Skip to comments.If You Want to Build Back Better, Reshore Our Entire Supply Chain: The U.S. is too addicted to waste and distant sources of essentials.
Posted on 03/04/2022 9:54:38 PM PST by SeekAndFind
It is entirely accurate to say that the U.S. is addicted to waste and distant sources of essentials.
The downside of dependency is in the air. The U.S. has allowed itself to become dependent on other nations for essentials, a policy that I view as an insanity fueled by greed.
The problem with dependency is the cost can't be calculated until it's too late. Restoring independence is a massive, costly undertaking, but if you wait until the cost of dependency is clear to all, it's too late to escape the collapse triggered by the cut-off of essentials from other nations.
The happy story of "free trade" (there is no such thing) is that everybody wins. The reality is everyone loses except corporate profiteers. The problem with deciding on the wunnerfulness of "free trade" by looking at the price tag is that all the real costs of dependency and profiteering are not in the price on the tag: the "market" doesn't include those costs because that would reveal "free trade" as a catastrophically bad deal for the people whose nation becomes dependent on others for their essentials.
Missing from the "low, low price" on the tag:
1. The degradation of quality and durability due to planned obsolescence and reliance on shoddy components.
2. The environmental degradation in the developing-world autocracies which welcomed the poisoning of their water, soil and air as "growth."
3. The inherent fragility of long, sole-source supply chains
4. Two generations of wage suppression as American workers were forced to compete with a billion workers willing to work for low, insecure wages as "better than nothing.'
5. Soaring wealth and income inequality as the "winners" of dependency skimmed trillions in profits as the quality of goods and services plummeted and wages stagnated.
No worries, pal, here's a minimum wage job on my $100 million yacht.
6. The cost of depending on distant sources for essentials.
The unspoken context of dependency on distant sources is that wasting resources is considered America's birthright. Since we gave up making essentials as a waste of time, now we're consumers, and so it's our "right" to waste as much as we want: we waste 40% of our food, energy, water, healthcare spending, etc.--and we get real huffy and defensive when this reality is pointed out: it's our "right" to waste as much as want and not have to pay any price for that squandering.
The assumption is the rest of the world exists to provide us stuff to waste. We now have a Landfill Economy: we buy low-quality goods designed to fail on credit, use the pretty-looking piece of junk until the cheapest component fails and then we dump it in the landfill and buy another--on credit, of course.
Boo-hoo, we ran out out money to waste, so print us up another couple trillion dollars to blow, Jay Powell--and make it snappy.
If you want to build back better, then we're going to have to re-learn how to build quality goods here, not in a distant environmental wasteland. We're going to have to cut our dependency on shoddy components and materials from overseas. We're going to have to incentivize efficiency and durability rather than waste, fraud and profiteering.
The spoiled child screams, "I want more!" The adult understands life is a series of trade-offs. The true cost of our wasteful, fraud-riddled, dependent-on-distant-others Landfill Economy have been hidden because waste is easy (and oh-so profitable) while trade-offs are hard.
It is entirely accurate to say that the U.S. is addicted to waste and distant sources of essentials. Addiction has a very steep price and the withdrawal and recovery is long and painful. There is no magic pill. The one thing we know is the sooner the addict starts the process the sooner the recovery begins.
Becoming dependent is insane. Remaining dependent is even more insane. I lay out a pathway to recovery in my book Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States.
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Built in obsolescence needs to be eradicated.
This thought that things like refrigerators, washers, stoves, microwaves, etc are built to last only 10 - 15 years and replaced instead of 20 x 30 years and be easily and inexpensively repairable is just wrong.
I have some snap top food storage canisters that could use new silicon gaskets that just cannot be found. Instead, we are expected to just go out and buy a whole new canister. What a waste!
The left is always whining about trash and recycling and filled up landfills, etc, and yet essentially advocate for the most disposable society we have ever had.
We can onshore making electronics and consumer goods, but to really break this cycle of disposable/rental society, big tech and big industry have to change their strategies of collecting data and making money, and they are not about to do that.
One easy legislative fix would be to pass laws requiring the routine declaration of what data is being collected by each company, and assigning a value to the data collected on people and used by a company as an asset. If Google makes money by monitoring your clicks and search history (and they do), you get a cut. All consumers get a check and a 1099 at the end of the year. Right to own and right to repair laws should also apply to any product sold in the US. Anything offered “as a service” should have a standalone full purchase version that does not expire and has no required tether to the home company.
Of course, getting those type of laws actually passed would be impossible with the politicians of today, but they are the type of steps necessary to actually break this awful cycle.
Just end all commerce with China—maybe offer zero federal income tax for businesses relocating from China.
EV’s will be scrapped at 10 years. The green energy is going to make 100x the waste than it saves.
My understanding is that it has always cost more and pollutes more to make green energy items like solar panels and windmill par5s that they will ever save.
I do not object in the least to finding new sources of energy. Innovation is always good. I object to forcing the issue before we are anywhere even close to being able to transition from fossil fuels.
And it is NOT because I believe one word of the climate change crap.
I agree; for some items it is worth buying something used online or at a flea market rather than new Asian-built disposable junk.
I have found some great deals at thrift stores and sometimes garage sales.
Definitely; the latter are popular around me (along with the online variation Craigslist) as Americans flee the area and sell many of their older belongings, appliances, furniture, etc.. Prices are good because they are secondhand items, and quality is good because they are US-made from back in the day.
Meanwhile, dollar stores sell cheap spoons made in Red China or India that bend if used to stir oatmeal (seriously).
A friend that fled gave us some newer “stainless steel” silverware from China - with flecks of rust on them. I’d never seen that on stainless steel before...
Imagine if the world ganged up on America like it is Russia and embargoes our supply of entirely offshort antibiotics?
We have already experienced this an auto manufacturing yet so many people think that offshoring manufacturing of critical medical supplies is just fine.
Couple it with some ‘Labor Reform’ to defang the unions and I’m all-in with making things at home. Otherwise, we’ll wind up as a Third World country...due to those unions.
And not, the unions are only (somewhat) weak now BECAUSE they know the that imports can replace what they do if they’re not careful, so don’t be fooled.
Just for the record:
#1) There is no such a thing as a fossil fuel
#2) If the EPA, Dept of Labor, OSHA, etc. got hell of the backs of American Industry, there would be no need to offshore.
That about sums it up
“Stainless” steel is really a misnomer...Stain resistant is really more accurate...
There are numerous stainless steel alloys; but those with the highest chromium content tend to be most resistant to corrosion...
The cheaper the stainless steel alloy, the more likely to develop rust...Chinese stainless varies from high grade to cheap to lousy...
Thanks; that makes sense - I still never saw rusted stainless steel before. Thirdworldification...
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