by: John Caddell

Our kids' piano teacher lets our kids choose a little prize after their lessons, if they've tried hard and been attentive. The other day, my wife said, after tripping over one of these dollar toys for the millionth time, "I may have to tell her to start bringing candy, instead of these little toys. I can't keep up with all the crap."

Help is on the way. Last Thursday, on NPR's All Things Considered, reporter Louisa Lim tells us that many Chinese factories who supplied the world with cheap trinkets are going out of business, victims of rising commodity prices and slack demand from the West. Chinese government action may also be a cause, according to the ATC story:

Harley Seyedin, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in South China, says this slowdown was the result of deliberate action by the government.

"The majority of this happened because of changes in regulations last year deliberately decided by the Chinese government in order to slow down the economy and to move away from reprocessing [and those] labor intensive, environmentally unfriendly and energy-intensive kind of companies," Seyedin says. "And certainly some companies have suffered as a result of that. Those types of companies needed to go anyway."

Hallelujah. One of the byproducts of the economic slowdown will be a ratcheting down in our acquisitiveness, and a reduction in the easy credit that's allowed us to buy more crap, cheap or otherwise. To me, there's good news in that.

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