My seven-year-old son had a favorite toy. It was a blue and red Spiderman ball. He enjoyed taking the ball out, kicking it with his brother and playing dodge ball with the rest of the family.
That was until last week.
He and I were kicking the ball and I kicked it. The ball sailed into the wild blue yonder and ended up in a tree. I looked at the tree and decided it was neither safe nor prudent for either of us to try and climb up and get it, so I promised him I would get him another ball.
Sunday, I took him to Toys R’ Us and for $4.99, he had a brand new ball, which was of course, made in China.
I was thinking about the ball as we drove home.
That ball was made in a factory in China. It was then shipped to a port in China. At that port, it was placed in container, and then shipped 5,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean. The ball then arrived at a West Coast Port before being shipped across country to a store in the suburbs of Nashville.
It was sold for five dollars and the store made a profit on the sale.
What is wrong with this picture?
Everything in the store that my son looked at that day was made in China. If you have a seven year old and take him to a toy store, you know he is not going to look at just one thing.
How is China able to send a ball all the way across the ocean and still be able to make a profit?
The problem is not just children’s balls or toys. Visit Walmart or Target. You will be hard pressed to find anything made in America. Everything from clothes to electronics is made any place other than America.
Counterfeit Chinese computer chips have been discovered in the control systems for the Navy’s New P-8 anti sub aircraft and the Air Force’s C-27. Counterfeit chips are where old chips are taken, remarked and passed off as new. And of course, they don’t work.
We get all of our computers, routers and other significant electronics from China. The Department of Defense reported in 2008 that the Chinese used bootlegged Cisco routers to try and access classified information.
About a year ago, 60 Minutes showed a report about how, simply by hacking on the internet, a power generator was made to self destruct. The 60 Minutes reporter then showed footage of American power generators at the Hoover dam and pointed out the same thing could be done to those units and that would cripple American power generation. The report then added, those generators would take months to replace and were no longer made in America, so it was even possible we could not replace them.
In the name of free trade, we have let our manufacturing sector be decimated. We now have to buy components crucial to national security from China.
What is wrong with this picture?
Even in the Republican debates, certain candidates are worried we will start a trade war with China.
Trade war? They are stealing us blind and we are worried about a trade war?
My son loves his new ball. He loves to go out in these cool Autumn afternoons and kick the ball. He is oblivious to the problems with China.
I can only hope that thirty years from now, when he has a seven year old, everything he buys that child will be made in America, by Americans.
Inflation in wages causes inflation in prices. They are a function related to one another. Think of how long it took you to work three years ago to pay for your lunch and see how long it takes you to work to pay or the same or equivalent lunch. The same for cars. See how long it took you to work for a car five years ago, ( say a mid-equiped ford taurus ) and how long it takes you to earn the equivalent car today.
Let's say you made $20 an hour three years ago and a Big mac value meal was $5.00. It took fifteen minutes of your labor to buy your lunch. Now you make $25 an hour and that same Big mac value meal is now $5.99. It now takes you fourteen minutes fifteen seconds to purchase that meal. You think you got a pretty decent raise, but you really didn't.
Labor and the increase in value you offer to the consumer should dictate what you get paid. Money just stores that value until you use it. Offer more value to society, get more monetary storage units to put up for later use. Inflation destroys those stored units and thus destroys savings.
If thirty years from now you go to McD's and order a Big mac value meal for $19.99 and use the extra money you stored up thirty years ago, unless you have gotten a good return on your money, it just took an hour of your labor to buy lunch.
So you're right. Money doesn't equal wealth. It is a marker of the value you offered the consumer of what you did during you're career. If you don't like what the consumer values your labor at, get different consumers or try a new career.
I think we can blame Nixon and his side kick for this problem. They took us from Fair Trade to Free Trade. And we can't find anything made here anymore. But people are getting fed up with the crap we do get now. Brunswick moved their operations to China and now bowling balls aren't round. So a guy (probably a die-hard redneck bowler in Michigan) got tired of it and started his own bowling ball manufacturing company. It's going to take those people to bring us back and I bet they do it without abusing children in child slave labor.
I must challenge "can't find anything made here". I have to shop and read labels and check internet for info on companies to see if it is truly made here but I find lots. Walmart has more Made in America every time I stop. Buying local helps also if your local is America.
Last newspaper article I read said 85% of Wal-Mart goods were made in China. And that doesn't mean that the other 15% are made in USA.
Mr Phillips, you did not "have to buy" a trash can last weekend. You're tossing trash in it for heavens sake! Be innovative and practical next time, not fashionable. You are a leader (a very demanding job) so lead by example and tell us about it. That old truck I mentioned above looks its age about as much as its driver, but it does the job...it hauls. Keep up the fine work you are doing and be proud of what you have done.
You have to be careful. I have found a US address on articles but then discover in smaller print someplace else that it was actually made in China. The US address is just a distribution center. Sometimes they don't even say where it was made. We are so close to Mexico here that much of our fresh food comes from there. I try to buy US grown or local.
In Nixon's days, few could have foreseen the current troubles arising from what you refer to. I was just a teenager so I have some research to do just to begin to understand what you're talking about. Oh, I remember watergate well enough, the oil embargo of '73, and Nixon's (kept) promise to bring the troops home from Viet Nam. But I also know we lost face in bringing home the troops, along with some 2500 POW/MIA's, as I would later become involved in Veteran's issues.
Gordon Liddy is a modern day hero in my book!
I have tried hard to make all my own things and not purchase anything made in China. Not only am I worried about the contaminates that might be in the products but I don't feel comfortable supporting China anymore. When Americans realize that they can purchase a Light bulb at walmart( or where ever ) made in America for not much more than the Chinese one then they too will purchase more American made items. It is how we keep Americans employed we purchase their products. Mom and Pop shops or people with their own businesses working from home. Bailouts and other means of spending taxpapers money is not going to be the best solution to creating jobs.
Mom & Pop shops are so rare anymore in even a modest-sized city. I support them as much as possible right here in my little city.
You just figured this out ! I would love to see more Americans reading labels and de-codeing scanner labels.
I have seen this creeping chinese invasion comming for years; perhaps if more citizens would have to shop for
items they don't normally buy, they would get the enlightening experience detailed in your story.
It gets worse,.!! try going to a supermarket and reading the back labels on food items; much of our food
is packed and/or processed OUTSIDE THE U.S.
We need a trade war with china,............soon, before they control 100% of our lives. The current administration
doesn't care about the real balance of trade; with the dimwitted president leading the half-witted minions running the
Maybe,.....Just Maybe,...if enough Americans get to experience the subject of your story, we will begin to have
some effect and begin a trade war!!
Terrific story needs to be repeated until more become aware of the cancer called china.