Biden’s actions are encouraging supply chain dependencies from foreign sources

President Biden is finally beginning to recognize national security concerns to the American economy by depending on foreign supplies for oil and for the greening of America

By Ronald Stein

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure, Irvine, California

Despite President Biden’s February 24th vocal concerns about America’s growing dependence on unreliable foreign sources for the supply chain of materials and products to support electric cars, pharmaceuticals, hospital supplies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and military hardware, his actions are directly opposite of his vocal concerns, as they are encouraging national security concerns.

Biden has learned very little from the first two countries to go Green, Germany and Australia, as neither countries’ manufacturing sector can compete with China and India, and thus depends on those foreign countries to support their mission to go green. With the Biden administration seeking an increase to the minimum wage to $15 an hour, America is surely not going to be competitive with China or India to manufacture solar panels in America.

Solar panels require “rare-earth” elements which are not currently mined in the U.S.A. Demand for these elements is expected to rise 250-1000 percent by 2050.  America is now 100 percent dependent on imports for some 17 key minerals, and, for another 29, over half of our needs are imported from unreliable foreign sources, introducing tremendous vulnerability to the American economy.

Also, alarming is the fact that about 90 percent of the world’s solar panels are built in Asia on coal-heavy electric grids. In the poorer world, replacing fossil fuels with new intermittent electricity sources like wind and solar power is hard because most people desperately want much more continuous uninterruptible power at lower cost, not fickle power at high cost.

For the push to convert from internal combustion engine vehicles to EV’s, each of those EV batteries weighs in at about 1000 pounds. To produce one battery requires digging up and processing about 500,000 pounds of raw materials such as cadmium, cobalt, lead, lithium, and nickel, all of which are dominated by those unreliable foreign sources for the supply chain.

As the popularity of electric vehicles starts to grow explosively, so does the pile of spent lithium-ion batteries that once powered those cars. Industry analysts predict that by 2020, China alone will generate some 500,000 metric tons of used Li-ion batteries and that by 2030, the worldwide number will hit 2 million metric tons per year.

By the way, estimates are that by 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels, much of its non-recyclable, will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades.

Under the Biden climate plan, America will be discouraging U.S. energy independence, starting with tightening restrictions on fossil fuel development by suspending Federal Oil and Gas Permits, encouraging the shuttering, and halting of further fracking efforts in America, and the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

As a result of the Keystone energy “loss” of Canadian oil to America inflicted by Biden, China just received an unwarranted gift for their industrial and military advantage.  America’s most serious competitor can now look forward to Canada’s oil being sent by truck and rail to the West coast ports, then flowing across the Pacific on tankers, rather than south to the U.S.A. via the safer, cleaner, and more efficient pipeline.

The Democratic platform loves California’s policies and regulations and wants to clone them for the other 49 states. Biden should open his eyes to what is going on in California as California’s dysfunctional energy policies has the state depending on foreign countries for most of its oil, and its residents pay among the highest costs for electricity and fuels in the country.

California continues to encourage dependency on unstable foreign sources for their supply chain for energy demanded by the 5th largest economy in the world as the State  has increased imported crude oil from foreign countries from 5 percent in 1992 to 58 percent today of total consumption. The imported crude oil costs California more than $60 million dollars a day, yes, every day, being paid to oil-rich foreign countries, driving up the cost of energy for all residents while depriving Californians of jobs, careers, and business opportunities.

As much as Biden wants to electrify everything with intermittent electricity, he’s yet to comprehend that intermittent electricity cannot support: 1) commercial aviation, with 23,000 commercial airplanes worldwide that has been accommodating 4 billion passenger annually, 2) Cruise liners, each of which consumes 80,000 gallons of fuels daily, that have been accommodating more than 25 million passengers annually worldwide, 3) The 53,000 merchant ships burning more than 120 million gallons a day of high sulfur bunker fuel (soon to be converted to diesel fuel to reduce sulfur emissions) moving products worldwide worth billions of dollars daily, and 4) The fossil fuel energy needs for the non-nuclear military equipment of aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines, planes, tanks and armor, trucks, troop carriers, and weaponry.

