What have we done to ourselves?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by JimB51, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. JimB51

    JimB51 Member

    John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock

    (MADE IN JAPAN ) for 6 am.

    While his coffeepot


    was perking, he shaved with his

    electric razor


    He put on a

    dress shirt


    designer jeans



    tennis shoes


    After cooking his breakfast in his new

    electric skillet


    he sat down with his



    to see how much he could spend today. After setting his



    to the radio


    he got in his car


    filled it with GAS

    (from Saudi Arabia )

    and continued his search

    for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

    At the end of yet another discouraging

    and fruitless day

    checking his


    (made in MALAYSIA ),

    John decided to relax for a while.

    He put on his sandals


    poured himself a glass of



    and turned on his



    and then wondered why he can't

    find a good paying job

    in AMERICA
  2. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What is really sad is that most of the innovation has come from the U.S. but we don't make anything any more. We invent and refine products, only to hand them off to be made cheaply elsewhere.

    The biggest problem is our huge deficit spending. We have to borrow money from China and Japan. Our hunger for cheap crap to fill our lives makes them fat with our money, which they turn around and loan to us to cover our spending habits.

    In 1985, one of my college profs predicted just what has happened in our economy and in the world. He said we were living in a house of cards.

    Love, Mikie
  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Many if not most of our medications are made in China and elsewhere...

    talk about a real chokehold!
    excerpts from

    Updated Monday, June 18, 2007 0:00 am TWN, By Marc Kaufman
    WASHINGTON, The Washington Post:

    Quality-control slim on imported medications

    India and China, countries where the Food and Drug Administration rarely conducts quality-control inspections, have become major suppliers of low-cost drugs and drug ingredients to American consumers. Analysts say their products are becoming pervasive in the generic and over-the-counter marketplace.

    Companies based in India were bit players in the American drug market 10 years ago, selling just eight generic drugs here. Today, almost 350 varieties and strengths of antidepressants, heart medicines, antibiotics and other drugs purchased by American consumers are made by Indian manufacturers.

    Five years ago, Chinese drugmakers exported about US$300 million worth of products to the United States. Eager to meet Americans’ demand for lower-cost medicines, they, too, have expanded rapidly. Last year, they sold more than US$675 million in pharmaceutical ingredients and products in the U.S. market.

    Over the past seven years, however, the FDA conducted roughly 200 inspections of plants in India and China, and only a few were the kind that U.S. firms face regularly to ensure that the drugs they make are of high quality.

    The agency, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of drugs for Americans wherever they are manufactured, made 1,222 of these quality-assurance inspections in the United States last year. In India, which has more plants making drugs and drug ingredients for American consumers than any other foreign nation, it conducted a handful.

    After the pet food scandal that triggered widespread fears over the safety of human and animal foods imported from China, experts say medicines from that country and from India pose a similar risk of being contaminated, counterfeit or simply understrength and ineffective.

    “As the manufacturing goes to China and India, the risk to human health is growing exponentially,” said Brant Zell, past president of the Bulk Pharmaceuticals Task Force, which represents American drug-ingredient makers that filed a citizen’s petition with the FDA last year asking the agency to oversee foreign firms more aggressively.

    “The low level there” of follow-up inspections, “combined with the huge amount of importing, greatly increases the potential that consumers will get products that have impurities or ineffective ingredients,” he said.

    FDA officials say that they are not aware of any health problems caused by drugs imported from India or China, and that the American companies that import them usually do their own quality and safety testing.

    But the agency acknowledges that it is virtually impossible to know whether poor-quality or contaminated drugs from lightly regulated Asian plants have caused patients to get sicker or remain ill, especially because patients or doctors are unlikely to suspect poorly manufactured drugs as a problem. What is clear is that the odds are growing rapidly that the contents of an American medicine cabinet will hold products from those two countries.

    Analysts estimate that as much as 20 percent of finished generic and over-the-counter drugs, and more than 40 percent of the active ingredients for pills made here, come from India and China. Within 15 years, they predict, as much as 80 percent of the key ingredients will come from those countries — which are quickly becoming attractive to brand name drug makers, too.

