July 8, 2011

"How Can Jeans Cost $300?"

The answer is simple: They're made in the United States.
To be produced domestically, jeans have to be priced at "$200-plus," says Shelda Hartwell-Hale, a vice president at Directives West, an L.A.-based division of fashion consulting firm Doneger Group....

True Religion is one of the industry's giants, making 4 million units of clothing a year. [Its CEO Jeff Lubell] estimates that his $300 jeans could sell for $40 if he manufactured in China.

99 comments:

Oclarki said...

The middle class destroyed itself by demanding ever cheaper consumer goods. Hope those $20 jeans you bought at Costco last through your golden years.

gerry said...

How do Chinese in China's major cities afford cell phones, air conditioning, carpeting, food, adult beverages, and cars?

chickenlittle said...

Are there no sweatshops here? Is there no prison labor?

Workhouses?

Alex said...

Most Americans seem to be doing well enough in the global economy. We can't go backwards, no matter how many people are hurting!

chickenlittle said...

How much money will be expended staying the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia?

Lance said...

That's nonsense. Even if they're handmade, there's no way it costs $50 to manufacture a pair of jeans. And marking up the wholesale to $135 shows exactly what's wrong with the U.S. clothing business: all marketing, no manufacturing.

@Oclarki

For $320, I can buy sixteen pairs of those $20 Costco jeans.

Skyler said...

This is why I'm no longer a manufacturing engineer.

But to be honest, it's not the labor costs that drive so many jobs to China, it's the taxes.

Dell computer has reduced its cost per box (a metric they use to measure how much it costs to build one computer which includes labor, facilities, etc., but does not include component parts) to less than a dollar.

So that several hundred dollar computer you buy from Dell Computer costs them less than a dollar to build using US labor (non-union, of course).

But Dell has moved its executive officers to China so the company can avoid paying US taxes, or so I'm told by friends that still work at Dell.

chickenlittle said...

My former neighbors got foreclosed on last month. I helped them move. They "owned" 3 flat screen TVs. I don't even own one.

Something doesn't add up.

Joaquin said...

It's all relative.
How does a bottle of water sell for $2.00???

traditionalguy said...

At $300 the local youths will have to steal 10 air conditioners to sell enough copper to afford them.

But love for Jeans will find a way.

nevadabob said...

"Hope those $20 jeans you bought at Costco last through your golden years."

Why should I subsidize your career when the Chinese are cheaper? Or the Thai once the Chinese get to fat. And the Vietnamese after the Thai.

There will always be skinny people willing to make me jeans - or pyramids - in exchange for rice.

Why should I care if they're polluting THEIR environment or enslaving THEIR people.

Wages in the United States have stagnated for 40 years as wave after wave of cheap illegal immigrants have flooded across our borders with the tacit permission of the Democrat Party and amnesty programs signed by Republicans who conveniently went to the same two colleges as the Democrats in charge (Yale and Harvard).

Fuck you. You elected these bastards. Why should I buy your jeans?

I hope you die hungry. You and your kids. Or, you can fucking do something about it.

I will not stand idly by and HELP you fuck over me and my children. Here's my deal: I'll buy your jeans if you help me take back our country.

If you want my investment, if you want me to buy jeans from you and your neighbors, then get up off your fucking asses and demand that your President seal our borders and buy American. Or else.

That's my deal.

Freeman Hunt said...

There's too much white stitching on those jeans.

edutcher said...

How much of that $200 is spent looking for the union label?

That's what Oclarki is whining about.

chickenlittle said...

How much money will be expended staying the execution of Humberto Leal Garcia?

No more. He died yelling, "Viva Mexico". Another one for Rick Perry.

Jana said...

Costco sells True Religion jeans for $80 sometimes.

Sofa King said...

$300 to manufacture a pair of jeans? Maybe, from scractch, by hand.

Until some clever engineers manufacture a robotic jeans assembler.

ricpic said...

If they make your ass look like a heart they're worth the big bucks. I'm only passing on what Titus told me.

chickenlittle said...

