Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Now this is interesting

Apparently, we're importing bricks from Germany, or at least our government is. Somehow it's cheaper to mine clay over in Deutschland, bake the bricks there, and ship them 3000+ miles across the sea than to make them here.

I understand electronics and such where labor costs are an issue. I understand shipping crude oil, natural gas, and food. Bricks, on the other hand, when all of the South is built on red clay, and anthracite and bituminous coal veins stretch from the Appalachians past the Rockies? I reckon some of the reason for our manufacturers' difficulty might have something to do with "unions" or "government."

Never mind the little fact that brick buildings can last centuries, while few government schools are in use even 50 years after they are built. Methinks it's about time to consider building schools out of materials more suited to a 50 year building life cycle.


Kitty said...

Germany has much more restrictive labor laws, more activist government, and more powerful unions than the US does, so that has nothing to do with why the bricks are imported.

Gino said...

kitty is correct.

did you know that we ship corrugated boxes to chile?

its because of trade imbalance.
the produce comes north on the ships, but there is nothing to go back. rather than return an empty ship, they fill it with boxes that the grower then packs and ships back north.
(i do a lot of chilean box business)

Bike Bubba said...

Probably also helps that we have a lot more pulpwood than Chile does, no?

Rereading the article, I think the issue is military procurement. I'm doing a lot with that lately, and it simply does not make sense.