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Sun Jan 24, 2021, 04:21 PM

If America Doesn't Implement the "Buy American" Vision Now, the 21st Century Will Be a Disaster

A technological arms race is underway right now between China, the United States and Western Europe.

The stakes include military superiority, economic prosperity, and the status of being the political and economic system the world wants to emulate.

Chinaís most urgent priority is to become independent of American technology, as Fareed Zakaria highlighted on his January 24th CNN show.

At the moment, many products manufactured in China require parts from America, including products sold into the domestic Chinese market and equipment used by the Chinese military. Theyíre throwing massive resources into becoming technologically independent of the United States.

In this, China is simply doing what George Washington and Alexander Hamilton laid out in 1791, and if we donít get back to that vision quickly, the 21st-century will, indeed, be the ďChinese Century.Ē

Technological independence and international trade policy are, it turns out, two sides of the same coin.

In 2016, the single topic that most likely propelled Donald Trump to the White House by grabbing voters in Midwestern swing states was ďfree trade,Ē as he repeatedly pointed out the stupidity of promoting offshore manufacturing simply to reduce labor expenses.

He promised to bring manufacturing back to America, and voters in the former manufacturing powerhouses of the Midwest bought his sales pitch. (Sadly, he was so incompetent that his efforts actually made things worse.)

​Trump wasnít the first president to understand the importance of this, however.

​When General Henry Knox rode up to Mount Vernon in the late summer of 1789 to tell George Washington that Congress had just elected him as the first President of the United States, Washington had two requests for his old friend.

First, he asked Knox to let folks know heíd be delayed by a few days because he wanted to say goodbye to his mother, who was elderly and ailing (turned out, it was the last time he saw her alive).

Second, Washington asked General Knox to ride all the way up to Delaware to visit Daniel Hinsdale, a man whoíd been manufacturing black-market American-made fine menís clothing in defiance of British law for several decades. Knox brought to New York (where the swearing-in took place on what is now Wall Street) a fine American-made suit, which Washington proudly wore.

​Thirteen years earlier, British economist Adam Smith had made worldwide headlines with his bestselling 1776 book An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, proposing that the main thing that made a country rich was having independence in manufacturing.

​The process of converting raw materials with little value into finished products was, to Smithís mind, the best and only practical way a nation could grow wealthy without overseas conquest and plunder.

A tree limb in the forest, for example, had no monetary value, but when labor and the tool of a knife were applied to it and it was turned into an axe-handle, it now had a value that could be passed down through the generations ó what Smith called wealth....

Entire article here: https://thomhartmann.medium.com/if-america-doesnt-implement-the-buy-american-vision-now-the-21st-century-will-be-the-chinese-de93d02c9557

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Reply If America Doesn't Implement the "Buy American" Vision Now, the 21st Century Will Be a Disaster (Original post)
thomhartmann Jan 24 OP
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #1
Duppers Jan 24 #8
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #9
Duppers Jan 24 #15
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #17
Blue_true Jan 24 #27
Turin_C3PO Jan 24 #23
Buckeyeblue Jan 24 #10
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #12
GulfCoast66 Jan 24 #14
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #16
GulfCoast66 Jan 24 #20
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #24
GulfCoast66 Jan 24 #30
Irish_Dem Jan 24 #32
GulfCoast66 Jan 25 #33
Irish_Dem Jan 25 #34
Blue_true Jan 24 #31
GulfCoast66 Jan 25 #35
Duppers Jan 24 #18
Turin_C3PO Jan 24 #22
GulfCoast66 Jan 24 #21
Buckeyeblue Jan 25 #36
RandySF Jan 24 #2
Iggo Jan 24 #3
Hoyt Jan 24 #4
msongs Jan 24 #5
Calculating Jan 24 #6
Blue_true Jan 24 #29
Ferrets are Cool Jan 24 #7
Blue_true Jan 24 #28
Buckeyeblue Jan 24 #11
Hermit-The-Prog Jan 24 #13
senseandsensibility Jan 24 #19
Blue_true Jan 24 #25
Initech Jan 24 #26

Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 04:23 PM

1. China will become the sole world superpower, I will probably live to see it happen.

The US is already sliding fast.
And Putin has stolen all of Russia's wealth, so no path to greatness for them.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:16 PM

8. I regret having to agree with you.

Toured China for 6wks in 2010 and couldn't close my mouth.

