Tire Pressure

Why are some things so expensive these days? Is it the aftermath of the pandemic? Is it the supply chain or interest rates? Is it just that manufacturers and retailers forced to raise prices during moments of systemic inflation tend to keep them raised as long as we keep buying? To try to gauge the inflated prices that have left tread marks on the savings of Americans who already had little to spare, ProPublica’s Michael Grabell decided to track the the life of an overpriced tire, from a rubber plantation in Southeast Asia to a repair shop in Mississippi. This is where the grubber meets the road. Overinflated: The Journey of a Humble Tire Reveals Why Prices Are Still So High. “The lowly tire shop, it turns out, may be one of the best places to examine the post-pandemic recovery and its uncertain future. Tires have been buffeted by nearly every force driving inflation since the pandemic began — from border shutdowns that prevented migrant workers overseas from reaching rubber plantations to the war in Ukraine’s toll on an obscure but essential ingredient in tires called carbon black.”

+ Federal Reserve raises interest rates to 16-year high as fight to tame inflation continues. (This is getting tiring.)

+ Note: Next week, I’ll be moving NextDraft to a new platform. You shouldn’t have do anything. There will be a slightly new look and new features to come. If for any reason you stop getting the newsletter, you can always visit NextDraft and sign up again.

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