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Old 03-10-2012, 11:04 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by marko View Post
We are sending China over 100 Million dollars every day in interest payments...
Originally Posted by Disappointed View Post
Intresting how Japan is no longer our whipping boy.
Yeah, remember when we snookered a few Japanese entrepreneurs into buying Pebble Beach and Rockefeller Center?

Maybe the Chinese government thinks it's different this time.


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Old 03-10-2012, 11:39 AM   #22
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I think you could, most of the time, buy US made products, but if you are on the cheap, it is harder to avoid Made in China.

Shiitake mushrooms for example, cost close to 3 times as much if they are grown domestically. It seems all imported shiitake mushrooms come from China. Organic soy bean pods (edamame) at WFM are from China. I just don't trust any food from China due to their lack of industrial regulations (especially the quality of water they may be using in regards to growing any foodstuffs.) Their food is generally much cheaper though.

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Old 03-10-2012, 11:40 AM   #23
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Talk about the quality of Chinese goods, I have seen that it has been improving over the years. The Chinese are certainly capable of making high-quality products (aren't most delicate and sophisticated electronic goods built by them?). The problem is that few Chinese makers have established a brand name whose reputation they want to protect. So, the Chinese goods are manufactured by many small shops, turning out a lot of no-name products. And they are all competing on prices, and quality is often compromised.

Here's an example. Most of us know or have been to HarborFreight. Some of the tools or equipments are junk, but most are quite usable, though not of Craftsman quality. For DIY'ers like myself, they are good enough. I was particularly impressed with the low price of a small 800W generator that they often sell for $89, and in the past, has been as low as $79 on sale. So, I searched on the Web, and there are literally thousands of reviews of this single item. Some people like it, some do not. But how the heck could they build it for that price? Remember that they do not get $79 per generator, but perhaps only 1/2 or 2/3 of that price. Surely, it is just a simple 2-cycle engine, but what is the material cost alone, for crying out loud? Aluminum is expensive nowadays, and the copper for the coil windings...

So, for curiosity, I looked up Alibaba Web site. Holy mackerel! There are thousands of shops who build very similar generators. Very few want to quote a price on the Web, I guess because they are afraid of being undercut by the competitors. However, I did see one saying he wanted $45/each, in qty. of only 50! Wow!

Now, suppose a buyer works with them, and willing to give them a bit more money to use better material, and with a tighter quality control. Any of these Chinese guys could turn out decent products if their profit margins did not get cut to the bone!
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Disappointed View Post
Intresting how Japan is no longer our whipping boy.
Not to be too flip, but it reminds me of when AIDS made us forget about herpes. Any (honest - good luck with that) politician will tell you that "you need an enemy to be in this business." China is handy right now, but as others have pointed out, our wage structure has pushed a lot of jobs to many low-cost labor sources. I don't see that ending any time soon. What may "save" us is when the other countries start charging the same (or more) for labor as we do. IIRC, that's what happened with Japan. YMMV

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