Pika’s observation of train after train of cheap shit from China, and my even cheaper response, generated a fascinating data point from a correspondent who recently toured the Port of Long Beach as part of a class on globilization:
In 2004 it processed 7.4e6 TEUs of cargo — a TEU is a twenty-foot equivilent unit, the volume of a 20-foot long container. That is, the port is equivalent to a steady stream of containers end to end at 1.43 meters per second 24/7. It’s amazing, in a thought-provoking way.
Put another way, that’s a container for roughly every 40 people in the U.S. I figure there’s approximately 40 people living on my block (maybe a few more), so there’s the equivalent of a container of cheap shit from China, Korea, etc. for every Fleck-block-equivalent in America.
Today’s trash day in the ‘hood. We also have to go to a lot of trouble to cart the cheap shit off once we’re done with it.