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The new NASA study relied on the high-tech imaging instrument known as MODIS, contained aboard NASA's Terra satellite.  (Source: NASA)

A chart detailing the airflow over the Pacific. Note the airflow towards the polar region that crosses from Asia, near Japan and China up towards British Columbia and down the west coast of the U.S.  (Source: NASA)
Is poor air quality in America the fault of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan?

There's been much conjecture that China's vast industrialization produces heavy pollution, not only to East Asia, but to North America as well.  Air currents, which flow between Asia and North America, are thought to carry industrial pollution overseas to the U.S. and Canada.  Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are also extremely industrialized and highly populated and also contribute significant airborne emissions of toxic sulfur and nitrogen compounds into the air.

Theories about pollution drift from East Asia to North America remained unexamined until now.  As part of NASA's ongoing efforts to track pollution and environment changes via satellite, NASA has launched a major initiative to track and carefully measure the flow of air pollution between East Asia and North America.  The study looks to detect and quantitatively analyze pollution from three primary sources -- forest fires, urban exhaust, and industrial pollution.

China's rapid expansion cleared vast tracks of land.  Much of this land is cleared by slash and burn methods, which release airborne pollution.  Accidental forest fires also occur frequently.  Further, China's automobile population has skyrocket.  Many of the automobiles do not have up to date exhaust controls as American automobiles do.  This leads to the release of carbon monoxide and other pollutants.  China's network of factories and coal plants pump literally tons of toxins into the atmosphere, helping to make China the world leader in greenhouse gas production

Despite China's efforts to adopt environmentally friendly technology, its reduction efforts are currently outpaced greatly by its growth.

One of the NASA researchers on the study, Hongbin Yu, an associate research scientist of the University of Maryland Baltimore County working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., grew up in China and witnessed first hand the damage done on the environment and the local population's health by the uncontrolled expansion.  Yu and his team will be working for the first time to analyze aerosol flow in the fast moving airstream that crosses the Pacific, traveling from East Asia to North America. 

Aerosols are a standard type of air pollution, consisting of a suspension of droplets.  These droplets can contain many toxic chemicals.  High aerosol exposure in industrial settings can lead to many health problems, the impact of lesser degrees of exposure has not been entirely examined.

The study's first results come courtesy of measurements from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), an instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.  The results, which will be published in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, confirm that between 2002 and 2005 East Asia exported nearly 18 teragrams of pollution into the air stream over the Pacific, with 4.5 teragrams reaching North America.  A teragram is a unit used to measure atmospheric mass of aerosol pollution.  One teragram equals 2.2 billion pounds, so the study shows that nearly 10 billion pounds of Asian aerosol pollution reached American shores in a 3 year span.

Yu puts this in perspective, stating, "We used the latest satellite capabilities to distinguish industrial pollution and smoke from dust transported to the western regions of North America from East Asia. Looking at four years of data from 2002 to 2005 we estimated the amount of pollution arriving in North America to be equivalent to about 15 percent of local emissions of the U.S. and Canada.  This is a significant percentage at a time when the U.S. is trying to decrease pollution emissions to boost overall air quality. This means that any reduction in our emissions may be offset by the pollution aerosols coming from East Asia and other regions."

According to Yu, though East Asia is not solely at fault as pollution travels with the airstream from North America to other continents as well.  He states that the study only seeks to analyze the Asian pollution input into North America's air.  He explains, "Our study focused on East Asian pollution transport, but pollution also flows from Europe, North America, the broader Asian region and elsewhere, across bodies of water and land, to neighboring areas and beyond.  So we should not simply blame East Asia for this amount of pollution flowing into North America."

Mian Chin, also a co-author of this study and an atmospheric scientist at NASA Goddard agrees with Yu's cautions and states that he believes that much of North America's pollution may come from Europe as well.  NASA may carry out additional studies to examine this possibility.

Lorraine Remer, a physical scientist and member of the MODIS science team at NASA Goddard points out that the study is a cutting edge experience that relies on the most modern sensor technology.  MODIS can distinguish between many types of atmospheric particles and can accurately track them as they rise out of the troposphere, where we live and breath, into the upper atmosphere, where they are transported overseas.  Says Remer, "Satellite instruments give us the ability to capture more accurate measurements, on a nearly daily basis across a broader geographic region and across a longer time frame so that the overall result is a better estimate than any other measurement method we’ve had in the past."