And TRump just helped them.


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Response to Duppers (Reply #8)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:21 PM

9. I visited China before their modernization, then again in 2014.

My mouth was on the ground the whole time in absolute amazement.
I loved it.

The before picture was very grim and scary.
The after picture left me in shock.

Yes the US just handed China their superpower status crown.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:53 PM

15. Yes, my hubby was there in '93

I traveled back with him in 2010 & he couldn't believe how Shanghai had changed.

I'd never seen a city like it - larger than LA, with skyscrapers as found in NYC, and lit up like Vegas.

Beijing was more traditional... and smoggy. We still saw a lot of poverty in between but that country is clawing its way to the top very quickly...by hook or crook. International patents don't mean poop to them. And they'll try to bride anyone they can!

And then there's their space programs...
https://www.space.com/topics/china-space-program

They try hard, work very hard, steal & copy what they can, but they don't have the innate creativity & innovation we have.


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Response to Duppers (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:59 PM

17. They are working on the education, creativity and innovation.

Many of their students have been educated in the US.
American professors and teachers are teaching in China now.

Their Silk Road Initiative is amazing.

They have had troops and civilians in Africa for a long time now.
Getting rare mineral rights.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is China will be a superpower.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #15)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 11:00 PM

27. I would not say that China is not more creative.

The absolute dominate us in ďgreenĒ products and extraction of ďnaturalĒ chemicals. I know because I need those items for my company, it comes down to China or India, I canít find USA companies that manufacture here, the ones that I do find imports from China and wholesale here.

China is surpassing us in the hard sciences, Chemistry, Physics, Medical research, engineered materials. Name any hard science and they have surpassed us. We simply are not getting enough USA born hard science trained young people and the ones that graduate are not paid remotely what they should be paid. Once the hard scientists that are in their fifties and sixties now die off or retire, the dominance that China has built up is going to hit us like a speeding freight train.

I have believe for a while that we are really lucky that China is doing a relatively poor job of raising the living standards of all of itís citizens, if it gets around to seriously doing that, we are done forever as the worldís premiere economic power. If you look at when the USA became great, it was the period from the end of the Civil War until the start of World War I, doing that time the USA was focused on raising the living standards of citizens (except from my race, African Americans, our people made big, not recognized or rewarded contributions), by raising those living standards, the USA powerfully increased itís gross wealth.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #9)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:25 PM

23. They still have millions and millions

of rural poor which hurts them in the long run. Once they correct that, the skyís the limit.
This is the DU member formerly known as Turin_C3PO.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:22 PM

10. It depends

Are the Chinese people willing to continue to give their all to the country without getting anything back in return? Or will they say enough is enough and raise up?

If the people are content with essentially being slaves to the state, then, yes, they will be the sole superpower.

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Response to Buckeyeblue (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:36 PM

12. Their standard of living has now increased dramatically.

They are well fed and not starving. They are not living in abject poverty.

When I was in China in 2014, I never saw more food in my life.
Food on the street, vendors, restaurants. Huge warehouses filled with food from top to bottom.

They have cars, phones, nice clothing.
The Chinese are lovely people, smart, friendly.

The Communist red hats (police) are now in the background.
Chinese government gives the people a lot of space now.
Beijing is the exception, they are a bit of control freaks there.

People retire at age 55 with a nice pension.

The infrastructure in Beijing and Shanghai (the financial center) is unbelievable.
Absolutely state of the art and gorgeous.
America looks dismal in comparison.

Before they became modernized, the Chinese government was afraid of the possible situation you describe.
The people were in abject poverty, hungry, down beaten.
They knew that if they did not make changes, the population could rise up.
And with a billion people in China, the government could never quell this.
So they started giving the people some freedom, food, and a more middle class lifestyle.

