Podcasts in the Classroom - Current Events Edition: Supply Chain Disruptions

|
Nov 15, 2021
|
Podcasts In The Classroom

This series is designed to bring together a variety of shorter, readily available podcasts to introduce a topic from recent headlines and inspire discussion.

Supply chain disruptions that are making it hard to buy things from food to cars.  There are shortages of raw materials and labor in the manufacturing process.  There is a backup of container ships in ports waiting to be unloaded, and a shortage of truck drivers to get the goods from the port to stores.  Prices are rising at rates not seen in decades. These podcasts cover the impacts of as well as the reasons for the Supply Chain disruption.

Here are some 2-4 minute Marketplace podcasts discussing these headlines.

  • 11/12 MarketPlace How are consumers feeling about spending these days?
  • 11/10 MarketPlace Inflation is at a 30-year high
  • 11/10 MarketPlace Supply Chain snags impact books
  • 11/1 MarketPlace Commercial construction spending dips as shortages continue
  • 10/29 MarketPlace Small retailers are caught between order backlogs and ramping demand
  • 10/22 MarketPlace Don’t panic. Holiday food will be there, just more expensive
  • 10/19 MarketPlace Procter & Gamble hikes prices, tries to ease supply chain clogs

The Market Place Minute often mentions supply chain and related issues.

  • 11/10 Midday - CPI registers biggest increase in 30 years
  • 11/5 Closing Bell - jobs numbers indicate increases across the board, including manufacturing and logistics.
  • 11/2 Closing Bell - Maersk (shipping company) announces record revenue
  • 11/1 Midday - manufacturing output slowed in October (supply issues)
  • 10/29 Midday - PCE up at 4.4% annual rate (supply issues)
  • 10/27 Closing Bell - Powell talks about supply chain issues, services up but not manufacturing.

Assignment:

Determine how much time you want to devote to this activity, and select podcasts to provide students with background information. 

Have students then tackle these discussion questions. This can be done individually, in groups, or as a class. 

  1. Have you noticed any shortages in your day-to-day life? 
    1. Where have you had issues getting what you are looking for?
    2. Have you noticed if the things you typically buy are more expensive?
  2. Has your family decided to make any adjustments to your holiday plans,around gift giving or celebrations or travel, because if availability and cost?
  3. Can you explain what you think is going on using your knowledge of how supply and demand interact?
  4. How long do you think it might take for things to get back to “normal?”  What do you think will need to happen first?

If you are looking for more resources on the topic, the NGPF Weekend Reading Lists regularly include articles on supply chain issues in the Economics section.  The list for November 12-14 has two good articles, for example.

If you use this assignment in your class, please let us know how it went!

About the Authors

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an MBA in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducts student workshops, and develops finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.