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China controls 97 percent of the world's rare earth metals. It is cutting its exports to increase profits and stockpile resources.  (Source: Sun Bin)

Sony says that the cuts may eventually force it to raise the price of its electronics. Other Korean and Japanese electronics giants have made similar statements.  (Source: Mynjayz)

EVs like the Chevy Volt, and hybrid vehicles might also see price increases and shortages as China cuts off rare earth exports.  (Source: Car Buyers Notebook)

The shortages will also hurt the wind and solar power industries, which depend heavily on the rare earth metals.  (Source: Wind Power)
Meanwhile nation pockets big profits and builds up its own growing economic juggernaut

They sound like something from a mad scientist's laboratory -- Scandium, Yttrium, Lanthanium, Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Promethium, Samarium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Dysprosium, Holmium, Erbium, Thulium, Ytterbium, Lutetium.  Yet these "rare earth" elements -- which, as there name suggest, occur infrequently in the Earth's crust -- have become critical materials used by the electronics and automotive industry.

However, the market for rare earth metals is hardly an open one.  China, by expert's estimates, controls 97 percent of the world's rare earth refining capabilities.  And it's moved this year to cut exports.

I. Over a Barrel -- The World Stands Helpless as China Raises Prices

This month China announced that it would be slashing rare earth exports by 35 percent in the first half of 2011 from a year prior, and that it was considering cuts for the second half of 2011.  The country claims it’s making the move to maintain "ample" reserves.  Most experts, however, believe that the move is a bid to increase its profits and give its own domestic industries an edge.

The move has been met with outrage in Europe and the U.S.  The European Union has threatened that it may push the World Trade Organization, a powerful international arbiter to pass sanctions against China, if it doesn't restore supply.  A European Commission spokesman is quoted in Reuters as commenting that the EU "notes the latest quota figures and expects China to respect its recent assurance of a guarantee of rare earth supplies to Europe."

Japanese tech firms are also angered by the move.  Sony, which uses rare earth elements in its TVs and other electronics, says the move could damage it in the long run.  Writes a company spokesperson, "We cannot welcome rare earth export controls or any restrictions that hinder the system of free trade.  At this point in time there is no direct impact on our company. But further restrictions could lead to a shortage of supply or rise in costs for related parts and materials."

Some Japanese companies are vowing to cut their dependence on the rare elements.  But that may not be as easy as it sounds.  The elements have become widely used thanks to their plethora of desirable properties -- properties that aren't always seen in other elements and compounds.

As prices of rare earth metals soar, electrified vehicle (hybrid, EV, etc.) makers in the U.S. and Japanese are bracing themselves for price increases.  Hybrids and electric vehicles use more than twice the rare earth metal on average as a non-electric vehicle.  However, even non-electric vehicles may see costs rise, given the significant amount of rare earth metals used in their onboard electronics.

II.  The Future -- Some International Production, but Not Enough

The problem likely won't resolve itself anytime soon.  While Lynas Corp. (Australia) and Molycorp (U.S.) both hope to bring rare earth mines online next year, China will still control the majority of this rare resource in the foreseeable future.

For rare earth metal companies in the U.S. and elsewhere outside China, the opportunity is tremendous.  States, Molycorp CEO Mark Smith, "Any reductions China makes in its 2011 exports versus 2010 levels will only exacerbate the global supply shortfall of rare earths we can expect in 2011."

However, with demand expected to rise from 55,000-60,000 tons in 2011 to 250,000 tons in 2015, China will be in a prime position to score massive profits.  Increases in the price of electronics, alternative energy devices, and cars in the U.S., Japan, and Europe, barring significant unforeseen resource discoveries or technological breakthroughs, will likely reflect these profits.

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Sound strategy
By Astral Abyss on 12/30/2010 1:20:47 PM , Rating: 5
This is no different than any other entity or organization that controls 97% of a market. It's called a monopoly and there's a reason they are bad. It creates a climate where consumers can be held hostage by artificial supply limitations and exorbitent prices. I don't know why folks are surprised this is happening.

Controlling rare-earth metals and refining in the 21st century is looking to supplant oil fields as the robber-baron endeavour of our time.

RE: Sound strategy
By Taft12 on 12/30/2010 1:27:35 PM , Rating: 5
... all of this outside the control of the West with an entity ramping military production at a fantastic rate (and whom the West is dependant on for industrial production, natch!)

It sure will be an interesting century!!!

RE: Sound strategy
By ekv on 12/30/2010 1:32:22 PM , Rating: 4
It sure will be an interesting century!!!
Ancient Chinese curse: may you live in interesting times.

RE: Sound strategy
By deputc26 on 12/31/2010 12:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
Uh... "Lanthanium"... that is not on the periodic table...

RE: Sound strategy
By Just Tom on 12/31/2010 9:20:29 PM , Rating: 2
Its a typo, Lanthanum

RE: Sound strategy
By FastEddieLB on 1/1/11, Rating: 0
RE: Sound strategy
By Ytsejamer1 on 12/31/2010 11:16:22 AM , Rating: 2 will be an interesting century. China sounds like DeBeers and the diamond industry in the 20th century. I definitely fear for the US being underwritten by China and other middle eastern countries.

RE: Sound strategy
By MrBlastman on 12/30/2010 1:30:40 PM , Rating: 5
We have let them get to this point. We have nobody else to blame but ourselves. We are the ones that have infused China with the capital they need to reach a point where they can begin to leverage their own financial arm.

The monster is awakening.

I honestly can't fault them for this strategy. It is sound, Capitalism at work and they can (and very may will) beat us at our own game. What I find especially humorous is that nations are now scampering to re-open their mining operations to supplement the upcoming shortage.

... While here in the United States, environmentalists will refuse to let us do this. Our own country is imploding from within. What a mess.

China has brought out their Queen and like a skilled player, waited until later in the chess game to do so when we are most vulnerable--and it can be used to the greatest effect.

RE: Sound strategy
By MonkeyPaw on 12/30/2010 1:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I often wonder if trade deficits with China was planned all along. Let's face it, China has lots and lots of people, and a large nation full of resources. It was just a matter of when they woke up and realized their worldly potential. Other nations had two options for the future, try to hold China back, or to jump in and ride the development wave with them. And while the US is largely in debt to China now, they have at least a foothold in the culture--a move that certainly portrays an image better than that of a suppressive approach. Now, China actually depends on the West, since we keep sending them money. The real danger will be if we lose our dependency on China, leaving them wealthy and bored.

Though at this point, I think China's biggest fear is its own people. They aren't exactly famous for their human rights stance, and as they become more industrialized, more and more citizens are gaining the means and education to resist oppression. Revolutions seem to be a common thread in every word power's past.

RE: Sound strategy
By Hiawa23 on 12/30/2010 2:38:28 PM , Rating: 5
China has brought out their Queen and like a skilled player, waited until later in the chess game to do so when we are most vulnerable--and it can be used to the greatest effect.

