It All Starts With A Virtue Signal

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

I visited a woman in the hospital this weekend.  She had a heart attack and was unresponsive on arrival.  The doctors didn’t know if she would make it.  Here’s a note from her husband (I did their estate plan, back when I was in private practice):

“When you are laying in bed at 2:00 a.m and your mind is running the gerbil wheel of ‘what if she doesn’t wake up,  would she want burial or cremation and what do I do with the ashes, keep them or scatter them, and what funeral home should I hire, and who is going to scan photos for the video but would she even want a memorial, and what are her friends’ phone numbers or maybe invite only family, and can we even have a memorial, what are the Covid rules and oh God, what if she doesn’t wake up?’ . . . it’s not as much fun as you might think.  Spend some time talking to your family so they know the plan.”

Joe Doakes

What Joe said. 

A buddy owns an electrical contracting shop.  He writes:

“14/2 shot up about 50% since the inauguration.   It doubled since last
week.  It was running about $38 a roll last summer.  It hit $92.   And
the word is that there will be shortages. Suppliers are limiting
customers to 60% of normal inventory.  I had a few bids out.   I may
need to pull them.   For certain I won’t be in a hurry to write a lot of
new ones.”

For those who don’t speak Electrician, 14/2 is the size of plastic-clad
copper electrical wire used in Minnesota homes for common household
circuits (15 amps).  Busy electricians go through miles of it every
year.  The smallest change in price can upset the bid price.  So why is
the price of wire spiking now?  Why are shortages looming?

Turns out, the plastic coating of the wire is made from PVC which is
made from natural gas, which is extracted from leases on federal lands,
which the Garden Administration terminated by Executive Order to reverse
President Trump’s policy of American energy independence, because
anything the Bad Orange Man did was Bad and must be ended, regardless of
how much it costs.  It’s a moral imperative. Sometimes you have to
destroy a civilization in order to save it.

The first order effect of ending leases was to signal their virtue.

The second order effect is to make crude oil and natural gas less
plentiful domestically thus requiring the use of higher priced imports,
which push futures prices higher for gas and oil and PVC, which causes
higher prices for consumers of those products (such as electrical wire).

The third order effect is a slow-down in travel and home construction,
as higher prices push marginal customers out of the market.

The fourth order effect is lower tax revenues from reduced sales of gas,
wire and homes.

The fifth order effect is higher income taxes on the middle class to
offset the tax revenue lost in other areas.

We’re seeing it happen in real time.  We know what’s coming.  Why are we
the only ones who notice, the only ones who care?

Joe Doakes

To answer Joe’s question – because the “progressive” pols running the show today don’t care, and their voters aren’t smart enough to know better.

24 thoughts on “It All Starts With A Virtue Signal

  1. Most HVAC equipment is made from copper, steel, and aluminum.

    Materials are only part of the cost, but we’ve seen a 10% rise in the cost of equipment since Jan 1.

    I’ve been told steel will continue to rise and to expect another price increase.

    Gas is more expensive, so transportation costs have risen as well as costs to run a service fleet.

    I laugh when I read the reports of no inflation.

  2. Last year, when gas hit $1.26 a gallon, people cheered. I work in the energy sector, and wasn’t so happy.

    When reprobate Governors locked down the hapless citizens of their shithole states, everyone stopped driving, and even the private jets of global warming preachers couldn’t make up the difference; the price of crude oil fell below the worth-it profit margin…

    It was devastating for my company; we shut down several plants (two in Minnesota), none of which will ever open again.

    Now, Pedo Joe has put his boot on our necks, and alcohol/gas blend is at $2.65. The non-liquor fuel I burn is currently $3.10 a gal.

    It may seem odd to you, that none of this bothers me at all.

    When honest elections fell victim to reprobate criminals, our democracy was dragged off its pedestal like a Confederate officer’s statue. Its more expensive, but I can afford to fill the tank of my hot rods, but dealing with the downfall of America is a trickier problem.

    I’m much more bothered by the fact I can’t buy ammunition of any caliber, at any cost.

  3. FISCH, I’m building a wrought iron gate at the driveway entrance of my country place. I ran short of 1/2” square tube. I need another 80’, but my steel guy only had 20’ on hand. He said he’s having trouble getting material, and isn’t sure when he’ll get more 1/2”.

