People Who Export E-Waste Are...

A) Bad people

Sometimes this is true.

B) Good people

Sometimes this is true, too.

People who refuse to export e-waste are:

A)  Good people

This is usually true.

The generators, like the County of Santa Clara, CA, who side with anti-export people are arriving at their conclusions based on not having enough time to fly overseas and meet people and see what they are doing.  Since e-waste is not the center of their universe (they have lost interest in the discarded electronics - that's why they are discarding them), they need to make a quick decision.

Based the simple statements above, 2/3 of the time you would agree with the anti-export crusade.  (A+C > B) You don't want to ship to bad people.  The people who are refusing to export seem to be good people.  It seems simple, you give your e-waste to people who refuse to export, shortening the decision tree.  The stuff is shredded and there seems little chance it got shipped to bad people.

Unfortunately for me, I flew overseas several times and looked around, and met some really good people who were importing e-waste.  They reminded me of people I met in Africa in my 20s, who were handy and smart and created better lives for the people around them, people I now call "Geeks of Color".

So most people who have not time to spend are going to be attracted to zero export.  The thing that exporters (good and bad) have going for them are finances - the free market rewards shipping good stuff to good people - so much so that it leave money on the table to ship bad stuff as "toxics along for the ride".

African in act of purchasing non-functional laptop
These are the cards we've been dealt.  We have to figure out a way to communicate with smart people who will take the time to discover there are good people, and to realize they can save peoples lives and better the planet if they don't shred good stuff out of fear of exchanging goods with colored people.

Santa Clara, California, is unwilling to take that risk, and has banned good people from trading with other good people, based on their race.

If 50% of marriages end in divorce, then banning interracial marriage seems like it can't be all that bad.  Maybe you've prevented a bad marriage, maybe you've saved the world from another divorce.  Santa Clara is nipping interracial trade in the bud based on a casual review of photos of semi-clad children in China.  My guess is that the people who voted against the trade are over 40 and are quick to believe China is incapable of recycling, and don't know where Apple products are being assembled and manufactured.

It's kind of like getting someone to drink out of a "coloreds only" drinking fountain.  The water is good, my lips didn't turn black, the water's here and easy.   The first white people to try it are going to be thirsty people in proximity to the drinking fountain.  When they are financially rewarded for taking that risk, they will tell other people the water is fine.

It's scary that I'm old enough to remember kids wondering if it was ok to drink after a black person at the drinking fountain.   It's scary that people are afraid to sell working display devices to factories which manufactured the display devices (as contract manufacturers for OEMs) based on their race, color, nationality, etc.

It's truly scary that the people circulating simple racist propaganda are green liberal hippy people who are confident they are doing good.  It's truly scary that the County of Santa Clara is wasting taxpayer dollars on a ill-researched recycling strategy.   It's sad that Dad at Santa Clara just told his kids it's best not to drink out of the "coloreds only" drinking fountain.  Dad's not a racist, he just wants to protect you.  All in all, it's just another brick in the wall.

Ken Yeager, District 4, President
Dave Cortese, District 3, Vice President
Donald F. Gage, District 1
George Shirakawa, District 2
Liz Kniss, District 5

Is it the fault of the people who rabidly promote the images of bad exports?  Truly, there are divorces, truly, there are bad e-waste export experiences.  I'm mad that they have used these images to describe my friends and my company and my efforts.  Now Gene Green of Texas and Thompson of California have promoted a bill, called "The Responsible Electronics Recycling Act", which would impose Santa Clara's decision on all Americans.

No more selling computers to Mexican technicians.  Oh, except if Dad's thirsty.  You see, there's a loophole in the bill.  Manufacturers can still ship to the same factory I ship to, because they are manufacturers.  Dad gets to drink out of the fountain if he gets thirsty.  Read about the manufacturers "back door" to export back to the contract manufacturers here.   Jefferson and Sally...

Must remove hard drive.
Laptop must be "fully functional" and "tested working"
Laptop does not function without a hard drive.

The photo above, of an African in the act of buying a laptop without a hard drive, for 50X the value of the scrap metal in the laptop, will be a crime.   I can sell the same laptop to an American.  It will be a crime to sell it to an African.  Gee, that's going to work out real well.

Tough luck, Africa.

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