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WavyDavy - the difference in quality between Chinese and American consumer

goods is almost non existent.

You are speaking of an era that has passed if referring to low tech or simple consumer goods. In higher tech items, the quality of Chinese goods has become so good that our technological advantage of years gone by is eroding as well. The "Buy American" trend that you describe, I fear will never materialize again but there is cause for some hope. We are now seeing a unique trend in the world, one that has never been witnessed in recent history in a global wide competitive currency devaluation. The USA must devalue their currency (they've simply printed too much of it), all other players are attempting to impede their currencies from rising against the US dollar. Those outside of the US dollar standard must raise their prices eventually.

This gambit of foreign exchange is the second last card we have to play. The last one is the fact that we don't need China as a supplier as much as they need us a market. Eventually people will wake up and realize that the customer spending the money should be dictating the terms, not the seller.

posted by gomedome on December 9, 2007 at 6:49 PM | link to this | reply

The Steve and Barry's Caper

GnomeDome: American manufacturers have to care more about quality.  We started getting beat because the Japanese and Germans started producing higher quality cars.  Forget about SUV's for now!  Produce high quality and greatly engineered vehicles that don't break down and also get great mileage!  The American consumer mostly looks for price when buying things.  Unfortunately, most people don't care where something is made.  If the Chinese item is cheaper than the American item, they will buy the Chinese item and vice versa.  Only until the majority of American consumers believe that American-made products are of higher quality than foreign counterparts will they purchase American products. 

Global free trade is a race to the bottom for the world's workers.  United States workers are getting screwed because of globalization but all the world's workers suffer too.  Great post on an extremely important subject that is near and dear to my heart!

posted by WavyDavy on December 9, 2007 at 12:15 PM | link to this | reply

saul_relative - there is no disputing that other than in determining where

the cycle is currently at.

Some North American industries have been obliterated by global competition, primarily low tech, labor intensive areas. Where are we at now? Has the bloodletting stopped or slowed down at all, or does the erosion of certain industries continue?

posted by gomedome on December 9, 2007 at 9:43 AM | link to this | reply

It's also a part of the increased globalization of trade. Competition from
goods around the world will drive manufacturing prices down in the U.S. or those producers will go out of business. 

posted by saul_relative on December 9, 2007 at 9:03 AM | link to this | reply

WavyDavy - the sad part about it is that these types of stores represent

so dramatically, the differences in costs between Chinese and American produced goods.

How can a company based in North America compete with the porduction of these goods? It simply isn't possible.

posted by gomedome on December 8, 2007 at 1:16 PM | link to this | reply

The Steve and Barry's caper
These will be popular.  Everyone is looking to save money. 

posted by WavyDavy on December 8, 2007 at 10:06 AM | link to this | reply

FineYoungSinger -I think the most amazing aspect of these stores and others

like them is you can't help but look at the product and ask: "how do they do it?"

How can a store find someone to produce, in the case of the sports jackets, a product with so much labor, detail and material, yet sell it for $10? On top of that it is shipped from the other side of the globe. The materials, though decidedly cheap in nature have to make up at least 50% of the cost. That doesn't leave a heck of a lot for shipping, profit and the absorbtion of shrinkage. The workers producing these items must be making less than peanuts.   

posted by gomedome on December 6, 2007 at 9:31 AM | link to this | reply

we have a few Steve and Berry's in a few select malls...
Eastwood has one (my local mall).  I guess Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a line there.

posted by FineYoungSinger on December 6, 2007 at 9:21 AM | link to this | reply

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