They did all of this in a very short period of time.
There is no doubt at all they will achieve superpower status in our lifetime.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:45 PM

14. I support your assertion. I was there for a month in 2016.

2 weeks in spring and 2 weeks in July(my wife was working there for 6 months putting the highlight on a 40 year career).

Iíve been to most US states, many Major European cities and have never seen anything like Shanghai. Like Manhattan for 40 miles. I lived in my wifeís brand new and ultra-modern apartment and went to the markets and everything. Their metro is the best Iíve ever seen. The food scene is off the charts which put me in heaven. Spent a week in Beijing which was less impressive that Shanghai, but what city is not?

They are a proud people and have a different view of history because they have been around for what, 3000 years?

I hope to go back someday.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:55 PM

16. Shanghai is totally unbelievable.

The bullet train and metros are unreal.
The airports are jaw dropping.

I ate my way across China and gained 10 lbs.
The only vacation where I have done that.
I was in heaven as well.

I had been there in 1999 and the difference could not be more dramatic.

If you could have seen the before picture you would understand why they will be
a superpower in a short period of time.

Yes they are a very proud, smart people. An ancient one, yes 3000 yrs old.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:12 PM

20. Did you make it to Chengdu? I did not and regret it.

Iím from Louisiana and even as a kid loved spicy food. Have learned to make Hot Pot, but so want to experience their food. Had some in Shanghai but would love to go to home of the cuisine.

Do you now shake your head and chuckle when people say they love Chinese food? Like saying I love European food! Finnish or Italian?

Sounds like you are like the wife and I. We travel for food and wine.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:30 PM

24. Yes, ChengDu had the best food in China as far as I am concerned.

Every restaurant was better than the last.
If you go back to China, I recommend Cheng Du.
The people were also the friendliest in China I thought.
I spent a lot of time talking to the folks in ChengDu.
Their English was quite good.

Cheng Du is also the home to the Panda Breeding Center and was a highlight of the China trip.
Got to see all the little baby pandas. Adorable.

When I was in Cheng Du in 2014 they would not let foreigners go to some of the restaurants.
They said the food was too hot and would kill us!
I didn't take any chances and stuck to the permitted restaurants.
A friend went in the dark of night to an off limits restaurant and lived to tell the tale.
The heat level was not too bad he said.

I am not usually a big food person, but the food was extraordinary in China.
Did you go to Xi'an? The dumplings there were unbelievable.
Loved the noodles in Beijing.

The hotel breakfast rooms were huge with Chinese and European foods stacked high.
I don't normally eat breakfast but I spent a couple of hours eating my way across the piles of food.
It is embarrassing to admit as I am a tiny person and don't normally eat much.

I don't drink, so cannot comment on Chinese wine, etc.
But I would see large tables of businessmen knocking back these huge bottles of beer, like a wine bottle size.

Did you stay at the White Swan in Guangzhou by any chance?



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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #24)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 11:22 PM

30. I like my food scorching at times so would not fear chengdu.

I love Europe and their food but after a few weeks we always visit a Chinese joint just to give me a spice update!

I only was in Shanghai, Beijing, the Yellow Mountains, and a tea production area relatively close to Shanghai. The wife is asleep so canít ask her where. Realize she worked for almost 3 of the 4 weeks I was there. But I would get up at 7:00, cook us breakfast and spend 9 hours exploring Shanghai.

BTY. The beer there sucks. And itís served warm.

Shanghai makes NYC look like Huntsville, Alabama.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #30)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 11:51 PM

32. You would be OK in ChengDu then.

The very hot food in ChengDu is related to their medical beliefs.
ChengDu is very humid and rainy, with cloud cover.
They believe this is very bad for their Chi.
They insist the very hot food is necessary to balance the dampness of the climate, and to prevent Chi damage.

They say people who are not from Chengdu will have bad consequences from the food, if care is not taken.

I confess I do not like hot food, and they were happy to tone it down for me. I guess they did not want to kill a tourist.
It was still spicy but so darn delicious I kept eating away.
There was a spicy green bean dish I ate every day I was in ChengDu along with the other dishes.

