The World's Biggest Market...

...isn't the U.S. anymore.

The U.S. has approximately 302 million people.

The E.U. has 495 million.

The E.U. has stricter policies regarding the environment and various toxins that can be used to make stuff, like toys and computers.

The U.S. gets the stuff the E.U. rejects.

I listened to a Fresh Air interview with Mark Shapiro today on the way home. He theorized that one of the reasons the E.U. is so willing to pass environmental/safety laws vs. the U.S. is that the government pays for health care...and they'd rather regulate now and save later. Says a lot about the U.S. problems with socializing medicine, doesn't it?

(And why the E.U. coming down on Micro$oft was such a big deal, come to think of it.)

Update: Oh, yeah, I forgot. He also mentioned that the cosmetics industry is largely unregulated; they lobbied for an exception to the FDA in the thirties and got it. The E.U. told several companies they had to remove all: 1) cancer causing, 2) causing genetic mutation, and 3) reproductive illness-causing chemicals. Guess where the companies don't have to do this? Supposedly, just as an example, 1/3 of ALL LIPSTICKS SOLD IN THE U.S. contain lead. And they don't have to list it as an ingredient -- basically, they can list whatever ingredients they want here. Because it's not regulated.