I agree, it's really scary where we are as a country right now, & thanks to an insufficient energy plan, too much debt, an economy built on 70% consumption(very sad), much of that on credit, dropout rates high, especially in the lower class of our citizens, gap widening for the have & have nots, we are going to be in for some tough times ahead. I am sure alot of these countries are laugphing & passing right by us right now, but everytime you turn on the tv someone is waving the flag & saying how great we are, or what we used to be. Wait til gas prices go back up to $5/gallon, the wheels will really come spinning off & I fear many have nots will take to the streets just like we have seen happen in other countries. For the first time in my life I am really concerned for our nation & our standing in the world which seems to be diminishing everyday.

RE: Sound strategy
By Aloonatic on 12/30/2010 6:03:16 PM , Rating: 4
My tip for a sound financial future.

Invest in private security firms. Preferably those with experience operating in countries like South Africa or Brazil, as I fear that that is where western nations like the US and UK are heading. Huge gaps between rich and poor, where a lot of wealth is held by the aged, while the young and future-less, energetic youth are left to fight and struggle.

Someone's gotta keep those who have in the west safe from the ever increasing number of have-nots, with an ever increasing gap between the two too. You might as well make some money out of it, if you can :o)

RE: Sound strategy
By priusone on 12/30/2010 6:31:52 PM , Rating: 1
My resume is ready to be sent out when the time comes. I have the weapons and the rounds, all I need is a sit-rep and a green light. And no ROE this time.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 1:02:12 AM , Rating: 2
Huge gaps between rich and poor, where a lot of wealth is held by the aged, while the young and future-less, energetic youth are left to fight and struggle.

How dramatic. Unfortunately for your (admittedly creative) scenario, but fortunately for reality, the fact is that 80% of the millionaires in this country are first-generation rich; meaning that, essentially, anyone that wants to get rich, can get rich.

The division between rich and poor is merely academic; people don't get violently jealous en masse just because someone has something they don't.

RE: Sound strategy
By Aloonatic on 12/31/2010 5:04:59 AM , Rating: 2
I'm perhaps more referring to the UK to be honest, were the gap between the rich and poor has been growing for a long time, and the percentage of wealth owned by the over 50s continues to increase too, as does the level of youth unemployment. However, the trend is probably there in the US too. If it's like the UK, then your nation's youth's futures have been sold out to the far east as well. Perhaps you guys have a better protected economy than over here though.

I'd be interested to know what age the "first-generation" rich/millionaires are in the USA. I'm assuming that that is where you are from too.

I'm not saying that you're going to wake up and open your curtains to see a Mad Max style scene outside your window tomorrow, by the way. Never mentioned anything about about mass violence either, just that many western nations are seeing an economic divergence, like that seen in other nations, where violent crimes, robberies, kidnappings etc are much more common. Surely you're not going to tell me that they are just "academic" and that gaps in wealth along with diminishing opportunities to gain wealth legally, don't have an effect of crime, and that that will meant that people are going to need more protection, or at least want to feel more secure.

RE: Sound strategy
By Kurz on 12/31/2010 10:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
Hmm... you actually stated the UK government used their power to sell the people out? And now you also state the US Government is doing the same?

You've come a long way Aloonatic.

RE: Sound strategy
By Aloonatic on 12/31/2010 2:47:18 PM , Rating: 3
I never explicitly mentioned the UK government, nor US? The US has had more more to protect it's industries though, in the laughable "free market" that allegedly exists, but that's more an issue to do with the size of the relative nations. Please point out where I have said that the UK government has sold its people out? If I did, that's not what I meant.

I'm only referring to trends and how people have behaved, which may be what you are referring to. However, generally speaking, I think that people get the governments that they deserve/ask for in the long run, so its not really any governments fault.

The simple facts are, kids in schools today will enter into a far harsher and more competitive world than their parents/grandparents ever did, and will have precious little too inherit too.

The riots in London over the last couple of months over student tuition fees are just one of the opening salvoes in what may well turn out to be a pretty nasty "generational war" (as I'm sure the tabloids would term it) in the UK, and I doubt that these issues only exist here too.

Governments just go along with whatever gets them the most votes, and that invariably follows the money. We sometimes forget that even in countries like the UK ans US, democracy and capitalism are not all that old, in the context of how nations are governed, and it seems that there might be a chink (no pun intended, given what this article is about) in the systems armour, when a large generation [baby boomers]comes along, which most of the money and power in a democracy will inevitably follow due to the way we are governed.

It's not governments that have sold their children out, it's their parents and grandparents, who have figured that appeasing them with shiny trinkets and loud flashing, noisy things made that last or a few years will make up for there being precious little else for them to inherit in the long run.

I hope I'm wrong, but it seems that that is the pattern that is appearing on this side of the pond. Of course, a great big global war/pandemic should reset the counter and get economies moving again. Create demand for this and that. Maybe that is how the future will go, who knows? :o)

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 6:50:47 PM , Rating: 3
I'm perhaps more referring to the UK to be honest, were the gap between the rich and poor has been growing for a long time, and the percentage of wealth owned by the over 50s continues to increase too, as does the level of youth unemployment.

You're just re-iterating what you already said. I'm asking why a huge difference between rich and poor is inherently "bad". We've never had so many people on this planet, ever, at any time in our history; that creates a pretty huge bell curve, with a taller peak in the middle and larger declines at the fringes, simply due to the sheer numbers.

As for "youth unemployment", you're noting an artifact of increased life expectancy; when expectancy was 40 or 50 years, it was more important to begin being productive at a younger age. That importance has lessened, so now we have more young'uns spending more time with school - or, heck, simply being young and irrespondible - for a longer period of time... solely because they can.

I'd be interested to know what age the "first-generation" rich/millionaires are in the USA.

Fairly irrelevent. The only real concern over wealth disparities lies with the perception of whether or not a poor person can become rich. If there's no expected payoff, there's no effort to achieve that payoff.

Surely you're not going to tell me that they are just "academic" and that gaps in wealth along with diminishing opportunities to gain wealth legally, don't have an effect of crime

Gaps in wealth do not inherently have an effect on crime. Diminished opportunities certainly do, but you haven't established diminished opportunities, merely inferred them based on shoddy evidence. There is no set amount of wealth; there is no law of physics that insists there can only be so much money. Someone having more than you does not make you covet their possessions or standing.

I think the primary reason people rail so much about the "wealth gap" is ignorance; they buy the propaganda - similar to that which you are spreading - that "the wealthy" are all bastards looking to keep the Little Guy down, and use that as a justification for not doing anything productive with their lives (sheer, simple laziness), and as such their lives suck. It's called a self-fulfilling prophecy. Meanwhile, the facts show that people that don't buy into your sort of hogwash are out there making money for themselves and becoming "the wealthy" that are such right bastards to begin with.

