Thursday, October 14, 2021

The Opposite of Resilience

I'm sure you've heard about the "supply chain problem." You may have seen the photos of giant ships waiting to dock near Los Angeles and Long Beach. But have you heard this?

According to Twitter user @as_a_worker, shipping problems are not just because of fits and starts from recovering from covid disruptions. Part of the problem is that

the three biggest shipping companies own 80% of the world’s container freight and consolidation [which] led them to shed 13% of their capacity in 2020. meanwhile, shipping rates have quadrupled. hapag-lloyd, for one, expects profits to rise between 815% to 1025% over last year’s levels

also, freight companies have the habit of leaving their workers stranded at sea in sinking shops rather than pay them their wages. there are currently over 1000 seafarers just abandoned by capital floating around the ocean

rather than use their super-profits to, say, invest in capital outlays, the majority of their profits are going into
a) dividend payments to shareholders
b) war chests for continued mergers and acquisitions. 

hong kong’s COSCO lines is putting 99.6% of profits into dividends

and shipping is only one factor of the supply chain crisis. but all anyone wants to talk about is the political dimension (what does it mean for biden, derp) when this is a clear case of capital’s inner tendencies leading to an entirely irrational social outcome for us all

biden’s plan, by the way, is exactly what you’d expect: he got a bunch of the capitalists together and convinced them to force overtime on their workers

Here's one source he supplied to support his analysis.

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times

It's similar to the way hospitals have had their capacity gutted over the past few decades, whether by the decrease in number of hospitals overall (especially in rural areas) or within departments, such as ICUs. Everything is run for financial efficiency and profit maximization instead of redundancy and resiliency in an emergency.

No comments: