How will the Afghan refugees get washing machines? (WSJ)

“Why It’s Easier to Find Expensive Appliances Than Cheaper Ones” (WSJ):

Whirlpool, GM and other companies are prioritizing higher-price products as they try to offset supply-chain snarls

“There was a day when a customer could walk in the door and buy a secondary piece or a landlord special and have 100 options to choose from,” said Mr. Coughlin, a co-owner of All Shore Appliance in Port Washington, N.Y. “Now it’s more along the lines of, we explain to the customer what we have.”

As the global supply-chain crisis snarls production and bloats manufacturing and shipping costs, companies that make products from lawn mowers to barbecue grills are prioritizing higher-priced models, in some cases making cheaper alternatives harder or impossible to find, company executives, retailers and analysts say.

Some are pushing upscale products in an effort to make up for added labor, shipping and manufacturing costs. Whirlpool Corp., maker of washing machines, KitchenAid mixers and other home appliances, said in July it would shift toward higher-price products as part of a plan to help cover rising costs.

General Motors … stopped making the Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan for more than six months, but has kept all shifts running at a factory that makes its most expensive SUVs. The average new vehicle in September sold for a record $42,800, up nearly 19% from a year earlier, according to research firm J.D. Power.

Televisions are among items for which cheaper models are becoming scarcer, said Mike Abt, co-president of Chicago appliance seller Abt Electronics. He said the price he pays for appliances is rising and he expects that to continue next year. For the first time he can remember, the price of televisions has actually increased—they typically get cheaper every year.

A tough time to be setting up a new household as a refugee, but perhaps the U.S. Treasury has enough cash to buy the high-end LG front-loaders?


  • for those of us already sick with envy, some additional motivation to support President Biden’s Tax the Rich proposals… “Gulfstream Adds Two Models To Its Large-Cabin Line of Business Jets” (AVweb): The $71.5 million G800 adds 500 nautical miles of range (8,000 NM) to that of its 10-foot-longer, larger-cabin G700 sibling, the in-development $75 million flagship of the Gulfstream fleet scheduled to enter service next year. … At the other end of the scale, the $34.5 million G400 updates the “entry level” of the large-cabin line (the smaller-cabin G280 is classed as super-midsize). The 4,200-NM-range G400 is slated to make its first flight in early 2023.

28 thoughts on “How will the Afghan refugees get washing machines? (WSJ)

  1. Masses coming here needing all manner of home appliances, SNAP, Medicaid cards, subsidized housing and everything else. The UK promised back in late August? Sept? to take 20,000 Afghan refugees over 5 years (hard to gauge if it actually happens in the end, right?). Now EU countries like Germany and France, being pressed by UN to accept some of the refugees sheltering at Ramstein AFB in Germany, are declining this fantastic opportunity. WSJ article too PC to be upfront, but mentions that their experience with Syrian refugees in recent past is their hesitation. WSJ (today’s edition 10/8/21) won’t dare utter the word jihad. So assume all those at Ramstein AFB and various other American AFBases overseas are coming to the US of A, once measles and COVID outbreaks are gotten under control.

  2. Echoing another post, we need to save Earth from poor people and expropriate their ill-gotten 25-year old vehicles and give them 5K to cover a year of CitiBike fees.

    • “we need to save Earth from poor people and expropriate their ill-gotten 25-year old vehicles and give them 5K …”

      Didn’t Obama do something similar – “Cash for Clunkers” – when people were paid to trade in their old vehicles.

      At about that same time, my employer offered an early retirement package. Some of us called it our own “Cash for Clunkers.” Got rid of a bunch of overpaid dead wood and cleared up the handicap parking spots for customers.

    • DP, Obama’s deal that allowed for some creative recycling of old junkyards was too mild for philg who suggested forcefully taking 25 old cars for $5k compensation from pure people so they did not ???contribute to traffic???

    • Is Sears still a going concern? The last Sears in my Florida county closed five years ago and, sadly, I haven’t been in a Sears in over 30 years.

    • DP, the last known to me retail Sears location closed several years ago but they still sell online. In my area several Lowe’s and Home Depot stores compete with each other and several smaller home improvement retailers. The point is that here is a washer under $500 available right away.
      Universal “tax” “discount” checks are $250 per dependent child per month, independent of amount of actual taxes paid if any. So arriving large Afghan refuge family will be able to buy this washer with a fraction of their monthly “tax” “discount” check.

  3. The increased spending on welfare and support services for refugees is often cited by economists when they say, “see? immigration is good for the economy! (ie: GDP)”. Funny how they never mention the lower wages and higher housing prices for existing citizens. Nor do they dare mention the affect of importing millions of low-earners (never earners?) on our social security ponzi-scheme, that assumes infinitely increasing young people will always be net contributors who pay for the non-working elderly.

    • Milton: I think one of the biggest factors is infrastructure, which we can’t build (even for $1.5 trillion hardly anything new will be built by the current Pharaoh). Every immigrant reduces the availability of infrastructure for people who already live in the U.S. Space on road (which readers here refuse to consider pricing!), space in public schools, housing, water/sewer, electricity grid (apparently always right near the breaking point!), etc.

    • @philg: All the cheap, easy infrastructure projects seems to have already been built. But politicians see that as an opportunity, not a problem! Eg: when my city extended its inner-city rail system, many houses and tracts of land on the proposed route had to be purchased at a premium by the city. Later it was reported much of that real estate had been purchased by the mayor’s extended family in the years preceding the project.

    • @PG: “I think one of the biggest factors is infrastructure, which we can’t build (even for $1.5 trillion hardly anything new will be built by the current Pharaoh)”

      I presume that this will be different infrastructure than what deemed “shovel ready” under Obama back in 2009. Or maybe the ’09 shovel-ready infrastructure, now being almost 13 years old, needs to be rebuilt.