You've been conned by political rhetoric. Poor guy.

RE: Sound strategy
By gamerk2 on 1/2/2011 2:19:06 AM , Rating: 1
No, you're the one whos wrong.

Economic growth is driven by consumer spending. Period. None of that supply side crap thats been shoved down our throats the past three decades. No matter how much money that businesses make, they can not afford to hire people unless that hiring leads to an increase in sales. As such, if the consumer can not spend, the economy flatlines. [This recession is actually more proof on how supply-side thinking doesn't work].

The wealth disparity leads to two inevitable conclusions:
1: As the wealth becomes more centrailzed, consumers will have an ever smaller piece of the economic pie. Consumer spending stats to tail off, leading to little, if any, economic growth.

2: As more people become poor, more people become reliant on government run programs to survive. As such, the cost of those programs increase, leading to larger government debt. Eventually, either the country defaults, are programs are cut, which in turn hurts the consumer yet again.

Right now, wealth wise, 90% of the countries total wealth is in the hands of 2% of the population. Coincidentally, the current recession won't end, despite the fact job losses are near normal levels, because companies won't hire new employees. And why is that the case? Because consumers aren't spending money.

Meanwhile, other countries continue to pass us by. China, India, Brazil, South Korea; every single one who has economic growth driven by the middle class. In the US, the middle class, only a few decades old, is going the way of the dinosaur. And our economic power will go with it.

Of course, I'm sure thats somehow Obama's fault too; everything else seems to be these days :P

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 1/2/2011 8:12:09 PM , Rating: 3
What an excellent response to something I never wrote.

As for your repetitious jingoism:

90% of the countries total wealth is in the hands of 2% of the population.

That's a bit of trivia that tells us exactly one thing: That 2% of the population is especially adept at gaming the system. I don't see why that's something that "needs changing". If you'd like to explain it - instead of mindlessly repeating sound bites you've heard without ever devoting an iota of thought to 'em - I'd love to hear it. But I'm unimpressed with your lengthy, bloated response that don't address a single point I raised.

RE: Sound strategy
By kosmokenny on 1/3/2011 5:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
It needs to be changed peacefully because the 98% of the population that is getting gamed is quite capable of changing it violently. Is that short and simple enough for you?

RE: Sound strategy
By Kurz on 1/4/2011 12:24:53 PM , Rating: 2
except they don't want to change it violently since the rich are providing a service that majority of populace wants.

However, if you have beef with rich people controling your lives they don't do so by forcing you to buy their product. The only entity that has power to do so is the government. So please take up your qualms with the government meddling in the economic market.

RE: Sound strategy
By Aloonatic on 1/3/2011 6:57:16 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to think that I am writing with some agenda. I am not, unlike most of you guys.

I've never said that rich people are this or that. I'm just commenting on what is going on. Sure people are selfish (if that's what you mean by b'stards), but what's new? They always have been, always will be, that's partly why we need governments and social conventions. They seem to have failed somewhat, or maybe it's inevitable?

Basically, all I said was that as the gap between rich and poor grows, the more crime you see. You are probably American but have money, so live in a little bubble, believing that America is like it is shown on Friends or something? However, you really should see what your country is like sometime, as you seem oblivious judging by your comments. (Not saying that any country is perfect either) You have a bigger gap between rich and poor in your nation than many in the west, and which country has the largest prison population percentage? The UK is catching up, and that happens to also be coinciding with a growth in the gap between...

Also, are you denying that in countries where there is an even bigger gap, that crime is higher? Countries like Brazil and South Africa, which I just chose at random.

You might want to dismiss what I point out or question as irrelevant, it just shows that you are missing the point. The age of the 1st gen millionaires? To spell it out, the number that come along in the next generation will almost certainly be a lower percentage of the population than before, and a lot of the current 1st get are probably older people. Of course, as someone cleverly pointed out, that has a lot to do with interest, but less and less young people are in the position to be able to take advantage of that system now too.

Sure, longer life expectancy is playing a part, but selling off manufacturing, taking the payment now, while replacing it with phoney/false economies where we generate little but customer satisfaction ratings, selling and servicing what is made over seas and bought on credit within a convoluted financial system based on hot air, is not going to cut the mustard in the long run.

Your notion of there being no problem with there being rich hand poor rubbing along together, I agree with, but only in a society where there is genuine opportunity for people to move from one to the other. That is part of what I am saying though, the older generations have sold-off/pawned many of those opportunities and mortgaged their own offspring's futures.

Oh, too many issues, and it's too late for me to bother :o)

RE: Sound strategy
By cfaalm on 12/31/2010 12:33:53 PM , Rating: 3
Or get a degree and learn to speak Chinese.

RE: Sound strategy
By Laereom on 12/31/2010 3:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hurr, old people have more money.

Hurr, I don't understand how compound interest works.

RE: Sound strategy
By Aloonatic on 1/3/2011 6:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
Apparently, the percentage of the UK's wealth owned by the over 50s is increasing. If compound interest is the only reason, is compound interest a new thing, only invented recently? Hurrrr (look at me with my clever use of hurrrr) hurrrr hurrrr.

RE: Sound strategy
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2010 11:42:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's not that we're built on consumption that's the problem. It's that environmental policies, regulations, and ever rising wages have made it so that we can't competitively produce hardly anything. Much of this is due to greedy unions. It's also driven by minimum wage increases which have only served to raise prices and lay people off. We raised the minimum wage over $2 in just a few years. Does anyone make more money? No. Stores now just have fewer employees.

RE: Sound strategy
By Mathos on 1/1/2011 3:57:46 AM , Rating: 3
I always find it interesting how someone has to throw blame at Union workers. Environmental policies definitely are causing problems. But, some of them are needed to push improvement. Minimum wage was raised to compensate for the increased cost of living. Sad to say, but a great many ppl who are educated, are stuck working near minimum wage jobs due to lack of market and high levels of competition for jobs. Prices on all goods had climbed steadily up till the price of oil went out of control. At which point someone decided hey lets use a food crop to produce ethanol to mix with gas.. This then caused the price of basics such as most foods to raise, due to the fact that so many things have Corn based ingredients in them, high fructose corn syrup, Corn starch, flour, etc.

Does anyone make more money???

Yes, Retailers were seeing huge profits and sales up until the economy collapsed, I know this because I work for a world wide retailer. Oil companies have been seeing record profits since Bush went into office, and oil prices started to skyrocket. Tell me this, if price per barrel of oil is nowhere near what it was in 2006 when it peaked, why are we paying more per gallon of gas now than we were then???

I know the real answer, but I wanna see your take on it.

RE: Sound strategy
By EricMartello on 1/1/2011 1:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Unions are largely outdated now that there are plenty of federal and state laws that protect workers from the types of abuses that originally warranted the creation of labor unions. Nowadays unions just have a parasitic effect on the economy and little more. Disbanding them would only be a good thing for the companies that are currently stuck employing the notoriously lazy and underperforming union workers.