I know, Shanghai is the most unbelievable place. The the tall city skyscrapers are all lit up at night with coordinated
changing colors. It is like being in Disneyland.

Did you eat some of the big Shanghai soup dumplings?
I am sorry to keep talking about the food, I am not a food person, don't eat a lot generally.
But I went nuts for the food in China.

Oh I had no idea about the Chinese beer. I would see the business men knock back huge bottle after bottle.
I wondered what the alcohol content was. They were still standing at the end of the evening.

If you get a chance to go back and love food, I highly recommend Xi'An. The dumpling center of the world.
It is a cold climate like Beijing and they don't have the second and third rice crops per year like southern China.
So they are into wheat products like dumplings and noodles (me-in). Literally dozens and dozens of different dumplings.
I thought I would go face down at the dinner table with dumpling overload.



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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 25, 2021, 12:18 AM

33. Are you kidding me? We have a quest to find soup dumplings like in Shanghai in Orlando!

I ate ate at traditional dumpling places, but the ones at Din Fai Fung were the best. With the spicy green beans you mentioned. Itís actually a chain with locations California. We hope to see one in central Florida. Because so many Central Floridians spent time in China 2015-2017. And it was the place they went.

Weíve kind of highjacked this thread and itís late so signing off

BTW, I donít agree in super protectionist trade policies. We should equal the No more, no less.

We will win in the end. As you know, the Chinese are not poor peasants laboring away for a bowl of rice at the end of the day.

Sounds like you are a foodie in the making. Try some odd stuff where you live. If you gained 10lbs in China with their you like eating. I ate my way thru and lost weight.

Have a great evening.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #33)

Mon Jan 25, 2021, 12:26 AM

34. oops sorry

For highjacking.

Yes late, signing off here too.

I did have soup dumpling here in the States, but it was blah. A big disappointment.

I don't agree with super protectionist trade policies either.

I do think China will rise in status, and US will fall.
Like all civilizations, rise and fall.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 11:38 PM

31. China has been around longer than 3,000 years.

The people there seem to be more truly patriotic than our people. Maybe the reason for that is they have had to fight off invaders for a large amount of their long history.

The Great Wall was not put up for no reason. If you study the design, it has mini-forts spaced a few hundred yards apart, that was so that archers could fire arrows down toward invaders, while staying somewhat protected against return arrows.

The massive country mostly developed an ďus against themĒ mindset, and any internal variance to that mindset was crushed (as we are hearing about).

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #31)

Mon Jan 25, 2021, 12:39 AM

35. The irony is the wall did not work!

I remember standing on it north of Beijing looking at the mountains in the distance. Told the wife, anyone who could bring a horse based army across those mountains would laugh at this wall.

The Mongols ruled them for 300 years. Until they became Chinese. Kind of like the Normans taking England. Just realized it took about the same amount of time for the invaders in England to feel English not French. Huh. Should have studied more European History. But unless my memory is bad, which it might be, the rulers of England took around 200-300 year before they spoke English. Which as Shakespeare proved was still in the process of becoming English. Donít remember which king it was but maybe one of the last Plantagenets? Iíve reached the end of my knowledge.

Had they had Facebook it would have taken 20!

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:01 PM

18. You're right about the Chinese people

They are lovely, smart, friendly.

We have wonderful, good friends there who stay in touch.

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Response to Irish_Dem (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:19 PM

22. It's not necessarily a bad thing

if and when they achieve super power status. But itís critical we remain a strong and healthy democracy to put a check on any bad faith dealing by China. Thatís why we must continue to elect Democrats. In ten years thereís a good chance that the US, EU, and China will make up a triumvirate of superpowers. We must be prepared for that reality.
This is the DU member formerly known as Turin_C3PO.

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Response to Buckeyeblue (Reply #10)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:17 PM

21. Have you been there? I agreed with your assessment.

Until I spent a month there in 2016. I now totally disagree with your narrative.

