[Vision2020] Food/gas prices

Garrett Clevenger garrettmc at verizon.net
Wed Mar 26 23:13:20 PDT 2008


For the most part, I don't necessarily disagree with
your economic view stated below.  However, as much as
I want Chinese workers to have our standard of living,
our labor and environmental laws, and be given
respect, I still see this whole reliance on China for
cheap goods, and carrying $1.5 trillion of our debt,
as a bad deal for the US in the long run. 

The US is lucky to have many safeguards to protect our
work and natural environment.  They are there to
prevent abuse.  Often times, though, they are violated
to save (and make) money.  Thus, the irony of China
not having those laws and the Chinese suffering
because of that, and the US having those laws and now
oil may be more expensive because people cannot drill
any where an oil company chooses.  

Would the US be better off if they could drill off
shore anywhere, or in ANWR?  Maybe in the short term
we'd have cheaper gas, but unfortunately, oil drilling
is messy and often times results in environmental
catastrophe that someone has to pay for.  Exxon
Valdez, anyone?  

Despite the "clean drilling" rhetoric oil industry
reps spout, I doubt they can prevent spills.  That
reminds me of "safe nuclear power."  Humans are
fallible and we'd be lucky to even know of any spill
that may occur.  The ones we do find out about are
only because they are too big to contain.

As far as illegals go, I wonder why the government
doesn't crack down on businesses who hire them. Is it
because they know we rely on that cheap labor in our
own country?  Ask any large farmer who relies on
migrant workers whether he or she could make as much
money if there weren't any illegal workers, and you'll
probably hear some hesitancy about enforcing such a

Which only leads back to supporting your local farmers
who want to grow you food.  It's cheaper, fresher and
grown from legal citizens who don't want to be
deported to China, Mexico or Texas.

>From what I know, the closest biodiesel producer is in
Ellensburg, Central Washington Biodiesel.  For a
directory, check out:


There has been talk of a plant going in near Genesee,
but I'm not sure of the progress on that.  PCEI has
started a biodiesel coop.  They are importing
biodiesel, but plan to produce it in Moscow using
grease and from seed oil crops from local farmers. 
You can call them to find out more info.


--- Donovan Arnold <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com>

> Garrett,
>   I am afraid that I don't see economics the same
> way you do. 
>   I think Wal-Mart increases the quality of life for
> people in China, and here at home. I think the
> reason that so many Chinese people compete for jobs
> at factories that contract with Wal-Mart is because
> they are better than the other jobs in China.
>   A factory worker in China lives higher on the
> economic scale in his country than I do in mine. A
> factory workers in China gets $300-$400 a month,
> plus there housing and medical care are provided.
> $300 in China, will buy a lot more than it will
> here. Add to this fact that they don't own
> automobiles, and your life is comparatively better
> than the average Chinese person. 
>   A good reason why China has such poor human
> conditions has to do more with their overpopulation
> and lack of resources to provide for them all than
> it has to do with willful human rights and
> environmental abuses. 
>   The United States had just as bad of a human
> rights record just as little as a 100 years when we
> were in our industrialization age. We had children
> working in coal mines. We had women working in
> inhuman and unsafe working conditions. We denied
> people jobs on the basis of gender, age, disability,
> race, and religion. We are only better because we
> grew wealthy and were able to slowly change the
> working conditions one issue at a time.
>   I think China will eventually get there. But if we
> all stop buying from them, they will take longer to
> get there. It costs money to update and make all
> factories safer for workers, the only way they get
> that money is through the labor of its workers and
> landing big US contracts. 
>   I believe, if you wanted to help the US workforce,
> both in wages, and working conditions, you would
> start by shutting down companies that employ illegal
> immigrants. We need to lead by changing our own
> working conditions first. 
>   The reason why oil prices are high is because
> environmentalism will not allow us to drill here at
> home. If we could drill off our own shores, maybe
> drill for oil in Mexico and provide jobs there, we
> could drive down prices. I think we should also look
> to the long term and start finding alternative
> sources of energy, in a very serious way.
>   On a side note, can you tell me where the closest
> biodiesiel refinery plants are located? Thanks.
>   Best Regards,
>   Donovan 
> Garrett Clevenger <garrettmc at verizon.net> wrote:
>   Donovan writes:
> "This is why you need a Wal-Mart Super Center in
> Moscow, the competition keeps the prices low."
> Donovan,
> I wonder, do you not see the problem Wal-Mart poses
> to
> not only our local economy, but of the
> unsustainable,
> and exploitative, nature of Wal-Mart's leverage? 
> I ask this because I assume you would have a problem
> with the ethics of a company that seems to violate
> moral reasoning, such as exploitation of workers in
> China who, no matter how deserving of earning money
> to
> live, are still treated as expendable. 
> These Chinese companies Wal-Mart purchases from, on
> top of competing with American companies, do not
> have
> to follow the same environmental, labor or other
> regulations that the US makes American companies
> follow, so are thus at an unfair competitive
> advantage
> as they dump their wastes into their rivers, and
> send
> their pollutants into the air that the US Park
> Service
> is now able to sample in our National Parks.
> How many poisoned products do we have to import
> before
> you say this isn't right? 
> How many small businesses that go under because they
> can't compete with the buying power of Wal-Mart do
> you
> think is acceptable?
> Will you recognize that Wal-Mart is a major
> instigator
> of Chinese trade, and thus our trade deficit? That
> the Wal-Mart/China relationship is a major factor in
> the down-turn in the US economy? After all, it's
> reported that China is holding $1.5 trillion of our
> dept, a lot of it for the Iraq War, which has caused
> oil prices to increase as you recognize. The
> hundreds
> of billions of dollars Wal-Mart spends in China on
> cheap goods is now being lent back to us to support
> the war machine. Kind of ironic, I think.
> It seems if we focused more on our local economy,
> and
> limited the amount of foreign made products we could
> be providing for ourselves, we would in the long run
> be keeping prices low. After all, as fuel prices
> continue to escalate, we are only going to find how
> important it is to reduce transportation costs. What
> better time to start that than now?
> I believe in the long run Hawkins, and Super
> Wal-Mart,
> will be more of an expensive burden on Moscow than
> if
> we were to start using those resources to build our
> local economy in a more sustainable way, rather than
> subsidizing the wealth of China.
> gclev
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