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post #11 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 10:59 PM
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Walmart is transferring the wealth of America to the Chinese. If you love the idea of China growing stronger and a socialist economic system becoming the world's economic powerhouse, support your local Walmart, I certainly do!


Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #12 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-23-2006, 11:05 PM
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There are many factors that are not being considered that creates the problem discussed here.

China is the worlds largest exporter of merchandise and Wal-Mart is the biggest customer! Why is China the largest? It's simple. NO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION! The U.S. has the strictest environmental regulations on the planet. No large corporation wants to deal with the endless harassment by the EPA.

I have MANY cases in point in which I can prove that many of our environmental laws are too strict, but for sake of time, I'll just mention a couple. We have a local steam plant that is coal fired. While, at one time, it was one of the dirtiest plants in the nation, now it's one of the cleanest. But that's not enough to keep the EPA happy. No, they want to see a continuation in the drop of emissions from the plant. Now how clean can you make a coal fired plant? It will come to the point in a few years that the plant will no longer be able to cut the emissions required by the EPA per annum and will either have to pay excessive fines or shut down all together. Very reasonable to expect a coal fired plant to cut emissions XX% when it's a dirty plant but as the plant gets cleaner, these cuts get more difficult. This same situation applies to paper mills, metals manufacturing, plastics manufacturing and the textile business, among many others. China has no such self applied restrictions so therefore, they are able to manufacture goods much cheaper than we can even before you factor in labor.

I'm not saying that we make our country dirtier. I'm saying to be a little more reasonable about our expectations of how clean a manufacturing business can be. China will eventually pay for their pollution but, for now, they will damage us immensly while they're doing the polluting.

Talk to any reasonable business man and he can tell you what happens when the EPA gets over zealous. You can get fined for the silliest shit like a friend of mine who runs a granite stone business. Whenever he goes to a cemetary to 'etch' a name on a headstone, he has to set up $5,000 worth of 'recovery' equipment because of an obscure EPA regulation that forbids 'foreign and unnative' substances to come in contact with the ground. It seems their reasoning is that since the area where the cemetary is has no natural granite deposits, he's forbidden to put any there in the course of his business and if he does so, he faces a $10,000 fine AND jail time. Now that is just bullshit! They bury scores of corpses every day filled with formalin in burial vaults lined with gravel but he can't put a little granite type calcium carbonate on the ground. But, yet, I can buy 20 bags of granite chips, go to the cemetary and pour it over the gravesite for decoration and THAT is okay! So, if anyone wants to really know why Wal-Mart buys so much shit from China and why no one manufactures it here, then use this as just a silly example of how our environmental laws have run amok.
I have to agree with the granite example. Let me add another. While inspecting screw machine plants outside of Shanghai I came to a small plant that produced 50,000 threaded fasteners for Square D per year. There quality was good and their price was great. When I got to the "plant", it was a house, a shanty really, owned by a man, his wife and 4 or 5 kids [It was a government run company]. The screw machines that made the threaded fasteners were in his living room, Two eight foot long machines that feed in 3/8"steel rod in one end and screws come out the other. Oil is used to keep everything lubricated. If you have ever been in a machine shop that runs 12 hours a day you know that the air is filled with oil and fine metal particles from the screws being made. This was being done under 10 feet from the kids sleeping area. Thank God the Chinese don't have the EPA. Later that day I saw a chromium plating plant that had direct drainage that went straight toward the community well. Good thing there was no EPA.

I had a Grandfather die of Blacklung. I have two aunts that live in the Dayhoit Cancer Cluster in Harlan County due to Manufacturing in the 1940's that was not regulated. Living in coal country I have a very good understanding of coal fired power plants [one is12 miles from my house] and my cars not in garage have to be washed DAILY from airborne particulates. Thank goodness I don't have to breath or they might get in my lungs. Wonder if an EPA type organization could help something like that. I have read the rules that EPA requires for power plants and it boils down to money. The technology is there to meet ALL requirements, some plants just don't want to pay. Tennessee has had, historically, the lowest electric rates in the country with the TVA due to government subsidy and are just now catching up to the rest of the country. Power companies are squirming that they have to actually pay the costs to scrub. If they would buy better coal, in some cases, problems would start to go away but power plants buy cheap coal, some from China, that is very high in sulfur and hydrocarbons and harder to scrub out once burned.

