Maybe you should have taken that class yourself. Waste can not always be quantified by price. A big difference between the US and third world countries is environmental laws. Is it more wasteful to produce a product in the US for $100 and safely dispose of any hazardous waste products than it is to produce the same product in China for $50 and just dump hazardous waste onto a field somewhere?
In the US we have mandated safety standards. Third world countries have little or no safety standards. Laws that require companies to provide a minimum level of safety can hardly be called wasteful.
So here is something they didn't teach you in your GED prep course.
cheaper != less wasteful
If you would like, I could recommend you a few economics courses at your local junior college?