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China's 'State Capitalism' Sparks a Global Backlash
WSJ ^ | 16 Nov 2010 | JASON DEAN, ANDREW BROWNE And SHAI OSTER

Posted on 11/16/2010 3:59:14 AM PST by Palter

Since the end of the Cold War, the world's powers have generally agreed on the wisdom of letting market competition—more than government planning—shape economic outcomes. China's national economic strategy is disrupting that consensus, and a look at the ascent of solar-energy magnate Zhu Gongshan explains why.

A shortage of polycrystalline silicon—the main raw material for solar panels—was threatening China's burgeoning solar-energy industry in 2007. Polysilicon prices soared, hitting $450 a kilogram in 2008, up tenfold in a year. Foreign companies dominated production and were passing those high costs onto China.

Beijing's response was swift: development of domestic polysilicon supplies was declared a national priority. Money poured in to manufacturers from state-owned companies and banks; local governments expedited approvals for new plants.

In the West, polysilicon plants take years to build, requiring lengthy approvals. Mr. Zhu, an entrepreneur who raised $1 billion for a plant, started production within 15 months. In just a few years, he created one of the world's biggest polysilicon makers, GCL-Poly Energy Holding Ltd. China's sovereign-wealth fund bought 20% of GCL-Poly for $710 million. Today, China makes about a quarter of the world's polysilicon and controls roughly half the global market for finished solar-power equipment.

Western anger with China has focused on Beijing's cheap-currency policy; President Obama blasted the practice at the G-20 summit in Seoul last weekend. Mr. Zhu's sprint to the top points to a deeper issue: China's national economic strategy is detailed and multifaceted, and it is challenging the U.S. and other powers on a number of fronts.

Central to China's approach are policies that champion state-owned firms and other so-called national champions, seek aggressively to obtain advanced technology, and manage its exchange rate to benefit exporters.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: bureaucracy; china; communist; economy; polysilicon; regulations; solar; technology; thewsj; trade; wsj
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1 posted on 11/16/2010 3:59:16 AM PST by Palter
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To: Palter
In the West, polysilicon plants take years to build, requiring lengthy approvals. Mr. Zhu, an entrepreneur who raised $1 billion for a plant, started production within 15 months.

This is an argument for less red tape, not more government control. The WSJ actually ran this?
2 posted on 11/16/2010 4:01:50 AM PST by Terpfen (Buh-bye, Suntan Charlie.)
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To: Terpfen
The WSJ actually ran this?

No doubt.


3 posted on 11/16/2010 4:03:40 AM PST by Palter (If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it. ~ Mark Twain)
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To: Palter

Hmmm..... If I read this right, the Chicaps are promoting business whereas the Amerarxists are destroying it.

Have you disparaged an enviro today? a lawyer? a unionist?


4 posted on 11/16/2010 4:06:39 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: Palter

We are at war with China. The war is fought with currency policy and corporate espionage.


5 posted on 11/16/2010 4:08:53 AM PST by TigerClaws
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To: Toddsterpatriot; Mase; expat_panama; Terpfen
Good read. The comments might promise to be entertaining.

The WSJ ran this? [chuckle]

6 posted on 11/16/2010 4:11:20 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Terpfen

This is an argument for less red tape, not more government control.


I agree. Eventually, the Bureaucrats will guess wrong—in big ways. This happened in Japan too. Command and Control economies do not have a good track record.


7 posted on 11/16/2010 4:12:58 AM PST by rbg81 (When you see Obama, shout: "DO YOUR JOB!!")
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To: bert

Have you disparaged an enviro today? a lawyer? a unionist?


That IS one huge thing the Chinese have going for them. They don’t tolerate this nonsense, like we do in the West. I suspect that look at how these people tie us up in knots and laugh their a$$es off.


8 posted on 11/16/2010 4:14:59 AM PST by rbg81 (When you see Obama, shout: "DO YOUR JOB!!")
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To: Palter
Western anger with China has focused on Beijing's cheap-currency policy

I'd be angrier with Obama for doubling the money base and devaluing the dollar.

9 posted on 11/16/2010 4:20:43 AM PST by agere_contra (...what if we won't eat the dog food?)
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To: Palter

At some point the Fed shave to decide if they want to grow up...the Chinese are going to school us...


