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All content © 2002-2005 Anne Zook

October 20, 2010
The Smell Is Old And Bushy

If you click through to the NYTimes to read the article referenced in the last post, take an additional minute to read this opinion piece as well.

“There is oil in the Middle East; there is rare earth in China,” declared Deng Xiaoping, the architect of China’s economic transformation, in 1992. Indeed, China has about a third of the world’s rare earth deposits. This relative abundance, combined with low extraction and processing costs — reflecting both low wages and weak environmental standards — allowed China’s producers to undercut the U.S. industry.

You really have to wonder why nobody raised an alarm while this was happening, if only on national security grounds. But policy makers simply stood by as the U.S. rare earth industry shut down. In at least one case, in 2003 — a time when, if you believed the Bush administration, considerations of national security governed every aspect of U.S. policy — the Chinese literally packed up all the equipment in a U.S. production facility and shipped it to China.

My guess? Corporate pressure. I think Cheap Labor Republicans allowed the production of critical high-tech components to be outsourced to China--not exactly our BFF in the arena of national security--so their corporations could, in turn, buy the aforementioned high-tech components more cheaply than they could buy American-made products.

National security be damned--we could save a quarter each on those things!

National security only matters to that kind of mind when it can be used to weaken labor. If the USofA goes under, these big multinational corporations can just shrug, restructure (def: cut about 25% of their workforce and pay upper level management huge bonuses), and keep selling to the rest of the world.

Posted by AnneZook at 02:17 PM


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