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last off topic, sorry....

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Sorry, but this is just silly. With all due respect Bill, you WAY oversimplify things, then make invalid points. I don't want to start an argument, but people make valid points on this list about global economics and its impact on us. You obviously believe in laissez faire, point taken. But making writing one line quibs and cliches does not substantiate that argument. And I am not really even so sure you are wrong or that I disagree with your basic ideas. I am only disagreeing with how you are presenting your ideas, and your arguments.
Case in point:  That Kroger store employs your neighborhood people. Most of that food is made in the US. US workers process and deliver it, save for that foreign bottle of wine or french cheese or freedom brie or whatever... Lots of people on this list have made lots of money designing supermarkets and other commercial buildings. Money spent here in the US is going round and round in the US. Local money comes back into your pockets via the design work you get for the facilities and buildings those people use. I got my first real job at a supermarket and it made me want to go to college and be an engineer really bad. I saved money to go to college with that job. As an engineer, I then did design for that same grocery store chain. I have shopped at that grocery store chain my whole adult life. Some high school kid is doing what I did right now, with the buck from my wallet. Some of those kids may go to a school I designed, or use another building I designed. They spend money at businesses that may need to expand and build new facilities. They created a demand here in my community for my services. It is all cyclical, especially when looking on a local (micro level). And we all play by basically the same economic rules here in the US.
Conversely, we buy goods from China. Goods made artificially low due to their lack of human rights, labor laws, OSHA, environmental laws, and their money inflation (and who knows what else). It is not a fair playing field. I have much less of a problem buying quality goods made in Japan where my impression is they are more on the same level playing field as us (I may be way off). Chinese do not buy much from us in the form of goods and services. Maybe with that 2 bucks a day they get making our shoes and TVs they will one day buy a mini-van, SUV, or a jet airliner, or whateverthehell it is the US still makes. Applesauce. Maple syrup. Also, all that extra buying power is driving up our fuel prices, steel and cement prices, and eventually, anything in the global marketplace. Supply and demand, ain't it a b*tch sometimes!
Now if you really want to argue you would say that we are paying artificially high prices on those grocery items due to farm subsidies. Or you could mention how cheap our fruits and veggies are thanks to are very hard working and often illegal brothers to the south. That is why I say global economics is so dang complicated of an issue it is better left off this list. But then I just broke that rule twice in one night, so shame on me... :)

Christopher Wright wrote:

> We're still carrying record trade deficits, and the largest is with
> China.

I carry a trade deficit with my local Kroger store.

I spend THOUSANDS in that place EVERY YEAR, and they haven't bought ONE
PENNY'S worth of goods or services from me!

There oughta be a law, eh?

Bill Polhemus, P.E.