As for minimum wage, it was never really intended to be a wage that you could support a family of 4 upon. It's there to provide a "floor" but it's not a guarantee of anything, and its increase is mainly following inflation so in reality it has not increased. Many "educated" people are still unambitious morons who operate under the false notion that academic credentials entitle them to higher pay - when in reality, their capabilities as an employee are what determines their true market value.

The oil price increase we are seeing now is due to the cartels cutting back on production to artificially inflate the price of oil. Nearly two years of gas prices in the US that were not ridiculous must have been felt in those sheiks' pockets and the US demand for oil is still relatively soft. The increase in oil consumption was largely due to the retarded SUV fad that every jackass figured having an impractically large SUV was a smart choice.

RE: Sound strategy
By mars2k on 12/31/2010 12:39:37 AM , Rating: 5
Spot on, but you left out the political paralysis that has overtaken our system. Our democracy has been held hostage by entrenched interests.

Our legislature populated by ego maniacal sociopaths whose only goal is to loot the treasury to enrich the few.

They perpetuate their power by misleading an ignorant confused populace who consistantly vote against their own self interests.

We are all being pulled over the cliff by greed and stupidity.

RE: Sound strategy
By blueboy09 on 12/30/2010 2:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortuantely, youre right. China has the potential to knock us out of the capitalist regime if they really wanted to. They already control us with their exports and it's only a matter of time before they control everything else that we give to them. There's too many people in that country to not go unnoticed if they wanted to do take over our infrastructure, if I were the President/Congress, I would be deeply concerned over where our country is going and would take steps to do something about it. - BLUEBOY

RE: Sound strategy
By Lerianis on 12/30/10, Rating: -1
RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/30/2010 4:13:33 PM , Rating: 3
They are UNWILLING to allow the mining businesses to flaunt regulations and destroy land while they are doing this mining.

In order to remain competitive, that is the mining that is necessary. Since they won't allow "that kind of mining", it is tantamount to not allowing the mining of these minerals.

China's decision may change that - less destructive mining may become competitive - but I doubt it. All it would take is the successful commencement of operations of some other rare-earth processing in some other country - using the same destructive techniques that cause the ersatz prohibition here in the States - that would force the environmentally unfriendly methods into use again.

RE: Sound strategy
By Lerianis on 12/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Sound strategy
By someguy123 on 12/30/2010 9:46:09 PM , Rating: 2
If it was as simple as finding a replacement we wouldn't be having this problem in the first place.

RE: Sound strategy
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2010 11:44:23 PM , Rating: 2
They are finding other sources. In China. The whole message of this article is that China is now no longer going to sell as much of them to the rest of us.

Because of morons like you, we put all our eggs in one basket and now its breaking.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 1:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
To me, if that was truly the case, I would have to say "BENEFITS NOT WORTH THE COSTS! MOVE ON!"

The benefit of remaining a powerful country so that we can exercise control over our environment and leave vast swaths of it pristine does, indeed, override the cost of dwindling as a society and losing the ability to preserve our beautiful natural splendors. Why do you want to kill nature? What did nature ever do to you, to engender such hatred from you?

RE: Sound strategy
By Lerianis on 12/31/2010 1:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, SPOOFE.... you got the EXACT OPPOSITE from what I posted than what I was going for, apparently.

The fact is that NOT being a 'powerful nation' enables countries to keep sections of their country 'pristine'. Frankly, I am not against cutting down trees for paper, mining, etc.

I just am NOT going to support doing that without regulations to keep these psychopathic (yes, that is the right term judging from their behavior) businesses from poisoning and KILLING Americans knowingly.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 6:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, SPOOFE.... you got the EXACT OPPOSITE from what I posted than what I was going for, apparently.

Incorrect. I think it is you that doesn't understand what you are posting.

The fact is that NOT being a 'powerful nation' enables countries to keep sections of their country 'pristine'.

Yeah? Tell that to California, which is in such dire budget straits that they're looking to shut down a huge slew of state parks. It takes a lot of resources to make sure wild land remains unblemished, and if a country doesn't have those spare resources, it can no longer reliably protect that territory.

I just am NOT going to support doing that without regulations to keep these psychopathic (yes, that is the right term judging from their behavior) businesses from poisoning and KILLING Americans knowingly.

So you're a frothing madman, not realizing that your zealous dogma is having the opposite effect than that desired. Good job, murdering nature, you nature-hating anti-naturist. Go club a baby seal, you delusional nutjob.

RE: Sound strategy
By muIIet on 12/31/2010 8:57:43 AM , Rating: 1
Our arrogance in the US has always been our downfall. We always have to learn everything the hard way.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 6:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
Our downfall was WWII, and being essentially unscathed (domestically) by the conflict. Post-war, being the only industrial nation without massive infrastructure damage basically handed prosperity and expansion to the United States on a silver platter. It's taken a few years, but the rest of the world has caught up, and we're complacent and spoiled.

I think being supplanted as "the world's superpower" can only be a good thing in the long run, get some of that competitive edge back. We just need the baby boomers to die off.

RE: Sound strategy
By EricMartello on 1/1/2011 1:23:42 PM , Rating: 2
Now rephrase that, but this time use a Battleship analogy.

RE: Sound strategy
By sp33dklz on 12/30/2010 1:52:35 PM , Rating: 1
I've been pushing this idea for months and months to my friends and associates. We're essentially switching from heroin (crude oil) to methamphetamines (rare earth metals). Why can't we just be American's and stick to our double-quarter pounder's with cheese (bio-diesel). I'd much rather be unhealthy than strung out!


RE: Sound strategy
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2010 6:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
Because those in charge right now are more concerned with control. Electric vehicles can't go as far so we're more controlled by being confined to a more limited area.

Bio-diesel is the only way we'll ever make any true progress of trying to get off oil for our transportation needs while maintaining the freedom we currently have. But idiots like Obama don't want that.

RE: Sound strategy
By Hiawa23 on 12/30/2010 2:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
say what you want, you have to admire China in some ways. They got us & the world by the noggins & they know it. Pretty sad, when the US used to lead almost everything. I look at this no differently than any company who has majority control & raises prices cause they can. Is there anything we have or make that the rest of the world needs, as maybe we can do this build back up our nation & it's economy & infrastructure.

RE: Sound strategy
By glennforum on 12/30/2010 2:56:16 PM , Rating: 2
This has been an obvious priority of China for many years. The entire model that China is following is not dissimilar to the approach that the US took to become the world's superpower.

While our foolish and naive (Rodney King like - why can't we all get along) globalist politicians keep chasing the dream of one world government - China and Russia are laughing at us.

The end result the US will be #3 or lower and it will probably end in global conflict.

Our children our going to pay dearly for the mistakes of our generation and our apathy toward these big government progressives.

