Made in China.

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There’s nothing enjoyable about being unable to go to dinner at a restaurant, attend a baseball game, go to the movies, listen to a symphony performance in person or see live theater.

But there is something useful.

The lack of such diversions has focused the attention of millions of us on things in need of doing around the house. Such focus has occasioned my now multiple visits to Home Depot.

On one visit, I needed wood screws. In looking at the packages for sizing I saw the three magic words – “Made in China.” In light of everything, seeing those words got me thinking and I set about browsing other aisles at the Home Depot. And, whaddaya know? A whole bunch of what you buy at the Home Depot is made in China.

So, I have a new drinking game. Go to your local Home Depot – (or Lowe’s or Target or Wal-Mart, it really doesn’t matter) – and bring with you a good-sized container of your favorite adult beverage. Start down the aisles of the store taking boxes and packages off the shelf and turning them over. Every time you see the words, “Made in China,” take a swig. I promise, you won’t be walking the aisles long. You’ll be too hammered to walk.

Do you remember the Arab Oil Embargo of 1973? From that moment forward, politicians of every stripe jabbered about “energy independence.” For most of the past five decades, we were dependent upon a small cabal of Middle Eastern petro-tyrants for our basic energy needs. At long last, thanks largely to the entrepreneurial genius of the American oil & gas industry, that dependency is mostly over.

But we’re not “pharmaceuticals independent.” China produces 97 percent of the antibiotics we use in this country. They produce half of the surgical masks. And, judging by what I saw at the Home Depot, they produce 100 percent of the wood screws.

Imagine what would happen (read: will happen, given enough time) if geopolitical circumstances produce a “Chinese Pharmaceuticals Embargo.” Or a “Chinese Wood Screws Embargo.” Or a “Chinese Most-of-What-They-Sell-at-Wal-Mart Embargo.”

For 30 years, presidents and political leaders of both parties have led us around the fence on the subject of China. The reassuring intonations of men named Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama notwithstanding, China is not our friend. China cannot be trusted. China’s leaders have no aspirations toward freedom and democracy. If they think they can hurt us and get away with it, they will.

Self-sufficiency is a virtue. I’ve tried to teach it to my two daughters. What is applicable to the children you love is equally applicable to the country you love. Being dependent upon a despotic, totalitarian, malfeasant regime for the things we need in order to be safe, healthy and prosperous is unbecoming of a great nation.

Some good comes from every bad experience. If a national re-examination of our dependence on China comes from this awful COVID-19 experience, it might actually have been worth it.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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30 Responses

  1. AGREE!

    We do wish more ambitious careers for your daughters’ generation than the menial, repetitive sweatshop tasks we’ve outsourced to China. And lots of that action is already being moved to Vietnam and elsewhere.

    Meantime, SWEET REVENGE, from “The Big Book of American Facts:”

    “Millions of chopsticks used in China are made in the United States.”

  2. Buddy Saunders says:

    Self-sufficiency is indeed a virtue.

    As I mentioned in my comments last week, the time has come for consumers and business to put pressure on retailers and vendors to provide products made in our own nation. This is a policy every country should follow to the extent possible. The tree-huggers already argue that we should buy local. Let’s do it, but let’s also give American businesses a grace period in which they have the time necessary to move production from China back home, in some cases to suppliers who may not yet exist here. To this end, yesterday I met with the company that supplies the short-run clear plastic bags that we use in packaging. Those bags come from China. I told our rep that his company needed to offer American made. If so, we will buy more and not seek another source. We already buy our primary size main bag from a different U.S. source. That bag is bought in 600,000 runs, a new run delivered about every eight weeks. Those bags are made in the U.S.A. I’ve stayed with the company that makes them despite countless email from Chinese firms seeking my business, because I wanted to support American business and jobs. The Communist Chinese virus–I blame the government there, not the people–has been an eye opener, one that will radically alter our nation’s buying habits.

  3. Michael Reagan says:

    If only we could go play that drinking game. How much fun would that be! I dare say, we would not make it 20 feet before the game stops due to impairment. Great article; we must put pressure on the elected ones to change this asap! Tired of these politicians and the favors they get from dealing with the enemy.