President Biden’ actions are encouraging increases in our dependency on foreign countries on two fronts: 1) for America’s oil needs from unstable foreign sources which is reversing America’s recent achievement for the first time since Harry Truman was president, to finally become energy independent and no longer held hostage to unstable Petro-powers and the vagaries of foreign energy supplies, and 2) for Biden’s plan to electrify everything, America continues to yield market share to China and India for the manufacturing of solar panels, and for their domination of the ‘green’ material supply chains needed to support the construction of wind turbines, solar panels, and EV batteries.

The member countries of OPEC and Russia, and the economies of China and India are appreciative of the actions being implemented with the Biden climate plan.

Ronald Stein, P.E.​

Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure

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March 6, 2021 10:40 pm

If green energy changes driven by now apparently unstoppable populist environmentalism drive increasing international dependency on mineral resources, the USA would do well to tone down its rhetoric against foreign nations which is approaching the level of hysteria and is having the appearance of crossing the line into actual racism. Such sentiment can be self – fulfilling.

paul courtney
Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
March 7, 2021 5:19 am

Mr. Eggburn: “USA rhetoric”? Who’s rhetoric? The Biden Admin supplies “USA rhetoric” now, so far Biden’s “tone” is to kiss CCP tushi. Can you cite to Biden admin comment that approaches hysteria (I mean negative toward China, they get hysterical about alot of other things)? I disagree with your “if” and your “then”.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
March 7, 2021 5:26 am

Yeah, you’re going right to the top of the anti-racist training list to teach you to be less white. That’ll show you how to combat real racism.

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
March 7, 2021 6:39 am

As to rhetoric, you are seeing whatever it is you want to see.
Are you claiming that the US isn’t permitted to criticize other countries, no matter what those other countries do?

Reply to  Hatter Eggburn
March 7, 2021 7:33 am

It takes two to tango. The Donald pointed out that China wasn’t playing fair. Apparently people in both parties have also reached that conclusion.

Ever since the Chinese President assumed office in 2012, he’s engaged in “a more aggressive foreign policy” than his predecessors. For instance, China laid territorial claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, alarming U.S. lawmakers.


Australia, Canada, and Japan have recently been bullied by China. We ignore its aggressive behavior at our peril.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  commieBob
March 7, 2021 2:52 pm

Aw, c’mon man! That’s just a myth.

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 7, 2021 8:16 pm

The Two Michaels beg to differ.

March 6, 2021 10:41 pm

Groucho Marx once said as host of the T.V. program “You Bet Your Life” upon taking his cigar out of his mouth & showing it to a female contestant who introduced herself as a mother of six children: “I may smoke it, but I take it out sometimes.”

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  gringojay
March 6, 2021 11:29 pm

The 4 Horse men of the Apocalypse:
Kamala is famine, a black horse;
Biden is plague, a pale horse.

Obama rides the White Horse (being half-white), Conquest.
Who rides the Red Horse, War, is still uncertain.

Biden’s plague is of course COVID.
Kamala’s energy edicts as President will bring famines.
Obama will ride to rescue as Conquest.
Who is the Red Horse?

Krishna Gans
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 4:19 am

Best “Four Horsemen” ever !

Last edited 1 year ago by Krishna Gans
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 6:42 am

The “red” horse is actually orange.

Reply to  Tom
March 7, 2021 1:30 pm

Building the best economy in 50 years is an apocalypse?

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 7:41 am

Red Horse are those arms companies around Washington, DC.

March 6, 2021 10:44 pm

Depressing. Hard to finish reading this article.

Reply to  rd50
March 6, 2021 11:51 pm

FINISH! I didn’t get past the first paragraph. Now you have me intrigued.

Steve Case
March 6, 2021 10:45 pm

In order to achieve The Great Reset western capitalism has to be destroyed. Biden knows this and is working on it. I can’t/don’t believe that either, but that’s what it looks like.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2021 5:08 am

That would explain a lot, such as transporting illegal immigrants with COVID all over the country via bus and commercial airlines. It’s not just insanity.

