I sat and read a piece today, which started me to pondering.
This older gal was responsible for clothing requirements for her husband. Naturally, she was always the buyer and tracked prices.
So for years.....she'd always gone off to Wal-Mart and procured a simple six-pack of socks (I've bought the same socks myself on occasion) for roughly $9.
In the past month, she went over to buy another six-pack, and the price had finally escalated to $15. She noted, upon getting home and really examining the pack (it was the same company manufacturing them as always).....it now said on the side "Made in the USA Finished in El Salvador".
What did the label really mean? It's hard to say. I have a theory that the company felt compelled (maybe by Wal-Mart) that they really needed in some way to say "Made in the USA". The trouble is....they couldn't really go and make that claim if it crossed the border. So they ended up making all the raw material in some US state, and trucked it down to El Salvador where 700 women likely sit and earn $2.50 an hour, and then every evening....two tractor trailer-loads of socks get pushed out and head toward the Texas border and some big warehouse.
She was angry, and openly chatting about this frustration over escalating sock prices. For years and years, she stated....the price had been the same, and she felt it was the Trump business which shifted her socks up $6. Very unfair....was her message.
Here's the thing....back in the 1970s, you probably could have bought the same six-pack of socks for $3.90 at K-Mart. These were all made at some sock factory in southern Georgia or western Kentucky. Every six to eight years....the price went up another dollar.
In the late 1990....the golden ticket was established....NAFTA. For this woman, things were now fixed up and resolved. There weren't going to be any more US-manufactured socks. The El Salvador crew could make them (the six-pack) for $5, and Walmart could pump the price up to $9. If you quizzed her enough, she'd admit that the price has been locked down for twenty years, and she didn't mind if folks in Georgia or Kentucky lost jobs. The fact that a million jobs just dissolved? No, she doesn't care.
What would real real socks cost.....in a six-pack, at Wal-Mart....if they were entirely made in the US? I'd take a guess near $12 a six-pack to manufacture, and Wal-Mart would sell them near $19.
All of this is too much for some Americans to grasp. They just want to blame someone because they can't buy socks at $9 for a six-pack anymore. The truth is....they just didn't care about their neighbors, their lack of jobs, or the rigged-up economy that existed for the past twenty-five years.