Former Walmart president and CEO Bill Simon ripped the supply chain under President Joe Biden on Friday, calling it a “mess from start to finish.”
“I’ve never seen it like this, and I don’t really think anybody living in this country has,” Simon told FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell. “I mean, this is really unprecedented.”
Simon joined “Mornings with Maria” to react to Americans’ widespread criticism of Biden’s response to shipping challenges and rising consumer prices. The hashtag #EmptyShelvesJoe held its own as a top trend on Twitter Thursday evening.
“There’s a shortage of labor in our distribution system and there’s a shortage of people to put [items] on the shelf,” Simon explained.
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He suggested that Biden’s first step to overcoming supply chain disruptions is to address the ongoing worker shortage.
“I don’t think this gets solved until we alleviate the labor shortage that’s out there and get people driving trucks and unloading at the docks and stocking shelves,” Simon said.
With shipping and inventory backlogs expected to carry into the holiday season, Simon believes giant retail stores will survive while small businesses could struggle to keep shelves stocked.
“Smaller retailers just can’t get the product,” he said. “They’re just going to be left with nothing. It’s going to be difficult for them.”
House Republicans penned a letter to the Biden administration Thursday asking to evaluate solutions for the “ongoing supply chain crisis,” noting disruptions would continue into 2022.
Simon said he expects the current administration to pump more money into the economy.
“The funding isn’t stopping from the government,” Simon said. “We just saw the largest Social Security increase in 30 years… There’s still this funnel of funds coming through,” which builds more consumer demand.
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And until that ends, Simon believes the U.S. will continue to face a labor shortage and, consequently, supply chain issues.
“They’re making the well-thought calculus that it’s better for them to stay out of the [job] market right now than it is to get in,” he said.
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