    William Hubbard, a former FDA associate commissioner, called the situation dire and deteriorating.

    “You have this confluence of events, with so much more product coming from abroad and fewer and fewer inspections,” Hubbard said....
    He also said that the FDA inspection system is so weak that many foreign manufacturers believe they “can play games without consequences.”

    Hubbard and other experts agree that many Indian and Chinese drugmakers are high-quality firms that provide products at a fraction of the cost charged by American and European manufacturers. But, they add, Indian and Chinese companies are not only new to the FDA standards, but they also come from nations that have recent histories of widespread drug counterfeiting, lax quality control and very limited government regulation.

    The former head of the Chinese drug and food safety agency, for instance, was recently sentenced to death for taking bribes from companies he regulated, and two major Indian companies received warning letters from the FDA in the past two years over serious infractions involving drug quality control.

    Private inspectors hired by American companies to check out foreign plants report finding very good ones but also some without walls that are open to dust and pests, chemical equipment crowded in ways that could lead to cross-contamination, and one plant that had a hornet’s nest atop a drugmaking vat.

    Now that's really scary...

  4. victoria

    victoria New Member

    talking about imports/exports, of course the US's major export is music & movies...

    I'm listening to a 'French' music station on satellite broadcasting ... every other song practically is in English! I remember when I visited Paris in early 2000, almost all the young people in Paris spoke English. One told me it was a law that 60% of broadcast music had to originate from French artists, or it would almost all be in English. Wonder if the same is true of movies.

    (Of course, France has also passed laws to try to keep their language 'French" and not have so many English words incorporate into it.)

    "He who builds a better mousetrap these days runs into material shortages, patent-infringement suits, work stoppages, collusive bidding, discount discrimination--and taxes."
    - H. E. Martz

    [This Message was Edited on 07/10/2009]
  5. JimB51

    JimB51 Member

    The U.S. major exports are movies and music? WHAT??

    Not Cars, not steel, not manufactured products??

    Music and movies (which are mostly Trash) are just luxury items - NOT NECESSITIES!
    WE don't make things that the world NEEDS anymore .. (what DO we make??)

    They just need our 1. MONEY ..that they receive when we purchase Their products
    and 2. Our INNOVATION ..so they can KEEP making new products to sell us.

    Are we THAT dumb now? They'll probably start telling 'American Jokes' like ...
    "How many Americans does it take to screw in a light bulb" ?

    It seems that most of our jobs are now Service Jobs - Nursing, mechanics, food service, civil service etc etc ... and sales (to sell THEIR products).
    We don't build things to Export ... things that will bring money INTO our economy.

    My elderly room mate unintentionally made me laugh the other day when he commented
    " seems like all we do now is serve hamburgers to each other".

    (lol) Ya, ... seems that way! Jim

  6. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    export our mindless adoration of celebrities, a good many of whom are less
    than admirable people. But I guess that's cultural rather than industrial.

    When I was a kid I had a toy gun made outta metal. I think my dad ran
    over it or something. Anyway the trigger was made of a piece of rolled
    up metal. When the gun was crushed, I could see the paper still stuck
    on the metal. It said, SPAM!

    This was post WWII. The destitute and desperate Japanese were raiding trash
    dumps for raw materials.

    In those days the dollar was the envy of the world and "Made in America"
    was a proud statement. We were the greatest industrial and military power
    on Earth.

    A few years ago, my 86 year old mother said, "We have given our
    country away."

    BTW, if you want to buy American, I read a couple years ago that we have treaties
    that allow some countries to put Made in American labels on stuff they export to us.
    I tried to find more info on the net, but couldn't do it.

    One site suggested it pertained to NAFTA and Most favored nation status. All very
    gloomy. The first democracy and the first country to have a middle class where the
    top 2% didn't control all the wealth, now has a shrinking middle class and a country
    that had the govt. obtaining ownership in private businesses. This is the definition
    of socialism.

