Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
2.Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
3.GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
4.Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
7.Stock Market - Should You Be In Cash Right Now? - 17th May 21
8.Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
9.Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
10.How to Invest in HIGH RISK Tech Stocks for 2021 and Beyond - Part 2 of 2 - 18th May 21
Last 7 days
RAMPANT MONEY PRINTING INFLATION BIG PICTURE! - 16th Jun 21
The Federal Reserve and Inflation - 16th Jun 21
Inflation Soars 5%! Will Gold Skyrocket? - 16th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Inflation Is For Fools - 16th Jun 21
Four News Events That Could Drive Gold Bullion Demand - 16th Jun 21
5 ways that crypto is changing the face of online casinos - 16th Jun 21
Transitory Inflation Debate - 15th Jun 21
USDX: The Cleanest Shirt Among the Dirty Laundry - 15th Jun 21
Inflation and Stock Market SPX Record Highs. PPI, FOMC Meeting in Focus - 15th Jun 21
Stock Market SPX 4310 Right Around the Corner! - 15th Jun 21
AI Stocks Strength vs Weakness - Why Selling Google or Facebook is a Big Mistake! - 14th Jun 21
The Bitcoin Crime Wave Hits - 14th Jun 21
Gold Time for Consolidation and Lower Volatility - 14th Jun 21
More Banks & Investors Are NOT Believing Fed Propaganda - 14th Jun 21
Market Inflation Bets – Squaring or Not - 14th Jun 21
Is Gold Really an Inflation Hedge? - 14th Jun 21
The FED Holds the Market. How Long Will It Last? - 14th Jun 21
Coinbase vs Binance for Bitcoin, Ethereum Crypto Trading & Investing During Bear Market 2021 - 11th Jun 21
Gold Price $4000 – Insurance, A Hedge, An Investment - 11th Jun 21
What Drives Gold Prices? (Don't Say "the Fed!") - 11th Jun 21
Why You Need to Buy and Hold Gold Now - 11th Jun 21
Big Pharma Is Back! Biotech Skyrockets On Biogen’s New Alzheimer Drug Approval - 11th Jun 21
Top 5 AI Tech Stocks Trend Analysis, Buying Levels, Ratings and Valuations - 10th Jun 21
Gold’s Inflation Utility - 10th Jun 21
The Fuel Of The Future That’s 9 Times More Efficient Than Lithium - 10th Jun 21
Challenges facing the law industry in 2021 - 10th Jun 21
SELL USDT Tether Before Ponzi Scheme Implodes Triggering 90% Bitcoin CRASH in Cryptos Lehman Bros - 9th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Prepare For Volatility - 9th Jun 21
Gold Mining Stocks: Which Door Will Investors Choose? - 9th Jun 21
Fed ‘Taper’ Talk Is Back: Will a Tantrum Follow? - 9th Jun 21
Scientists Discover New Renewable Fuel 3 Times More Powerful Than Gasoline - 9th Jun 21
How do I Choose an Online Trading Broker? - 9th Jun 21
Fed’s Tools are Broken - 8th Jun 21
Stock Market Approaching an Intermediate peak! - 8th Jun 21
Could This Household Chemical Become The Superfuel Of The Future? - 8th Jun 21
The Return of Inflation. Can Gold Withstand the Dark Side? - 7th Jun 21
Why "Trouble is Brewing" for the U.S. Housing Market - 7th Jun 21
Stock Market Volatility Crash Course (VIX vs VVIX) – Learn How to Profit From Volatility - 7th Jun 21
Computer Vision Is Like Investing in the Internet in the ‘90s - 7th Jun 21
MAPLINS - Sheffield Down Memory Lane, Before the Shop Closed its Doors for the Last Time - 7th Jun 21
Wire Brush vs Block Paving Driveway Weeds - How Much Work, Nest Way to Kill Weeds? - 7th Jun 21
When Markets Get Scared and Reverse - 7th Jun 21
Is A New Superfuel About To Take Over Energy Markets? - 7th Jun 21
Why Tether USDT, Stable Scam Coins Could COLLAPSE the Crypto Markets - Black Swan 2021 - 6th Jun 21
Stock Market: 4 Tips for Investing in Gold - 6th Jun 21
Apple (AAPL) Summer Correction Stock Trend Analysis - 5th Jun 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: I 'Believe' We Rally Into A June Swoon - 5th Jun 21
Stock Market Russell 2000 After Reaching A Trend Channel High Flags Out - 5th Jun 21
Money Is Cheap, Own Gold - 5th Jun 21
Bitcoin and Ravencoin Cryptos CRASH Bear Market Buying Levels Price Targets - 4th Jun 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Saving Middle-Class Jobs in America: Is It Worth $30 Socks?

