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off topic global economics...

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Christopher Wright made some excellent points and is obviously a student of history from the quote attached to his email signature. Economics is extremely complicated and I love to read about it but do not pretent to understand global ecnomics enough to write a three line opinion about it on this list that is supposed to just "wrap it all up nice and simple". It is like discussing politics, it is too complicated to be worth even getting into on this list, in my opinion. Not that Christopher did, and not that others should not, do what you want...
 
 But Christopher is right, we should consider the OTHER effects of outsourcing everything, like it leaving us vulnerable if we were involved in hostile situations with major trading partners. However, trade disputes and WWII I don't get it, never heard about that. I thought it was a)  WWI war reparations and a poor economy made Germany vulnerable to fascism and b) Japan was also a militiary dictatorship with a puppet monarch and they had major imperialism on their minds, basically, they wanted that part of the world as their empire. This is super over simplified, and I should not even be bringing it up.
 
We won WWII , from what I got from History Channel and my REQUIRED liberal arts history classes, by outmanufacturing both Japan and Germany, and bombing their manufacturing facilities, and having a pretty good war plan and militiary machine in the first place. War is still waged with fuel and steel, but how much more important would "that computer part" be if many of our components are manufactured overseas? Kinda scary...
 
Guess I should keep this off list... Sorry. But do you do think this is an issue not affecting us, and like the weather or tides we just have to accept it? Remember when the price of steel shot way up and cement was in a large shortage??? That did not effect anyone on this list as an engineer in any way?? We were doing proposals for steel and concrete systems for cost comparisons at my old company.
 
Lastly, not too long ago I saw a show on Discovery or TLC about the world's largest bucket crane digger (or whatever technical name it is really), that was built in my home state of Wisconsin at a cost of $10M+ and took a couple years. They sent it in parts to be assembled over months time on site in a iron ore mine in Minnesota. The mining operator said it was worth the cost because the recent increases in steel prices have made domestic ore even more valuable. I did not even realize much mining for ore was going on here, I thought at this point structural shapes among other things were mostly recycled steel. I do not know whether they are exporting the ore or processing it here.
 
And I am too lazy to research it myself... :)
 
Andrew