Reply to  Scissor
March 7, 2021 5:28 am

No major US city is complete without another Covid wave and increased stress on their social security systems.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2021 7:43 am

Not sure what Biden really knows but those writing his speeches for the screen display know it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2021 11:26 am

Biden gives lip service to promoting voting by “all Americans who are legally entitled to participate in elections,” but then puts up a road block for them to prove they are “legally entitled!”

Last edited 1 year ago by Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 1:32 pm

Biden wants everyone who is legally entitled to vote, to be able to vote.

The problem is, that he wants everyone else to vote as well.

Reply to  Steve Case
March 7, 2021 8:50 pm

Biden is a senile old fart. All he knows is to do what his handlers tell him.

Rory Forbes
March 6, 2021 10:51 pm

President Biden is finally beginning to recognize national security concerns to the American economy by depending on foreign supplies for oil and for the greening of America

Naw, he’s doing no such thing. It’s a struggle for him to recognize his own wife. Quite apart from Trump’s “America First” policy that not only recognized the need, but put into motion; “America’s recent achievement for the first time since Harry Truman was president, to finally become energy independent”, whoever is running the “Biden Administration” is actively trying to destroy the American economy while openly working for its enemies. If Trump had done any of these things he would have been accused of treason.

“We live in interesting times“. I think it’s already past time that you Americans start taking a serious look at what’s really going on in the White House. It’s unlikely if the presidential press secretary, automaton, will be “circling back” with any useful information soon … nor will the MSM hold anyone’s feet to the coals.

Phillip Bratby
March 6, 2021 11:03 pm

President Biden is finally beginning to recognize”.. I didn’t think that Dementia Joe can recognize anything in the world in which his mind lives.

Joel O'Bryan
March 6, 2021 11:22 pm

Dementia Joe is going to get 25th “Amendment-ed” by Kamala in the next few months. The Obama Mafia are still waiting on Merrick Garland to be confirmed as AG at DoJ to fill out the key top positions in Cabinet to invoke Section 4.
Then the real “interesting” stuff starts as Dementia Joe is clearly not capable of carrying out the responsibilities of POTUS. That scares even Democrats.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 12:02 am

She’s most likely already doing much of the heavy lifting behind the scenes … or taking her orders directly from whoever IS in charge. It’s clear that Nancy “Nance” Pelosi is sitting in on O’Biden’s public moments … evidenced by slow-Joe’s gaff when he said, “do I take questions, Nance? If that’s what you want me to do”.

There’s something very dangerous going on with the Executiv Branch of the US government.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Rory Forbes
March 7, 2021 5:16 am

Now that Trump is gone the Deep State (i.e. the Bureaucratic Hegemony) is ascendant. Unelected, unaccountable elites in the BH are bent on bringing America down in order to solidify their own power over all of us.
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 2:10 am

As an outsider looking in ,it appears that the combined intelligence of the American Democratic party has gone so far down it has disappeared, if the boss is a moron the only solution is bankruptcy,

Burgher King
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 7, 2021 8:57 am

Biden/Harris was the weakest team the Democrats ever ran for President and VP. So why did they choose Joe Biden and Kamala Harris?

It’s now clear the Dems had a well-planned scheme going back two or more years for stealing the 2020 election. A key part of their election fraud scheme was to run someone who the Republicans thought could be easily beaten on the issues. The Dem’s scheme worked like a charm because the GOP made no preparations whatsoever for dealing with massive in-your-face vote fraud.

And so the Dems got inside the GOP’s OODA loop with their run-a-dope strategy. The rest is history.

In any case, Biden won’t be 25th-ed. He probably agreed to a scheduled departure date when he took on the assignment of being the Democratic Party’s figurehead 2020 presidential candidate. When the day of his scheduled departure arrives, he will sign a letter of resignation in the morning and be gone that afternoon.

March 6, 2021 11:23 pm

OPEC also appreciates all of Biden’s work. With a US President who welcomes higher oil prices (makes selling the transition away from fossil fuels more palatable) and a US shale industry left in tatters trying to repair bloated balance sheets-OPEC feels embolden to raise oil prices as much as they want. $100 oil could be on the horizon next year.

