China’s Manufacturing Prowess Has Me Worried


Sunday is Flag Day, so I am going to take the opportunity to spout off about America. I’ll use firsthand knowledge, instead of bothering myself with research or facts. I’ll give you my opinion, which, no matter how wrong it is, is still protected by the fabulous First Amendment.

I am also going to spout off about China, a country about which I know next to nothing, but about which I get to speak freely, again, due to the First Amendment.

This sudden patriotism all came about because on Saturday, I was going through a pile of Boy Scout badges at a yard sale and, on the back of one of them, I saw a “Made in China” sticker. This gave me pause. Really? Even the Boy Scouts of America get their gear from China? I wondered if there was a badge for that — “International Commerce” or something.

I further wondered if police badges are made in China… if a four-star general gets his stars from China… and if the president’s red telephone was manufactured in China.

Assuming that all those things are imported from China, what’s to stop the Chinese from making up a couple of extra police badges to sell on eBay, from pounding out a few extra stars for their favorite candidate for general or from bugging the high-security phone during assembly?

“You are so paranoid!” some would say.

And I would retort, “I was there when Kennedy was shot, when Watergate happened and when WikiLeaks was leaked!” (Again, “firsthand knowledge” gleaned straight from television.) “I have the right to be paranoid!”

Anyway, I’m not paranoid about the Chinese. I have to admire them. They had a natural resource — 1.4 billion people — and they made that resource work for them. Literally.

Plus, it’s not all bad. Yes, we don’t manufacture much anymore, nor do we even have the machines to manufacture anymore, but there is a silver lining for America. I shared this cheerful information with my husband Mark as I hung our Chinese-made flag from the front porch.

“While China is busily depleting its natural resources to make everything that every country in the world uses, our own natural resources are slowly replenishing themselves, right?” I asked. “Trees are growing, iron ore is hardening and oily puddles formerly known as dinosaurs are being left alone to pool.”

“Wrong,” he said. “We export all those things in large quantities to China.”

“But at really high prices, huh?”

He shrugged.

“But what about supply and demand?”

He shrugged again.

And that, my fellow Americans, is the difference between us and China: China never shrugs.