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Kyoto Comments Continue

It's about time that someone proclaimed that the emperor has no clothes ("Kyoto and Quality," "Last Word," William A. Levinson, February 2007). How could self-deceit in our leadership continue for so long? Why must the United States and other industrial nations cripple their manufacturing economies when "developing" nations have free rein and no accountability in emissions or safety? Aren't their citizens entitled to the same quality of life as the West? Who is advocating their rights? Free enterprise and free trade require a level playing field for all. Environmental regulations and workers' rights should be universal requirements, not just restricted to the West.

How can I get a copy of this article to send to my U.S. representative and senators?

--Bob Hernquist

Editor's note: Readers can find the article online at www.qualitydigest.com/feb07/columnists/lastword.shtml. Addresses for Congressional representatives can be found at www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.shtml.


The only way that the United States is going to really reduce the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide is to cultivate more forest lands, form United Nations task forces (to include China and Brazil), replenish the forests it cuts down, and add a "carbon tax" to imported goods from China and other countries based on the amount of carbon dioxide created by its manufacture or its use in actual service.

For imported and domestic products, such carbon taxes can be determined by the amount of fuel they consume (e.g., miles per gallon, taxes on vehicle weight, tons of coal or barrels of oil consumed in power production) or how much less carbon dioxide is consumed by harvesting them (tons or board feet of wood). These taxes will provide an incentive to reduce inefficient processes, machinery or products that threaten the environment. Tax write-offs to manufacturers to reduce carbon emissions can be paid for by these revenues from consumption of carbon-intensive products. These are market mechanisms that can work to improve our environment, if there is a real commitment from our government to tackle this important issue.

--Christopher Hahin


Hog Heaven

Re: "What Harley-Davidson Learned From GM," by Kevin Meyer (http://qualitydigest.com/iqedit/qdarticle_text.lasso?articleid=11961). I remember when Harley's CEO stepped into the New York Stock Exchange and saw Harley reappear on the ticker tape. It still sends chills up and down my spine. I am not a motorcycle rider but I do understand and appreciate what everyone is feeling and the vision that Harley wants to pursue.

I'm a quality engineer and understand quality and performance. I truly hope that Harley-Davidson and the union can work out their differences. We need manufacturing jobs in the United States.

We do not want or need another GM.

--Randy Bock Sr.


Cuddly Curmudgeon?

I always read Scott Paton's column. His latest, "Prescription for Success… Or Failure?" ("Quality Curmudgeon," March 2007) left me smiling. The Quality Curmudgeon has a soft side.

I was surprised that after clearly seeing the issues with the pharmacy and the insurance company, he did not go home and contact the quality manager for those companies. It is true that the person on the front line is not empowered to change the system and one must be patient with the limits of what they can do, but management should be notified when there is a problem with their service.

--Stephanie Crawford


The Shallow End of the Pool

Finally, everything one wants to say about our ailing industry in one article ("We Can Do Better," Bill Kalmar, http://qualitydigest.com/iqedit/qdarticle_text .lasso?articleid=11979)! Withholding business from mismanaged companies is a great idea. I personally have cut off Wal-Mart, McDonald's and Time-Warner cable. I support Chipotle, CiCi's Pizza, Hampton Inns and Southwest Airlines.

I believe that if the lazy companies don't get support they will eventually go out of business. One thing I am not convinced of is that management will learn from the situation. It seems like there are only so many smart people out there, and bad companies will always come and go. I don't think there are enough smart people to run all the businesses necessary to keep up with demand. We have lost the art of training and educating our management to produce more smart people. Instead we rely on the gene pool.



My compliments to Bill Kalmar. He not only put forth my sentiments, but also touched on the general consensus held by thousands of real Americans regarding the auto industry.

--Geoff Parmenter


Constar Congrats

Your article failed to list the Frost & Sullivan Award that Constar International achieved in 2006 ("Frost & Sullivan Awards," http://qualitydigest.com/iqedit/qdarticle_text.lasso?articleid=11965).

Constar was awarded the Plastic Packaging Product Innovation Leadership of the Year Award for its innovation in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging, as well as its CONSTruct Advanced Predictive Engineering and the Oxbar oxygen scavenger technologies.

--Eric Hoyer

Editor's note: Our apologies. Consider it mentioned. Congratulations to Constar and all the other Frost & Sullivan Award winners.