Rich Galen

American companies from McDonald's to Wal-Mart have beaten a path to China's door to cash in on the Chinese market. China has been eager to play, too. "Made in China" is a tag which is much more likely to be on everything from garden tools to baby clothes than "Made in the USA."

We know that the Chinese government's attention to detail when it comes to things like lead in toys and God-knows-what in baby formula has been a wee bit lax. And we know that counterfeiting everything from DVD movies to watches is a staple of the Chinese economy.

But, hey. We want to do business with 1.3 Billion consumers so what's a little larceny in the grand sweep of things, right?

If Western consumers slow their purchases - as they have already done - and a significant proportion of those purchases were manufactured in China then it stands to reason that the Chinese economy will slow because they won't be making nearly as many things for export as they have been.

It's one thing for the economy of France or Germany to slow to a halt. They have been growing at about the rate of a fingernail for decades. But if the economy of China slows, then it is trouble for every economy in the West.

Welcome to the brave new world. Pass the duck sauce.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at