RE: Sound strategy
By Just Tom on 12/31/2010 9:27:46 PM , Rating: 3
Russia is an economic basketcase and China is a demographic time bomb with a standard of living barely above sub-Saharan Africa.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 1/1/2011 3:01:39 AM , Rating: 2
with a standard of living barely above sub-Saharan Africa.

True, but it used to be much worse, just a few decades ago. It's easier for a people to stomach lousy conditions if those conditions are A: still better than (relatively) recent conditions and B: are looking to get better still.

Compare it to America, where the standard of living is still awesome, at least compared to the rest of the world, but has declined slightly (let's be honest) and looks to decline slightly more.

RE: Sound strategy
By Just Tom on 1/1/2011 10:42:17 AM , Rating: 2
There are two China's: The affluent coastal cities and the increasingly polluted and still poor rural areas. The social stresses are enormous. Include a large number of young males who will never marry and are very aware of that and you have a situation ready to explode. Chinese investments have increasingly low returns, which is to be expected the low hanging fruit is picked first, and they are pouring money into government projects that are nothing but money pits.

Chinese demand is deliberately kept low to fost export growth. This is something that can be done for only so long. Their current growth will not continue and when the bubble bursts, and it will, it is going to be ugly.

RE: Sound strategy
By Aloonatic on 12/30/2010 4:21:55 PM , Rating: 3
For a long time, China has been selling its resources bellow the going rate. Sooner or later, they were bound to at least charge what things are worth, if not take advantage of the position that they have manoeuvred themselves into.

It's not going to stop at just this either, by the way, almost everything that anything to do with China will become more expensive as their people demand more from their labours too.

RE: Sound strategy
By Lerianis on 12/30/2010 9:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
True..... I am really surprised why this has been able to go on as long as it has. With all due respect to the people who say that China is communist? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Funniest thing I ever heard.

China is just as much a plutocracy as the United States is today.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 1:07:00 AM , Rating: 1
China is just as much a plutocracy as the United States is today.

Incorrect. Laughably so. :D

RE: Sound strategy
By Lerianis on 12/31/2010 12:56:32 PM , Rating: 3
Nope, not incorrect. China is run by a concatenation of the rich and 'party leaders'... that is a DEFINITION of a plutocracy, to be blunt.

RE: Sound strategy
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 7:03:56 PM , Rating: 2
Good job, you can read a dictionary. Now do some math and put 2 and 2 together: In what way is the United States a "plutocracy" in the same vein as China? How many times has Google been censored in the United States? When was the last time someone was jailed/executed sans trial for "spreading rumors" in the United States? When was the last time the United States just went and took hundreds of millions of dollars worth of property to make way for a new superhighway?

No, you comparison between the two countries was incorrect. Don't backpedal and act like you were only talking about one country. It's ungentlemanly.

RE: Sound strategy
By Kurz on 12/31/2010 10:25:33 AM , Rating: 2
So how are they keep getting wealthier?
So they are selling at a profit maybe a smaller profit, but still a profit.

RE: Sound strategy
By mars2k on 12/31/2010 12:55:13 AM , Rating: 2
At the heart of all of this is competition for resources. More people chasing what little is left. China not only controls 90% of all known rare earth metals supplies, these reserves reside within their own borders, they are competing globally for all sorts of other resources. The have a huge presence in Africa. They compete directly with us for petroleum, among other things (bauxite and chromium etc.), across the globe.
They are not arrogant about it and they don't have prohibitions against bribing the right people to get the deal done.
They are fierce competitors in every market.

RE: Sound strategy
By Just Tom on 1/1/2011 10:45:16 AM , Rating: 2
China controls 90% of production, not supply. The United States could produce much more, in fact it did until recently, if it wished to. They do not wish to have the pollution that is associated with rare earth mining. If the prices go high enough that will change.

And yet
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2010 6:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
Those in power right now want us to switch from oil (which we have plenty of within our own borders but don't make use of) to electric vehicles.

Nor can we mine, much less process, our own minerals either anymore.

These morons claim they want us to be more self reliant but all they do is push us onto technologies that would make us even more dependent on foreign resources.

RE: And yet
By Lerianis on 12/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: And yet
By FITCamaro on 12/30/2010 11:39:32 PM , Rating: 3

First off, the federal government has taken huge areas of land full of natural resources and made them nature preserves or otherwise designated them not able to be developed on.

Second, even if the companies can get a permit, the higher cost of mining in the US with the mentioned standards, means you have to charge more for the product. Who wants to pay more for minerals when they can get it cheaper from countries like China? It is not competitive. That's not to say some standards aren't a bad thing. But we've gone way beyond that.

The biggest hurdle any company that wants to do any mining or drilling in the US is the courts. Since environmental groups can sue pretty much endlessly on the "behalf" of surrounding residents, companies can spend millions of dollars in legal fees before the equipment even gets there. Who wants to spend 2-3 years in court on something you might not even be able to do.

You want an example of our anti-industrial policies? Look at the recent making of the region of ANWAR where the oil companies wanted to drill a nature preserve for polar bears. Look at the ban on ANY oil drilling in the gulf for the next few years. The federal government is also trying to kill off coal mining in the US.

I'd love to know when the last time a new mine opened in the US was. Coal, iron, anything.

And you're a fool if you think they will intentionally poison anyone. The legal fees and court settlements would be astronomical. Not to mention the public backlash followed by certain Congressional hearings. Hell the oil companies get brought in every few years just as a publicity stunt by liberals in Congress to maintain how evil the oil companies are and then nothing is found as a result of them. Idiots like you though maintain that all companies out there desire to rape the earth and spread toxic chemicals and fumes into the landscape while rolling in their baths of $100 dollar bills.

RE: And yet
By psychmike on 12/31/2010 12:48:20 AM , Rating: 2
I understand your concern regarding dependence on other countries. I disagree, however, with your assertion that lowering environmental standards will lead to better lives for Americans.

Part of the reason that China is able to grow at its current rate is because it is willing to accept a low relative standard of living. People in that country were literally starving to death 60 years ago so pools of toxic chemicals, thick smog, and unsafe or unfair working conditions are more acceptable to the general population which has seen a dramatic increase in their standard of living. Many people in the city-sized industrial complexes commute to work, live there through the week or month, and see their own families rarely. That is slowly changing and people are beginning to demand a fairer share of a good life. Engaging in a race to the bottom by cutting standards isn't the way to go. In my opinion, focusing on adding value through design, engineering, and marketing is the way to go.

No one thinks that corporations intentionally poison people, but the unfortunate truth is that environmental disasters are far more costly to society than it is to the company. BP knew about the risk of a serious disaster in the Gulf and ignored it. They spent a bunch of money on goodwill ads but have been lobbying behind closed doors to place a cap on the fines they will face. As time passes and the media loses attention, I would not be surprised to see them become increasingly combative in their tort settlements against the little guy. At the end of the day, environmental disasters are a cost of doing business for them. They're not evil, they're simply eminently practical, verging on amoral. Companies externalize costs whenever possible leaving others to pay the price.