Politics / Employment Apr 14, 2016 - 04:45 PM GMT

By: Rodney_Johnson

Politics My younger daughter doesn’t conform to, well, much of anything. As a very young girl she insisted on doing her own hair. She liked pony tails – lots of them – but as a four or five-year-old, she didn’t have much skill at getting them right. This meant that she often had 11 or 12 fountains of blonde hair sticking out all over her head. She was very proud.


Much to her dismay, in the sixth grade we enrolled her in a private school that requires a uniform. The queen of individual expression met the tyranny of “The Man,” but she wasn’t about to be deterred. She found her outlet inside her shoes. Every day she insisted on wearing rule-breaking colored socks, and they could not match.

Today she is a senior at the same school, still wearing colored socks that don’t vaguely resemble each other.

I know she’s breaking the rules. I know she’s staging her one-woman protest. But she also might be doing something else – supporting manufacturing in America, one foot at a time. While that sounds like a noble effort, should she?

There’s a woman in Ft. Payne, AL whose companies make the kind of socks my daughter wears. Her name is Gina Locklear, and her two companies, Zkano and Little River Sock Mill, make socks only using U.S. goods and labor. There’s just one problem.

The socks cost $13 to $30 per pair.

Note, my daughter does not wear this brand.

The New York Times recently covered this in an article in which they dubbed Mrs. Locklear the “Sock Queen.” Her family started producing typical athletic socks in Ft. Payne, AL in the 1990s. Business was pretty good until overseas manufacturers undercut their prices. By the time of the financial crisis, the big box orders had evaporated.

Despite the industry’s decline, Mrs. Locklear approached her parents in 2007 saying she wanted to make socks.

To be sure, she wasn’t interested in athletic socks, or the tube socks you get in a six-pack at Walmart. She wanted to make specialty socks of many colors and patterns out of organic cotton and dye, all sourced in the U.S.

As she points out in the article, Mrs. Locklear isn’t sure wearers can tell the cotton and dye are organic, or that the socks were made in the U.S., but these are certainly selling points. She targets millennials, because she believes they study labels and gravitate to a compelling origin story. Martha Stewart even selected Little River as a winner of the 2015 American Made Award.

That’s great. If you like paying $30 for socks.

I don’t make a habit of buying women’s socks, so I did a quick search on Amazon. I found a set of four with different art motifs for $14.99, or roughly $3.75 per pair. I’m certain the socks I found are not made with U.S.-sourced, organically grown cotton and dye like Little River’s, and I’m also certain from the use of English on their website that the producers are not American. But their socks get great reviews for fit and comfort.

Assuming the two socks are basically the same, how much more should we pay for items made in the U.S.?

The reason to do so is obvious – supporting the jobs of our neighbors as farmers, mill workers, etc. But what if we use the roughly $20 savings to buy other stuff, or save it for our future financial needs? This increases our personal standard of living, but doesn’t do much for the textile worker who’s having a tough time.

And is it really possible to be “All-American?” In the article Mrs. Locklear noted that one of her machines is the latest thing in sock making, sort of the “Ferrari” of the business, and it is indeed made in Italy.

If her clients are supposed to buy socks at a higher price because they’re made in the U.S. from U.S. resources, should she purchase only U.S. equipment?

What about foreign orders? Should she sell socks to customers overseas, or would that somehow trample (pun intended) on the sock-making industry in their country, violating some sort of domestic manufacturer’s code?

The point isn’t to step on Zkano or Little River Sock Mill.

Instead, it’s to start a conversation about choosing to consume local products at a higher cost than we’d pay for foreign products, and whether it’s worth taking on a financial burden simply to keep dollars within our borders.

It sounds good, but if everyone did it, then the world would lose the incredible value of specialized labor. Under that system, those who are best at making something produce more of it and trade with other nations, who also trade in their own specialty.

This can go to extremes, where countries use dramatic price differences in labor, fuel, or raw materials to gain a competitive advantage. But that still means consumers get cheaper goods.

In this political season, where the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is being batted around, the North American Free Trade Agreement is under fire, and good-paying, middle-class jobs are hard to find, it makes sense to ask these questions.

But the trade routes don’t move in one direction. In 2015, the U.S. was the second-highest exporting country on the planet. The top goods were machinery, electronic equipment, aircraft, and vehicles. If everyone around the world purchased only local goods, a lot of Americans would lose their jobs.

Follow me on Twitter ;@RJHSDent

By Rodney Johnson, Senior Editor of Economy & Markets

http://economyandmarkets.com

Copyright © 2016 Rodney Johnson - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Rodney Johnson Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in