One of the basic tenants of anyone’s ‘survival’ guide is getting as self-reliant as possible — applies to countries as well as individuals, doesn’t it? Anyone with a business address and even many residences receives the ULINE Catalog in the mail. ULINE is a family-owned, 1980 home-basement start-up, from the midwest specializing in packaging and shipping supplies. In the back of the current catalog I came across the article below that was written by the ULINE president, Liz Uilein. While personally and professionally a proponent of the green economy as it relates to shorter lines of supply and simpler notions of ‘well-being’ , Mrs. Uihlein’s letter is definitely worth contemplating:

CFLs - Good for US?

CFLs - Good for US?

“Back in 2007, when George W. Bush was President, Congress passed a law to ban incandescent bulbs beginning in 2014. That helped push GE to recently close the last U.S. incandescent light bulb plant in Virginia. So we go green with American-made compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs)? Nope. Now Americans will have to buy Chinese-made CFLs or Curly-Qs.

Is there a windfall of green manufacturing jobs here or are we just exporting more jobs to China? Think about it. In China, working conditions are poor and their concern for the environment is limited at best, making it easy for them to produce things cheaply.

China gets to use their nearly non-existent environmental rules and working conditions to make green products like the CFLs. These products are more expensive and also have a higher mercury content, making disposal a big issue. All this so Americans can meet U.S. environmental laws while we watch more of our fellow citizens lose their jobs. Just how level is this playing field?

U.S. companies rely on innovation to compete. Trying to go head-to-head with the Chinese by giving away that innovation and then making it too costly for American companies to play is a losing battle. We saw that with the textile industry. Our government should be focusing on ways to help us compete globally, not getting in the way with ill-conceived and restrictive laws, in my opinion.

Liz Uihlein

A rising tide lifts all boats. We are all in this together. We need to do our best to take care of our families first, then America, and then the world. What is fair?”

5 Responses to “Liz Uihlein’s “Lights Out on U.S. Manufacturing?””

  1. Salvia Says:

    My local TV station reported this morning that, as a result of the recession, a large part of the population is growing fresh produce. Is anyone here saving money by growing their own produce?

  2. Justin Says:

    I would venture to say Mrs. Uihlein artical is a little on the hypocritical side, given the fact, if you turn to page 318 in the Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Uline catalog, they are proudly selling the compact fluorescent bulbs. Things that mak you go hmmmmmmmmm.

  3. Mark Says:

    My concern with the point Liz was trying to make is that there is no mention of incandescent bulbs contributing more to global warming. As she requests the ability for American citizens to decide which lightbulbs to use they should be able to have an educated purchase and know that LED bulbs use very little energy and don’t contain mercury. It also concerns me that she reacted to having a lightbulb on “only” three hours a day as if that was too few hours per day.
    Just like Liz should be educated that they can still sell incandescent light bulbs but they are slightly more energy efficient than the old incandescent bulb. You can also safely recycle fluorescents.

  4. Michael Quinn Says:

    I would love to have a phone conversation with the owner or president of uline I have bought from Uline company for years your servis and products are great.
    I was hired to operate and put cost cutting measures in place in a manufacturing company and have done well. but i do see waste everytime i place an order with uline and dont believe it is isolated to only with our company orders.
    Michael Quinn -Mt.Clemens,Michigan

  5. NG Says:

    Bash the Chinese for not having good rules, then say we need to get rid of the rules, too.

    Great logic, Liz Uihlein.


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