  4. R. Eagleman says:

    When President Nixon opened up diplomatic relations with China, the main focus was to offset the China/Russia friendship. This apparent diplomatic accomplishment quickly turned into an opportunity for U.S. manufacturers to reach the huge Chinese market. Our politicians then supported China’s membership into the W.T.O. as a developing nation, with all of the advantages that status bestows. It did not take long for our manufacturers to figure out that they could outsource labor to this slave wage society and reap huge profits. Before Trump came along, this horrendous mistake was allowing a former third world country to become the premier economy in the world. This greed-motivated capitulation has given birth to the situation that we are now experiencing. Thanks to our short-sighted politicians, China is still the Mao authoritarian regime, but now has a quasi-capitalistic economy. It is possible that this China Virus will do something that our stupid politicians have ignored, and as Paul opined, maybe, just maybe this painful lesson will be worth it.

    • After the close Friday Goldman Sachs rated Apple “Sell,” given supply chain disruption, and, likely pricing-in sticker shock if those slave wages are priced-out.

      • R. Eagleman says:

        Yep, prices for some items may rise. However, If you factor in the cost of human lives, along with the hit to our economy due to this China Virus, those increased prices will still be bargains for the American taxpayer.

        • “Bargains?”
          Forgive a silver lining?

          THE bargain of our lifetime will turn out to be your existing home mortgage.

          With Uncle Sam running the printing press 24/7 to get us those Monopoly money checks — adorned with The Dear Leader’s autograph — inevitable looming inflation will make the-biggest-investment-you’ll-ever-make a SCREAMIN’ deal.

      • Paul Gleiser says:

        That “sell” recommendation may be appropriate in the short term. However, in the long term, it does not take into account that if Apple is forced by whatever factor or means to move production out of China and in so doing, lose the benefit of “slave wages” (likely an apt characterization), that Apple will do nothing to mitigate the resulting problem. Such is unlikely. Apple will put their very bright minds to work figuring out ways to produce iPhones and Apple Watches by means other than armies of low-wage workers.

        The fact that neither you nor I can immediately articulate just what those alternate manufacturing means might be doesn’t preclude the possibility of them being developed.

        The point being, whatever the short-term pain there is attendant to disentangling our economy from that of China, the exercise will ultimately be worth it.

  5. Buddy Saunders says:

    Within a capitalist system, it is the job of any business to be profitable within applicable law, and hopefully with a touch of moral responsibility added. No American company, even one indifferent to the common good, will manufacture items in China that the American public then refuse to buy. Thus the final buy-or-not-buy-China decision lies with us and not big international corporations.

  6. “When business reopens,” WILL WE still “go to the movies?”
    https://youtu.be/ahZFCF–uRY

    • R. Eagleman says:

      Holland, This link has to be one of the most disconnected and/or non-responses to Paul’s legitimate point regarding the ingenuity of the free market system being able to adapt to a reliable supply chain. P.S. Don’t forget to take your medications.

      • Eagle Man: Consider it what-Paul-calls a “Bonus Question” when he guest-hosts on that station in Dallas…a provocative wider-angle shot, a sidebar.

        Paul’s proposition — and Buddy’s commitment to buy-American — foretell a New Normal already unfolding during the crisis.

        Trends-already-in-motion — telecommuting for instance — are now accelerating of necessity.

        Prediction: First-run flix WILL premiere behind a paywall, simultaneous to theatrical release…IF there IS a theatrical release.

        The new 007 thriller’s March debut was pushed back to November. Even then DEMAND will dictate. And Demand is you.

        Thus my sidebar, taking-a-page-from Paul’s on-air playbook: Will YOU “go to the movies?”

