Columns

One Small Voice: Greed, U.S. firms led to supply woes

In response to Mr. Robert M. Traxler (Army Bob) in his last column, published Thursday, Nov. 25:

Another area on which we agree. My husband and I have long bemoaned the fact that, in addition to most of what used to be manufactured in the US of A has moved south of the border, far too much (all?) of the technology on which we depend is now in the hands of China (who I don’t trust any more than I can throw them). And the medical supplies on which we relied during the worst of the pandemic were also products of the Chinese.

Where we might disagree, though, is that I cannot blame Mexico or China for this situation. It is my opinion that this is the result of the uncontrolled greed of the current capitalists operating with impunity, and without checks and balances, in American in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries.

Our steel moved overseas, crippling great cities like Pittsburgh and environs who used to produce a quality product. Our clothing moved to countries like India and Bangladesh, where the cotton is inferior to what used to be produced in the mid-Atlantic region. Our furniture production moved from states like MI and the Carolinas to other Asian countries.

I fear we no longer have the infrastructure to produce these things domestically. I bet its the same situation with computer chips. I wonder what miracle it would take to even begin to make these things again here in the United States here if push came to shove.

I am sorry that some person of inferior intelligence totaled your car and bruised you and yours, particularly at this time of year, when we treasure being in good health to enjoy family and friends.

Please be well, and good luck getting your new wheels.

7 Comments

  • Ms. Mandaville,
    We agree on most of the issue, we may differ as I feel the environmental lobby has helped move production offshore, it takes coal to make steel and we can not burn coal in our nation, even less polluting hard West Virginia coal. China burning dirty soft North Korean coal to make steel is fine with the environmental movement and the corporations are happy to go offshore to increase profit. A marriage of corporate and environmental groups, mostly Silicon Valley both are happy and rich and we as a nation are in trouble
    Glad to see you back.

    • Mr. Traxler,
      Because you continue to present your viewpoint about environmentalists and their effects on industry, I have to admit that I ponder your point of view, and have begun to alter my thoughts about the philosophical arguments that surround the issue.
      To use an arbitrary example, on the surface it would appear that we just cannot have domestic steel without burning “dirty” coal, whether it be soft or hard coal. China doesn’t seem to care about their part in being the worst offender in this kind of pollution or climate change.
      Maybe the solution for us in the USA is to put our capital and efforts into the “scrubbers” that clean the air that comes out of steel production in order to maintain domestic production of our high quality steel. Then we wouldn’t have to accept the inevitability of production to “dirty” China. It doesn’t have to be a binary choice, as they say.
      With our capitalist plenty we should be able to have domestic manufacturing in all areas, by using some of that capital to modify our practices, and some of it to pay living wages to the workers. Only my opinion, but I feel it morphing because you offer your point of view.

  • I think you are forgetting the two-faced politicians that make laws encouraging manufacturers to move to Mexico and overseas. The forget who they represent and what is needed for a viable, healthy manufacturing community. If you don’t have a manufacturing base, you have no country.
    Did you notice the ports were operating just fine while Trump was in office. Only one thing changed. You could figure it out if you are honest with yourself.

  • Mrs Mandeville: Thom Hartman covered a story like this a week ago. It was called, what is the wealth of a nation? Here is just a excerpt from the article.”We export around $700 billion a year in cash as well as coal, iron ore, cotton, soybeans and freshly logged trees to China; they send us back appliances, furniture, clothing, computers, and pretty much everything else you see in the store. That’s our trade deficit.

    China has surpassed the wealth of America in fewer than 40 years: they did it by transitioning from an agricultural and service economy into a manufacturing one, starting in the 1980s.

    Instead of saying, “Do you want fries with that?” the workers of China produced the computer on which you’re reading these words, the routers and networks that brought them to your house, and, most likely, the majority of the clothes you’re wearing right now.

    We must educate ourselves about basic economics, if we aspire to ever break out of the economic death-spiral that Reagan’s neoliberal austerity and free trade policies have thrown us into.

    And then use that education to repudiate and reverse neoliberal Reaganism. It’s time to break the curse of “Voodoo Economics,” and a return to manufacturing must be at the core of the effort to rebuild the “wealth of this nation.” To read the rest of the article check out his blog, heck AB might even like it.

    • Mr. Annable,
      I found Thom Hartman’s You Tube video of the title you mention. I will be watching it today, and looking into more of Hartman’s writings and musings. Thanks.

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