The chinese produce cheap inferior crap because that's what the general public is dumb enough to consume.
American companies didn't outsource manufacturing to produce good quality products or pay fair wages.
General public's attitude towards our energy predicament: "I reject the reality of finite resource depletion and substitute it with my own; energy is infinite, we just need an alternative storage medium to run the cars on. The economy can grow indefinitely - we just need to "green" everything! Technology is energy! Peak what?"