Thursday, January 6, 2011


The other day I bought one of my favorite candy bars and while I was enjoying it, I looked at the wrapper and saw something that sent chills through me.  The candy is made by Hershey Foods in MEXICO!

I started to question whether anything I like is made in the good old US of A and quickly discovered that just about everything WalMart sells is from overseas including vegetables and fruits which come from South America.  Our cars are made overseas or in Canada.  Foreign companies own dozens of US companies.  My God, Russian investors just bought into Facebook.

Gasoline, the life blood of our nation, is being sold to China to feed their new affluent middle class' need for cars.  Now they are in a building frenzy and are buying our lumber in such quantities that Canadian and US mills are selling it for pre-recession prices.

Add the bad Chinese drywall scandal and the pet food from China that killed a lot of our dogs and things start to get really bleak. 

With the huge number of foreclosures coming on the market at lower and lower prices, how can our home building industry survive.  Modular home factories are going to get hit hardest.  With raw material prices climbing, rising transportation costs and fewer new home customers, 2011 will either be the boom or bust for many factories.  2010 was no picnic but 2011 is already showing signs of a sluggish recovery.

I predict that China in 2011 will make a major attempt to buy American assets including manufacturing plants that supply the housing industry.  We have nobody but ourselves to blame for this.  And don't get me started on the US investment bankers who will broker these deals and have $100M bonuses again this year. 

Before WalMart and McDonald's came to the market place, the US enjoyed a life style envied by the world.  We lived within our means, went to church regularly, paid our taxes without whining and bought new homes and cars.  Then WalMart and McDonald's started selling "cheap" stuff and telling us that "saving" was the new American mantra.  Now we look at everything we buy through WalMart eyes and won't pay for American made products.  If we can find it cheaper, we buy it.

I am now convinced that before the housing market sees a recovery, foreign investments will take it over and cheapen our standard of living.  We have building codes, you say, and they can't build a cheap home in our country.  Think again Buckaroos.  It's coming.  Think about that the next time you turn on your kitchen faucet knowing that it was manufactured in a city in China, shipped to the US and trucked to the modular factory for less than we can make it here.

And to think this rant started when I bought a York Peppermint Patty.


Anonymous said...

The modular home industry will never be taken over by foreign investors. The people that run them are still living in the 1990's and think that everything will be peaches and cream this year.
How sad that our home prices will go up just because someone in China buys a new car and builds a new house. And we end up with their crap.

Anonymous said...

Being competitive and offering value to one's customer is what modular is all about. There is always the debate about cheep versus less expensive. The constitution gives all americans a lot of freedoms (what ever is left after Obama). We have the freedom to shop or buy products made from where ever and sold from whom ever. That is what makes this country great!!! It is that plain and simple. If one is offend by the york peppermint patty made in Mexico then do buy it and eat it. If you have to have one, then you can eat it and complain or eat it and not complain. If one does not like venture capitalist like HIG then do not buy from excel. If you think your company owner is stupid get another job. We all have freedom and speech and if one want to waste their lives complaining about things then due to the fact that our great nations gives you that right go ahead and do it.

We live in the greatest country in the world. We have so many things and rights that is mind blowing. An attitude of gratitude is a beautiful thing.

We are blessed to be Americans.

I am grateful to be a modular home builder.

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Coach said...

I'm not offended by my peppermint patty being made in Mexico. I'm offended that the people in Hershey, PA lost jobs because of it.

Haven't you looked out of your ivory tower window and noticed that 10% of the work force is unemployed and another 3% is so disenchanted that they have given up. 1 in 8 people in the US are on food stamps. 1 in 7 children are living in poverty. And this is the greatest country in the world!

I will not buy another peppermint patty. Call it my personal stand against factories shipping even the most basic products out of the country to be made and shipped back to us so that WalMart can sell it to you for 3 cents less.

heywood said...

Right on Coach!

Anonymous said...

If the York and Herseys candies scare you think about the fruits and vegetables coming in from Mexico and China. Where they do not have the same chemical bans and standards as the USA. The york is probably safer than your typical Chinese Apple or Mexican lettuce. And if you really want to scare yourself to death research your furniture and see what the chemicals in that are doing to you and your family.

Welcome to, globalization... enjoy.

Anonymous said...

hey Coach. It's not 10%. That is the official Government figure which is way wrong. The Government uses different statistical methods from the rest of the world. Apparently, everyone in school learns 1+1=2 but in Government they use stats and math where 1+1 can equal whatever the heck they want it to equal.

Anyway, if you factor in unemployment, under-employment (a form of unemployment), those no longer on benefits but not found work or only found part-time work, and other forms of un/under-employmnet then you can easily multiply the official Government figure by 2. This, if the official figure is 9.4% then the real figure is much closer to 18.8%. Also, they don't count people over retirement age even if they are looking for work and are not actually retired. There are loads of people whom are not counted in the official figures because if you knew the real figures you would realize the country is totally screwed.

Now, the same goes for Deficit and National Debt figures as well. They claim somewhere around 13 trillion for national debt which is so far off the mark it is not even in the same universe. If you go to: you will see at the top the figure the Government likes to use: roughly 14 trillion. However, go to the middle of the numbers and you will see 55 trillion. Now scroll near the bottom and you will see the total US liabilities being around 112 trillion. The national debt in the US is over $100,000 per tax payer. Impossible to pay off.

So, knowing that, guess how well, Obama's stupid plan (any of the plans) is/are going work?

We live in a bankrupted nation and it will never not be bankrupted as the debt is impossible to pay off. What we are doing is selling ourselves out to China in exchange for them buying out debt. For this our government gives them favorable trade status, lets them keep their currency pegged to the US dollar at an artificially low level, does not stop companies outsourcing or moving and rarely puts on tariffs. Anyway, they can't as if China stopped buy US debt (in the form of IOU's [aka: bonds]) then the US would be instantly bankrupted and the great depression would look like kindergarten compared to the economic fallout.

So, instead they will eventually devalue the US Dollar to the point where the deficit (yearly debt - not total debt) is more manageable, but you and I and everyone else will get whamo'ed by the inflation tax (taxation is the form of your money having much less buying power than before).

The shoot the economy permanently anemic this time in my opinion. As far as I can tell, this is the new America... this is the new normal.