    Didn’t say so, but I was sure the reprobate junta had some involvement.

    No worries. I’ll use the 1” stock I have in abundance. Might be thankful for the additional strength, later.

    I suspect we’ll all be learning to make use of alternatives before long.

  4. Yup! The shortages of materials and increased costs, are hitting every sector. My wife is in the transportation industry. Air, fuel and hydraulic filters, are back ordered at all of their filter suppliers, because they can’t get enough steel, aluminum and plastics used in their respective manufacturing. Obviously, prices are rising.

    I sell to a wide variety of manufacturers, cabinets, welding shops, metal fab, auto restoration shops and Dr. Pete, a couple of ornamental iron companies. 80% of them are small businesses and this situation is already killing them. I have a company car, with all expenses paid, so fortunately, I don’t have to pay for gas. I have a big territory, so I average 500 miles per week. Because our cars have gps tracker units in them, we have to watch our speed and idling over 10 minutes more than 3 times per week, unless you’re in traffic, is a ding on commissions. Even sticking to the speed limit, I still go through about 1.5 tanks weekly. Our model is old school in that we don’t make appointments. We just show up. Our fleet of cars and trucks is greater than 250. I’m wondering how long we can sustain that?

  5. On another note, the owners of one of my boat repair companies, voted for Biden. I know that mixing politics and business isn’t a wise strategy, but these guys are old style Democrats, so we’ve had respectful conversations up to the election. Both of them told me that they now realize they made a huge mistake. I told them to burn up the phone lines and flood the emails of their elected representatives to express their displeasure, then vote more carefully in 2022. One of them laughed and replied, “If there is an election at all.”

  6. Oh, and to jump to the conclusion

    That’s the list. Next time a Democrat tells you they don’t know one good thing Trump has done, you’ll know they’re either uninformed or lying. He’s been a great President on policy. Some may dislike his personality but on policy he’s been an incredible POTUS.

    And policy is the only effing reason to vote for or against someone. I personally hope those who complained about “mean tweets” and a disagreeable personality get their wishes fulfilled good and hard.

  7. (In the interest of not being thought to be treading on 2 Jab Tater’s trail of bullshit, my “country place” is a 90 year old, 3 room unpainted cedar shack with a stone foundation and a decent barn on 40 acres. It’s hunting land, way out in the sticks; most definitely not “prime real estate” today, but I’m thinking it might damn well be invaluable pretty soon.)

  8. Chronic shortages are a feature of communism. Soon enough, those who sell commodities will have bare shelves – except for the things they can get their hands on and keep out of sight for their “best” customers, i.e., those who are politically connected or who can trade one commodity – like meat – for another commodity – like copper wire.

  9. Folks, JD is pulling your leg. He took the premise for shortage COMPLETELY out of context. JD is utterly and completely wrong on this one. NO, it was not caused by the recent demoncRat actions as much as you would like to pile on. The biggest issue for the recent shortage is the big freeze in Texas and facility shutdowns. That’s it. It is that simple. Let’s NOT spread misinformation, shall we? There is PLENTY of blame to lay at the current occupant’s feet, but not this particular one.

    BTW, this is MY space. People pay me to consult on this. And they get their money’s worth.

  10. So, NW’s comment got me thinking that the platinum being extracted from kyped catalytic converters is just the warm-up for pulling copper wire out of buildings that aren’t under guard. Looks like metal recycling will be a growth industry again!

  11. I anticipate the shortages and price increases will be “explained “ as being the fault of Trump, that we have to get used to living sustainably, isn’t all this new diversity wonderful, tax the rich until there are no more.

  12. It strikes me that if the price of 14-2 (Romex?) is going up due to the price of natural gas increasing, one way to bring it back down would be to to end ethanol subsidies. Fertilizer is a big use for natural gas as well.

  13. Didn’t the cost of framing lumber double under the previous administration? I don’t recall any of you whining about that.

    After 4 years of the mendacious narcissist fraud who was always imminently about to release his incredible healthcare plan but never did, added massive debt but no meaningful infrastructure.

    This was the longest infrastructure week ever. Good thing the new guy works on Sundays instead of golfing.

