It means we as a country put broad swaths of the non-union, rural south out of work for no benefit to the consumer. The benefit was higher retail gross margin.
And what's all that about the non-union rural south? Are you saying Bangladeshi garment workers are putting American farmers out of work? If you mean the textile industry in the South, that has been gone for decades. Most of the work force reductions in the textile industry came about as a result of automation. Foreign competition killed off the remnant. My grandfather worked his entire life for Cannon Mills and I'm quite familiar with the history of that industry. The bottom line is if the textile companies had been able to compete they would still be in business. And there is never any reason to force consumers to pay more just so an inefficient industry can keep going.
Another "benefit" was to mask inflation so that the Fed could keep printing money without apparent consequence, loaning it to the big guys who built factories overseas with it.