RE: And yet
By Lerianis on 12/31/2010 1:03:15 PM , Rating: 2
psychmike.... judging from the evidence that I have seen? You are damned skippy that I think that corporations will intentionally poison people in order to make a buck!

A lot of people agree with me as well, after seeing what the corporations are doing without regulations in China.

RE: And yet
By FITCamaro on 12/31/2010 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
I am not saying to eliminate safety standards or allow companies to dump toxic chemicals into the environment.

I am saying to give companies the ability to do business period. If lawsuits keep a mine from ever opening, who's going to want to try? Same goes for oil drilling or refining. With mining in the US, companies have to return the land to its original state. Large old mines have become beautiful lakes.

My point is that we have enough regulations. Our emissions standards are HIGHER than that of Europe. Yet environmental groups try to get them raised ever higher still and attempt to help push through schemes like cap and trade which will completely kill industries in the US.

And if you think BP thought that well would blow and ignored it you're crazy. They followed the standards that the US currently has. Bad things happen from time to time. If you think they would knowingly risk the bad publicity and billions spent on that accident, you're wrong.

Yes a company is always going to spend the least possible to get a job done properly. But that was not the case here. They followed what they needed to and unfortunately crucial equipment failed. It's amazing something like that hasn't happened sooner. It's likely many of the other wells BP has were built in the exact same way. But they didn't have problems because the unique sequence of events that happened this past spring didn't happen when those wells were made. BP should pay all the costs to clean it up and go back to work.

Of course now they can't because our idiot of a president has said there will be no drilling whatsoever now for a few years. Costing thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in productively for the citizens of the Gulf states. And all in one of the worst recessions ever.

RE: And yet
By simsony on 1/1/2011 12:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
You seem to be thinking that cleaning up pollution from an industrial accident is like vacuuming a house. You obviously don't live near the Gulf states.
What if an industrial accident occurred that released say hydrofluoric acid into the air, and then it rains across the US by getting into the weather system? Who'll clean that up? Who'd fix those permanent burns scars on your family's skin?The company couldn't afford it and would just declare bankruptcy. Whose fault would it be then? And who would pay? Something tells me you'd blame the government for that too.

I think you are either naive or arrogant to think that ANY environmental damage is easily corrected by a simple "cleanup" operation that some corporate will and can pay for.

RE: And yet
By SPOOFE on 1/1/2011 3:08:35 AM , Rating: 2
Conversely, why is the eighth largest economy in the world tanking, bringing down the lives and wellbeing of tens of millions or people? Over-regulation.

Smart, intelligent regulations would avoid all the failings that you note without driving away business, costing careers, harming collected tax revenue, etc. Once you see those symptoms, you know you have too much regulation and it's time to rethink.

Unfortunately, chicken littles like you are hampering our ability to replace outdated and stupid regs with something a little less wasteful. Hope you sleep well at night.

RE: And yet
By simsony on 1/1/2011 6:15:47 PM , Rating: 2
It's very easy to simply call for "smarter regulation", but it is not the same as less/ no regulation. You're coupling the two, which just makes it rhetoric.

You still haven't answered the crux of my argument, who pays the price for missing regulation?

No one in their right mind would argue that smarter regulation isn't better!

RE: And yet
By SPOOFE on 1/1/2011 9:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
It's very easy to simply call for "smarter regulation", but it is not the same as less/ no regulation. You're coupling the two, which just makes it rhetoric.

Reading comprehension FTL. I'm specifically DE-coupling the two. It is you that has conflated criticism for some regulations as criticism of all regulation, and indeed, the very concept of regulation itself.

You still haven't answered the crux of my argument, who pays the price for missing regulation?

Potentially nobody. Potentially somebody. I DO know that over-regulation DEFINITELY hurts everybody.

No one in their right mind would argue that smarter regulation isn't better!

Nobody in their right mind CAN argue that smarter regulation is better, because of a slew of hypersensitive status quo defenders that send out a call to arms anytime someone suggests that a given government regulation may not be all that hot.

RE: And yet
By simsony on 1/2/2011 1:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
Potentially nobody. Potentially somebody. I DO know that over-regulation DEFINITELY hurts everybody.

And missing regulation also DEFINITELY hurts. The banks are a good example.

You remind me of 19th century businessmen who sold people radioactive toothpaste.

You're ignoring the consequences of a mishap, saying "bad things happen", and yet do not have an answer for how to deal with the undesirable consequences, should they happen.

I suppose you'd just call it "collateral damage", but hey we made a million bucks in profit, so it's all good! We need cheap TVs!

RE: And yet
By SPOOFE on 1/2/2011 8:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
And missing regulation also DEFINITELY hurts. The banks are a good example.

The banks are a TERRIBLE example: They are heavily regulated! They just had BAD regulations that allowed - in fact, pretty much required - that they engage in dangerous financial behavior. Regulations were put into place that favored risky loans. Those were bad, stupid, dumb regulations, and right now, they're the sort of regulations people envision when the call goes out for "more regulation".

A smart system doesn't need a lot of regulation. Just piling more regs on top of broken, lousy, financially disasterous regulations doesn't "fix" anything, it simply makes an awkward, clumsy, directionless, and inaccessible system even worse. Calling for more regulation is just jingoistic crap; obviously we can get LOADS more regulation and it can all be just as bad or worse as existing broken regs. It is the mindless demand for government oversight that is the problem, as opposed to very focused demand for VERY SPECIFIC government oversights.

Unfortunately, the political climate makes the right oversights difficult to implement. For over a decade, people that can't afford a house have been told that they deserve a house. Try telling them otherwise now. That is one of the most insidious problems with government handouts: Once enacted, it's nigh impossible to get rid of, even if it's a tragic failure.

We are being punished
By far327 on 12/30/2010 1:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone remember China getting all bent out of shape because GM wouldn't share it's information about the Chevy VOLT and EV technology. We are being punished for this and other new technologies (solar/wind) that are paving the way toward new economic growth here in the US. China sees our "green growth" as a negative towards their current industrial based economic growth. The U.S. and others are un-officially being sanctioned.

RE: We are being punished
By zmatt on 12/30/2010 3:34:23 PM , Rating: 2
You can blame that one on weak politicians who chose appeasement over getting what they want. The Chinese strategy is no different then what the Germans did leading up to WW2. take what they want and get yourself in a strong enough position to the point where you know that the incompetent leaders of the rest of the world can do nothing to stop you. We have no leverage against them. They control the resource,s the money, and the industrial base. The rulers of the free world are all a bunch of progressive ninnies who don't have any mojo.

RE: We are being punished
By Skywalker123 on 12/30/2010 4:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
What "appeasement" are you talking about?

