There’s no need for the government to invest in the future.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 @ 11:50 pm | Politics

It would seem to be an essential function of any government- looking forward and realizing that the government can make certain investments in the future that pay dividends later:

A generation after Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping made mastering neodymium and 16 other elements known as rare earths a priority, China dominates the market, with far-reaching effects ranging from global trade friction to U.S. job losses and threats to national security.

The U.S. handed its main economic rival power to dictate access to these building blocks of modern weapons by ceding control of prices and supply, according to dozens of interviews with industry executives, congressional leaders and policy experts. China in July reduced rare-earth export quotas for the rest of the year by 72 percent, sending prices up more than sixfold for some elements.

While China is loaning us money, it’s building a country of the future and kicking our ass, using big government to smack us over the head with big capitalism. Somehow, I don’t think the Tea Party is really speaking to me about specific kinds of problems like these. After all, Republicans are busy making sure offshore jobs continue to replace American ones.

Just how far U.S. manufacturing has waned is apparent at a factory in Valparaiso, Indiana, where dogs skitter across a bare concrete shop floor, their nails clicking. This brick plant on Elm Street once made 80 percent of the rare-earth magnets in laser-guided U.S. smart bombs, according to U.S. Senator Evan Bayh, a Democrat from Indiana. In 2003, the plant’s owner shifted work to China, costing 230 jobs.

Outsourcing national security for a quick buck. Victory for the Invisible Hand of the Market!

-hw

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