Steel tariffs hurt Rockford

If Bush would just put a steel tariff in place, it would keep cheap imports out and protect American industry.

Uh, wait—isn’t Rockford suffering from just such a move?

Well never mind.

If I can find a way to stay in business other than making the best product at the lowest price, I will let you know. Every man’s output is another man’s input. You can’t help one without hurting another. Thus, it is best to let people vote with their dollars. Once government gets involved, everyone suffers. As did a bunch of steel mills that went out of business despite the tariffs. Bush didn’t save the mills, and he hurt Rockford to boot.

The mini-mills are doing pretty well. Why? Basically, they recycle steel. They buy scrap and turn it into useful stuff. Recycled steel is cheaper to make than steel from ore. Given the amount of iron and steel in the world, and the fact that 70 to 80 percent of it gets recycled, we don’t need to make nearly as much new iron. Add in the fact that the new products made out of the scrap are probably more efficient than the products they replace, and the need for new steel further declines.

You can’t save any particular business or production process. If we want to keep working, we are going to have to figure out how to do whatever it is that people want better, faster, cheaper. There is no other way. To say we don’t know how is to give up. Americans are not that kind of people.

Defeatism may be OK for the war in Iraq, but it is not OK for Rockford.

M. Simon is an industrial controls engineer for Space-Time Productions and a Free Market Green © M. Simon—All rights reserved. Permission granted for one-time use in a single periodical. Concurrent publication on the periodical’s Web site is also granted.

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!