  14. Tater squeeked: “Didn’t the cost of framing lumber double under the previous administration?”


    “added massive debt but no meaningful infrastructure.”
    “This was the longest infrastructure week ever.”

    Pedo Joe just blew $1.9 trillion so blax could buy new shoes, and I could donate $1000 to right wing media and causes.. What infrastructure was produced during “infrastructure week”, you fucking moron?

    “Good thing the new guy works on Sundays instead of golfing.”

    The “new guy” takes long naps on Saturday, and isn’t ever heard from on Sunday. He couldn’t sit in a golf cart for 20′ without falling out.

    Neeeext! Tee it up, nit wit.

  15. Tater squeeked: “Didn’t the cost of framing lumber double under the previous administration?”


    “added massive debt but no meaningful infrastructure.”
    “This was the longest infrastructure week ever.”

    Pedo Joe just blew $1.9 trillion so blax could buy new shoes, and I could donate $1000 to right wing media and causes.. What infrastructure was produced during “infrastructure week”, you moron?

    “Good thing the new guy works on Sundays instead of golfing.”

    The “new guy” takes long naps on Saturday, and isn’t ever heard from on Sunday. He couldn’t sit in a golf cart for 20′ without falling out.

    Neeeext! Tee it up, nit wit.

  16. ISM® Manufacturing index Increased to 64.7% in March

    “The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in March. The PMI® was at 64.7% in March, up from 60.8% in February. The employment index was at 59.6%, up from 54.4% last month, and the new orders index was at 68.0%, up from 63.2%.”

    This suggests manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in March than in February.

  17. “The PMI® was at 64.7% in March, up from 60.8% in February.”

    This suggests manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in March than in February.

    No shit, Tater? Dang…It’s no wonder you’re known as a stock market wizard among the moon base magic juice crowd…nothing gets by you, does it?

    Mighty infrastructure investments & framing timber price increases that never happened…what other insights is your mighty intellect going to share with us today?
    tia Tater!

  18. jpa – thanks for the correction. I guess I over-reacted.

    Now that the power is back on, how long are you anticipating until prices fall back to pre-storm levels? My buddy could postpone his wire orders to save that kind of money.

  19. You know, the new American Communist Party, aka Democrats, are masters at calling one of their myriad of money laundering schemes “infrastructure projects”. This just means unions will get their campaign money to “donate” back to Dems in 2022. Then, when those “shovel ready” jobs don’t show up, as occurred during the regime of the Kenyan Klown, they just shrug their shoulders and their low information sycophants, aka Emery and his ilk, let them slide.

  20. jpa,
    A lot of wire gets manufactured in ChiCom sweat shops. I’ve gotta think that there is a fair amount of it on some of those container ships backed up at the Suez Canal.

  21. JD, boss, commodity (petchem) prices are starting to crash already. The market has a lot of variables (not as many as a Climate Change™ model, but close) and supply chains are obscenely complicated. Because of Suez, maritime freight prices (which are currently 5-10x the norm from Asia) will likely not decrease in the next couple months so cheap (a very relative term these days) imports (not necessarily from China) will not make it into the US to keep local guys honest for another 3-4 months. But one of the biggest obstacles is local trucking in the US – not enough drivers. They would rather sit at home collecting dole than being on the road. Port of NY recently had to shut down to incoming traffic – they had no room to unload. For that you can thank regulations (which was compounded by Stimulus 1 paying people not to work) that shoved recorders into cabs and reduced hours on the road.

    So to make very long story short, about 6 months. And one thing I tell my clients is that I do not see prices getting down to pre-Wuhan flu levels. Nobody knows what the new normal is anymore but everything will cost more than before, and more so especially because of the current Politburo policies. JD, I would recommend your buddy buckle up and instead of playing a waiting game, get out there and start bidding based on today’s prices – everybody is in the same boat. Inflation is coming. Big ass inflation. May not be up to Zimbabwe standards, but it will make even Krugman cry.

  22. Inflation is coming. Big ass inflation

    I think this is true. Dang, it’s enough to make a guy want to take out a mortgage/HELOC at the present historically low rates. I mean, you get something nice (house or car or improvement) and then pay it off with inflated dollars.

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