At the Rate We’re Running Out of Semiconductors, We May Not Have to Wait for an EMP to Take Down Almost Everything


by Robert Wheeler, Activist Post:

The recent warnings of an imminent collapse in the U.S. aren’t paranoia or typical doom saying by writers warning of crashes for three decades. These warnings are just common sense. Take a look at the news reports quietly being published in mainstream outlets and see for yourself.

The United States is heading toward massive economic shocks

America is about to see a drastic rise in the price of consumer goods from food to technology. I’ve written a great deal about the coming food shortage and the increase in prices for essential items. However, much less attention has been given to the rise in other items.


Specifically: technology.

One potential problem is the cost of semiconductors. Unbeknownst to many Americans, and this is partly why consumer spending is doing as good as it is (though doing terribly), there has been a recent semiconductor price surge. The cost of semiconductors is going to begin showing up in other consumer products. Which will, of course, send shockwaves through the economy as consumer confidence and spending will start to drop even further.

Want to learn the history of semiconductors and the extraordinary growth of that industry? Check out “The Microchip Revolution: A brief history” by Luc Olivier Bauer and E. Marshall Wilder.

Microchips are the brain of basically every electronic device, and we’re running out of them.

Global chip shortage is a massive problem for a world increasingly dependent on technology

For the United States, the chip shortage is a huge problem. Currently, the surge in chip prices has not affected consumers directly. The stimulus money being injected into the economy has been able to keep spending up as well. But that’s going to change.

While the average person may not see the importance of semiconductors and their prices on the economy, both Trump and Biden’s administrations have acknowledged the issue as one of National Security. In July 2017, Trump signed an Executive Order regarding the security of U.S. supply chains caused by decades of deindustrialization, Free Trade, and lopsided trade policy.

Shortage prompts Biden to order $37 billion to review supply chain shortages

President Biden recently signed an executive order calling for a review of the global supply chains. Below are his comments at the signing regarding the semiconductor shortage.

This semiconductor is smaller than a postage stamp, but it has more than 8 billion transistors — 8 billion transistors, 10,000 times thinner than a single human hair in this one chip. These chips are a wonder of innovation and design that powers so much of our country. It enables so much of our modern lives to go on — not just our cars, but our smartphones, televisions, radios, medical diagnostic equipment, and so much more.

We need to make sure these supply chains are secure and reliable. I’m directing senior officials in my administration to work with industry leaders to identify solutions to this semiconductor shortfall and work very hard with the House and Senate. They’ve authorized the bill, but they need (inaudible) $37 billion, short-term, to make sure we have this capacity. We’ll push for that as well. But we all recognize that the particular problem won’t be solved immediately.

Manufacturers can’t keep taking the blow for consumers

Manufacturers have been eating the increased costs keeping the increase in prices from reaching consumers. But chip prices are expected to rise every quarter this year. Most companies are not likely to continue to hold back the costs, especially with tighter and tighter profit margins for themselves.

Manufacturers generally order semiconductors six months in advance. Choke points in the supply chain are driving up prices and creating shortages. In the third quarter, when the orders to replace inventories are finally delivered, that’s going to change, according to Andrew Zatlin, founder of SouthBay Research.

The semiconductor shortage will heavily affect the auto industry

Automakers are going to struggle. For example, at General Motors around 5% of the cost of goods sold comes from semiconductors. G.M. only has 11% margins, and a surge in chip prices will cut into that margin significantly. Smaller businesses that sell to Amazon and Walmart will be hit with tighter retail margins and forced to raise prices even higher.

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