Friday, October 6, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Be It Solar Panels, Steel, or Aluminum, Dumping is Unfair Trade. Period.


Dumping, in economic terms, is defined as providing a product at a lower price than the market bears.  Companies, aided often by their country's government, do this to increase their market share by bankrupting their foreign competitors.  The result, long-term, is higher prices for consumers everywhere as competition is artificially thwarted.

Dumping is unfair trade.  It has been often seen and proved in the steel industry.  Aluminum and food products have also been proven to be dumped.

Solar panels now are on that list of proven, dumped products.

A recent U.S. International Trade Commission finding was in favor of U.S. solar panel manufacturers against Chinese dumping of solar panels.  Georgia-based Suniva Solar brought the suit and was joined by others.

The Hill now reports backlash.  "Dump on us," would seem to be the call of a most unusual coalition of right wing and left wing interests.

If this story is to be believed, some environmentalists who favor solar panels fear tariffs that level the playing field in trade will make solar panels less affordable in the U.S.  Subsidies have given solar energy a competitive leg up. They like the subsidies.

If this story is to be believed, these folks have aligned with groups which despise tariffs of any kind on the premise that tariffs are a form of federal subsidies.  They dislike the subsidies.

Both are wrong.

No one should ever say, "Go ahead. Dump on us."  To allow dumping is to permit unfair trade practices that undermine, long-term, domestic manufacturing.

I make no apology for my manufacturing bias.  Be it solar panels, steel, or aluminum, dumping is unfair trade.  Period.

Friday, September 22, 2017

My Snail Mail E-Mail


I got an email with an image of my soon-to-arrive snail mail today.  That's a first.

I signed up recently for the U.S. Postal Service's Informed Delivery Digest.  It promises to send me an electronic image in advance of what I can expect to see in my house's real mail box.

An invite to the upcoming Rotary auction.  A monthly mortgage statement.  My water bill.  A solicitation for something for my youngest daughter.

I signed up for it.  I'm intrigued.  But I'm still trying to figure out the usefulness to me.

However, I see the usefulness to the USPS.  It's strategic.

There's efficiency in there some day.  I can't help but feel that part of the strategy is to build toward a day when delivery isn't every day.  If I know what's coming, I may not be far off from being able to pay to accelerate delivery at a future time when delivery doesn't come to my house every day.

There's a look to the future in there.  I may be able to lighten their load by simply refusing delivery of some junk mail too.  Drone delivery of mail would be cheaper if there's less to deliver.

For now, I'm still subscribing to email and snail mail email.