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post #13 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear
I have to agree with the granite example. Let me add another. While inspecting screw machine plants outside of Shanghai I came to a small plant that produced 50,000 threaded fasteners for Square D per year. There quality was good and their price was great. When I got to the "plant", it was a house, a shanty really, owned by a man, his wife and 4 or 5 kids [It was a government run company]. The screw machines that made the threaded fasteners were in his living room, Two eight foot long machines that feed in 3/8"steel rod in one end and screws come out the other. Oil is used to keep everything lubricated. If you have ever been in a machine shop that runs 12 hours a day you know that the air is filled with oil and fine metal particles from the screws being made. This was being done under 10 feet from the kids sleeping area. Thank God the Chinese don't have the EPA. Later that day I saw a chromium plating plant that had direct drainage that went straight toward the community well. Good thing there was no EPA.

I had a Grandfather die of Blacklung. I have two aunts that live in the Dayhoit Cancer Cluster in Harlan County due to Manufacturing in the 1940's that was not regulated. Living in coal country I have a very good understanding of coal fired power plants [one is12 miles from my house] and my cars not in garage have to be washed DAILY from airborne particulates. Thank goodness I don't have to breath or they might get in my lungs. Wonder if an EPA type organization could help something like that. I have read the rules that EPA requires for power plants and it boils down to money. The technology is there to meet ALL requirements, some plants just don't want to pay. Tennessee has had, historically, the lowest electric rates in the country with the TVA due to government subsidy and are just now catching up to the rest of the country. Power companies are squirming that they have to actually pay the costs to scrub. If they would buy better coal, in some cases, problems would start to go away but power plants buy cheap coal, some from China, that is very high in sulfur and hydrocarbons and harder to scrub out once burned.
I and no one I know is proposing an elimination of the EPA. I want to see common sense take form in the enforcement of their regulations. Our local coal fired plant uses regional coal to fire the furnaces. Unfortunately, even our domestic coal can and often does contain a lot of sulfur. Everyone who's versed in chemistry knows when sulfur burns, sulfur dioxide is produced and when that mixes with rain, you have sulfurous acid. Fortunately, the EPA has been beneficial in the elimination of acid rain. But, they have gone too far, in many cases, with their high expectations of cleanliness. Some will argue that if the feet of the polluters are not continually held to the fire, they will not advance their technology to become cleaner. However, in todays corporate world, that is simply no longer true since all large corporations devote a certain percentage of their research budget in making their manufacturing waste cleaner. The incentive? To prevent unnecessary lawsuits that ultimately cost them more than the research.

I have toured the TVA laboratories (most have since shut down and moved to Knoxville) and it is quite unbelievable how much research these guys do to cut emissions in their gas and coal fired plants.

We also had a local textile manufacturer who was continually harrassed to cut dye drainage from their dye houses. By environmental standards, they were some of the cleanest in the business but their mistake was becoming too clean too quickly. The dye houses no longer exist and have moved to the Dominican Republic.

We have to find a happy medium here if we expect to retain manufacturing business in this country.

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post #14 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 11:02 AM
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Hey, as long as Walmart keeps paying women less than men for the same work, they are not good corporate citizens.

As long as Walmart pays their average full time wage earner less than the US Government established poverty line, they are not good corporate citizens.

As long as Walmart buys goods from countries that pay prison labor rates and hold standards of living that the WHO consider DEADLY, they are not good corporate citizens.

As long as Walmart buys goods from countries from foreign companies that pay $2 a day for work that was done in the US, taking jobs from US workers, taking tax base from US Treasury, taking buying power from the US economy, they are not good corporate citizens.

The example of $10 Levi's is a very good one. Some of those pants were made in three plants in Kentucky, the ONLY manufacturing plant in one county of 11,000 people. When the plant offshored, to save $6 retail per pair, the school board went bankrupt, the Walmart went out of business [irony], 68% of small biz went out of business within ONE year. Since both mom and pop worked at the factory, when it closed, all family income left. All medical left. The hospital closed. The only OB/GYN in the county left, the only family doctor moved to the next county. But you can now save $6 on your Levi's.

Kamil says that "Free Trade is the best thing that could happen". That is true IF it were FREE TRADE. It is not. There is not a level playing field. China and India support their industries by economic means, by putting barriers against US goods, by allowing artificial low wages for workers, by allowing prison labor, by not having basic sanitary laws, by not having basic environmental laws. If folks want Free Trade, fight for free trade, not the mismatch we have now. Anyone who thinks we have Economic equity with the countries with which we trade has not a clue in Economics. Fight for that equity and then no one will be complaining about the US being behind. In a fair fight, we will win every time. We have the ability to generate that kind of economic power. We just have Corporate managers looking at short term earnings instead of long term growth.