The greatest pollution influx occurred in 2003, due a set of large forest fires in East Asia and Russia.  The researchers determined that it takes approximately a week for pollutants to travel from Asia to North America.


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Smog city
By masa77 on 3/19/2008 11:37:50 AM , Rating: 5
Go to China and you will quickly see how bad the smog is. I recently spent a month there and when I first arrived, I thought what I was seeing was fog. It was actually smog! A lot of people over there where masks in major cities and now I can understand why. Scary. The air there is terrible.

On the flipside, we purchase the majority of our products from these countries so to some degree the responsiblity is ours as well. However, those factories need to start thinking green, even if it means passing the costs down to the consumer to address the problem. There are going to be serious environmental issues in the future and we'll all be to blame if they don't make those changes.




RE: Smog city
By teldar on 3/19/2008 11:56:19 AM , Rating: 5
My brother's an automotive engineer and has gone to China several times to have a look at a factory that Magna is building there. He said you never see the sky in Shangai because it is so polluted. He said you almost never even see the tops of buildings because the pollution hangs so low.

T


RE: Smog city
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2008 12:12:34 PM , Rating: 5
Same here (have brother that goes to China and India several times a year). He says the pollution in both countries is a joke (city areas). There is no signs of any sort of any attempt to control the pollution.

I believe this is a major difference between the USA and Asian governments belief in individual rights. Though the USA might not be perfect, the Asian government just does not even care to try to make life better for the individual.

If possible, we should bring the manufacturing plants back to the USA where it will have some control on pollution. We have already learned it does not save any money to produce outside of the country so bring the plants home....however, I think it's to late.


RE: Smog city
By noxipoo on 3/19/2008 12:39:30 PM , Rating: 1
they are early in the development process, same as early US and UK where pollution is rampant. you can't except them to spend all their gains to control pollution like the US has now. when farmers live on $1 a day, they don't care if they are polluting working in a factory instead.


RE: Smog city
By deeznuts on 3/19/2008 1:11:32 PM , Rating: 1
yup, as noxipoo says they are a developing country. should go look up different stages of development for countries, it's an interesting subject. LDC MDC etc.


RE: Smog city
By Pneumothorax on 3/19/2008 1:40:15 PM , Rating: 5
The difference is that today the tech is there to control or greatly reduce the pollution. There were hardly any emission control tech during the early industrial revolution of UK & US.


RE: Smog city
By eye smite on 3/19/2008 7:14:16 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry, but you're all posting comments as though China and it's people care about pollution or who else it affects. Do you really think China cares, or are you applying your own perceptions on this situation?


RE: Smog city
By BansheeX on 3/20/2008 12:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
I think the libertarian point he is trying to make is that in the industrial revolution, the greatest rate of growth in American history, things were dirty. But they weren't dirty because environmental regulation was badly needed. They were dirty because technology was at the stage of coal burning. Once natural gas came along and the technology was created as a result of using coal to get there, things got a lot better - just by technological progress, not government regulation stifling that progress.

That being said, I think people do have a right to legal recourse if their air, water, or property is being polluted by a neighboring body. I'm not sure they have that in China, but they should.


RE: Smog city
By eye smite on 3/20/2008 2:34:09 PM , Rating: 1
Again I see more perception issues. You're applying the views of how you live in this country on how they live in China and it sure doesn't work that way. There's still a large number of plants right here in America that burn Coal to provide electricity, so while natural gas is obviously cleaner to burn, it's probably not as widespread as you imagine it is. So again I make the statement, most people posting on this article are applying their own perceptions on China and making false assumptions. Honestly, how many of you here are aware they round up dogs in the streets and kill them for furs to make fur coats, then sell the meat at the local market?........and of course the animal rights activists are up in arms over here about it, but what can they do..........what can you do? Here's some links on their dog killing diets:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU_RvrP8lrg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14L9otvV0-U
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdZAn00W_PU

I don't think any of you understand or remotely realize how much the Chinese do not live like us and they surely don't care about any pollution they're breathing or especially you and I. In relative terms from a society standpoint, you could easily say China is the largest 3rd world country there is. The videos above are just one example. You want to see more, then watch the next link on how they're killing people in Tibet because Tibetans want their country and their Dali Lama back. This was in March of this year. Anyone remember Tianamen Square 19 yrs ago?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBhhOPXMCFk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZLzKBvvGMg

I've been called a racist and a bigot on this forum in the past for citing chinese history and how these people live. I would love to see the arguments anyone on this forum can come up with to rationalize this behavior that's right here in the links above on film as any type of civilized behavior. Furthermore, I'd like to see the arguments on how I'm racist for citing videos that so clearly show how much of a 3rd world country China really is.