@edutcher: Thanks for the update. I got my verb tense wrong.

rdkraus said...

For $300 I could buy about 10 pairs of the jeans I have on right now. Hate to say it, that's probably a lifetime supply for me.

Glenn Howes said...

The manufacturing cost of premium clothing have little to do with the retail price. Where they are manufactured does give an indication of their perceived quality, and thus their level of premiumness and thus their market price.

For example, the upper middle class and ruling class of China will pay ridiculous amounts for premium goods, the more expensive the better to show the status they've obtained. People here in the U.S. would be shocked at how expensive non-necessities are in China.

TWM said...

"Hope those $20 jeans you bought at Costco last through your golden years."

I've got a pair of Wrangler jeans from Wal-Mart - about $18 - that still look good after three years. They're the only kind I buy now.

I wouldn't pay $50 for a pair of jeans much less $300 and I can afford the $300.

The union label means it's way overpriced.

nevadabob said...

"True Religion's top-selling jeans, the Super T, cost about $50 to make and sell wholesale to retailers for $152 a pair. The average price in stores is $335. They feature white stitching on the back pocket and around the waistband."

So a $50 cost is tripled on the way to the wholesaler. Then, it's tripled again by the retailer.

Why?

I'll tell you why: You elected Democrats and they force every wholesaler in the United States to purchase health insurance for every employee they have. The insurance companies may charge whatever they want - and kick back significant campaign contributions to Democrats.

Democrats forced every retailer to do the same.

The first 20% of all wage costs goes not to the employee ... but to Democrats infecting every bureaucracy at every level of government we have.

We PUNISH employers.

Do you think China requires its employers to provide their citizens with health insurance?

Of course they don't.

If you elect Democrats and liberal Republicans then you are SLITTING YOUR OWN THROAT.

Don't whine when you begin bleeding profusely.

Cedarford said...

Skyler said...
This is why I'm no longer a manufacturing engineer.

But to be honest, it's not the labor costs that drive so many jobs to China, it's the taxes.

=================
BS. Claiming taxes is more important than labor costs 8 times lower in a labor intensive manufacturing endeavor perhaps points to why you are a former manufacturing engineer.

Sheepman said...

Well, my shoes, they come from Singapore
My flashlight’s from Taiwan
My tablecloth’s from Malaysia
My belt buckle’s from the Amazon
You know, this shirt I wear comes from the Philippines
And the car I drive is a Chevrolet
It was put together down in Argentina
By a guy makin’ thirty cents a day

Well, it’s sundown on the union
And what’s made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
’Til greed got in the way

Shanna said...

That's nonsense.

If they were made in China they'd still be selling them for 300 bucks, they'd just be pocketing the difference.

MarkG said...

Luxury jeans? Who the hell wears those? I wear $30 Carharts and I'm stylin'. Of course, I expect jeans to wear out eventually.

Carol_Herman said...

My mom used to sell jeans for $3.64 a pair. It included a 50-cent profit for her. And, the taxes for NY State. (She picked up the jeans on Sundays. At a jobber on Canal Street.) You also got a free alteration.

When Faded Glory came out, where jeans were supposed to retail at $40 a pair, my mom pulled up stakes on her business. And, said "no way." You could buy jeans by the dozen, wholesale, For $14.40 for each dozen.

She also had another rule. She only carried blue denim. Black. And, Tan. Men's sizes. Women didn't know what to buy. My mom fitted them in men's pants. And, she nipped in the waistlines with four tucks. (Sure. They were still low-risers.) And, she tapered the leg. And, shortened the pants.

Back in those days (early 1960's), you usually only bought jeans at Army & Navy stores. Department stores didn't carry them. So my mom's store did a thriving business.

Back in those days, selling "used jeans" ripped in the knees ... if not otherwise opened elsewhere, Greenwich Village did a booming business!

And, if you traveled overseas ... people would approach you on the street, making offers to buy the jeans off of you at handsome profits. Plus, you could travel really light on your way home.

You could buy a book, back then, called "Europe on Five Dollars a Day."

Besides jeans, people traveled with a toothbush. A few pairs of sox. And, a change in underwear.

Prices went up because the market was there! It's not set at the wholesalers, either. It is set by supply & demand. And, everybody wanting to wear jeans. Everywhere.

Given how I cherish my favorite jeans. (Irreplaceable, now. Because they are made by Ralph Lauren. And, it's no longer carried anywhere. Why do I want another pair? Because one of my dogs chewed off the leather label. One night. When I casually tossed the jeans over the bed's rail.) Dogs can eat shoes and leather labels, silently. It's a contest.

While ya know what? Given how long you can keep a pair of jeans. Practically wearing them every day. Including the wash & dry cycle that can be taken care of ... with a wash that starts when you go to sleep. And a drying cycle while you're preparing coffee ...

I'd say $300 is a bargain. A dollar a day! Who couldn't spare that to have a pair of "happy pants?"

Patrick said...

The cost savings is in the rules. There are more $$$ rules in the US than in China. In China you can build a jean factory in a residential neighborhood. There are no environmental regulations to speak of (at least 10 years ago there wasn't). The only manufacturer liability is the death penalty if the CEO turns out a poisonous product that kills the child of someone important.

Chinese jeans have a lot of human misery attached to them that makes them cheap.

Conserve Liberty said...

That's just ridiculous. I just bought a 100% wool Brooks Brothers "Madison" 1818 suit for $898, including alterations. That style is the traditional, fine, USA made suit, including USA woven fabric. Best suit available short of hand-made. Other BB suits of foreign weave fabric, or cut overseas and assembled here cost as little as $498.

One fine wool suit should be worth more than three denim slacks.

chickenlittle said...

Conserve Liberty said...
That's just ridiculous. I just bought a 100% wool Brooks Brothers "Madison" 1818 suit for $898, including alterations.

That suggests that an ounce of gold--which just a short while ago sold for about that--is now overpriced.

Patrick said...

There should be a politically correct movement to reintroduce the toga as a way to green the country and save energy. People could teach in togas, wear their toga to class.

Ellie Dworak said...

These made in the USA jeans cost under $50. http://www.texasjeansusa.com/shop_USA_Made.html

Michael said...

A better question is how can a bottle of wine cost $300? Because the wine is gone in an hour and the jeans will last much longer. I have a friend who manufacturers a very nice blue blazer here in the US and prices it at $160. Of good quality. There is plenty of profit in these 300 jeans. There are plenty of items that can be made it but it is one colossal pain in the ass to put up with our regulatory environment. It is not all the cost of labor. But, as someone wrote recently, when you demand more for the job than the job is worth then the job goes away. Auto assembly line workers learned that the hard way, although at least one generation got away with it and came to expect it for the next.

IggyRules said...

Well, it’s sundown on the union
And what’s made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
’Til greed got in the way

Well, the job that you used to have
They gave it to somebody down in El Salvador
The unions are big business, friend
And they’re goin’ out like a dinosaur
They used to grow food in Kansas
Now they want to grow it on the moon and eat it raw
I can see the day coming when even your home garden
Is gonna be against the law

http://www.theagitator.com/2011/07/07/does-michelle-obama-know-about-this/

Skyler said...

Cedarford, I'm breaking a personal rule by replying to you, but you are obviously bad at math, you needlessly insult people, and you're a racist and anti-semite too. Which is why I normally ignore you, as should everyone else.

When labor and facilities costs less than $1 per computer and taxes cost much more than that (I have no idea how much but it's much more than $1 per computer) then it makes little sense to save $0.40 per computer if the taxes were lower in the US instead of higher.

Remember that the labor costs are not comparable exactly in China/Malaysia and the US. The US is much more automated and much more efficient. Dell doesn't spend millions of dollars putting in automated equipment in these low labor cost countries because the labor is cheap enough to do things manually.

chickenlittle said...

nevadabob wrote: Why should I care if they're polluting THEIR environment or enslaving THEIR people?

You should care about the air and water pollution aspects...that stuff spreads everywhere eventually.

Carol_Herman said...

