Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
That's quite a selfish view.

Quite, but most "economical" for any particular country who practices that policy in the long run. China is catching on to this strategy, building steel mills in Brazil and having Brazilian ore refined and shipped directly to China, thus avoiding the social and environmental costs of mining and refining (and tossing that onto a willing Brazil) and slowing down the need for mining their own resources.

The worst thing a country can do economically is to extract ones own resources and sell them to another country...basically selling for a dollar which one will eventually have to buy for 10 dollars down the road. Canada seems to be falling for this trap by selling oil (and shale oil) and natural gas to the US.

It may be selfish, but if most countries would make buying rare resources from other countries a policy and saving their own, there would less mining/resources available, a rise in resource prices, less environmental damage, and perhaps less of the endless growth (which few organisms do naturally except cancer cells) that is killing the world. Not that I see it happening...too much money to be made! A pipe dream, really.

The economic system devised at the start of the industrial age and a time of rapid growth sadly is very poor at self-regulating for long-term survival.