  7. C M Solomon says:

    We need to stop the FEAR mongering that the Progressive, Socialist, Marxist Democrats keep shouting at us in order to keep us hunkered down with extreme “mitigation” as it will continue to be forced on citizens of Democrat controlled States. This is purely the Dems scheme to create a huge Recession, if not Depression, to defeat Trump and take over all of Congress in the next election. We now have 25-30 million that have filed for unemployment – a perfect formulae for demagoguery of the Republicans by the Democrats. We have already seen the depths of politicization the Dems are capable of at the State and National levels. Hello! – One party Democrat rule of the likes of California and Venezuela! – Where Tyranny rules at the expense of individual freedom and creativity!

    In the paragraphs below you can determine for yourself if our National shut-down was justified in spite of the fact that there is NO definitive data of the poverty and deaths that will result in a Depression-like economy where even Hospitals and Doctor’s offices and their professional medical personnel have been laid off for the sake of making room for the COVID-19 large patient estimates that never materialized. This has resulted in a shut-down of the economy as well as normal medical services that would otherwise be available to the infirmed, particularly the older generation, including everything from dermatology to colonoscopy to heart disease to cancer specialists. Where are the news reports of this medical shut-down and the laid-off nurses and doctors?

    Given the extreme contagion of the “Made in China” COVID-19 virus, unless you live in a bubble, almost everyone is going to be exposed to the virus. It can be caught through the air from asymptotic carriers, lives on surfaces for many days including pens, paper, money, packages, doors, clothes, etc. In the past, many viruses have never had a vaccine developed to protect the population and no one knows if this virus is similar in danger. The good news is that it is not always fatal and many don’t even know they have been exposed to it. The symptoms can range from almost nothing to that of a bad case of the flu. In 1% to 20% of the cases* hospitalization is required of which 1.4% on average will die [.031% to 7.8%, mostly with severe underlying CHRONIC illnesses unfortunately die]*. Medications are being developed to reduce this unacceptable death rate even if a vaccine is not possible in the long run just as we currently treat victims of the HIV/AIDS virus. It is estimated that less than 60,000 deaths will occur in the USA given the COVID-19 virus in particular (out of a population of 330 million). By comparison in 2017-2018, the influenza illnesses resulted in 45 million cases, 810,000 hospitalizations, and 61,000 deaths (out of a population of 326 million).

    *Once infected with the new coronavirus, a 20-something has about a 1% chance of illness so severe it requires hospitalization, and that risk rises to more than 8% for people in their 50s, to nearly 19% for people over 80, a comprehensive new analysis finds. – U.S. News & World Report

    *A person’s odds for death AFTER INFECTION with the new coronavirus also rose with age. An estimated 0.031% of people in their 20s will die, the new analysis found, compared to 7.8% of people over 80. – U.S. News & World Report

    Mitigation procedures (masks, distancing, etc.) against the virus was always intended to SLOW the rate of growth so that SPREADING OUT the curve would reduce the PEAK of hospitalizations so our hospital capacity would not be overwhelmed. The total number if inevitable illnesses and deaths were never intended to be reduced UNLESS we had time to develop a vaccine (18 months plus) which was never guaranteed! This is the dark secret that a little bit of logic would lead anyone to conclude, given the facts as we know them today and the ultra-contagious nature of the COVID-19 virus that Dr. Fauci has declared is his worst nightmare! Thankfully, it is not a Death Sentence. When is someone going to compare the COVID-19 deaths vs. the deaths caused directly or indirectly by the looming Depression with a probable 20% unemployment rate if we don’t quickly return to December 2019 employment numbers of 159 million, the highest on record? We have tolerated 500 newly unemployment victims (and their households for which they support) for every single unavoidable COVID-19 death given the fact that there is no vaccine or cure on the horizon to STOP the ultimate exposure that almost everyone is going to get in the long run. Our only hope is that medications and immunology extracted from survivors of the virus can be used to reduce the death rate. Now, we desperately need to reduce the totally unnecessary death rate from the looming Depression if the globalist, open borders, Trump hating, liberty killing, Socialist Democrats will let us do it. Apparently, the Democrats want to use the “Made in China” COVID-19 virus to their advantage and keep the borders open – how predictable!