Several things thing you have to keep in mind. 2 of the most pertinent: They have been poor for hundreds of years and are not so much anymore. They have no tradition of Democracy.

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Response to GulfCoast66 (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 25, 2021, 06:21 AM

36. I'm basing it on a few assumptions that may not be correct

I realize that there are a lot of people in China doing very well. And I know that currently the government seems to be giving most people a very long lesh. My assumption would be that the more contact the have with Americans, the more the would seek our lifestyle. But maybe that's not the case. Maybe it's a US-centric attitude not grounded in reality.

After 4 years of Trump and 74 million people who voted to re-elect him, maybe human rights aren't important to a lot of humans.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 04:31 PM

2. Isn't there already a 'Buy American' statute on the books?

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 04:33 PM

3. The "Make American" vision would be nice, too.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 04:41 PM

4. Seems to me that is just setting us up for war -- bombs, cyber, economic, whatever.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 04:45 PM

5. americans are responsible for their own unemployment by buying china made nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 05:00 PM

6. Americans need to be paid more then

It's hard to buy american when wages have been stagnant for decades and living expenses keep going up. Buying american is generally possible, but it costs a lot more than buying cheap Chinese crap.

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Response to Calculating (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 11:19 PM

29. Interesting point.

There are American, unionized companies that are making high quality, affordable sweatshirts, sweatpants, tee shirts, jeans. Those products cost no more than the Chinese made stuff, but last a lot longer. I purchased several pairs of USA made jeans about 9 years ago. They cost less that Levi jeans of the same design, a lot less. I wore them as walk around jeans for about four years, then turned them into work jeans when I did dirty yard work, that went on for about three more year before them began to show serious wear.

Why donít we hear about American clothing companies? They put a large amount of their profit into worker pay and benefits, so they canít afford splashy tv, online, and radio ads. They sell to people that make an effort to find them or via word of mouth.

If you want to look up some of those companies, send me DU mail. Some people get wigged-out if I post such stuff in posts.

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Response to msongs (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 05:00 PM

7. I will argue that Americans are responsible for so much of our product being made overseas

because we have elected officials that have not backed Unions, nor have they supported the middle class. Most of us cannot "buy" American because we do not make enough income to do so. The lasting effect of that has been the closing of American factories because it can be made cheaper overseas. It is a vicious circle.
I'm sure there have been many tomes written on this subject, but this is the first reason that comes to mind.

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Response to Ferrets are Cool (Reply #7)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 11:08 PM

28. For many clothing products like sweatshirts, hoodies, jeans,

there are companies here in the USA selling Union made clothing. They just donít have the money to advertise and rely on word of mouth. Surprisingly, their clothing cost no more and often even less than clothing that is made offshore. The only problem comes with dress shirts, it is really hard to find USA made dress shirts and dress slacks.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:26 PM

11. Sadly, this decision has been taken from us by corporations

Who moved manufacturing out of the country. As long as companies manage to the stock price, I don't see this changing. Republicans claim to be the party that loves America. But their policies and donors tell a different story.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 09:39 PM

13. Reaganite Republican policies have destroyed unions and enabled offshoring.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:04 PM

19. I agree, and to sound a practical note as well

This would be difficult for republicans to obstruct or weaponize against Biden. Good to hear from you, Thom. I saw you at a lecture in Carmel, CA many years ago. You're a good guy!

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:34 PM

25. One issue that we have.

If a person wants ďgreenĒ products, invariably those come from China. Same for thermal control products and natural materials like bamboo. I can do a Web search almost all day looking for an American company that makes innovative engineered products, I donít find any, but I find many from China and some from India. We have to change that, but that will require cooler heads sitting down to figure out how to best do that, we donít have such consensus.

People here hate Jeff Bezos, but he is the only rich person that is still active in his company that is building mostly a USA based production infrastructure. The only other person that is close is Elon Musk, but he has kissed China leader butt for years and has robust manufacturing there.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Sun Jan 24, 2021, 10:38 PM

26. Trump's tariffs are making it impossible to get necessary goods into the US too.

He really screwed the pooch on that one.

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