The most important part of a pair of jeans is the pattern used to cut the material.

That never changes!

It's an art form to be able to cut patterns.

Conserve Liberty said...

An ounce of gold has traditionally purchased 100 pounds of bread or one man's suit of clothes. Does a pound of "craft" bread cost $15? A handmade suit probably does cost $1500 - I wouldn't know.

I buy one business suit each year. They tend to last ten years so I can rotate them over a two week period (not counting blazer days).

Shirts, OTOH . . .

Michael said...

Conservative Liberty: You are exactly right about the BB suit. Very good quality at a very good price. H. Freeman (not Hickey Freeman, but H. Freeman) is another made in America suit of very high quality that is priced at around $900 a copy. Many things can be made here that aren't because of the colossal number of rules and regulations and taxes at every level from local to county to state to Fed. A lot of that is swept away in offshore operations with a single irritant of a centralized govt.

chickenlittle said...

IggyRules said...
Well, it’s sundown on the union
And what’s made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
’Til greed got in the way


Whose greed in your screed?

Your home garden code violation deserves greater attention. link. It's an example of "Conspicious Production" (cf. Thorstein Veblen)and should be applauded--not sanctioned.

Michael said...

Conservative Liberty: A handmade suit bought here but made in Hong Kong starts around a grand. Very good quality. Saville Row makers are now in the $5,000 range for starters. I have the former but not the latter. My custom suits probably last the exact time that a BB suit does so the difference is pure vanity. Off the rack fits me fine so it is pure vanity.

chickenlittle said...

Conserve Liberty wrote:
Does a pound of "craft" bread cost $15?

Who knows what with the hidden cost of Ag subsidies built in, maybe normal bread fits the bill.

chickenlittle said...

Saville Row makers are now in the $5,000 range for starters.

Charlie Watts must be sitting on a fortune.

Michael said...

chickenlittle: Watts has stacks of suits from the Row and stacks of dough on top of those. He could buy two a day for the rest of his hopefully long life and he would not notice. Very well dressed drummer. The best dressed. Top of the line for Charlie.

Phil 3:14 said...

I have my Google News do a daily search for news on "religion". Half the time I get a news story about "True Religion".

Suffice it to say, its not the sort of religious story I'm looking for.

Phil 3:14 said...

This discussion reminds me of this

Look for the union label..

Phil 3:14 said...

But we in America, particularly in California, have figured out an alternative.

bagoh20 said...

I've been running a labor intensive manufacturing company for decades. Our main competition is the Chinese who copy our product as soon as it hits the street. They are always cheaper on price alone, but if anything else matters like quality, delivery, flexibility, or customer service, we compete very well.

The delivered pricing is generally not more than 20% - 30% lower. For a lot of people that's not worth it.

I also don't see how jeans could cost $300 from a manufacturing perspective.

Competing with China is tough, but we are doing extremely well. Everyone in my company got a raise last week (averaging 15%), and have been getting bonuses nearly every month in 2011. We have been hiring all year.

It can be done. There are great people in this country, and if you can find them, they can kick Chinese ass all day.

Management and government must be minimalist though. Nobody can afford freeloaders, unless they can get away with selling jeans for $300.

Trooper York said...

I know a little something about jeans and how much they cost to make. Suprislingly it is not the labor cost to stich them up that is the problem. It is the fabric cost. Cotten costs have become intolerable and you have to buy huge lots of demin to bring down the unit cost. Then it has to go to a wash house to be dyed as raw denim is pretty sucky looking. Another huge expense. Before you start sewing.

We looked into making jeans but it is not gonna happen. We are making denim skirts and a cropped jacket that are very popular. We are using an unwashed organic denim from Texas that still is $12.75 a yard which is crazy.

It all conspires to drive the price up.

Trooper York said...

We only make clothes in the USA.

Freeman Hunt said...

$300 jeans = paying $300 for jeans so that people will know that you can pay $300 for jeans

Peter said...

"In the luxury business, those mark-ups cover huge marketing budgets," says the original article. Which is to say, what's being sold is the sizzle and not the steak.