RE: We are being punished
By psychmike on 12/31/2010 1:04:55 AM , Rating: 2
I think Marx was right in his general observations but wrong in his proposed remedies. Consumerism has gotten out of hand. Many large companies are trans-national entities which use sophisticated marketing to create demand for new products. They are also willing to drive down the cost of doing business by going wherever it is cheapest. Earlier, the Japanese were willing to do high quality work for considerably lower wages so tech jobs got shipped overseas. Then those jobs got shipped to China and Korea. As those countries see rises in their standards of living, the jobs will be sent to Malaysia and the Philippines. Consumerism has no master and it serves its own end - the maximization of profit and the externalization of cost. We were all engaging in a race to the bottom. In a truly free market society, the general standard of living would likely increase for the world. That would also mean, however, that many of the advantages that the First World enjoys would likely erode as competitors arise in the developing world.

The Chinese have done something interesting. They are managing economic growth through a central government. Their companies aren't public in the way most North American and European companies are. The companies are coordinated and controlled by the government to support Chinese growth. It will be interesting to see if they can continue with this strategy or if there will be increasing pressure for them to move to more open markets.

60 years ago, people were starving to death in China so the general Chinese population has been willing to accept a relatively low standard of living to date. Many workers travel long distances to work in city-factories and only see their own families once a week or once a month. There are pools of toxic chemicals from reclaiming facilities and the air quality in many large cities is abysmal. But the Chinese people are demanding a fairer share of the pie from their government.

Interesting times indeed.

RE: We are being punished
By SPOOFE on 12/31/2010 1:18:25 AM , Rating: 1
They are managing economic growth through a central government.

... And blatant violations of what are widely considered basic human rights. Sure, they build an impressive highway; how do they do it? By kicking people off their property and just, you know, taking it.

Is it efficient? Damn skippy it is. But try running for office on the platform of taking whatever property you durn well please and see how successful you are... oh, wait, that's how Obama won, wasn't it? By promising to spread the wealth around? Yeah, that wacky capitalism, driving our country into ruins...

RE: We are being punished
By Aloonatic on 12/31/2010 4:50:07 AM , Rating: 2
Human rights are a luxury that wealthy, developed nations can afford to implement, and ever then, it's probably not best for people to claim that their nation is whiter than white in this area. Just look at the virtual slavery that around 1% of the US population lives in, in prison.

China is going through the economic growing pains that every nation has. Sure, people are somewhat expendable but since when hasn't that been the case? Forgive me, but it's not like there isn't more than a little blood in the foundations of much of America's infrastructure, much of it's rail ways with blood from the far east too?

The Chinese dying or being abused in China for the growth of their nation are not the first to be used in this way, at least they are in their own country this time. It's wasn't/isn't just the US too of course. Very few nations have grown to be industrialised/technological global economic powerhouses on a foundation of strong unions, workers rights, and a strictly enforced human rights act.

RE: We are being punished
By SPOOFE on 1/1/2011 3:04:17 AM , Rating: 2
What a bunch of irrelevant yet correct observations. Nobody today praises America's legalized slavery of yesteryear, nor do they praise how America used to see laborers exploited. China's system does not deserve praise if the only reason they pull off impressive infrastructure builds is by trampling over human rights.

Isnt the real problem cost?
By GreenEuropean on 12/31/2010 9:05:43 AM , Rating: 2
Its not like we lack rare earths around the world.

Point is people are too cheapskate to pay 10-50$ more for their TV, smartphone, computer etc.

Its double morale. Rare earths are only cheap due to cheap educated labour and lower environmental standards.

Nothign worse to hear a bunch of hypocrits whine over a country. When the real issue is they are too cheapskate for the industry to be placed in their own country.

RE: Isnt the real problem cost?
By diggernash on 12/31/2010 10:01:31 AM , Rating: 2
So the solution is an environmental tax on us all to combat a problem that can not be quantitatively discussed? It seems that the argument continues to be, if it changes the earth it must be bad. There are ancient human skulls that were munched on by Sabertooth Tigers. I am just fine with them being extinct. I'm glad there are no cougars stalking my daughters in the back yard. I would bet that a majority of Americans feel the same way.

I am also more than OK with sacrificing a few hundred square miles for perpetuity to make my TV cheaper. I am also OK with those that choose not to be educated building said TV for a few bowls of soup a day. I am much more OK with that than the large number of never-employed in America having TV, Air-conditioning, power, and cars on the backs of us that do work.

How bout we load those that support the environmental movement on cruise ships and send them to China to protest? That way they can save the planet and bring the cost for China's production up close to ours. I'm sure that is what would happen...I'm sure it wouldn't lead to a monument on a square some where.

The United States is stumbling and most of us are watching, hoping to video tape her when she falls and post it up on you tube. It sickens me.

RE: Isnt the real problem cost?
By GreenEuropean on 12/31/2010 11:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
Im not saying we should tax anyone. Problem is people want cheap chinese goods. But if it was a european or american worker they would demand higher wages. hence higher prices for rare earths. Thats where the problem is. Not avaliability of rare earths around the globe.

Nice try else to derail it, but no luck.

RE: Isnt the real problem cost?
By diggernash on 12/31/2010 11:28:19 AM , Rating: 2
Paying higher wages because workers have the tax-funded option to stay at home is a tax.

Paying more because of government regulation (with tax-funded enforcement)is a tax.

RE: Isnt the real problem cost?
By Lerianis on 12/31/2010 1:00:57 PM , Rating: 1
Without that government regulation, you would have businesses ACTIVELY doing things that would harm or even kill people, diggernash, so your point is moot.

We know that from EXPERIENCE in the late 1880's - 1920's. It's time to stop with the bashing on regulation, is a a sad but absolutely fucking necessary thing when businesses act like psychopathic gits unless you regulate them!

RE: Isnt the real problem cost?
By diggernash on 12/31/2010 10:53:54 PM , Rating: 2
As those that died chose to participate in the activity that killed them, I'm not sure I understand your point. We are not talking about slavery here. It was a consensual employer/employee relationship. I like choosing what activities I participate in, some of which are very hazardous to my health. I don't want to be protected from the use of others money. I'm a big boy and I can decide to shorten my life.

My Irish ancestors could have chose to stay on their potato farms and starved. But I'm sure they were more than willing to immigrate to America and take factory jobs that may have killed them. Today they would have likely been attached to a government teet and not have improved themselves. I'd be just another pathetic welfare child. I'm pretty thankful they had the choice to take a job that could have killed them.

RE: Isnt the real problem cost?
By SPOOFE on 1/1/2011 3:12:48 AM , Rating: 2
Without that government regulation, you would have businesses ACTIVELY doing things that would harm or even kill people, diggernash, so your point is moot.

It WOULD be moot if it was a binary, black-and-white scenario. It's not. There's no reason government regulation is inherently helpful. To call for a repeal of bad regulations is not to call for absolutely no regulation. Enacting a tax for undefined reasons is a very poor idea.

