Originally Posted by MikeM
Being the tree-hugging dirt-worshipper that I am, I'm more concerned about taking North American Maple, putting it on a ship bound for the other side of the planet (China) so that they can churn out a drum (using dubious labor practices and environmental ethics), and then putting it back on a ship bound for my favorite music store.
I would rather buy American (and pay more), not so much because I'm so patriotic or concerned about keeping jobs here, but because I'd rather keep the whole operation in my own backyard where I know there are laws to protect against exploitation of human and natural resources, and to prevent a lot of unnecessary shipping. I prefer to buy locally when I can because there's such an external cost for the inexpensive stuff coming out of China.
For example: Ludwig talks about how long it takes to produce a Black Beauty because the black nickel plating is so toxic, and takes time and care to apply. Plus, there are costs associated with disposing of the waste and whatever. But no body thinks twice about the imported variety, like the Pork Pie BBBs and Pearl Brass Sensitones (which I own) coming out of China for less than half the price. Think they're being as careful in dealing with the same toxic issues where the laws might not be as stringent ?
Anyway, I'm more concerned about this angle than I am any military one, to tell you the truth.
I don't know how old you are, or if you're aware of this issue, but back in the 70's and 80's chrome plating was a big issue because of phosphates. The growth of the likes of Tama and Pearl had a lot to do with this. Because of changes in enviornmental regulations here, a lot of work went overseas. Because of the lack of regulations the plating quality was alot better with the imports. It definetely came at a cost though. This was discussed more then once in the drum and music magazines at the time.