  7. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    We (USA) are still the greatest military power on earth! Of course, a lot of military equipment is made in other countries. In Iraq esp., the army even seems to be out sourcing potato peeling nowadays.

    A lot of the American corporations have gone international and probably think of America as a regional market rather than a country. Just a place that has tedious tax laws to be avoided and a bunch of poorly paid politicians that have a desperate need to be lobbied and given donations.

    I don't mind treaties like NAFTA if the playing field really were level. But in reality, seems that an awful lot of pollution and exploitation in competing countries.

    Oh,well. Time to watch another entertainer's memorial, and then go to the collaseum(sp?) to see another circus. Thank goodness I took my prozac today. Sigh, Your mr Bill

    Oh, I don't know why everyone is always complaining about the American educational system. The schools are very responsive to the needs of business and industry. Apparently, America needs hamburger servers and consumers, and the schools are doing an excellent job.

    [<i>This Message was Edited on 07/11/2009</i>]
    [<i>This Message was Edited on 07/11/2009</i>]
    [This Message was Edited on 07/11/2009]
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is the stuff we import from China. People and pets have died from their products. Of course, we have had our own food poisoning incidents from products made, or grown, right here. Here in FL, we have lawsuits from the Chinese drywall. It smells like rotten eggs because it emits sulpher. That comes into contact with humidity and forms sulpheric acid which eats the coils in air conditioners and copper plumbing. It also tarnishes jewelry and makes people living in the houses sick. Who knows what's in the crap made in China?

    Our only hope is to stop the spending and borrowing, stop our addiction to cheap crap made elsewhere, and find things to make which we, and the rest of the world, need. We have become totally dependent on what used to be third-world nations and, in turn, have basically become a third-world nation ourselves.

    My old prof was right.

    Love, Mikie
  9. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Since going thru the process deciding what to eliminate 2X in the past year (once to decide what to store for the future, last winter what to ultimately move to Mexico), I found that there really wasn't much I couldn't live without (tho I did bring a few things).

    Since being here & despite my love of ethnic crafts, I've only actually bought one handmade/painted pot from someone on the street for about $3.50 USD! I don't know why, I just don't have the desire or 'need' for more 'stuff'. (It helped that my daughter was able to take some things I hated to see go but couldn't take, and almost all of it was actually things passed down from my grandmother & mother. I either gave away/had someone sell the rest on eBay.)

    I'm beginning to think I went thru a spiritual experience getting rid of things I didn't use anyway. Just glad I was able to hang onto some things so my kids were old enough to take some!

    In the meantime, a friend's spiritual experience is 'creating a lot of money' for herself and family; she's doing pretty well at it too. I am happy for her... but happily don't feel like I 'have less' even tho I do. LOL.

    In the government's eyes, I guess she's being 'patriotic' and I'm not, however!

  10. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I keep trying to simplify. These project have slowed me down when it comes to getting rid of things. I still have some of Mom's things which I really need to sell. I gave the girls the choice of her jewelry. I kept some. Mom had some collectibles which we don't want. With the economy as it is, I doubt many people are collecting. Oh well. I really don't have time for e-Bay.

    As I simplify, it is really a spiritual experience. I just took a big load of stuff out to Habitat For Humanity. It's great because they not only take the usual thrift shop donations, but they also take my old light fixtures, faucets, etc. Goodwill doesn't want that. I have a ton of clothes I no longer wear. A lot are business clothes. I gave away a bunch but need to give away more. I wear my uniforms to work and nothing but shorts, capri pants, tee shirts and sandals when I'm off. Doesn't cost much to live where it's hot, does it?

    Lately, I've mostly spent money on redoing the baths. If I ever do want to sell, at least, the place will be updated and likely to sell faster than one which hasn't. The market here is still depressed but the inventories are dwindling. Some say this free-for-all bargain buying will create a new housing bubble in FL. Oy! Right now, prices are about where they were when I moved in.

    One blessing from this whole mess is that it is no longer considered good form to flaunt wealth. Even those who still have some money are making do and enjoying finding bargains. I hope we will start to be happy with less.

    Love, Mikie