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The National Guard and the labor market and supply chain


The U.S. is experiencing a severe labor shortage. The supply chain is experiencing slowdowns. Political leaders are trying to find every way to move the economy, one possibility being the U.S. army.

To help with Covid testing and health care, the National Guard fills in for personal protective equipment distribution. Massachusetts has used the Guard for bus driving to schools. Texas and Texas also deploy soldiers to the border in support of immigration enforcement.

Davis Winkie from Army Times said, “We also see other senior Guard leaders pushing back on these second order pandemic linked missions that are coming up.” “Like school bus driving, or, you know, filing unemployment claims or filling in for poll workers, the food bank support — the list of second-order Covid-effects missions keeps growing.”

Supporting port operations, general logistics and the improvement of the nation’s supply chains is one possible mission for the guard.

Scott Lincicome is a Cato Institute senior economist. He said that while they might help to some extent, it won’t solve the problem. You’re only talking about one drop of the ocean in a tsunami of rising import volumes, logistics, and supply chain stress. It’s just not going to be the change that the system really needs — although it might, you know, maybe get a few extra Christmas presents here in time.”

You can see the National Guard’s response to the current labor crisis in this video.