RE: Smog city
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2008 1:41:02 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, but have to disagree with you. Yes, they are ramping up and now are far pass the USA.... Giving them special pollution passes I think was a mistake. If you going the build something, build it correct the first time, then you will not have to go back and up grade later.

It would be like a country building it's first car in todays world. Well we are new to the auto industry, so we are going to ask you all to accept our cars with NO seat belts and NO air bags. Do not complain about it, just buy them. Sure, USA and UK might have done and had more time to pollute because we enter the industrial age before China, but China should learn from our mistakes and build better plants not sub-par plants.


RE: Smog city
By Carter642 on 3/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: Smog city
By Alexvrb on 3/19/2008 8:41:25 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, because you know how much China fears "intense international pressure".


RE: Smog city
By P4blo on 3/25/2008 1:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
This is why we're all totally culpable for China's actions. Whatever we say about them we're piling our manufacturing there because its cheaper. How much cheaper would it be if China had some human and employment rights to speak of and all it's factories were clean?

There's also a school of though that says give these countries the wealth first (manufacturing) then the human rights will come later when standards of living rise and the people get more of a voice.

We will have to see if China 'grows up' as a country or if it continues to rape its resources in the face of huge profits in the future.


RE: Smog city
By A5un on 3/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Smog city
By stirfry213 on 3/19/2008 1:03:20 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with everything but your last statement.

You don't honestly think a US based company would go through the trouble of import and exports from china if it wasn't cheaper do you?


RE: Smog city
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2008 1:10:09 PM , Rating: 3
I work as an importer, I know for a fact it would be cheaper over all to bring the factures back. The probably is the USA Government has given to many tax breaks to move business over seas, so now we have less jobs in the USA, less taxes give to the Government, and save no money by producing over seas. We are just giving away money to anyother country and receiving no true benefit. If China were to truely (equally) buy from the USA as the USA does from China (the original plan). Then maybe it would pay off for both countries. Right now, this is just one of several things killing our economy.


RE: Smog city
By stirfry213 on 3/19/2008 1:45:10 PM , Rating: 3
Importer? Check
US Gov Taxes? Check
Grammar and typing? ERROR


RE: Smog city
By clovell on 3/19/2008 2:50:43 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, indeed. Serious business.


RE: Smog city
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2008 1:46:04 PM , Rating: 2
sorry about the spelling errors and typos guys. I doing to many thing at the same time today.....
one of them was, "probably" in the second line. Should have been, "problem". Yep there are a few more...my bad.


RE: Smog city
By Ringold on 3/19/2008 3:41:56 PM , Rating: 1
There's several reasons why it's more efficient to keep factories there -- or, in fact, to move them to other cheaper places in SE Asia or Africa.

1. America smothers is businesses is regulation
2. We have some of the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world
3. America has some of the most expesive labor in the world
4. Looking forward, anti-business and anti-trade rhetoric is on the rise.

Point 1 can't be overstated enough, and point 4 is important because of the increasingly integrated nature of international business, point 2 plays in to that as well. Somehow I don't think huge corporate tax breaks, union busting and other labor reform, and lower regulation in general won't sell to the general public at the moment, so none of the above is likely to change.

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2008/03/same-number-of...

That also explains where some manufacturing jobs have "gone."

Of course, the long term solution isn't clinging to yesterday's job. The only way to get those back is to outlaw robotics and automated industrial processes. No, the solution is getting off our lazy asses and learning the skills needed in a post-industrial era. We're not an industrial economy any more, we've ascended to the next stage, just as China has ascended to the industrial age from an agrarian one.


RE: Smog city
By BSMonitor on 3/19/08, Rating: 0
RE: Smog city
By Grast on 3/19/2008 6:04:34 PM , Rating: 2
Spoken like a union man.....

The only thing unions bring to the table is poor workmanship, expensive wages, and labor strikes. The age of the union is over.

What ever happened to personal responsiblity. I do not have the luxary of being an average worker. I have to constantly strive for more education and a great skill set. As a result, I get promotions and more responsibility.