10 posted on 11/16/2010 4:21:07 AM PST by mo
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To: bert

The Chi-Coms are not burdened by all the various government agencies and unions. They can run rings around us.


11 posted on 11/16/2010 4:29:43 AM PST by screaminsunshine (Americanism vs Communism)
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To: rbg81

Exactly. True they are killing us on the labor charges but that gap is being closed more rapidly than most know. The second biggest gap is their time to product. I can get machined parts made for prototyping design projects in far less time, including the shipping than I can here locally. Since I use parametric 3D Cad to develop my parts, all I needed to do is send the file or even my own g-code via e-mail and most often it is on the mill the next day or two.

If I take the same part to most local shops, they look at me like I have two heads. They have to re-create the coding manually for their antiquated input systems and generally they want weeks instead of days to do the same job, at twice to four times the cost.

True that the Chinese invested heavily in modern equipment, but it is like the mindset of a blacksmith in the 1800’s versus the 1920’s. Keep living in the 1800’s and that is where you will stay. Additionally, what is the labor cost of having to be dealing with all of the red tape of government intrusion and roadblocks to easily keep up? That is our true impediment to actually competing with them.


12 posted on 11/16/2010 4:31:21 AM PST by mazda77 (Mike Hogan - JAX Mayor)
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To: Terpfen

Huh. Close our market to those Commies. Export Liberalism and import capitalism. $$$=(-L)+(-T) when L=Liberalism and T=Taxes.


13 posted on 11/16/2010 4:33:30 AM PST by screaminsunshine (Americanism vs Communism)
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To: Palter
China's strategy echoes the policies Japan employed in its economic rise—policies that also rankled the U.S. But China's sheer scale—its population is 10 times Japan's—makes it a more formidable threat. Also, its willingness in recent decades to open some industries to foreign firms makes its market far more important for global business than Japan's ever was, giving Beijing much greater leverage.

No one should be surprised. It's the proven Asian model for economic growth: gain maximum access to US and other major markets, allow minimum possible access to the home Asian market, and lure western plants and jobs with cheap labor and lax regulation. Then copy and steal as much technology and know how as possible to use in domestic industries. - And develop huge trade surpluses with western nations and accumulate vast cash reserves.

And sit back and watch the ever gullible (or profiteering) westerners pretend that it really is free trade.

This article really imparts no new information, other than to say China is doing what Japan did, only on a much larger scale.

14 posted on 11/16/2010 4:34:24 AM PST by Will88
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To: Palter
One of Beijing's most important goals: wean China off expensive foreign technology.

One sentence that tells all. China has no intention of opening its markets, or narrowing it huge trade surpluses with the west. They plan to bring foreign companies and technology into China as the price for some limited market access, then copy and steal until they can produce what they want domestically.

The process is working wonderfully (for China), and the same vast network of enablers and profiteers and apologists (and the clueless) in the West continues to give them cover with their constant babble about free trade and open markets (which the Chinese have no intention of ever allowing).

15 posted on 11/16/2010 4:51:03 AM PST by Will88
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To: bert

Oddly enough, China sees to it that business is done in China. We’d use taxpayer dollars to build the same plant in another country.


16 posted on 11/16/2010 5:12:16 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Will88
...then copy and steal until they can produce what they want domestically.

And, of course, sell the finished products back to us cheaper, thereby putting U.S. companies out of business, because our government won't protect our markets from that behavior.

17 posted on 11/16/2010 5:17:47 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: Palter

Our Left loves government control of everything, but the problem is that government is dominated by a bunch of clowns who have never run anything but their mouths.
If we want a controlled economy, we should turn it over to the Chinese Communists who at least are super-efficient. (By the way, they are also foresighted and are buying up every kind of raw material in Africa and Asia and South America, while we suck our thumbs and let the EPA keep us from developing the resources we have.)


18 posted on 11/16/2010 5:26:18 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: Palter
'State Capitalism'

Also known as "fascism."

It's been obvious for more than a decade that China was transitioning from being a communist state into becoming a fascist superstate. And that's just what they are.

19 posted on 11/16/2010 5:36:04 AM PST by EternalVigilance (Without checks and balances, why are you surprised that the courts are capsizing the ship of state?)
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To: 1rudeboy
"...anger with China has focused on Beijing's cheap-currency policy..."