Serge Wright
March 6, 2021 11:37 pm

A 100% RE target would certainly equate to a 100% dependency on China for many countries, in order to continue supply of the short lifespan panels, turbines and batteries. Of course, this is exactly the outcome wanted by China, so that it can then control energy supply to foreign nations and use that control to hold them to ransom for political and economic purpose.

Reply to  Serge Wright
March 7, 2021 5:30 am

Since renewables don’t make enough energy to replace themselves, as concluded by Google engineers, all the Chinese have to do is sit back and let the rest of the world implode.

March 6, 2021 11:50 pm

Come on man, we live in a global village. We have to look after each other. We have to stop using fossil fuels to a be a good global citizen.

I cannot imagine Biden not spending big to buy Chinese. They did gift him the POTUS. It is their just return.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  RickWill
March 7, 2021 12:05 am

They did gift him the POTUS. It is their just return.

Pity he’s no longer mentally competent enough to appreciate it. His mind is off with the faeries.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
March 7, 2021 8:51 pm

He probably really enjoys sniffing their hair.

March 7, 2021 12:10 am

I think the term “rare-earth” for solar panels is misused. As far as I know gallium is a relatively rare metal but it does not come under the heading “rare-earth”.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  RickWill
March 7, 2021 7:15 am

It is. The most common dopants for crystalline silicon are boron and phosphorus, with gallium lesser used. But all are only in trace amounts.

Reply to  Carlo, Monte
March 7, 2021 9:46 am

GIYF. “Rare earths” is a chemical term for 17 elements, and gallium is not one of them. At the same time, “rare” is not part of the meaning of “rare earth elements”, in other words not all rare earth elements are actually rare. They are just not as concentrated in ores as much as some other metals are, which is why in the 19th century they were considered rare. And while gallium is about as abundant in the crust as lead, it is likewise not found in concentrated form in any useful (mineable) deposits. It’s usually extracted from aluminum ore (it chemically resembles aluminum) and zinc ore.

At any rate, as Monte Carlo(!) says, gallium is not the usual dopant for the usual kinds of solar panels (although it finds use in solar panels on spacecraft), and I’m not sure rare earths are either–perhaps someone can find a definitive reference.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  mcswell
March 7, 2021 11:37 am

See the table of uses:

Apparently RE elements are only used in thin-film PVs, not the commercial siicon-based TVs.

In any event, the use of ‘rare earth’ elements in PVs is rare.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clyde Spencer
Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 3:32 pm

That should be “PVs” not “TVs!”

Thank you Microsquish.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 6:45 pm

Thanks. The wikipedia has an article on thin film PVs; it’s not clear that it’s up to date, but I appears the market share of thin film PVs has been declining, currently (which was 2013…) it was said to be 9% (the rest being the silicon photocells that do not use rare earths). It appears to be a niche market, places where flexibility is needed.

March 7, 2021 12:14 am

Let’s see if the Biden regime will try to ban this pipeline:

Massive galaxies found in the early universe needed a lot of cold gas — a store totaling as much as 100 billion times the mass of our sun.

But where did these early, super-sized galaxies get that much cold gas when they were hemmed in by hotter surroundings?

In a new study, astronomers led by the University of Iowa report direct, observational evidence of streams of cold gas they believe provisioned these early, massive galaxies. They detected cold gas pipelines that knifed through the hot atmosphere in the dark matter halo of an early massive galaxy, supplying the materials for the galaxy to form stars.

Last edited 1 year ago by Hatter Eggburn
March 7, 2021 12:43 am

Oh dear, what a depressing article.
I must say that I have never seen a description of what the world will look like after the Great Reset,, and I don’t think those advocating it have a clue either.
I get the impression that they think that their lives will carry on as before, with a bit of ‘ social justice ‘ taking place which will not disturb their lifestyles. Big Mistake, as they say.
Of course the elites will carry on as before, as I can’t see them reining back their consumption.

Reply to  StephenP
March 7, 2021 6:44 am

Documentaries about life for average citizens during the glory days of the Soviet Union would be a good place to start.

M Courtney
March 7, 2021 1:49 am

By the way, estimates are that by 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels, much of its non-recyclable, will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades.