The union IS responsible for the degradation of our local tradesmen. In the past, it was the talented and skilled tradesmen that recieved the jobs. It was expected to apprentice for 8-10 years before being considered master level. Now, union retoric, tells every member they should expect compensation regardless of performance level.

Job go over seas for several prime reasons. 1. U.S. tradesmen are lazy and do not create quality work. 2. U.S. trademen due to unions have made them TOO expensive. 3. Union works have no desire to change or make themselves stand out through quality workmanship and fair wages.

Do not lecture me about the value of unions. All unions should be disolved and workers should be responsible for their own education, workmanship, and advancement. If you think this is harsh.

Go ask the UAW, airline pilot, and other remaining large unions how they are doing.

Who is talking about rich. If rick you mean poeple that use this counties education system to become successful, then I guess they are rich.


RE: Smog city
By Ringold on 3/19/2008 7:18:47 PM , Rating: 1
Grast covered it quite well. Furthermore, though, since I'm apparently speaking like a "conservative", feel free to ask a European finance minister of almost any political stripe what must be done. This quote has been dragged out many times, but I'll use it again. "We know what we have to do, just not how to get re-elected after we do it." They are speaking, of course, of labor reforms. Busting unions, making it easier to hire and fire workers, removing wage controls and work-week caps. Socialists, right-of-center parties, etc, they'd all agree and all admit it. In private, of course.

Read through almost any edition of The Economist, there's usually something in there along those lines since it's such a looming issue.


RE: Smog city
By dluther on 3/20/2008 12:49:00 AM , Rating: 4
I was really going to let this one go, but...
quote:

1. America smothers is businesses is regulation

Yes we absolutely do. It's what keeps America from forcing 12-year-olds to work for 1/4 of minimum wage for 12 hours a day.

quote:
2. We have some of the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world

We also have some of the highest wages in the world, some of the best workers' benefits in the world, the shortest work week in the world, and some of the best retirement benefits in the world, all in the economy and country by which all others are judged.

Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.

quote:
3. America has some of the most expesive [sic] labor in the world

Covered in #2.

quote:
4. Looking forward, anti-business and anti-trade rhetoric is on the rise.


Not anti , but unfair . There's a difference.

On a side note...

There was an interesting posting on the story about the femtosecond laser:

quote:
Slashdot: But does it run Linux?
Engadget: Does it work with my iPhone?
DailyTech: Can I mount it on my C130H gunship?


Rated a "6", BTW.

Then it occurred to me, this isn't really "Daily Tech"; it's "Red State Tech". How else can you explain that the second and third "Most Popular Articles" revolve around Michael Asher's articles entitled: "Temperature Monitors Report Widescale Global Cooling (February 26, 2008) and

Researcher: Basic Greenhouse Equations "Totally Wrong" (March 6, 2008)

I gotta call 'em like I see 'em.


RE: Smog city
By Ringold on 3/20/08, Rating: 0
RE: Smog city
By dluther on 3/20/2008 7:00:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cheapshot, and not an issue that businesses complain about at all in this country. So far, you're clearly trolling, since I know that you know better. That or perhaps you really don't know what I was referring to, but I suspect you chose instead to make a nice emotional appeal instead of one on the issues.


I'm not "trolling" at all, and this was not a cheap shot; it is in fact very particular to your original point, which was "America smothers is [sic] businesses is [sic] regulation". So going back to that statement, child labor laws are a business regulation. So are anti-trust laws, accounting laws, price gouging laws, and predatory practice laws. Would you have been more comfortable with any of these other alternatives?

quote:

quote:

We also have some of the highest wages in the world, some of the best workers' benefits in the world, the shortest work week in the world, and some of the best retirement benefits in the world, all in the economy and country by which all others are judged.

I'm not the one complaining about the loss of jobs, so I'd agree. However, that's got nothing to do with the point of taxes, but I guess you just felt the need to respond to absolutely everything.


Loss of jobs has absolutely nothing to do with my response; you clearly misread it, so I'll clarify the point for you:

You complained that "We have some of the highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world", to which I replied that yes, we do have some of the highest taxes in the world. But we also have some of the highest profits and perks in the world, which tend to offset each other. Additionally, since business is still being conducted everywhere in America while making a decent profit, it's a complete non-starter of an issue.

quote:
Fairness has no place in economic discussions; it's subjective.