    If it comes to it, we Americans could be totally self sufficient in almost all industries and services without depending on any foreign nation. In the world of foreign pandemics and Chinese-like tyrannies that hid their culpability, we need to be prepared should this ever happen again. After all, our US economy built out of 50 State economies dwarfs all other regions of the World. Why should we ever be dependent on them? Make them dependent on us for a change while we set a glorious example of Liberty and Free Enterprise for which they should follow.

    • C M Solomon says:

      The references* I used were from the U.S. News & World Report at the following link:

      https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2020-03-30/odds-of-hospitalization-death-with-covid-19-rise-steadily-with-age-study

      It is important to note the we still don’t know the penetration of the COVID-19 virus into the general population given a large representative sample of demographics. Therefore, we can’t calculate the actual mortality rate until very accurate testing is done for the presence of the virus, regardless of observable symptoms or the lack thereof. The most reliable data we have is deaths per hospitalized patients, i.e., those already sick. We don’t know the number of infected that had little or no illness whatsoever in order to complete the whole picture which would ultimately lead to the real mortality rate.

    • Brooklyn says:

      So basically, the survival rate for covid-19 is 98.3% and therefore, the quarantine and Lock Down of the healthy was Totally unnecessary and that Herd Immunity works better with provisions of protecting the elderly and infirmed by not putting covid-19 patients in nursing homes.
      My takeaway is this. Shutting down the economy & forcing the healthy to shelter in place was a complete farce, and to top it all off, the NIH Dr, dr Fauci, flip-flops on everything related to COV from not wearing a Mask (bc mask do not stop the spread of the Coronavirus) to now making it Mandatory, has completely undermined his credibility! I personally did not participate in wearing the Made in China Mask, but I did learn that whatever these Globalist Gov’t officials told us about COV was NOT true and whatever they tell us to do, we would be better off to do the opposite of what they are proposing!
      ps, I would like to appolgize for any grammatical errors I have made, as I acknowledge & recognize that I am not gifted in writing out my thoughts and perspectives.

  8. R. Eagleman says:

    We all realize that it is much easier to “Monday morning quarterback” than to actually be on the field on Sunday with helmet and shoulder pads, but to be suspicious of these statistical models is warranted. The shutdown of our economy and all of the drastic mitigation policies were essentially dictated by those projections. The models were developed not only with insufficient data, but also with the statistician’s default “doomsday” bias; meaning: never miss the forecast with too much optimism. There is much less criticism of the prediction if things turn out better than worse. Solomon’s account is very true, as we need to be skeptical about the motivations of some of the Democrat obstructions to re-opening the economy. Although it may backfire, they have to try anything to gain power, even if it destroys the economy and negatively impacts their own constituents. As previously discussed, the harmful effects to the human body and soul, from “distress” associated with unemployment, could be much worse than being infected with the China Virus. When this too has passed, we may look back with a much different perspective of our response to this “Made in China” pandemic, as well as a more enlightened view of our “Made in China” policy.

    • C M Solomon says:

      Rush’s first hour on KTBB has added far more evidence to our suspicions than I could ever do with my previous comments. He was absolutely fantastic! Anyone with a brain willing to uncover the truth and seriously doubt the Fake Media Monopoly Message from the Marxist Fraudulent Left would boost their IQ at least 75 points by listening to Rush (and others). KTBB is a wealth of at least 9 hours per day of evidentiary truth if one is willing to be inoculated from the Fraudulent Left and the IQ damage that otherwise occur. The transcript is at:

      https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2020/04/20/more-research-suggests-the-lockdown-wasnt-needed/

      His main point is EDUCATION and for us to BEWARE the conventional wisdom being accepted without rational thought and facts to back it up. Let’s get the country OPEN before we are consumed by a world-wide economic collapse that would surely evoke desperation by which the Left would offer FALSE hope (their EMOTIONAL virus) and ensnare huge populations and America in particular. Recently, economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district said in a recent analysis [3/24/20] that the US will lose 47 million jobs at the peak, resulting in an unemployment rate of 32.1%, a considerable increase from the 24.9% unemployment rate during the worst point of the Great Depression.

