Monday, November 28, 2016


One of the issues in the recent American presidential election cycle - an election cycle that I viewed more as a referendum on general conceptions than about either major party candidate - was the issue of "globalism" versus "national sovereignty", and "bringing the jobs home," or "re-shoring". Certainly President-elect Trump made these issues bellwethers of his campaign. But My reasons for interest in these issues was more long term, and to put that into context a bit, over the past decade or so, I've been advancing the idea that unipolarism was back-firing to such an extent that various factions, even within the globaloney crowd, had to be concerned about the loss of their power base, North America, and hence, might be looking to "retrench" themselves into that power base, by bringing manufacturing back to the USA and Canada.
In advancing these hypotheses, on the late Ms. George Ann Hughes' The Byte Show and occasionally in conversations on Catherine Austin Fitts' Solari Report website, I've also pointed out that the process of three-d printing or additive manufacturing as it is also sometimes called, resembled an attempt to de-centralize manufacturing and to make it highly modular. These considerations, I argued, were made in the interests of "national security," in that distributed manufacturing made it very difficult to interdict or target, while at the same time securing a supply of needed and crucial components in the manufacturing technology tree.
With that in mind, Mr. G.L.R. shared this very insightful article by Mr. Charles Hugh Smith:
Notably, Mr. Smith's argument is similar to mine, and emphasizes the long-term strategic benefits to re-shoring:
Reshoring the entire supply chain so it can be trusted is the low-cost solution once you add up the total lifecycle cost of a hopelessly counterfeit global supply chain.
There are two basic arguments against bringing manufacturing that was transferred overseas (offshored) back to America (reshoring):
1. It's too costly
2. The supply chain is now in China/Asia and it's not possible to source the parts needed to bring manufacturing back to America.
I beg to differ on both counts: nothing is more costly and destructive to profits than defective, pirated parts made overseas. Counterfeits made to look like legitimate parts are highly profitable to the counterfeiter and immensely damaging and dangerous to the manufacturer and end-user.

In a global economy burdened with massive overcapacity, the only way to maintain profit margins is to lower costs by cutting corners: in effect, defrauding customers by delivering deceptively reduced quantity and quality, and/or defrauding the end-producer by shipping low-cost counterfeit parts that mimic legitimate products.
Citing a Bloomberg article, Mr. Smith draws attention to the strategic implications in an even more pointed fashion:
"Many people believe piracy is limited to handbags and other similar products, but the more serious issue is industrial companies," said Ann-Charlotte Soederlund, co-founder of the Global Anti-Counterfeiting Network, an umbrella organization of fake-fighters around the world. "The effects can be immensely larger than the consequence of a fake handbag."
Knock-off building materials have been shown to catch fire. Counterfeit electronics have caused military equipment to fail. And SKF says a sham bearing in a swimming pool pump sparked a fire that burnt a house to the ground.
Mr. Smith ends his article with these comments:
There is a solution that's a lot cheaper than shoveling sand against the counterfeit tide: bring the entire supply chain back to America where production can be verified and the parts tested and ID'd/ labeled with technologies that cannot be counterfeited as easily as the parts.
Come home, America, is not just a political slogan: it's simply good business.
If you want to lose your brand, your pricing power and your customers, by all means, rely on a global supply chain filled with defective parts that cannot possibly be detected. Reshoring the entire supply chain so it can be trusted is the low-cost solution once you add up the total lifecycle costs of a hopelessly counterfeit global supply chain.
Such arguments are not good news to the globaloney crowd, but to me personally, they make sense: recently I've had no less than two cheap DVD players simply quit working, for no reason at all. Brand name? Well, let's just say it's a major brand. Source of the equipment? China.
But as common-sensical as all this might seem to you or me, I suspect that there are much deeper factors in play here, and they bring me to my high octane speculation of the day:
During the recent election-referendum cycle, there was much rhetoric being slung around that a vote for Mrs. Clinton meant a vote for war with Russia. Indeed, even President Putin reinforced that notion. For my part, while I put nothing past the insanity of globaloneysists of the neo-con, Clinton-Bush variety living in their own make-believe fake news world, I was skeptical of the war rhetoric for one simple reason: the corrupted supply chain to the U.S.  military. It's not a good idea to begin any sort of conflict with Russia, which has a much tighter control over its military supply chain, than does the USA, reliant on widgets made here, contraptions made there, thingamagigs imported from there, and whatchamacallits made under license over here. And at each of these points, it is to be noted, Mr. Smith's argument about counterfeits being injected into that supply stream make sense, for each of these "places" constitute points of entry for such a corrupted logistical chain. Indeed, if any such conflict is entertained by the war hawks, then re-shoring isn't simply worth consideration, it's an absolute necessity.  When one adds up the potentialities of distributed, de-centralized manufacturing, additive manufacturing or 3D printing, and "re-shoring," then one is looking at a strategic plan designed to make interdiction of manufacturing difficult, and at a re-vitalization of potential war-making capacity.  Put much of this modular decentralized manufacturing underground and one is looking at... well, Nazi Reichsrustungsminister (Reich Armaments Minister) Albert Speer's plan, ca. 1943-44, on steroids.
And that, in its turn, constitutes a warning on what to watch for if indeed the President-elect's policies are based in any part on such reasoning by his policy advisors.

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