For a more positive outlook, consider how innovative people are.
If there are lots of rare materials suddenly available in waste materials someone will find a way to extract them and make something useful from them.
At least from the solar panels.

Reply to  M Courtney
March 7, 2021 5:33 am

Not without a greater energy source than the solar panels. You’re just sorta stuck if you don’t have sufficient energy to rebuild your power grid when it starts collapsing.

M Courtney
Reply to  Spetzer86
March 7, 2021 5:46 am

Think you missed the point a bit there.

Reply to  Spetzer86
March 7, 2021 9:48 am

Spetzer, you make no sense: the energy to extract raw materials from solar panels is miniscule compared with the energy produced over the lifetime of those panels.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  mcswell
March 7, 2021 11:49 am

The point you are missing is that there is always an energy cost to obtain raw materials. Sometimes it is actually easier, and cheaper, to obtain it from natural sources than it is to recycle. The whole recycling industry is in turmoil!

Unless recycling is engineered into the product, with its composition identified, and it is made easy to extract, the manual labor and need to avoid contamination with undesirable elements can make recycling expensive and problematic. Hand waving is not a substitute for level-headed analysis.

Ron Long
March 7, 2021 2:09 am

That’s the issue the greenies are just ignoring, changing the point of usage from a country with environmental rules to a country without meaningful rules, actually makes things worse (if you don’t want plant food in the atmosphere and the subsequent greening of the planet). Ronald Stein has some interesting numbers, and any non-senile President, without an alterior motive, would recognize that the rush to greeness is a fools (expensive) journey. But, no, on we go.

George Tetley
Reply to  Ron Long
March 7, 2021 3:36 am

If your I managed our lives as the Democrats manage the country we would be in jail and for sure never ever to be let out,

March 7, 2021 3:47 am

new NASA study shows 10% Greening since 2000 !

Why do these so called “greenies” HATE Green !!


Jim Gorman
March 7, 2021 4:52 am

I don’t understand why the rich and powerful elite are so determined to impoverish the rest of the world. I think of medieval times when the rich and famous had to live behind walls. I’m sure most of the current crop thinks that would be fine, but they apparently don’t recognize that the real reason was not to remain aloof, but for personal protection. Perhaps they don’t understand that doing all this will also destroy their ability to keep accumulating wealth. At some point they too will succumb to the same forces of poverty. You either grow or wither and die. Nothing ever, ever stays the same.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 7, 2021 5:30 am

The federal elite are already living in Fort Pelosi because they are afraid of the people they think they rule.

The first major sector that will spell their doom is agriculture. As fertilizers are banned crop yields will fall substantially and food prices will rise beyond belief. As diesel for tractors, combines, and other ag equipment becomes more and more limited they will be forced to go to battery powered equipment. When those batteries die in the field trying to harvest crops before the fields become inaccessible because of fall rains where will they plug in to recharge? Will they have to leave the fields and drive home every day in order to recharge? Less and less being harvested and higher and higher prices for food. As the electric grid becomes more and more intermittent food deliveries from the ag sector will also become more and more intermittent.

Want to see America’s future? Look at the poor countries in Africa with no electric grid or an unreliable one.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Jim Gorman
March 7, 2021 1:21 pm

The corporate elite who supported Biden and kowtow to the Cancel Culture Marxists are going to see their fortunes destroyed. Big Tech, manufacturing, finance, durable goods, etc. are shrinking. The national debt will be twice the GDP soon. The air is going out of the economy.

Will they see the error of their ways, or will they capitulate into bankruptcy? The walled mansions and private armies are not sufficient to protect their wealth when the system crumbles. The Elites might want to stand up for America instead of against us, because their own necks are in the noose, too.

very old white guy
March 7, 2021 5:39 am

Biden is recognizing nothing. Whoever is in control might give the illusion of being aware but make no mistake the goal is to cripple if not destroy America.

March 7, 2021 5:49 am

There is a reason why rare earth metals are not mined in the United States. Look at the video of a neodymium mine in China, which is needed for the wind farm magnets, and tell me that it is good for the environment. The damage done to the environment to extract these metals would rightfully not be allowed in this country.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Wade
March 7, 2021 7:21 am


I have made this known before at this blog, and I will do it again. There are research efforts underway here in the U.S. to extract REEs from coal and coal ash.

