Originally Posted by cmitchprint
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.