We're hearing US dollars buying too many yuan is bad for America while a weakening dollar that buys fewer yuan is also bad.  Some people really love this 'bad for Ameirca' shtick.

20 posted on 11/16/2010 5:41:50 AM PST by expat_panama
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To: expat_panama
I'm with Heritage on this one: when China finally revalues its currency to whatever level U.S. politicians find is appropriate (think about that for a minute--a recipe for success!), it won't accomplish anything the politicians claim will happen.

We focus on currency because the Dems can "sell" it to their economically illiterate voters. In reality, our politicians (of both parties) don't have the balls to do what will actually work.

21 posted on 11/16/2010 5:52:31 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: Terpfen

face it, the real reason he are starting to fall behind in so many areas is because the government and the environmental nazi’s wont let us build anything.


22 posted on 11/16/2010 6:01:00 AM PST by TexasFreeper2009 (Obama = Epic Fail)
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To: TigerClaws
Nope we are at war with our own statists and control freaks.

In the West, polysilicon plants take years to build, requiring lengthy approvals. Mr. Zhu, an entrepreneur who raised $1 billion for a plant, started production within 15 months.

That's started production, not built his plant.

China's national economic strategy is detailed and multifaceted, and it is challenging the U.S. and other powers on a number of fronts.

China's policy seems to be let's do it, let's build.

Ours is BANANAs - Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything

23 posted on 11/16/2010 6:10:23 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Wolfie
And, of course, sell the finished products back to us cheaper, thereby putting U.S. companies out of business, because our government won't protect our markets from that behavior.

The Vitamin C story is very instructive:

China and Vitamin C

And, of course, prices began to rise after China captured most of the market for Vitamin C. And US enablers still require no country of origin information on vitamins, something many Americans would prefer to have.

24 posted on 11/16/2010 6:26:24 AM PST by Will88
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To: 1rudeboy
LOL!! That's what's great about moron voters is that it's so easy to convince them that their team got the job done.

Obama closed gitmo, ended the fighting in Iraq, made healthcare free...

25 posted on 11/16/2010 6:26:33 AM PST by expat_panama
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To: Palter

and our elites envy them so much you can see the tips of their hair turning green...imagine being able to push a button and get the economy/society to do whatever you want it to do?


26 posted on 11/16/2010 6:36:17 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: 1010RD

you can expect to wait 5-6 years to start production in my little corner of Florida. You will also need several permits from several different agencies. The worst - St. John’s River water management district legally has 30 days to review your app - i think it’s 30, it may be 90 - and if they find one little thing wrong with it, they will reject it and you will need to resubmit and then the clock starts over. The project we just finished had 3 such go-arounds with those fatcat bureaucrats...and it miraculously took the full maximum legally permitted amount of time each time they reviewed the permit app...


27 posted on 11/16/2010 6:37:10 AM PST by stefanbatory (Insert witty tagline here)
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To: 1010RD
In the West, polysilicon plants take years to build, requiring lengthy approvals. Mr. Zhu, an entrepreneur who raised $1 billion for a plant, started production within 15 months.

But what is the more common situation in the US: companies which want to built new plants in the US, but can't because of government delays. Or companies that have shut down existing plants and moved production to cheap labor nations with lax regulations?

I know of many empty plants within miles of where I live. Haven't heard of any new plants which can't be built because of government delays.

28 posted on 11/16/2010 6:45:24 AM PST by Will88
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To: Will88; stefanbatory

See this post: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2627848/posts?page=27#27

Call your chamber of commerce and ask them.

It isn’t low pricing, but taxes, lawsuits and bureaucracies driving businesses overseas.

Call any developer and ask them about zoning.

Call any general contractor or tradesman and ask them about licensing and permitting.


29 posted on 11/16/2010 6:50:29 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: expat_panama
We're hearing US dollars buying too many yuan is bad for America while a weakening dollar that buys fewer yuan is also bad. Some people really love this 'bad for Ameirca' shtick.

If I understand this correctly, China floats their currency so it makes the Yuan stronger and their exports more expensive. Wouldn't that then lower the cost of inputs into their economy? Since China's inputs and exports, at least the last time I checked, are about equal, how does this do anything the politicians say it will?