Fairness is the absolute basis of economic discussions. Is it fair to let an 11-year old kid work in a steel mill? Is it fair to exclude blacks from entering a dining establishment, or having them enter from the back door? Is it fair to have a market without wheelchair access? There are limitations of course, and these limitations are and will continue to be explored and challenged. I believe my points are valid. And if you don't agree with them, that's fine and that's your right; however the United States of America does agree with me, and that's good enough.

On to other points in your wildly far-reaching and unfocused "reply" (although 'rant' is a far more accurate description): You've somehow managed to turn a completely well-thought reply into a personal attack, an insult, a political attack, and intimated a familiarity with me that you simply don't have.

Ringold, every single point you made initially was wrong. Take the entire child labor issue we just covered -- you got your hackles up that I would have the temerity to raise *that* particular issue. And when you have no coherent rebuttal, you accuse me of making a 'cheapshot' and focusing on emotion instead of issues.

You really should try and focus your thoughts before presenting them. And just so you'll have this information for future reference, insults are always the last bastion of a lost argument.


RE: Smog city
By Ringold on 3/21/2008 12:15:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Would you have been more comfortable with any of these other alternatives?


This is the sort of stuff that gets me going. Surely you don't think any of those are what makes small business in America uncompetitive, or at least that those are things they complain about? I've spoke to many small business owners, and never had a print shop owner turn to me and say, "You know, man, if I could just hire 5 year old and make them work 15 hour shifts, I bet with their tiny hands they could clear paper jams a lot easier than I could!"

Price gouging, though, some would object to, I'll admit that much. Price gouging roils many economists; it is, in principle, not immoral, but simply manifestations in markets representing extreme demand or extreme supply issues that makes politicians feel uncomfortable when people who feel entitled to lower prices go to the polls. Shortages and inefficient allocation of limited resources (and the encouragement of black markets) is the result of 'anti-price gouging laws', but doesn't make for a good sound bite or make people feel good.

As for the rest, I'll address it further down, but also, talking with some SB owners would be beneficial, of the 1-100 employee range in particular, where the owners face, often by themselves, the full weight of federal, state and local regulation.

quote:
But we also have some of the highest profits and perks in the world, which tend to offset each other. Additionally, since business is still being conducted everywhere in America while making a decent profit, it's a complete non-starter of an issue.


Must I define opportunity cost? Obviously, business still operates here. Business still operates in Zimbabwe, despite 100,500% estimated inflation. The point is, when businesses like Dow Chemical get on CNBC and talk about all the billions they are investing in their company over the next several years with not a single dollar being spent in America (in their case, because the states they operate in refuse to allow them to tap in to natural gas reserves, so they're building new plants in Saudi Arabia), or when companies like Chrysler merge and decide to headquarters not in America but in Germany (and bringing those high paying corporate jobs with them there) because of a more favorable tax environment (14% lower tax bill I believe), how much better could it be in America with reforms? If you lower yourself to looking at dirty things like facts, we know from observing changes in Irelands tax structure, as well as examples from Eastern Europe (which has embraced Reaganomics), Hong Kong and other places that lower taxes spurs higher growth. We can similarly observe that while business still operates profitably in France, France has suffered immensely from its higher taxes and regulations in comparison to its peers.

quote:
Is it fair to exclude blacks from entering a dining establishment, or having them enter from the back door?


Unfortunately, as much as you'd like to mix the fields of political science and economics, there are good reasons why they try quite hard to remain separate areas of study. It's the job of politicians to jaw-bone and figure out what societies goals are and concepts of what is fair or not, it's the job of economics to figure out how most efficiently to achieve those goals; normative and positive issues, respectively. Positive economic theory can approach competitive trade issues without dipping in the dark pit of politics and concepts of fairness; again, Ricardo proved countries like the US with stringent policies and higher paid, higher productivity workers can trade with lax, low-paid, underproductive Mexico and both states can gain. The example I believe he used was England and Portugal, which at the time.. actually isn't much different than the current US-Mexico issue.

quote:
Ringold, every single point you made initially was wrong. Take the entire child labor issue we just covered -- you got your hackles up that I would have the temerity to raise *that* particular issue.