Quote from the article above:

“….Fly ash, produced during the burning of coal, is a fine­-grained solid derived from noncombustible constituents of coal, such as clay minerals and quartz. When coal is burned, REEs are retained and enriched in the fly ash and, as a result, fly ash has long been considered a potential resource for REEs.

The United States has the world’s largest coal reserves and, even though gas-­fired power generation has increased significantly in the last decade, the United States continues to produce vast quantities of fly ash, about half of which is beneficially reused, primarily in construction materials. The remainder is stored, mostly in landfills and impound­ments. Thus, annual fly ash production, combined with fly ash already in stor­age, constitutes a large potential resource….”.


If REEs can be extracted from coal and coal waste in an environmentally sound manner and a cost effective way, it could go a long way towards the U.S. becoming self-sufficient in REEs. It would be ignorant and foolish for the U.S. not to pursue this project….

……which is why it would not surprise me to see the Biden Administration kill it.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Wade
March 7, 2021 7:52 am

Another reason may be that China controls the source of rare earths in the USA.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Wade
March 7, 2021 11:57 am

That isn’t how it has to be done. That is only how it is done in China. RE were formerly mined at Mountain Pass, California.

John Bell
March 7, 2021 5:53 am

Democrat, not Democratic. (they hate democracy, they love hypocrisy)

Reply to  John Bell
March 7, 2021 8:54 pm

No. They love democracy, because democracy is so easy to infiltrate and subvert.

The only reason Trump won in 2016 was because the US is not a democracy. Otherwise Clinton would have faked more than enough votes in California to steal the White House back then.

Bruce Cobb
March 7, 2021 6:05 am

“In order to save the planet, we had to destroy America”. Team Biden/Harris know how to play the Climate Game. Pay lip service to jobs, the poor, workers, and US autonomy and security, all while selling America out to Big Climate, the UN, and ultimately, China. It’s quite a tightrope they walk.

March 7, 2021 6:15 am

Adding it to the study list is not the same thing as doing something about it. You can’t PR your way out of these problems but we know they will try.

March 7, 2021 6:17 am

This is almost as good as the current “hear no inflation, see no inflation” chorus.

March 7, 2021 6:30 am

The OIL WARS are already being replaced by the RARE EARTH WARS, and most Americans are unaware. And even the title below is misleading as the supply chain is likely the reason for the crisis:

Myanmar crisis poses risks to the global rare earth supply chain​-to-global-rare-earth-supply-chain

One could reasonably surmise that the US Intel Community (through a pro-US Myanmar government) was trying to muck with China’s rare earth supply (hence there may be something to the “rigged elections” claim)?

And rare earths are now classified as “strategic asset” by the United States with Myanmar as the #3 supplier:

Europe’s Rare Earth Dependency Dilemma

In 2020, China mined 140,000 tons of rare earths. The United States was a distant second with an output of 38,000 tons, and Burma (Myanmar) was third with 30,000 tons. Europe doesn’t even figure in the list of rare earth producers globally.


And as the Green Movement in the United States won’t take kindly to a rare earth mining boom in the United States, the only option is to destroy the environments of other nations to realize the Green New Deal (off shore the pollution).

The U.S. is Being Forced to Secure Rare Earth Outside of China


And as Myanmar shares a border with China, it is unlikely they will allow it to drift into a US sphere of influence:

China targets rare earth export curbs to hobble US defense industry


Ironically, the Green New Deal is even more lavish and decadent than the fossil fuel economy, as it not only requires us to maintain a fossil fueled backed grid, but requires us to construct superfluous sources of energy, all at the expense of the less fortunate on the planet. But as green energy “feels” good, it must be good.

Another example of Progressive Policies in action in the real world. (lol)

Last edited 1 year ago by Anon
March 7, 2021 7:14 am

The minimum wage thing shouldn’t be ignored but we shouldn’t think that just getting rid of minimum wages will make us very much more competitive. Nobody particularly benefits from a race to the bottom.

The important thing is worker productivity. The reason America became a workers’ paradise is automation. It allows workers to produce value far beyond their wages. It’s why Henry Ford made more money by paying his workers better.

