Friday, 08 January 2010 00:00
Consider this a post-script to the letter on globalization.
I don’t object to trade between nations since there are always special items that can’t be fashioned close to home for various reasons. For example, I drink teas from all over the world because their constituent plants could not grow in our climate. But what of the everyday items? Clothing for example.
The other day I returned home from work, tastefully attired as always, and conducted an informal survey of my wardrobe for that day. Namely, to see where my clothes were manufactured. Here are the results: trousers (Dominican Republic), vest (China), shirt (Bangladesh), tweed jacket (Poland), silk tie (China), trench coat (Taiwan), black fedora (China), underwear (Honduras), pocket watch (Japan), eyeglass frames (China) and socks (India). I was able to find the place of manufacture of everything for the well-dressed man, as the old NBO advert goes, except shoes.
I’d telephone the companies owning the places where I or my wife purchased these goods, but then I’d probably be speaking to someone working at a call center in India.
And there are people who can’t understand why tens of millions of Americans don’t have jobs or have jobs that don’t pay very much; why families that were considered middle class in 1980 are now living at or near the poverty line.