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Author Topic: Sad and almost scary  (Read 903 times)

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Offline luvmexfood

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Sad and almost scary
« on: October 26, 2015, 05:30:29 AM »
Took on a temporary job helping set up a new big box hardware store. Wanted a break from logging and the money was good.

What's sad is the amount of stuff that is made overseas mainly China. It's rare that you stock an item that is made in the US. All our money going out of the country. Will companies ever realize if they keep taking jobs overseas that no one will have any money in the US to buy there product.

About 18 more days on the job. So far, in 13 days have worked 126 hours. No days off till done. Ten hour days except for Sunday which is only 8 hours. Getting tired.
Give me a new saw chain and I can find you a rock in a heartbeat.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Sad and almost scary
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 05:52:08 AM »
Yes, it is sad and people hardly think of it anymore.

A few years ago I was determined to buy American made tires and my usual tire place wouldn't help. Bought them somewhere else. Major problems with the alignment job ruined 2 of the tires in 12,000 miles. They would not warrentee them. Had to go back to my usual hometown guy….. the tires they put on were made in Russia !!!!!!
MS193, MS192 and an 026  Weeding and Thinning. Gilbert Champion sawmill

Offline SawyerBrown

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Re: Sad and almost scary
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 06:49:23 AM »
A few months ago there was a 60 Minutes segment about the fact that most of our rare earth elements come from China.  Rare earths are used in all types of electronic gadgets that we all use every day, and are key to many of our defense systems.  So if China would ever shut that off, we'd be in big trouble!  Rare earths are not really "rare", but they do take considerable processing to extract, and a number of years ago the US EPA basically made it impossible for companies in the US to continue to produce.  Worse yet, it would take years to get US companies up and running again in a crisis ...

It's a bit of a sticky wicket, isn't it?  We all want low-cost, throw-away "stuff" (regardless of quality), and the Chinese are more than glad to comply using cheap labor.  I guess we get what we ask for.
Pete Brown, Saw It There LLC.  Wood-mizer LT35HDG25, Farmall 'M', 16' trailer.  Custom sawing only (at this time).  Long-time woodworker ... short-time sawyer!

Offline beenthere

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Re: Sad and almost scary
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 09:43:55 AM »
luvmex
Quote
Will companies ever realize if they keep taking jobs overseas that no one will have any money in the US to buy there product.

Don't think this is a "choice" that companies have been able to make, as they are being forced out. IMO

EPA, OBCare, and the myriad of other Gov't agencies are providing the paper-pusher jobs by requiring monumental amounts of reporting at every turn.
It is short term, just we don't know how much longer we can continue.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline Brucer

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Re: Sad and almost scary
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2015, 11:47:02 PM »
...  Rare earths are used in all types of electronic gadgets that we all use every day, and are key to many of our defense systems.  So if China would ever shut that off, we'd be in big trouble!  Rare earths are not really "rare", but they do take considerable processing to extract, and a number of years ago the US EPA basically made it impossible for companies in the US to continue to produce...

Well, sorta, but not really. There are environmental regulations, but keep in mind that some of the sources of the rare earth elements also contain radioactive materials. A certain amount of regulation makes sense. More on that in a minute.

Basically US production stopped when China undercut the world prices.

Quote
...  Worse yet, it would take years to get US companies up and running again in a crisis ...

China has begun to introduce export quotas, which in turn is driving up the price, which in turn is making US production reasonably profitable. At least one major US producer is coming back on line.



Here's the hidden factor, which ties into rare earth mineral production.

Thorium, which is mildly radioactive, is found in the same ores as some of the rare earth elements. This presents a problem of what to do with the radioactive stuff. Handling it in small quantities won't hurt you. Breathing it will. Hence a certain amount of regulation in the US.

Thorium is also a viable form of nuclear energy. In fact, a Thorium reactor produces much less radioactive waste than a Uranium reactor. It's also very difficult (and expensive) to produce weapons grade material from a Thorium reactor. And it's meltdown-proof.

A couple of years ago China set out to build a working Thorium reactor within 25 years. Last year they shortened the goal to 10 years. They are desperate to abandon coal because of the amount of smog they generate. So whereas the US is concerned about this unwanted biproduct of rare earth mining, China will see it as a valuable raw material for their reactor program.

Here's the sad part. In the 1970's, the US had an experimental Thorium reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It ran for 4 years and was on line for the equivalent of two full years. Then the Nixon administration killed it and fired the director at Oak Ridge when he objected.

Skip along to today. The US has an agreement with China to help them build the first viable reactor. There's no way the American proponents can get funding from their own government.

Just another wrinkle. India is already ahead of them. It has no significant quantities of gas, coal, oil, or Uranium. It has a lot of Thorium. It also has a lot of nuclear know-how.
Bruce    LT40HDG28 bandsaw with two 6' extensions.
"Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers."


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