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The Great Toilet Paper Shortage-

Posted by Lucky 3 months, 1 week ago to Economics
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The Great Toilet Paper Shortage- consumer irrationality, greed, panic, hoarding, profiteering, capitalism failure,..

No. -- the toilet paper industry is split into two separate markets: commercial and consumer.
With shutdowns people do use more at home, and less in the workplace- schools, restaurants, hotels, or airports.
The product, the supply chain, and manufacturer are different. Households will use maybe 40% more than before. Commercial use will drop by the same quantity, but switching cannot be done immediately.

My comment- What is to be done?
Let the market sort it out, there will be problems, but government intervention will make things worse.
When, if, we get back to work, the situation will reverse, but not so suddenly.
SOURCE URL: https://wentworthreport.com/2020/04/03/what-everyones-getting-wrong-about-the-toilet-paper-shortage/


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  • Posted by Stormi 3 months ago
    In Ohio we went with no TP on shelves for a month. Shipments came in, looked good. Within a week Mike DeWine and scare monger Dr Amy and the DCDC were throwing around ideas of lengthening our incareration - instantant panic. Once clerk told me withing the day, TP iidsappeared from shelves and has been empty all week. The press and politicians talke upbout staying home, but not about what they intended to do abotu the engine of commerce. People are starting to doubt they will ever be free. I have been out, about as usual, except for proper distancing, and I am elder, you know the ones who were to be protected, locked up until be become targets for every new germ all at one. Our countyr has 11 cases, one senior, we have cases in their 20. You go into sotres, and it is the people with white hair who are about and about.Yet DeWine talks about a lockdown on seniors only, to "protect us. Stop doing us favors. I have planted 10 trees and 6 bushes in the last week. e know that you have to be exposed to some germs, because being hit with mass number you have not had, will hit really hard. We cannot wait for the viurs to be gone, it never will be, it is as much a part of the landscape now as all the crap they put in flu vaccines, which people allgergic to eggs cannot take, have eome. People dying have vastly higher GMI than most who do not, over 30. People in nusring homes are already in quarnantine, and vulnerable to any new germs, even withing the home. Most seniors are out and robust, and living life, getting and overcomine these same germs. If the DCD was so conceried in 2019, why were they tryign to figurure how the COVID virus was made and track the stread pattern, why did it take Trump to actually do something which would get drugs to cure it,?
    "
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      Good thinking. I agree with a lot of what you say.
      I've read in newspapers about young people with COVID, but the stats show the bias for getting it with age, oldies are not so photogenic, babies seem immune.
      Nursing homes, retirement villages, care facilities, depending on the level of human interaction, can be death traps. But as you say, seniors are generally ok if independent. Beware tho', exposure to the usual germs will not, I think, give virus immunity.
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  • Posted by NealS 3 months, 1 week ago
    It's not like the manufacturers have to manufacture more, unlike the face mask issue.
    I think the commercial side of the toilet paper (distribution) would just shift there shipments to the retail (distribution) side. It reminds of an old adage about toilet paper, "Economize, use both sides".
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    • Posted by 3 months ago
      Actually, it is not obvious but as the original article in marker.medium.com tells us,
      they do have to make more.
      They= the household product factories.
      Commercial- huge rolls, too big to fit on most home dispensers. .. thinner and more utilitarian .. shipped on huge pallets .. and .. often doesn’t come from the same mills,
      Household buyers would accept the commercial product but .. first there has to be new relationships and contracts between suppliers, distributors, and stores, packaging, trucking routes — all for a bulky product with lean profit margins.
      Switching takes time, and why would they? When it is over the situation will reverse.
      In his post a day ago, MikeMarrota explains this supply chain thing in detail. Getting your head around the entire chain would be a major exercise, but individuals know their part. The market is not the only way to do it but gives an elegant, practical solution to handling complexity.
      Now if I was in charge, heaven forbid, membership of this forum should require passing a test on
      "I, Pencil" by Leonard E. Read - https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil/
      (MM, thanks for the link)

      The original article is-
      https://marker.medium.com/what-everyo...
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 months, 1 week ago
    Thanks for the link to interesting obsevations about the realities of the supply chains. In line with the famous "I, Pencil" by Leonard E. Read (online in several formats here: https://fee.org/resources/i-pencil/) we all tend to not see what we do not work with.

    Having worked in automobile manufacturing I have been intrigued and fascinated (if not dumbfounded) to watch all manner of parts traveling on complex conveyor systems to be wedded into a very common (and very complex) item we see in abundance every day. And I like to flatter myself as a being a systems thinker. It is also similar to why most people seem to understand why atheletes make millions of dollars - we know that we suck at shooting hoops and hitting pitches because we do that enough. Very few people even chair community committees, so they have no feel for why corporation CEOs are worth millions more than athletes.