I don't know about you...
By Anoxanmore on 12/30/2010 1:30:37 PM , Rating: 2
I was looking the girls...

There is an article right?

I should read it... maybe...

RE: I don't know about you...
By Quadrillity on 12/30/2010 2:07:22 PM , Rating: 1
you must be one very lonely man... all I see is two pugs on the left and one semi-decent-almost-butter-face on the right.

RE: I don't know about you...
By Anoxanmore on 12/30/2010 3:35:27 PM , Rating: 5
I, good sir, am not a man. :)

RE: I don't know about you...
By Quadrillity on 12/30/2010 4:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Oh... Well, thanks for your service in the military!

RE: I don't know about you...
By Anoxanmore on 12/30/2010 5:12:29 PM , Rating: 2
You are welcome. :)

By Yaos on 12/30/2010 1:33:29 PM , Rating: 2
China must have invaded a few countries since they were not at 97% earlier this year.

RE: 97%
By chruschef on 12/30/2010 1:57:22 PM , Rating: 3
it's not the actual amounts of minerals available globally, it's resources that can be readily tapped. a couple posts above mentions afghanistan which isn't a very good alternative at the moment not because of the nation's political problems, but because the many years it will take to produce as much as china.

RE: 97%
By Taft12 on 12/30/2010 1:56:51 PM , Rating: 3
The 97% figure is an exaggeration for effect on the part of Jason Mick. From the linked article that refers to the 97%:

According to an April 1 report, China by the Government Accounting Office, entitled "Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain", states, "Most rare earth material processing now occurs in China. In 2009, China produced about 97 percent of rare earth oxides."

The source of this claim was the Chinese government and refers to processing, not the raw material in the ground. It ain't close to 97% but it IS a huge chunk.

RE: 97%
By SPOOFE on 12/30/2010 4:23:03 PM , Rating: 2
China, by expert's estimates, controls 97 percent of the world's rare earth refining capabilities.
That's what the article says. That's what your own cite asserts, as well. Where's the exaggeration? RTFA.

RE: 97%
By AssBall on 12/30/2010 3:33:03 PM , Rating: 2
OMG you are on to something, I knew those girls in the pic looked like Girl's Generation.

Good call, sir.

Rare? No research done, again.
By Cat on 12/30/2010 2:32:05 PM , Rating: 2
Despite their name, rare earth elements (with the exception of the highly unstable promethium) are relatively plentiful in the Earth's crust.

RE: Rare? No research done, again.
By zmatt on 12/30/2010 3:31:11 PM , Rating: 2
they certainly are common in the ground, but like anything that has to be mined or drilled getting to it is a slow and difficult process.

RE: Rare? No research done, again.
By Cat on 12/30/10, Rating: 0
RE: Rare? No research done, again.
By SPOOFE on 12/30/2010 4:10:10 PM , Rating: 4
Actually, it does. They're "rare" because they're hard to extract. I don't see any conflict between Mick's description for the purposes of the article and Wikipedia's description o the same:

However, because of their geochemical properties rare earth elements are typically dispersed and not often found in concentrated and economically exploitable forms known as rare earth minerals.[2] It was the very scarcity of these minerals (previously called "earths") that led to the term "rare earth".

How About Staying With Gasoline Vechicles?
By douggrif on 12/30/2010 4:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
Since there is no inherit savings with electric vehicles why not develop our own oil and gas resources and forget about all this global warming stuff. All we need is to vote out the political leaders who steadfastly prevent America from benefiting from these badly needed energy resources.

RE: How About Staying With Gasoline Vechicles?
By Hiawa23 on 12/30/2010 6:55:14 PM , Rating: 2
Since there is no inherit savings with electric vehicles why not develop our own oil and gas resources and forget about all this global warming stuff. All we need is to vote out the political leaders who steadfastly prevent America from benefiting from these badly needed energy resources.

Although I agree, it takes decades to put these into place which angers me ever more why the rulers of our counrtry, Dems, Repubs, blame who you want has wasted decades that could have solve these issues by now.

RE: How About Staying With Gasoline Vechicles?
By Lerianis on 12/30/2010 9:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the companies who wish to do these things wish to destroy the United States while they are doing it. THAT is the reason why the Democrats and liberals stand against them, and frankly.... it's the right thing to do!

By SPOOFE on 1/1/2011 3:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the companies who wish to do these things wish to destroy the United States while they are doing it

Yeah, that's what they want, to destroy their best customer base. Brilliant.

Always angry, angry at nothing
By rs2 on 12/30/2010 10:23:32 PM , Rating: 5
The move has been met with outrage in Europe and the U.S. The European Union has threatened that it may push the World Trade Organization, a powerful international arbiter to pass sanctions against China, if it doesn't restore supply.


Japanese tech firms are also angered by the move.

Newsflash, guys. China's natural resources belong to China, and they are under no obligation to sell them to other countries at market price or at any other price if they don't want to. That's their right, and if it makes you angry that they are exercising their right to do what they want with their resources, then you need to grow up.

Perhaps consider investing in some mining and refining infrastructure of your own if it bothers you so much. Then, like China, you can do whatever you want with the resources you produce.

In short, whining and being a jerk about the situation isn't going to help.

By simsony on 1/1/2011 12:34:35 AM , Rating: 2
To be honest, I don't really see how this is different from what the OPEC does with oil. They also cut production and increase prices.

Wait, there is one difference... Those companies that mine the oil are Western corporates! I suppose it's alright then, forget that people now have to pay more in a recession. More money in the party coffers for the next election ;)

What a bunch of crock.
By pugster on 12/31/2010 1:08:03 PM , Rating: 3
Sorry Jason, what you are saying is nothing but a bunch of crock. China seems to be the only country that is mining for these rare earths, but they only have about 30% of the world's deposits. Other countries like US, Australia, Russia, Vietnam, and etc have deposits of rare earths but mining them is such a polluting process that it is not 'cost effective' process.

Years ago China Now that China actually putting quotas and raising prices and encourging other countries to start mining their own rare earths. I see nothing wrong with that.

RE: What a bunch of crock.
By Laereom on 12/31/2010 4:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing a sentence to the effect of 'Years ago, China was poorer, needed all of the strategic advantages it could get, and did us all a favor by doing the dirty work of rare earth mining so cheap that nobody else wanted to do it.'

Afhganistan new resources.
By greylica on 12/30/2010 1:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
Afhganistan have Rare Earth Metals too, but it's near China. I'm worried about the future, and I have fear that this could lead to another Black Roses that still today, are bleeding for rare diamonds.

By Shadowmaster625 on 1/3/2011 8:24:47 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah right. Outrage. And we retaliate by sending 100,000 less jobs per month to china? Ha! Charging 15% more for imported tires?

Old news is old
By lolmuly on 12/30/2010 9:11:28 PM , Rating: 1
If you're just now hearing about this you've been living under a rock.

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