The price comparison is nonsense. These products are produced in small quantities, with hand labor, and those huge marketing costs are spread over a very small number of units.

IF they were mass-produced- here or in China- no one would pay $300. for them. The high price guarantees exclusivity, and exclusivity is what buyers are paying for.

What makes a product "luxury" has very little to do with what's in it, and everything to do with the buyer's perception, as crafted by marketing. No one is paying $300. for a piece of cloth. They're paying $300. for "True Religion" (or whatever).

There are issues about what's made in China and how its made, and the flight of U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. BUT, this example has nothing at all to do with these issues.

Phil 3:14 said...

The middle class destroyed itself by demanding ever cheaper consumer goods. Hope those $20 jeans you bought at Costco last through your golden years.

What a minute I thought it was the rich stealing from the middle class that eliminated the middle class.

I can't get the story straight!

Michael said...

Trooper: It used to be that growers prayed for dollar cotton. Now buyers pray for it. The worldwide demand for the fabric should have our southern cotton fields planted with cotton instead of beans but I guess that is the way of the agricultural subsidy business. Out of my field entirely, but with spot cotton above two bucks I can see why the material costs rival labor.

Trooper York said...

There is some truth in the fact that consumers have forced some mmanufacturers to go to the lowest common denominator. If you provide a product that people can not get cheaper somewhere else than you have a chance. But price can destroy a lot of lines.

Trooper York said...

There was a run on cotton prices after all that bullshit in Egypt. One of my fabric suppliers rasided the prices on stuff he had already made! I mean he didn't buy it raw at the higher price he had already milled it. He just wanted to screw us.

I am going to the fabric show in NYC in two weeks to source out new fabric companies. I am not too hopeful.

Hagar said...

I can remember when Levis 501's cost $2.98 a pair plus 4% tax, and they were made in the good old US of A. (In fact, later on for several decades, but no more, right here in Albuquerque.)Today they run about $35 per pair plus 7% tax, and I do not think any are US-made any longer.

However, in constant dollars, the price is about the same.

Michael said...

Phil:3:14. The middle class was destroyed by millionaires and billionaires flying around in corporate airplanes.

Trooper York said...

Somehow I don't think Barack Obama is gonna encourage cotton growing or cotton pickin' in the USA. Just sayn'

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Trooper York said...

"Somehow I don't think Barack Obama is gonna encourage cotton growing or cotton pickin' in the USA. Just sayn'"

Raaaaacist!!!!!

Fred4Pres said...

I am not buying that jeans cost $300 each if made domestically. Yes they are cheaper in China, no they are not that expensive if made here.

Michael said...

Trooper: The Egyptian stuff was a recent phenomenon, prices have been higher than the Civil War prices for over a year, over two bucks. God knows what you have to pay the grower for "organic"!!

Trooper York said...

Hey look what he did to the pancake industry. He is proposing banning pancakes like light blubs so you can only get waffles.

He is a very petty guy.

Rachel said...

Meh. TJMaxx often carries 7 for for All Mankind jeans for $39.99. Wait six weeks and the price drops to $29.99.

Trooper York said...

Michael they egyptian bullshit is what the dude tried to tell me when he raised his prices. I told him "you're a fuckin Iranian what do you give a shit."

Lots of garment guys in LA are Iranians.

I am looking at Indian textiles.
Dot head indian not casino indian.

Michael said...

I have never done well by the casino indians but wish they had been around when I smoked. The dots will have excellent fabrics for sure. The casino's would be able to produce the organic style if you are willing to wait ten years or so.

The LA Iranians will give you better prices if you refer to them as Persians.

William said...

There's a way for an American manufacturer of daring, vision, and Yankee ingenuity to produce low priced jeans. Two words: illegal aliens.

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

"How Can Jeans Cost $300?"

Easy. Gays.

wv: mangrabi HA!

Dad29 said...

There are a couple of metrics missing from that story. When he claims that he could sell PRC-made jeans for $40.00, he does not tell us whether he's using US fabric.

