All seriousness aside, sometimes the only thing worse than working in a sweatshop is not having a sweatshop to work in.
Imagine - $.12 for labor. You couldn’t even get a member of the Garment Worker’s Union to put thread on their machine for $.12, let alone sew anything.
People want jobs brought back to the U.S. but how many of these same people would be willing to pay the extra cost for a knit shirt, the staple of many wardrobes, even if it were made in the USA. Some of us can no longer afford it, even if we wanted to.
Used to make tee shirts for the guys in my family but even decent material is getting hard to find.
>> What does that $14 shirt really cost?
Rejoice! Free trade at its finest-how it works on the other side. Remember Free Trade always means cheap and nasty, in more than one sense.
It would be much better if those people had no jobs and just starved.
Women around here buy a lot of them.
But I think the average American Walmart/Target shopper would flee in horror if confronted with that price tag. They've demonstrated over and over that they want the Bangladeshi stuff, regardless of how it was made.
Who pays $14 for a shirt? Not I.
Retail prices for underwear, tee shirts, knit shirts and the like didn’t drop when trade policy permitted offshoring of production. Retail margins jumped into the sixties and remained there.
Of course what these commies never stop to ask is what kind of standard of living would these workers have if they didn’t work in a garment factory? In Bangladesh many people go hungry every day and would give anything to have one of those jobs.
The actual retail margin is, I read today in the WSJ, 1-2%.
I was sitting home alone one night
In LA, watching old Cronkite on the seven o’clock news.
Seems there was an earthquake that left nothing but a Panama hat
And a pair of old Greek shoes.
It didn’t seem like much was happening,
So I turned it off and went and got another beer.
Seems like every time you turn around
There’s another hard luck story that you gotta hear.
And there’s really nothing anyone can say.
And I never did plan to go anyway, to Black Diamond Bay.
Shh! Not supposed to talk about this. We like our good deals on stuff made by slave labor! Shutting all our smelly smokey polluting factories saved the earth, too! /s
It usually takes a disaster and a reaction in the West, threats of boycotts fueled by the MSM and the Left, before Western companies start taking steps toward exercising some control over their Third World contractors. This is going to happen with Bangladesh, as it’s happened with China. Benetton has an egg on its face.
a 400 golf driver costs about 65 bucks.
Show me a news item on a phone support office in Bangledesh collapsing or a catastrophe hitting an offshored quality assurance staff and then maybe I can releate.
Worth repeating from tjic.com:
Say that we had first contact with some super (economically) advanced aliens.
and pretty soon they set up factories here.
and I was offered a job in one of these factories, doing software engineering.
The pay is $400k/year.
The work week is 20 hours long.
The work environment is far better than Im used to great internal decoration, well tended plants, a zen-like water garden near my desk, massages every other day.
and then left-wing alien sentient being rights activists started protesting, because I was being forced to work for less than a quarter of the prevailing wage in Alpha Centauri, and my work hours were twice as long as the legal norms in Alpha Centauri, and I didnt have every mandatory benefits like other other year off, and free AI musical composition mentoring.
and then left-wing alien sentient being rights activists wanted to make it illegal for my employer and I to contract with each other at mutually beneficial terms.
then I would be rip shit that some elitist who had never visited me, or knew of my actual alternatives on the ground presumed to decide that I shouldnt have this opportunity.
Which brings me to my core point: Chinese factory conditions may not be the exact cup of tea for a San Francisco graphic designer or a Connecticut non-profit ecologist grant writer but theyre, by definition, better than all the other alternatives available to the Chinese workers (or the factories would find it impossible to staff up).
Butt out, clueless activists.
To get prices that low, workers see just 12 cents a shirt, or two per cent of the wholesale cost. Thats one of the lowest rates in the worldabout half of what a worker in a Chinese factory might make
I don't understand why there's a fixation on Chinese wages. The current reality is that Chinese wages are now higher than Mexico's, which are in turn middle-of-the-road for Latin America:
Mexico's hourly wages are about a fifth lower than China's, a huge turnaround from just 10 years ago when they were nearly three times higher, according to new research by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Stagnant salaries in Mexico, fueled by strong population growth, will give Latin America's second-biggest economy an edge over China in the U.S. market, Bank of America Merrill Lynch economist Carlos Capistran said on Thursday.
Average hourly wages are now 19.6 percent lower in Mexico than China whereas in 2003 they were 188 percent more costly, according to the Bank of America study.
Inevitably, tragedies like this will lead to automation.
Shipping, labor, and factory margin are $2.00 per shirt.
I have to believe that is very close to the break even cost of a shirt made entirely by a machine.
That machine will be located in the consuming country, and it will be instantly programmable for new styles and sudden changes in demand.