Sunday, September 13, 2009

NY garment district battling for survival

NY garment district battling for survival

"... the garment district is just a shadow of its glory days in the 1950s and '60s when some 95 percent of clothing sold nationally was made in the United States."

"Now just 5 percent of clothing sold is U.S. made."

Manufacturing across the United States has been in a nose-dive for some time now, and you don't have to do more then visit your local Wal Mart to appreciate this.

Where does this leave us? Supplying the world with - what? How are we going to trade when we don't make anything to trade with?

How did this happen? The answer is really quite simple in concept: money-people chasing short term profits have sold this country down the river without a paddle. It made perfect sense to manufacture off-shore where labor costs are a fraction of those here, so there was more profit in making shoes in China then here, and so the factories were moved. Multiply this out across the board and here we are today.

The world needed equilibrium. With most of the world's wealth concentrated in just a few countries, the stage was set for massive war, but the goal of sharing the wealth could have been achieved incrementally and deliberately over time though judicious use of tariffs. What actually happened was that nobody (among those with the power) was thinking that way. The allure of short-term profits blinded these people of the longer term consequences - which we are starting to feel today.

Perhaps if we had representatives of the people in Congress - and not lackeys for Wall Street and AIPAC - far more reasonable legislation would have prevailed. Instead we have 2 sink-hole wars sucking our blood, morality and economy on the one hand, some 40 million people without health care on the other, and the short-term profiteers calling the shots at the helm.

Where's it headed, and when will this blight on America end?

I'll mention that I'm not against capitalism and that I'm a self-employed capitalist-minded individual (who read Ayn Rand's books as a kid, btw). The problem is that capitalism at the top has become too concentrated in the hands of too few. We need to get money out of politics and bust up corporations that are "too big to fail". We can't have Big Media controlled by fewer then a dozen people at the top. Think of a game of Monopoly, where eventually one player owns most of the property and the hotels. This is essentially what happened with some key institutions, the media, our information supply being the worst case because what's pronounced on that TV screen is all the information too many people have to work with. Take a look at Unbelievable Ignorance post for a perfect example of this effect at work.


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