30 posted on 11/16/2010 7:01:28 AM PST by Mase (Save me from the people who would save me from myself!)
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To: Mase

The only thing here that’s consistent is that politicians are spewing nonsense and moron’s are screaming “ain’t it awful”. Our job is to keep the positions and their morons from reaching into our pockets.


31 posted on 11/16/2010 7:13:45 AM PST by expat_panama
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To: 1010RD

It’s easy to see that many prefer to attribute the movement of production to cheap labor nations to everything but cheap labor. But this move has been going on since the 1950s before there were any environmental laws to speak of, and there was no EPA. When a firm can cut its labor cost to less than 5% of what it is in the US, then export back to the US with little or no tariff, the savings are immense for any operation with significant labor costs. The removal of tariffs is the major factor in all of this.

I don’t have to call a Chamber of Commerce. Stories of potential new plants become news as soon as a recruitment prospect is identified. Again, the story is all the existing plants standing empty, not all the new plants which can’t be built due to red tape.

And all those things you mention, businesses must still deal with at the warehouse, distribution and retail level. Producing overseas does not eliminate product liability law suits.

Lol, and you are another who insists that other commenters prove your assertions for you. Why don’t you provide specific examples of all the plants you claim cannot be built due to red tape.


32 posted on 11/16/2010 7:17:52 AM PST by Will88
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To: Will88
Lol, and you are another who insists that other commenters prove your assertions for you. Why don’t you provide specific examples of all the plants you claim cannot be built due to red tape.

You don't have to prove my assertions, just your own.

So far you've established your ignorance on zoning, building, environmental and regulatory law in America.

Why not double down? Opinion's as good as fact.

33 posted on 11/16/2010 7:39:06 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Will88

The US profiteers (nobody does anything for any other reason at that level) don’t want profits impacted by the knowledge that you might be taking China’s latest poison Trojan Horse.


34 posted on 11/16/2010 7:47:05 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: 1010RD
So far you've established your ignorance on zoning, building, environmental and regulatory law in America.

You've proved your ignorance of the history of the loss of US manufacturing jobs and the more recent trend of outsourcing skilled jobs. As I said, the movement of US manufacturing to cheap labor nations preceded the EPA and most of the other more restrictive laws brought about by extreme environmentalists.

Learn something about US/Japan trade in the 1950s and 1960s. Learn something about the Maquiladora program started in the 1960s. That's when the big moves to cheap labor started, well before the EPA. The movement of jobs to cheap labor exactly follows the removal of import tariffs, as with Japan fifty years ago, and as with the Maquiladoras before NAFTA, and after,(also had to reduce tariffs into Mexico in the 1960s, IF the materials were to be reprocessed and exported back to the US).

Like so many on here, you seem to have only begun noting US trade policies very recently. It's a post WWII story, at least, not a story of the past couple of decades.

35 posted on 11/16/2010 8:38:33 AM PST by Will88
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To: Will88

And I will add, and conclude with this. You are greatly exaggerating the negative impact of zoning, environmental and regulatory law as factors in why new industries do not locate in the US.

Every town of any size has an industrial park with land zoned and set aside for new construction of industrial concerns. Mayors and governors travel around the US and the world to lure new industry, offering lavish tax and other incentives that often last twenty or more years. The recruitment by southern states of new auto assembly plants is famous for the incentives offered.

There are ridiculous restrictions on new coal or nuclear plants, and a few other industries, but the welcome mat and the incentives and the zoned property is ready and waiting for a large variety of new industries, throughout the US. And many just don’t want to acknowledge the continuing huge factor that cheap labor still is, and always has been, in the decisions to export and outsource US jobs.


36 posted on 11/16/2010 9:05:42 AM PST by Will88
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To: Will88
It's a post WWII story...

No it isn't. The hunt for cheap labor is the story of the history of the world. For America it began before the Revolution.

Cheap labor isn't the problem with America.

How many businesses have you opened and run?

37 posted on 11/16/2010 10:25:40 AM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: Will88
There are ridiculous restrictions on new coal or nuclear plants, and a few other industries, but the welcome mat and the incentives and the zoned property is ready and waiting for a large variety of new industries, throughout the US.

Just make sure you don't use a gravel road for access!

Federal court upholds EPA's rural dust rule.

38 posted on 11/16/2010 3:24:20 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
Just make sure you don't use a gravel road for access!

Most industrial parks I've noticed are built on paved roads, and the municipalities tend to lay out the interior roads and pave them once the first new industry builds in the park. I don't think a park would attract many industries if they planned to rely on dirt or gravel roads for access.

39 posted on 11/16/2010 3:42:10 PM PST by Will88
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To: 1010RD
A little selective editing on your part, and taking out of context. What I said:

Like so many on here, you seem to have only begun noting US trade policies very recently. It's a post WWII story, at least, not a story of the past couple of decades.

What you chose to bring forward and take out of context:

It's a post WWII story...

And we are clearly discussing US trade policy (including the trade of US jobs for cheap labor and lax regulation) and how the search for cheap labor has influenced that, not the entire world history of the search for labor.

Cheap labor is the major factor that has caused the export of US jobs and the outsourcing of US jobs, beginning in the 1950s.

I've been the controller and on the management team of three different companies in very competitive industries, two in manufacturing.

40 posted on 11/16/2010 3:56:00 PM PST by Will88
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To: Will88
Cheap labor is the major factor that has caused the export of US jobs and the outsourcing of US jobs, beginning in the 1950s.

Define cheap labor for me? What's the trigger point at which labor rates alone cause you to leave America?

Also, what is lax regulation?

41 posted on 11/16/2010 4:32:45 PM PST by 1010RD (First Do No Harm)
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To: 1010RD
Define cheap labor for me? What's the trigger point at which labor rates alone cause you to leave America?

Lol, I guess when a US firm can export jobs to labor that is less than 10%, or even 5% of what was being paid in the US, then that can be defined as cheap labor, very cheap labor. And those reductions were realized in China for years, and can be realized in Vietnam and Cambodia and other poor nations.

The working conditions in China's state owned industries definitely qualify as lax regulations.

But this is a waste of time and you seem to know next to nothing about international labor conditions, so why are you even wasting time in this thread?

No interest in continuing this pointless exchange. And you should ask others on here about lax regulation. Many believe that unreasonable regulation in the US is the main, if not the only reason jobs are exported.

42 posted on 11/16/2010 5:08:39 PM PST by Will88
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To: 1010RD

Here’s an article that will help you learn about cheap labor. The minimum wage in China was recently increased - to almost $200.00 per month. Looks like pay is closer to $210.00 or so in Shanghai. I know it was around $160 a few years back.

http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Asia/Story/STIStory_535474.html

Would you agree that that is cheap labor???

But these unreasonable wage demands in China have already begun to move some plants to Vietnam, Cambodia and other places where pay is more reasonable. China is no longer the rock bottom cheapest.

Google: “China minimum wage” to become even better informed.


43 posted on 11/16/2010 5:20:20 PM PST by Will88
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To: Will88

These Wiki figures look pretty accurate:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country


44 posted on 11/16/2010 5:27:04 PM PST by Will88
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To: Will88

Have you shared your stunning observation with the EPA? In your expert opinion, large operations do not create dust?


45 posted on 11/17/2010 5:17:16 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1010RD
Many believe that unreasonable regulation in the US is the main, if not the only reason jobs are exported.

Because many manufacturing facilities have paved driveways, dontcha' know.

46 posted on 11/17/2010 5:19:17 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy
Have you shared your stunning observation with the EPA? In your expert opinion, large operations do not create dust?

Direct your inane nonsense elsewhere.

47 posted on 11/17/2010 6:09:03 AM PST by Will88
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To: Will88

Just admit you don’t know what the hell you are talking about, and all will be fine.


48 posted on 11/17/2010 6:15:48 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy; Will88

Leave poor Will alone. He still thinks an increased trade deficit leads to an increased budget deficit.


49 posted on 11/17/2010 6:30:27 AM PST by Toddsterpatriot (Math is hard. Harder if you're stupid.)
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To: Toddsterpatriot
Protectionists find regulation does not cost jobs
EPA regulations concerning dust 'just paper,' have no effect on long-term growth

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Citing an internet study that claims manufacturers have paved driveways, advocates of higher wages for workers today claimed . . . .


50 posted on 11/17/2010 6:42:11 AM PST by 1rudeboy
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