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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Well, Isn't That Just Rippin' Brilliant...

It was just a couple o' weeks ago that I found out the Chinese were cutting off supplies of rare earth materials to Japan. Now, it appears they're cutting us off as well.

Don't have a clue what rare earth materials are? This is from the article:
... rare earth elements...have broad commercial and military applications, and are vital to the manufacture of products as diverse as cellphones, large wind turbines and guided missiles.
Now, given that:
Despite their name, most rare earths are not particularly rare.
What could possibly be the problem? Surely we can just go out and mine our own? Hah! More fool you! mines are likely to take three to five years to reach full production, according to industry executives...
How did we wind up in this situation, you ask, where
China mines 95 percent of the world’s rare earth elements...
How did we wind up letting A HOSTILE NATION control our supply of stuff that, for the most part, we can mine ourselves?

Very simple: the poisonous doctrine of free trade (again: not at all the same thing as free markets. Stay with me here. Don't get confused.). We refused to protect our rare earth industry with tariffs, and because China has
...lower costs and weak environmental enforcement...
the industry moved over there!

Brilliant. Just %&*(in' brilliant. Takes a degree to come up with ideas like that, let me tell you...

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