Saturday, March 21, 2009

The (not so) hidden cost of greed

Okay, you great big greedy corporations. So you get to inflate your profits by shipping manufacturing overseas because that way you don't have to pay American wages. I guess it's worth it to you (for the short run, that is) but is it really worth it to the country? And if this sort of thing keeps up, your market is going to disappear on you:

(CNN) -- Officials are looking into claims that Chinese-made drywall installed in some Florida homes is emitting smelly, corrosive gases and ruining household systems such as air conditioners, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says.

The Florida Health Department, which is investigating whether the drywall poses any health risks, said it has received more than 140 homeowner complaints. And class-action lawsuits allege defective drywall has caused problems in at least three states -- Florida, Louisiana and Alabama -- while some attorneys involved claim such drywall may have been used in tens of thousands of U.S. homes.

Homeowners' lawsuits contend the drywall has caused them to suffer health problems such as headaches and sore throats and face huge repair expenses.

The drywall is alleged to have high levels of sulfur and, according to homeowners' complaints, the sulfur-based gases smell of rotten eggs and corrode piping and wiring, causing electronics and appliances to fail.

"It's economically devastating, and it's emotionally devastating," said Florida attorney Ervin A. Gonzalez, who filed one of the lawsuits. It would cost a third of an affected home's value to fix the dwelling, Gonzalez said.
"The breadth of this thing is a lot bigger than people think," said Chaikin of the Parker Waichman Alonso law firm in Bonita Springs. Chaikin said the problem is perhaps more easily recognizable in Florida because humidity exacerbates it.

Personally (and I'm not alone in this), I think it's a national security issue that so much of our manufacturing is done overseas.


  1. Anonymous5:09 AM

    Our Government steals us blind so why not leave their competition alone! Maybe the Government is jealous.But in reality if the fair trade act had not been opened up ,then problems like this would not be happening to American consumers. BUY AMERICAN! BE AMERICAN !

  2. Anonymous9:11 PM

    Buy American - and if possible, buy union. Keep union workers like Joe in jobs with very good wages, health care, collective bargaining and a voice when managment gets out of line.

    Unions aren't all bad...

  3. Oh, I totally agree, Tracie.

    I'm a committed union supporter myself having belonged to three over the years.

    It's VERY hard - sometimes impossible - however, to find union made products anymore.

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