      The Constitution is the perfect vaccine for this “Virus from the Tyrannical Left”, but it has been ignored by academia, media, and our government for far too long. Trump is the “Tip of the Spear” and with God’s help he can fix America’s potential demise quickly and at least half of the nation will support him. The Left and their supporters have been EXPOSED as our domestic political version of the “Made in China” Tyrannical Virus that must be defeated without compromise.

  9. Doubters in Texas: Give it 10 days.
    I have seen your future.
    But it doesn’t have to be worst-case.

    I’m in Rhode Island, which — as Dr. Birx mentioned in the daily event last week — sits uncomfortably between 2 earlier hotspots well-ahead of you on the timeline, NY/CT and Boston.

    Scoff-if-you-will at face masks; but where we are right now here — and the NYC “plateau” — validate what Administration MDs have urged all along: Mitigation buys time to brace for the Surge, and CAN lower that Curve.

    Watch Michigan too. Not the 3rd most-populous state, but the 3rd hardest-hit. And that was before gullible claustrophobes massed, unmasked, in their state capital.

    In Europe, which got it before the USA did, relapses have already occasioned some re-closings-after-re-openings.

  10. C M Solomon says:

    How long is it going to take for our Jim Acosta to accept the truth that this debate is about Death by Economic Depression vs. Death by the COVID-19 virus that has a mortality rate that has not been medically verified and there is mounting evidence it may be 1/10th to 1/100th as deadly as earlier predicted? Enough of the FEAR tactics! Most of the country is not packed like sardines as is the New York corridor where subways were NEVER shut down! Dr. Brix’s charts show the vast difference between this corridor and the rest of the country. I’m so tired of the “one size fits all” propaganda of the Tyrannical Left! The Left suffers from a diminished IQ (Integrity Quotient) that gets worse every year, hence the unrelenting BIG LIE syndrome that is their FAITH substitute.

  11. Update: Boston is surging RIGHT NOW.
    NYC sent 400 respirators.

    Watch Georgia: Governor opens a dozen-plus close-contact business categories, AS infection numbers are sloping-UP (measured by inadequate).

  12. C M Solomon says:

    It is a SHAMELESS tactic for the Lemming followers of the Malevolent Media to post death stories that fit their virus FEAR agenda (by keeping the country CLOSED and letting the looming Depression take hold) while completely IGNORING the death stories of the Drug Murders, Drug User Fatalities, the Maiming and Murder by Illegal Aliens, Murder by Early Released Criminals, all of which is a REAL EPIDEMIC (Pandemic?) in Leftist controlled, Democrat Sanctuary Cities and States that PLAGUE the native populations and cost the whole Nation UNNECESSARY death without any GUILT, whatsoever!

    That is why I don’t accept ANY of the propaganda that the Malevolent Media spews upon us and realize that they HATE the Constitution, Liberty, Free Enterprise, Private Property, Guns, and Religious and Speech Rights. On the other hand, they LOVE Tyranny and IMPORTED CRIME thru open borders, as long as their disciples are in charge. This is the genuine Domestic Political War against our Founding that we must DEFEAT. The Leftist Enemy has finally dropped the “Mask of Deception” during this pandemic as they EXCUSE “Made in China” and the China bought “WHO” at every opportunity, while cursing Trump.

    • So…what are you saying?

      JUST kidding.

      It’s reasonable to discount overstatement in Social Media as cathartic for Americans-who-complain-about-being “Forgotten.” Knock your socks off.

      Still, the anger watermark here seems lots higher than the tone we hear on KTBB, where supportive messages like “We’re all in this together” and “Spread the word, not the virus” mirror the kinder/gentler tone that’s ALL over TV now.

      Even the commercials on beloved Fox News show us the new kindness of strangers-helping-strangers.

      And the Fox Radio newscasts we hear don’t spare us the sad details you protest seeing here.

      What we’re witnessing is God’s will. What we do about it tests our Faith.

      If, even now, your solution is hollering about politics, please do so through a mask. You won’t be able to when intubated.

    • C M Solomon says:

      A weak Teflon response is always proof that one has hit the bull’s-eye, particularly when points based on reality have been made and unanswered.

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