What was the one thing that raised worker productivity? It was cheap reliable energy.

So, whether it realizes it or not, the left has a conundrum. If its obsession with renewables destroys cheap reliable energy, productivity will plummet. That means the real wages of workers will plummet. Everyone will be much worse off and the minimum wage will be lipstick on a pig.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
March 7, 2021 12:01 pm

The workers most impacted by the minimum wage are service workers, particularly in the food industry. Yes, it can be automated, if you want to buy your food while dining out, from vending machines.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 1:52 pm

Thomas Sowell points out that minimum wage laws have had a perverse and negative effect. I often find myself disagreeing with Sowell on things but, in this case, I’m unwilling to dismiss his main point without spending a lot of time thinking about it.

What kinds of things do I disagree with Sowell about? Here’s an example.

In short, no one is employable or unemployable absolutely, but only relative to a given pay scale.

What about McNamara’s Morons. There are actually people you don’t want working for you even if they are willing to work for free. An increasing number of people are unable to cope with our more and more complicated workplaces. That’s a big problem. As far as I can tell, neither the left nor the right has a good answer for that one.

re. vending machines. You order from McDonalds using a phone app. You drive over and they bring your order out to the car. You don’t even have to stuff coins into a slot. Could they automate it to the point where zero employees are needed? In theory, I don’t see why not. Right now the cost of doing that is prohibitive.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 2:21 pm

It won’t matter what you want or don’t want For many people, vending machines will be the only form of eating out that they will be able to afford.

Beyond that, there are many types of food service that can be automated short of vending machines.

A few years ago, there was an article on WUWT about a fully automated machine for making hamburgers. You put meat, condiments and vegetables in one end, and a fully cooked burger, cooked to order comes out the other end. When an order was made, the meat would be ground and cooked to specification. Lettuce, tomatoes, etc. would be sliced and placed on the bun. Even several types of bun could be selected.
The machine could even clean itself.

At the time, it wasn’t cost effective. If development has continued, I’m sure costs have come down. Beyond that, if the minimum wage goes up by as much as the Democrats want, then I’m sure this machine will become cost effective.

There are several restaurants that even now have kiosks at each table which you can use to order your mean and pay for it when you are done. If the minimum wage goes up, it wouldn’t surprise me if the option to use a waiter to order only exists at high end restaurants. The rest of us will use these kiosks.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
March 7, 2021 3:42 pm

I have been concerned since about 1960 that automation and robots would eventually make a large fraction of the population unemployable. The impact hasn’t been as severe as I had anticipated, nor has it progressed as rapidly as I feared. However, there are many (if not most) automobile factories that employ far fewer assembly line workers than was once the norm.

We may yet be confronted with the ugly consequences of high unemployment rates.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 8:04 pm

The thing with automation is that it also makes things less expensive, so that people don’t have to work as many hours in order to afford the things they need.
Improved efficiency is why the work week has been able to drop to 40 hours a week, and why kids were no longer needed in the work force.
It had nothing to do with unions, and it had nothing to do with government regulations.

As to why the price of labor always approaches marginal utility.
Think of a simplified scenario.
Factory owner A, is paying a bunch of people to build widgets. The workers are producing $20 worth of widgets every hour, but the worker’s compensation is only$5/hr.

Let’s say that that factory owner B sees how much money factory owner A is making, and being the greedy SOB that he is, decides he wants a piece of that pie. So he hires a bunch of workers and puts them to work making widgets. However because the number of workers is limited, he has to bid up the salary to $5.50 per hour in order to hire all the workers he wants. Also since demand is also limited, the extra widgets being dumped onto the market drops the price of widgets so that even though the number of widgets being produced by each worker remains the same, the value they can be sold at works out to only $15/hr.

As an aside, Factory owner’s workers told him that if he doesn’t match factory owner B’s wages, they are going to quit and go work for factory owner B.

Now factory owner C, decides that even though the profit margins are down, there is still plenty of profit to entice him into the widget market as well.