  4. If poor immigrants drive economic growth and prosperity, what does that tell us about the locals of a country? Are politicians and economics see the locals as failures and thus only immigrants will save the country?

    If poor immigrants drive economic growth and prosperity, why they haven’t driven economic growth in their home country?

    Yes, this isn’t in black-and-white but man it doesn’t require a PhD to grok this.

    • >>> Are politicians and economics see the locals as failures and thus only immigrants will save the country?

      well, maybe it’s a good long-term political strategy to get these poor immigrants to the USA.

      Because the newborn children of these ‘poor immigrants’ would be native citizens,
      And we can assume that they (& their descendants) would be inclined towards the political party/system that made it possible for them to be in the USA in the first place and which provided them with all the social safety throughout.

      this kind of system cultivates a sense of loyalty & dependence on perpetual welfare on the new arrivals, which helps politically in the long run.

    • That’s right disevad, they would not be here if not for Taliban enabling their exit.

    • George: I don’t think our brightest leaders in D.C. see any logical contradiction. Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries, yes, but that is because Afghanistan doesn’t have the American political and economic system. The people of Afghanistan are actually economic diamonds in the rough. Once they have been moved to the U.S. they and their descendants will do as well or better than native-born and descendants of native-born Americans. Look at typical immigrants of the past, such as Albert Einstein (immigrated in 1933), who, despite not having a native speaker’s command of English, became a researcher at Princeton. (You might have heard of Einstein as someone who popularized Mileva Marić’s work on the photoelectric effect and relativity.)

      It might take a generation or two. For example, did not earn a high income, but the theory is that his son (3 years old at the time of the Pulse nightclub shootings) will grow up to be an interventional radiologist earning whatever the equivalent of $1+ million per year is in 2045 dollars.

  5. This is from a close friend who is a landlord and property manager.

    Rent in Worcester, MA has gone up over the years and much, much higher over the past month. You can thank Afghan refugees who are being settled into the city and the government renting for them. Landlords are asking higher rent to cover their risk and supplies are running dry.

    This has locked out many locals out of the rental market. Those who can are now depending on Section-8 or RCAP. Of course, the government is paying for those programs. And of course, the rest of us will pay to the government through taxes and fees.

    Hello inflation!

  6. One benefit that I find to living in a semirural area without any sewer pipes in the ground is that many people still rely on laundromats to wash their clothes, or they do it the old fashioned way, manually – and hang the wash out back on a line, at least during warmer weather.

    I’ve lived with lots of modern appliances, but I’m not particularly envious of others who live in more “developed” places any longer. Digging up the roads and putting in sewer pipes would probably cost more than the Town and the State are ready to supply, so the taxes would need to go up by a fairly tremendous amount to finance it. And the people who want to grow weed here instead would be absolutely opposed to it on “conservation” grounds. Digging anything here except for the purposes of growing marijuana is frowned upon now, and from the looks of it, the Conservationist Weed Heads are winning and getting just about everything they want.

    Most people who do have in-home laundry equipment use it sparingly since they are attached to septic systems, in some cases with “tight tanks” that need to be emptied on a regular basis. Myself, I just take a couple loads of laundry to the nearest laundromat every few weeks and then a dry cleaner if I have something nice that needs to be done. I’m already a conservationist in that sense, since I tend to try and stretch out those trips due to the time and effort involved, and I use very little water and electricity to do my laundry. And I never have to worry about overpriced and unreliable postmodern washers and dryers. It’s really not that bad, you just want to find a good laundromat with high-capacity machines that aren’t overpriced and are kept in relatively good, clean condition.

    But hey, if MA decides we need a couple thousand Afghan refugees who all want new washers and dryers, things could change!

    • One thing that I am concerned about this winter, though, is the increase in fuel oil prices since this time last year (an increase of more than 48% and more than 23% for propane):

      Unless I’m wrong, that means a lot more people are going to be attempting to heat their homes and living spaces with wood-burning stoves this year, just like the winter of 1979 when Jimmy Carter was still the President. They will be trying to source wood burning stoves and fuel as cheaply as possible, while perhaps also installing and using them in an unsafe way to save money. Since the average retail cost of electricity in Massachusetts is 64% above the national average, with all the other price increases, it seems to me that people are going to be trying lots of things to stay warm this winter!

    • “or they do it the old fashioned way, manually – and hang the wash out back on a line, at least during warmer weather.”

      I’ve occasionally washed a few pieces of clothes manually while taking a shower. Convenient, works well. But how do folks today wash clothes manually at scale?

    • @Mike: “At scale” in this connection can just mean “household scale.” This solution does take a bit of electricity and some well water, but these old Maytag wringer machines (just like my grandmother used to have in her basement) are still out there, washing and wringing on the back porch with the garden hose.

  7. Will you be attending the National Business Aviation Association Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Las Vegas and provide a full report on these “product upgrades”?

    Thanks for taking the time to write your blog. I enjoy reading them and look forward to the aviation content and “hopeful” for the 2022 MIT Ground School in-person class.

    • Thanks, JJ, for the kind words. I’m not going to NBAA this year, unfortunately. It is too far from Florida for the Cirrus and I don’t enjoy flying commercial anymore (the mask hassles and fights added to all of the previous rules that the hapless flight attendants are tasked with enforcing).

      suggests that the hassles will continue at the venue, with proof of vaccination being demanded (if they’re that worried about coronaplague, why host an indoor mass gathering to begin with? If COVID-19 is a serious enough risk to start demanding health records, how is a leaky vaccine (that still allows for some infection/transmission) sufficient to assuage concerns? If you care enough to put together a page like this, you should care enough to move it all to Zoom!).

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