Common Sense: Everything Has a Price

How far would you go for a buck? How much would you swallow just for a paycheck? To land a deal? To keep a deal?

I'm asking because I find something deeply troubling about this deal we've made with China.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not here to fault President Bush. He worked hard to win the release of our 24 crewmen and he richly deserves our thanks and praise.

I'm just worried about the message this deal sends. While we did not apologize for this mess, we came very close.

I'm not here to judge how close. I am here to judge why. And I can sum it up in one word: business.

We want to keep doing business with China and China wants to keep doing business with us.

Many of you have faulted me for questioning guests on this very subject. Why, wrote one viewer, do you place Wall Street's needs over the lives of these 24 men and women? Here's why, and forgive me for being blunt. Because that's the way it is. Because these men and women simply aren't as important as the business our two nations conduct.

It isn’t right and it isn’t fair, but it is a fact, folks. We need China and China needs us.

But here's my beef: we're the ones holding the cards. So why do we have to even look like we're folding them? Last time I checked, China enjoyed an $80 billion trade surplus with this country. That means they're selling $80 billion more of things to us than we're buying from them. That seems pretty lop-sided to me. And certainly a position of strength to us.

What's more, we've already been more than fair. We're the country that's been pushing for extended trade privileges to China over a lot of objections. And they repay us with this preposterous subterfuge and an incident two Boy Scouts could have settled?

Sure, we have our selfish interests. But they've clearly benefited China. We know that. China knows that.

Look, who am I, a business guy, to criticize business? I'm just a guy who's worried that in pursuit of the mighty dollar, we might have sacrificed something of far greater value. With a country that knows our price.

- Watch Neil Cavuto's Common Sense weekdays at 4 p.m. ET on Your World with Neil Cavuto.  And send your comments to: