It has finally happened. I heard something that the Biden administration might be getting right. I found it in the March 10-16, 2021 edition of the Epoch Times. It has to do with the way in which China is trying to use something called “rare earths” to bring American industry to heal. It seems that China produces 80% of these metals that are necessary for much of the high tech products that are made here. They cut them off from Japan in 2010 and are now threatening us.
Evidently the “rare earths” are not rare. They are plentiful. The only specific element I found mentioned was tungsten. It used to be part of every light bulb in the world, so it is not actually rare. The issue is in separating and refining them. Like so many manufacturing and production industries, this has been driven out of the United States because of EPA regulations. The jobs don’t go to China just because they work for less. They go to China because China has no OSHA or EPA regulations making it either prohibitively expensive or impossible to comply.
Which brings us to the “might be getting right” part of my opening statement. Biden’s handlers see the problem. They are aware of it and have acknowledged it. The problem is the same problem we have in so many areas of our economy: The tail that wags the dog.
“While rare earths are critical to the economic and national security of the United States, it’s unclear whether the Biden administration may promote ramping up domestic production and processing due to environmental challenges.”Rare earths are a part of our life. They are used in rechargable batteries, the ubiquitous electronic gadgets that run our lives, ceramics and jet engines to name just a few things. Our modern way of life depends on them. The question is can we depend on China to supply them?
It seems the decision is up to the current administration.
homo unius libri