Meanwhile, factory owner A is looking at his profits going down, even though he is making the same number of widgets as before, so he decides it would be better for him to increase production, even though increased production will result in the widgets he is already making going down in price. He figures, quite rightly, that if he doesn’t grab that piece of the market, someone else is going to. So it’s better for him to get some profit instead of none.

This process continues until the worker compensation starts to approach the price of the widgets being produced.

As long as government regulations don’t gum up the market, what workers are paid will always approach marginal utility.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
March 7, 2021 3:56 pm

Oh, I forgot to ask. When you order from the machine you described, did it ask, “Would you like fries with that?”

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 7:49 pm

I’m sure that could be programmed in.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
March 7, 2021 9:43 pm

What you are describing is a ‘just in time’ vending machine that produces better quality fare than the typical vending machine we are used to, where the ‘twinkies’ are soaked in preservatives.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
March 7, 2021 8:58 pm

McDonalds already have touchscreens and an app so you no longer have to deal with humans to order food. There are already burger-making machines, though they’re more expensive than teenagers at the moment; raise minimum wage to $15 and that will all change.

In ten years, if McDonalds is still around, you’ll just order from your app and collect your food from a slot like a Star Trek replicator.

Reply to  commieBob
March 7, 2021 2:02 pm

There is no such thing as a race to the bottom.
Wages always approximate marginal utility.

Any company that pays it’s workers less than marginal utility, will lose it’s best employees to any company that does pay at marginal utility.

Reply to  MarkW
March 7, 2021 8:29 pm

The law of supply and demand is darn solid and darn hard to get around.

Wages will be less than marginal utility if there is an excess supply of workers.

My favorite example is that after the Great Plagues, there were fewer peasants, there was competition for peasants, and their conditions greatly improved (for a while).

March 7, 2021 8:03 am

Here’s an update: the Covid19 bill was passed in the Senate, but the $15/hr minimum wage was not included in it.

This just in: Japan holds the No. 1 spot as owner of US Treasuries. China is No. 2 in that category. Keep a weather eye on the markets and on Treasuries in particular. Something is wobbling and rattling investors (making them wake up). China has not yet learned the value of being a thrifty shopper.

Reply to  Sara
March 7, 2021 10:28 am

As far as I can tell, a lot of the wobble is because of the Chinese economy. link

The link above gives China’s domestic debt as 335% of the GDP. This other link gives China’s national debt as 54% of the GDP.

As far as I can tell, China’s domestic debt is out of line. That said, I’m having trouble find apples to apples comparisons. 335% sounds horrible but with current interest rates, the cost of carrying it might not be that bad.

As usual, trying to figure out anything about China makes me want to take a nap.

Reply to  commieBob
March 7, 2021 11:10 am

Nap? You and me both, commieBob.

March 7, 2021 4:01 pm

As Princess Leia would say, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

We’re going to push along all the automakers and UAW jobs to the brink while touting all the new green battery jobs and tax credits. Reality is going to creep in from the edges at first with more common battery fires and costs, followed by one-and-done purchase pattern with consumers, and virtue signaling running out of energy.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
March 7, 2021 8:05 pm

Didn’t Solo say the same thing in the first movie?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
March 7, 2021 9:45 pm

No, it was Chewbaca! How could you have missed it?

March 8, 2021 5:15 am

Should make the Greenys very happy-
RUTH SUNDERLAND: UK facing fresh steel crisis (
Although my advice is beware of anything Green bearing gifts or credits.

March 8, 2021 1:36 pm

No one measures “pounds of raw materials”–what a rube.

Gerard Flood
March 9, 2021 4:39 am

Minor point re : “…With the Biden administration seeking an increase to the minimum wage to $15 an hour, America is surely not going to be competitive with China or India to manufacture solar panels in America.” : As with car manufacture, accurate Cost Accounting shows that wage costs are not a competitively determinative factor in the final cost of advanced manufactures. Therefore, wage differentials should not be used to justify the ‘off-shoring’ of manufacturing – especially Security-related products.[But so-called ‘renewable’ [sic] “energy” [sic!!] ‘generation’ [sic] equipment is so much expensive, absurd junk, awaiting their gigantic scrap trenches. And paying the murderous and belligerent CCP for this trash is suicidally treacherous.]

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