100 billion a month into the economy after their initial round.

As I was thinking about things the federal, state, and local government have been doing to harm the economy, got to wondering just exactly how much fiat money the Fed has been creating, out of thin air of course. Yeah, I wonder about such things.

Answer is again bunches and bunches, and is measured in trillions of dollars.

Graph above shows the amount of total assets on the Federal Reserves balance sheet since around 2003.

Wow.

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About that new vaccination mandate for the private sector…

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

The promised vaccine mandate for private companies with 100 or more employees were published on 11/4/21.

The federal diktat applies to private-sector employers with 100 or more employees. Companies have to verify employees have been fully vaccinated or require a weekly negative test. In addition anyone not vaccinated will have to wear a mask at work.

The vaccinate-or-test requirement goes into effect 1/4/22, two months from now.

Oh yeah, that mask requirement for the unvaccinated goes into effect 12/5/21, a month from now.

Separate federal diktats applied to federal employees, any company with a federal contract (think airlines, trucking companies, defense contractors), and any health facility with billings to either Medicare or Medicaid program.

Newest rules catch another 84 million people the mandatory vaccinate-or-else requirement.

News flash:  The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a temporary injunction against the rules on 11/6/21.This circuit covers Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Utah. The ruling cited “grave statutory and constitutional issues.”  Brief coverage from Investing on 11/6/21:  U.S. federal appeals court freezes Biden’s vaccine rule for companies.

Background on the rules and then the beginning points of issues with the requirements.

Wall Street Journal – 11/5/21 – OSHA Covid-19 Vaccine Mandate: What to Know

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Deliberate policies which compound supply chain issues.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

This is start of what will be a series of posts describing steps taken by federal, state, and local officials to compound the supply chain problem we are experiencing. Other policies, deliberately imposed, have the foreseeable consequence of being a drag on the economy. There are lots of recent articles pointing out policies, intentional policies by supposedly intelligent bureaucrats, which have the effect of making it more difficult to get things done.

A few policies that come to mind:

  • Tax on every container not pulled by a zero-emission truck.
  • Only a fraction of the trucks in the country allowed to pick up a container in California.
  • Owner/operators not allowed at the ports.
  • Fines on shipping companies who can’t get their containers out of the port because of congestion in the supply chain.

Additional tax on non-zero-emission trucks picking up cargo

Port Technology – 11/5/21 – Port of Los Angeles accelerates zero-emissions truck efforts – The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissions approved a requirement for trucks picking up cargo at either Long Beach or Los Angeles ports to be zero emission starting 4/1/22. Or else.

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Harsh enforcement of Covid rules against restaurants has started. And of course, the rules don’t apply to the elites. Protests are underway around the world.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Three topics in this post:

  • The ‘papers please’ enforcement efforts are getting serious. The first restaurants are now getting shuttered in California.
  • Another group of elitist ruling overlords ignoring the rules.
  • Protests are running across the planet against restrictions which prohibit living your life.

One restaurant refuses to become law enforcement enforcers

Before you read my description of this article, consider a comment I read the other day from someone who had visited New York recently. There is a mandatory requirement that all restaurants provide police-level enforcement of the vaccination requirement by checking vaccination and ID of every customer before they enter a restaurant.

This person observed that the staff assign responsibility for screening took a brief glance at whatever was presented to them and waved people in. This means enforcement is light. Restaurants there cannot afford to turn away customers (other, several report their income is down 50% to 60%) and cannot take the time to do a serious check of every single customer that ever enters the restaurant. Essentially the enforcement is quite lax, based on this person’s observations.

The Highwire – 10/18/21 – San Francisco closes In-and-out Burger After Defying City’s Vaxxing Rule – Because In-N-Out Burger allegedly would not check vaccination documents and compare them to photo ID and physically bar entrance by anyone who is not completely vaccinated at one particular restaurant in San Francisco, the county Department of Health issued an order to close the restaurant.

In a published comment, the Chief Legal & Business Officer of the restaurants chain defiantly said:

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Guess what? Harsh regulations have throttled the legal marijuana market in California. Surprise!

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

In what is an absolute lack of surprise to anyone who’s thought about the issue, the severe regulations imposed by the state of California on legal marijuana shops means the majority of marijuana sales take place in the black market.

After five years of legal recreational marijuana, sales in the illegal market are estimated to be twice the volume in legal stores.

This is the 32nd article I have written covering the legalized recreational marijuana market. You can see my other articles by clicking on the regulation experiment tag.

(Cross-post from my other blog Outrun Change. A bit of background – I’ve had a long running series of posts there describing the California efforts to legalize recreational use of marijuana as a natural experiment. In other words, let’s sit back and watch what happens in a brand new industry when the government implements severe, extensive regulations on a new industry and imposes harsh taxation on the industry’s product. Also, there is an existing illegal industry that provides a rough frame of reference of what the industry kinda’, sorta’ looks like. My prediction all along has been growth in the new industry would be artificially restricted from what would otherwise happen without the severe regulations. Looks like my predictions is correct. I will continue to watch this natural experiment.)

Politico explains on 10/23/21: California’s legal weed industry can’t compete with illicit market.

One way to measure how severely the legal marijuana business has been restricted is to look at the number of licensed marijuana shops per 100,000 residents. For six Western states that allow recreational sales, here is the number of legal dispensaries per 100,000 people:

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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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