I absolutely did because it is not an issue small business cares about, nor has it been in our lifetimes! You're trying to bring up a red-herring. They care about slip-and-fall liability (or anything, in fact, that involves lawyers, because even if they're innocent they are saddled with huge costs), Sarbanes-Oxley, having health care dumped on their shoulders, archaic and complicated tax laws, unfair rent-seeking behavior, many have issues with IP laws -- thats just a sampling of the general thorny issues, customs and exports regulations, and every industry and sub-industry has mountains of regulations specific to it, down to the minimum size cage pigs can be placed in, the percentage of wall space that must be bare, etc. These things are not without cost.

Even CNN is aware its a problem;

quote:
It's no exagerration to say that entrepreneurs are being crushed by regulatory costs. A 2005 report by the Small Business Administration found that small firms spend $2,400 more per employee, on average, than bigger counterparts to keep up with the demands of Uncle Sam.

The two most daunting burdens, according to the study, are environmental compliance and - you guessed it - taxes. Following rules set by the EPA and other agencies costs small businesses 364 percent more per worker than it does larger enterprises. Staying out of tax court takes 67 percent more out of their pockets per employee than it does in big corporations. Although most business owners don't want to break environmental or tax regulations, even the most well-intentioned can get confused by the fine print.
- CNN, FSB

Those are all the sorts of things small businesses complain about -- they do not complain about, generally, any of the issues you tried to raise. Hence, I assumed mere trolling, but perhaps it was just being misinformed.

In case you wonder why small biz is worthy of such discussion, virtually all job growth in this nation since 1980 is from small business. Large and mega-cap companies employment has been essentially flat; they provide the nation with economies of scale, but not so much jobs. Small business is footloose; many businessmen can and do pick up their firms and move abroad if it benefits them, you can see this taking place right now as hedge funds and smaller finance businesses flee England's non-dom tax hikes for Zurich, NYC and other cities (and taking their millions of income, and local spending, with them as well), so being globally competitive on all of the above is important.

I have supported above all of my original points, all but the last one in this post alone, while you have failed to produce theory or evidence to contradict any of them. As far as the 4th point, that rising anti-trade rhetoric is damaging trade relations, I reference again the week before lasts edition of The Economist, which noted trade officials from our North American and South American trade partners being nervous about it and the wide sense of utter betrayal in places like Colombia. I don't know what more you want, asides from a discussion, perhaps, of how ethical or unethical the Factory Acts of 1819 in the UK where.

http://www.economist.com/world/la/displaystory.cfm... (Just in case you're a subscriber, or in case that article doesn't happen to be premium-only, I can't tell)


RE: Smog city
By dluther on 3/21/2008 5:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
I certainly don't see you complaining about tax breaks and regulatory relief specifically designed to help small businesses, such as startup cost deductions, section 179 deductions, and domestic production activities deductions, among others. And for that matter, I don't hear much in the way of large corporations complaining about these tax breaks either.

quote:
never had a print shop owner turn to me and say, "You know, man, if I could just hire 5 year old and make them work 15 hour shifts, I bet with their tiny hands they could clear paper jams a lot easier than I could!"


Yes, but ask that same print shop owner if he'd hire a 15-year old to work 16 hours on a Saturday for $3.00/hr, I'm sure you'd find him changing his tune faster than a reggae band at a Klan cookout.

quote:
I absolutely did because it is not an issue small business cares about, nor has it been in our lifetimes!


But it was an example of a business regulation. I'm 42, so it *was* in my lifetime.

And this is the point which I'm going to just sign off. Ringold, neither of the posts for which I responded made any differentiation about small or large business. And quite frankly, we were talking about large businesses because there aren't that many mom-and-pop operations that are farming their manufacturing or support overseas. Now that all of your initial arguments and statements have been nullified, you're resorting to micro managing the minutiae of opinion and what kinds of businesses that are being adversely affected by regulation. You don't like the analogies I bring without allowing for the fact that the biggest tools in the box are the first ones we generally see.

Your whole assertion is that business in America is being crippled because of too much taxation and regulation. My rebuttal is that taxation is necessary and regulation is critically essential.


RE: Smog city
By Ringold on 3/21/2008 7:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
My points were nullified? By what? That someone somewhere might want to higher a teenager?

We're not going to agree, but I'll just point out I'm friends with and have worked for a highly respected PhD economist from Sweden who is an avowed socialist -- and she would've made the same arguments I did, and would probably be just as annoyed with your continued adherence to the child labor red herring rather than looking at the impact of over regulation (note I never said there should be none) and higher relative tax rates and how they correlate with growth and prosperity.