    So, too, with this disruption to the economy. (See also the "Five Insights" Savvy Street essay.) The President himself might actually have a clue. A lot goes into the building of a resort. If there's still no pennants for the pin makers, your golf course contractor does not have the links done yet. But that has never been a problem until now.

    I live near a railhead. I love watching long trains with all their different cargo carriers. When analogizing about the economy, we talk about turning an aircraft carrier or an ocean liner, something few of us actually experience. For myself, it takes a lot to start a train.

    It is pretty much a toss-up for my sense of wonder between seeing a wide assortment of bulk and finished goods going from and to and on the other hand seeing 80 or 100 gondolas of crushed limestone and wondering where they are going.
    1) Road Base
    2) Under slab fill
    3) Aggregate for making concrete
    4) Sand for making concrete
    5) Aggregate for mixing hot mix asphalt
    6) Sand for making hot mix asphalt
    7) Chip seal aggregate
    8) Railroad Ballast
    9) Agricultural Limestone (Aglime) neutralizes soil acidity and a source of calcium and magnesium
    10) Rip Rap for erosion control
    11) Bedding for Rip Rap
    12) Bedding for underground pipe
    13) Back fill retaining walls
    14) Scrubber stone (removes sulfur dioxide in power plant exhaust gas)
    15) Used to neutralize acid waste
    16) Flux stone (making steel)
    17) Flux Stone (making glass)
    18) Flux stone refining sugar beets
    19) Feed stock making cement
    20) Feed stock making lime
    21) Neutralizes stomach acid (Tums)
    22) Ingredient in calcium supplement pills
    23) Ad mix in animal feeds
    24) Filler in paint
    25) Filler in roofing shingles
    26) Abrasive and filler in tooth paste
    27) Filler for making plastic pipe
    28) Aggregate for making concrete pipe
    29) Sports field drainage medium
    30) Chicken grit
    31) Aggregate in concrete blocks and bricks
    32) Aggregate for concrete power poles
    33) Dust to prevent coal mine explosions
    34) Landscape stone
    35) Boulders for car barriers
    36) Sediment Fences (filter media)
    37) Bio degradable flat ware (plates-made by molding limestone fines and corn starch)
    http://www.texascrushedstoneco.com/20...

    OK! Now. Everyone get back to work! Oh ...
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    • Posted by 3 months, 1 week ago
      It is not so many years ago when supply chain management became a subject in business courses.
      That idea is one of you could (well me anyway) kick yourself for not thinking of it yourself, it is so obvious.
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  • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 1 week ago
    With everything so expensive, people don't normally buy a months supply of toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, etc. They are bought as needed in normal times, spending the bulk of our money on food and that is usually done by weekly menus,.. not on a monthly basis.

    Who among us has the storage space to put all that stuff. My house is 2700 sq ft and I don't have that space.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 1 week ago
      In reality perhaps we do have the space, but Mrs/Ms don't want the place to look like a warehouse. How many have a guest bedroom? A living room and a family room? A "master" bedroom with "sitting" area? A man cave?
      (I don't have a Mrs and my place looks like a warehouse because I manufacture stuff here.)
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      • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 1 week ago
        I do have a misses and any extra space has been taken with HER STUFF!...it's not funny...

        I was referring to normal times...most do not normally prepare for a month at a time...so, when we get caught with our collective pants down...we stock up on toilet paper, the mainstay of modern times...Although, I hear dryer sheets work really well, they leave one smelling like lavender and it takes the wrinkles out TOO!...that's a win win!!!
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        • Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 1 week ago
          We pay to be in a co-op that distributes grocery items that are slow moving. We never know what we will get each week, but almost every week we get TP, probably some packages get broken when being rapidly unpacked. We have enough pancake mix and gator aid for an army and we have given a lot away to a local church. Lately we have had commercial size bags of bar-b-q sauce. Yogurt is a usual item and so is Ghiradelli chocolate. That also contributes to the "warehouse" look.
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          • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 1 week ago
            Add some Depot shelving and open a store!
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            • Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 1 week ago
              Lots of low priced used shelving coming on the market soon, imo.
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              • Posted by $ Olduglycarl 3 months, 1 week ago
                I have to laugh, in my basement I have some shelving that is almost like Home Depot shelving, (currently holding my wife's stuff and left over stuff from building the house plus paint, carpeting, wood flooring etc) When my neighbors come over to borrow something they ask to see my Home Depot Basement!

                It's dry and warm but unfortunately is a attraction to the local varmints...not so bad lately since sealing all the electrical and plumbing conduits.
                Still not a good place to store food or paper products.
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