At some point, there will be a tipping point and the number of offshored jobs will be to the point that there will not be enough low income buyers to purchase the "cheap" stuff from Walmart. Short sighted, bonus driven managers are not looking at that. They will.
Your talking points are right out of the AFL-CIO handbood. I liked it better when you made stupid comments that were your own. Are you going to boycott Wal-Mart's $4 prescription medications? Do you ever buy anything from those evil-doers?

Don't believe everything you think

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post #15 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mcbear
Hey, as long as Walmart keeps paying women less than men for the same work, they are not good corporate citizens.

As long as Walmart pays their average full time wage earner less than the US Government established poverty line, they are not good corporate citizens.

As long as Walmart buys goods from countries that pay prison labor rates and hold standards of living that the WHO consider DEADLY, they are not good corporate citizens.

As long as Walmart buys goods from countries from foreign companies that pay $2 a day for work that was done in the US, taking jobs from US workers, taking tax base from US Treasury, taking buying power from the US economy, they are not good corporate citizens. ...

I completely agree: They should cease business and free the slaves they've chained-up inside their stores.

B
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post #16 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 11:38 AM
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I hate Chinese produce, You drink their milk and eat the eggs and an hour later your hungry again.

All that Mobil oil they ship over is lousy.
post #17 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 12:29 PM
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I completely agree: They should cease business and free the slaves they've chained-up inside their stores.

B
Amen brother!! And we should secede from their union too!!!

Don't believe everything you think
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post #18 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 12:30 PM
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I hate Chinese produce, You drink their milk and eat the eggs and an hour later your hungry again.

All that Mobil oil they ship over is lousy.
Our MBs would cease to exist w/out their Mobile 1 oil!

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post #19 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cmitchprint
I and no one I know is proposing an elimination of the EPA. I want to see common sense take form in the enforcement of their regulations. Our local coal fired plant uses regional coal to fire the furnaces. Unfortunately, even our domestic coal can and often does contain a lot of sulfur. Everyone who's versed in chemistry knows when sulfur burns, sulfur dioxide is produced and when that mixes with rain, you have sulfurous acid. Fortunately, the EPA has been beneficial in the elimination of acid rain. But, they have gone too far, in many cases, with their high expectations of cleanliness. Some will argue that if the feet of the polluters are not continually held to the fire, they will not advance their technology to become cleaner. However, in todays corporate world, that is simply no longer true since all large corporations devote a certain percentage of their research budget in making their manufacturing waste cleaner. The incentive? To prevent unnecessary lawsuits that ultimately cost them more than the research.

I have toured the TVA laboratories (most have since shut down and moved to Knoxville) and it is quite unbelievable how much research these guys do to cut emissions in their gas and coal fired plants.

We also had a local textile manufacturer who was continually harrassed to cut dye drainage from their dye houses. By environmental standards, they were some of the cleanest in the business but their mistake was becoming too clean too quickly. The dye houses no longer exist and have moved to the Dominican Republic.

We have to find a happy medium here if we expect to retain manufacturing business in this country.
I agree completely with your analysis. Strange thing is the EPA has been defanged over the past 6 years with staff reduction and inspection schedules yet Corporations still would rather shut down plants [some only 10 years old and up to EPA spec] and move offshore than keep work in country.

Currently I have a project, as an example, that I wanted to start as a little side biz. It required casting and then chromium plating. To get the job done in the US, with US manufacturing and to meet EPA regs would require a unit cost of $375. I have a friend from Mumbai, India who is here on an H1B doing IT Architecture [since there are no skilled IT Architects in the US to do the job]. He can take the original fab-up to Mumbai and have the job done and through US customs for me for $26.50 per unit.

I cancelled the project. First, I have been to the village where the work would be done and, while it would help his friends, the chromium process "wash" would dump into the water table. Second is my desire not to offshore. So I do understand the EPA issues as they relate to the workforce. They added $165 to each unit. That was the deal breaker.

McBear,
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post #20 of 209 (permalink) Old 11-24-2006, 01:53 PM
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Your talking points are right out of the AFL-CIO handbood. I liked it better when you made stupid comments that were your own. Are you going to boycott Wal-Mart's $4 prescription medications? Do you ever buy anything from those evil-doers?
Sorry, but that be my own thoughts. As I have said before, with two Grandfathers starting United Mine Workers in Eastern Kentucky and a father who was a Union Rep for Butcher Workmen Union for 40 years, I don't need any prompting to know what I type.

And NO, I never go to Walmart or Sam's Club. When they pay a living wage I will reconsider.

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