RE: Smog city
By JustTom on 3/21/2008 1:59:28 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
the shortest work week in the world

No, actually America doesn't have the shortest work week in the world. In fact Americans work more hours per year than any other industrialized country, Japan being second.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/09/03/business...

http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/26/077.html


RE: Smog city
By dluther on 3/21/2008 5:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
True. I stand corrected.

Funny though, it doesn't feel like the longest week in the world.


RE: Smog city
By crystal clear on 3/20/2008 8:25:06 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
No, the solution is getting off our lazy asses and learning the skills needed in a post-industrial era.


"Work your way up or rust your way out."
"A life of ease is a difficult pursuit."



Then you got to blame an education system that should

"Teach the young people how to think, not what to think."


quote:
We're not an industrial economy any more, we've ascended to the next stage,


"Progress comes from the intelligent use of experience."


quote:
just as China has ascended to the industrial age from an agrarian one.


"If you can't imitate him, don't copy him."


Thats what China should learn from the industrialized & democratic West.

As for this article

"A barking dog is often more useful than a sleeping lion."

"Truth is not a crystal one can put in one's pocket, but an infinite fluid into which one falls headlong."



As for the USA
"Money never starts an idea; it is the idea that starts the money."


As for you & me
"It is not who is right, but what is right, that is of importance."

Have a nice day !


RE: Smog city
By hohowan on 3/19/2008 4:56:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I am in the logisitics field, there is no way
the company I work for will move any of the
manufacturing back into the US. Actually we moved
one of the last manufacturing projects overseas about
a year ago. Even with fuel costs skyrocketing, the
company is still searching for even more cheap labor.


RE: Smog city
By PhantomRogue on 3/21/2008 11:19:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Even with fuel costs skyrocketing, the company is still searching for even more cheap labor.

Anything to save a buck. Instead of worrying about the bottom line, Corporations need to understand that the shoddy products they get for the cheaper price will in the long run, be worse than saving today's dollar. Although, by the time that happens, the Board of Directors and all Officers will have retired on their 400,000 dollar a year severance packages.


RE: Smog city
By dluther on 3/21/2008 11:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
For the most part, that's true. However, what you're not acknowledging is that companies don't operate in a vacuum, and they're usually competing with other companies to sell you a product. The way they do this primarily is by enticing you with a lower price, and since it's illegal to sell you a product for less than they can produce it (predatory pricing -- look it up or ask Microsoft about it) they have find ways to produce it cheaper to remain competitive.

For example, labor is a huge source of cost; if they can legally hire a 12-year old girl in Cambodia for 50 cents an hour as opposed to $48.50 an hour for some American union member and produce the same quality product, guess which one they're going to choose?

And while I'm sure my good friend Ringold will have a few words to say about my choice of analogies there, the sad fact is that we, the consumer, are largely responsible for this state of affairs. By continuing to purchase these low-cost goods, we are perpetuating the cycle, thus disincentivising any real reforms that would allow American made products to be competitive on their own, without trade tariffs or other pricing adjustments.

quote:
Instead of worrying about the bottom line...

This statement really is the one that prompted me to respond. The bottom line is the most important thing to any corporation, that's why it's called "The Bottom Line"; if it's not, then the entity ceases to be a company and becomes a charity.

America is a capitalistic society. For all our grandiose posturing about Freedom and Democracy, we all live in a country where our well-being and pursuit of happiness is generally equated with wealth. That's not necessarily a bad thing either, and I would also try to disavow you of the notion that 'profit' is a dirty word.

In principle, I understand your position, and up to a point even agree with you. Unfortunately, the way things are and the way things should be aren't the same.


RE: Smog city
By The0ne on 3/20/2008 3:41:18 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure which sector you're looking at but my field is in engineering and manufacturing. Since the first Bush too office, I can remember transitioning the entire manufacturing capability over to china. In fact, we're doing it now with my current company. There are risks involved but overall the board execs wants to see profit. By having produce the products at a very cheap rate they're happy. For companies I've worked with before it definitely is about the lower cost, no matter the cost.


RE: Smog city
By barjebus on 3/19/2008 1:05:08 PM , Rating: 4
You can't judge a nation who's industrialization process is just beginning. Most major western powers went through this same process and ruined the land for miles around major cities, all in the name of explosive growth in their manufacturing and power production industries.

