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Old 07-29-2017, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoonose View Post
Like during WW2. We might not necessarily want to be isolated, but if necessary we could do it all with a strong enough national desire like war. Gov't would have to become more overbearing in the economy. Directing more business, rationing and price controls and such like WW2.
We weren't isolated in WW2, we still had friends and allies with which we did business. I think the world is too different now in any case, there are way too many ways the world is interdependent now. Back then the stock market wasn't affected if another countries economy declines, we didn't import even a fraction of the things we do now. Living without stockings is one thing, living without parts for your car or your blood glucose monitors is quite something else. It would take years and years and years to be able to get to a point where we can make even a fraction of it here.

Many of our fruits and vegetables come from overseas, especially in winter. I don't see banana plantations taking off here anytime soon, nor do I think we have enough farmland left undeveloped to make up for the quantity of food we need.

Also what happens when some other country develops a much better version of a pacemaker, a cell phone, a dialysis machine...our people are forbidden from getting to use it, even if it could save their life or improve their quality of life...how is this going to be enforced, are we keeping people from traveling to other places, if so can they bring things back? Are we forbidding them from being able to access overseas online retailers? E-Bay UK will be blocked on US computers? I feel like people are not really thinking this through.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:14 AM
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Probably... But that wouldn't actually be desirable.
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Old 07-29-2017, 01:50 PM
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Limited to the plain words of the question, no. Not as we love today. There are some things that we do not have but need. There are many minerals we must import, for example.

However, if we tried, we would wreak havoc on many of the world's economies.
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Old 07-29-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
Yeah, that would be awesome for parents, whose kids outgrow their shoes every 6 months. Most people also have many pairs of shoes. If I am in a wedding and I need pink dress shoes to match the dress, I'm to go to a cobbler? If I need a new pair of sneaks, go to the cobbler?
My neighbors use hand me down shoes for their kids. The shoes apparently last 2 or 3 kids at minimum.

Anyway, it seems New Balance makes sneakers in the US Custom Shoes & Sneakers Made in the USA - New Balance

Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
People can get boots made in America now, most can't afford them. I think if we banned imports, there would be plenty of black markets springing up to get people what they want. Then what, we put people in jail for buying black market shoes, like they bought drugs?
I am sure this wouldn't be air tight. But should that be the determining factor?

Originally Posted by ocnjgirl View Post
IMO there would be no way to do this without the government becoming a complete autocracy versus a democracy, and we all know that would never happen...oh, wait, never mind.
Not really. In Japan, the same Japanese good, even if costlier and less well made, is preferred over foreign goods. It's a mentality. Sam Walton of Wal-Mart used to try as many products in the US as possible. Then, he died and the company took a different turn. But I think if Sam Walton thought it was possible to try perhaps the nation can try.
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Yuptag View Post
Anyway, it seems New Balance makes sneakers in the US
They abuse the "Made in USA" label by applying it to shoes with just 70% US content.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:08 AM
Location: Philadelphia/South Jersey area
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Originally Posted by Yuptag View Post
Couldn't consumer electronics and clothing be made here. What's so magical about Chinese from the country side making electronics in Shenzeng and Vietnamese operating automated spinning machines.

Flat panel displays, memory chips and hard drives, should be manufactured in the US. Why give this to another country? What are we making baseball, movies, and corporations who sold out the American worker?

Rare earth metals apparently are not rare and loads are in the US.

Locations of Deposits

Nice maps showing loads of deposits in the US for all kinds of stuff. What we don't have we just have to buy or find a work around.


Because Joe consumer wants it cheap. that's the dichotomy. Americans want it all, we want American goods, we want everyone to have a livable wage and we want our products to all be dirt cheap.

As others have pointed out, we are global now and we are not going back. that genie is out of the bottle.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:43 AM
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Yuptag, with all due respect, the Chinese worker is paid squat, works without benefit of OSHA, Workers Comp, EEOC and dozens of other costly rules and regs.

Yup, we are blessed with lots of rare earth resources. Many others, not so much.

Calm down, the question is, could we go it alone, nothing more.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:03 PM
Location: Silicon Valley
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I don't think we could. Not anymore. The second the US closes its doors, the world's appetite for dollars and fish left in a parked Texas car in July will both have about the same shelf life. Unemployment would skyrocket much faster than any native only economy could hope to pick up. People would be poor. Assets would be impossible to sell. Manufacturing scales would all need to be adjusted. Our biggest advantage, access to the cheapest inputs in the world, would be gone. All the air in our central reserve starts to implode.

The only thing that would put the implosion in check is the thought of intervention and changing course.

Otherwise, a series of microeconomic decisions would destroy the country. Fuel can be self-supplied at $70 a barrel, sure. But if I have no market for surplus grain, and it stops making sense to plant food that's no good. If the price of an airline ticket has to jump so high that most people reconsider it, that's no good. If everyone's losing their jobs, I'm probably not going to start new construction. I might not have a market for my home. Doesn't matter for residential, but commercial needs to renew every 5 years. Etc. etc. etc. And can you imagine the smuggling, the waves of desperate people who may turn to organized crime, the mass and immediate brain drain from areas that want a global marketplace?

The recession we last saw would be nothing. We may want to hold ourselves in a favorable light, but you put that much pressure on a populace and they'll do anything to survive.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:53 AM
1,372 posts, read 702,984 times
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Originally Posted by Remington Steel View Post
Why can't we produce our own rubber? And we can start relying more on solar power to take the strain off of our oil supply. And we don't need coffee. We focus too much on the negatives without thinking of the positive possibilities we have as a nation if we all just work together for a common cause. We have millions of smart Americans who could come up with many solutions to make it highly possible for us to be self-sufficient.
The OP asked if we COULD be self-sufficient, not whether or not we should or not. I think it could be a possibility. We all have to agree to a lower standard of living though. Don't know how much, but I heard we have plenty of oil in Texas and Alaska to last us decades. Most of the things we get from overseas are just extras we have grown accustomed to that we think we can't live without.
Sorry, but that's nonsense. For example most of the machine tools in U.S. factories have to be imported. They are not a luxury, they are imperative to kept manufacturing productive. It's absurd to try to replace those imports by domestic made equipment. In many small but important niches you will find only a few provider for each field of capital goods. For example it would be absurd to think that it's possible to acquire all the knowledge and experience that for example Italy has in the manufacturing of food processing equipment. It's far easier to build clothing, shoes and consumer electronic factories on U.S. soil and occupy them with tens of million American workers than to aquire all the knowledge and experience that is necessary to produce all these complex capital goods.

Trying to become self-sufficient would mean to fall behind all other developed countries.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:54 AM
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We have been embedded in a global economy since colonial times. The notion of somehow withdrawing from it is nonsensical in the extreme.
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