As to moving manufacturing back to the U.S...NEVER going to happen. Ever ever ever ever. The reason why manufacturing even exists at all in the U.S. is because:

1.) Not everyone has the desire or brains to be an scientist/engineer/researcher. So they take job where they become a skilled worker with their hands. Jobs like building houses, laying pipe, building roads, etc. are all jobs that you can't send overseas to another nation. We'll always need gyp rock layers, carpenters, roofers, miners, etc. However, when it comes to manufactured goods, they can be shipped around, so automatically, the nation with the largest amount of untapped physical labor becomes to cheapest place to do business.

2.) Pensions, employee benefits, retirement plans, health care costs all keep manufacturing jobs out of western nations. Do you think Chinese factory workers have a retirement plan where their employer matches their contributions to a retirement fund, or have a severance package, or a pension when you retire? Again, all reasons why it's cheaper to do business elsewhere.

Unions have backed themselves into a corner such that only industries that require a physical presence to do their work (i.e. mines, repair people for roads, buildings, utilities) are the only one's still in America.

Sorry if this sounded harsh, it wasn't really directed at the parent, just stating my opinion :S


RE: Smog city
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/19/2008 2:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
Does not sound harsh at all, just sounds like you have not read the reports that have stated, "it turns out we do not save any money building over seas." This is not my option it is fact. The reason it may not come back to the USA would be the actual cost of moving.... relocating people, moving some equipment, new paper work that has to be written in a different language again, buying buildings, buying new machines, and the list goes on. These expenses will stop to move...Pension, benefits, retirement, health, and such will be there no matter were you are located. However, this is why I said, it's probably to late. (meaning to move them back.)


RE: Smog city
By Ringold on 3/19/2008 3:46:29 PM , Rating: 3
The reports I've read about that have had to do with the more popular whipping-boys of out-sourcing, call centers and whatnot.

Manufaturing of basic goods, though, I've never heard much dispute. Also, as I linked to above, our manufacturing output hasn't exactly shrunk by any means.


RE: Smog city
By CyberHawk on 3/19/2008 4:44:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Though the USA might not be perfect, the Asian government just does not even care to try to make life better for the individual.


You should visit Europe ... Germany, Austria and Slovenia (where I live) among other countries ......

Boy, you would be suprised ;)

Half of my country forest, we take a good care of nature (tourism) and so on.


RE: Smog city
By Sandok on 3/20/2008 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
Asian countries want to, they just can't afford it.

Pollution is a richman's problem.


RE: Smog city
By subhajit on 3/21/2008 1:09:38 AM , Rating: 2
The problem here (india) is that most commercial vehicles are very old (like from 1970s), so the current emission standards (which is equivalent to EURO IV) is not implemented for those. Also most of the commercial vehicle owners cannot afford to change the vehicles. Still I think things have improved in some ares like in Delhi the public buses run on CNG. A lot of taxis that run in different Cities are now LPG based. Hydroelectric, solar, wind -based power generation has increased (especially in remote areas).
But My biggest concern is Nuclear power generation. It hasn't improved since ages. Mainly due to the environment fanatics who has a particular hatred for the most practical source of clean energy.


RE: Smog city
By subhajit on 3/21/2008 1:26:31 AM , Rating: 2
How can you say the govt. doesn't care about individual rights. If you ask any commercial vehicle owner, any small factory owners/workers they don't care about health and safety as much as western counterpart mostly because they cannot afford it.
And when govt. tries to bring a legislation huge protests take place. Current focus for most in a country like ours is to make as much as you can before the opportunity runs out. I cannot blame them for that. Do you know how many suicide takes place each year for financial reasons only?


RE: Smog city
By A5un on 3/19/2008 1:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like LA back in the days.


RE: Smog city
By 16nm on 3/19/2008 4:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are going to be serious environmental issues in the future.


There will be serious environmental issues in the future, but today there already are very serious ones that need addressing. The oceans are a complete mess. Food from the ocean is so contaminated with mercury that we are advised to becareful with the amount of seafood we consume and pregnant women are told to completely avoid it!!!


RE: Smog city
By Samus on 3/20/2008 3:29:56 AM , Rating: 3
Try Mexico City. It's considered the most dangerously polluted area in the world. It has heavy industry in a valley surrounded by mountains. There is little air circulation. The toxins just linger.


"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein














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