The math (of the US-made jeans) tells us that PRC jeans have all-in cost of $10.00/pair so it's not US fabric.

IOW, it's comparing apples to peaches.

As to Skyler's comments--it is taxes AND regulation--not to mention mandated bennies. PRC has no wage/hour act, no SocSec, no retirement offerings, no OSHA, no EPA driving up costs of utilities....

IOW, we're buying from the slaves. And we won't fight another Civil War over the issue.

chickenlittle said...

I've taken to polyester shirts lately. I think they were given a bumrap in the 1970s.

Paddy O said...

"There should be a politically correct movement to reintroduce the toga as a way to green the country and save energy."

Toga!? Toga?! The dress of the oppressor!

Now I will interrogate your conscience: how do you feel in a toga: dressed or oppressed? Is it like wearing clothes or bearing them? If you deny, I will follow you home, and I will see what you hasten to do right after the threshold. No other garment is taken off with such relief as the toga!

So said Tertullian, the man of Carthage.

Kirk Parker said...

Trooper,

Two words: Replacement Cost. Your supplier is just using good business sense. If his doesn't raise his prices now, how's he going to afford his next lot of much-more-expensive raw material? (And surely you understand this from your own business, right?)

wv: untersan. The respectful Japanese way to refer to untermensch.

Phil 3:14 said...

Wow!!
First racist

Now homophobic

Only thing left is misogyny

Carol_Herman said...

Do you know there's a manufacturing problem in China?

For starters, companies that go there are like visitors to a whore house. They don't walk into the same girl's room, twice.

Everything in China is jobbed out. And, the country's leaders get their cut. The firms that operate the sewing machines? Here today. Gone tomorrow. As setting up "shops" depends on your knowing where the heavy equipment is.

Also, the jobs are parceled out. You don't get the whole pair cut and sewn on the same spot.

Anyone who has had to do business in china knows its a crap shoot. If something goes wrong? There's no government entity where you can go to. Lawyers and courtrooms are non-existent.

Of course, American manufacturers go there. Using intermediaries.

These are "one shot" deals.

And, for a lot of American labels this is a good thing, too. Since they need to change their styles. Or the buyers get bored.

Gone are the days that Levi's, Lee's, and Wrangle, made the same pairs of pants, year in and year out!

Yes. American manufacturing jobs have gone overseas. Thanks to the efficiencies of the container shipping industries ... And, the fact that it doesn't pay to send goods in only one direction.

In olden times. When all we had were sailing ships. Rum made it out to the "old silk road" trade ... And, morphine ALWAYS came back, stuffed into the hulls.

Today? When the cartels want to ship drugs through customs, they go to Asia. And, hire companies to make Teddy Bears. With no questions asked.

While jeans are so fashionable ... I think you can go around this globe ... and just about all living humans ... have a pair.

They are that popular!

Sure. At one time you couldn't wear jeans to the office. At first, you got "casual Fridays."

Now? I'm surprised men still wear business suits. Where?

Carol_Herman said...

Do you know, I don't know the differences between morphine, opium, and heroin. There may be some. But I think it's just trade that made lots of people rich.

Or like Mario Puzo starts out the Godfather, with a quote from Balzac: "There is no wealth where a crime wasn't committed first."

Cedarford said...

Dad29 - "As to Skyler's comments--it is taxes AND regulation--not to mention mandated bennies. PRC has no wage/hour act, no SocSec, no retirement offerings, no OSHA, no EPA driving up costs of utilities...."

I suspect Skyler is a "manufacturing engineer" in the same sense janitors have taken to calling themselves sanitation engineers. She has no clue what gutted American industry to profit China and America's Ruling Elites - so tries masking her ignorance with cries of "racism!! bigotry!" in defense.
The call for lower taxes on the Ruling Elites's factories and more personal tax cuts as a "jobs machine?"
Hardly.
Remember that when NAFTA was signed the Ruling Elites couldn't wait to get American jobs sent to Mexico in special tax-free, no environmental regs, no union, no SS Zones. Especially labor-intensive jobs like clothing. That "Maquiladora" movement prospered in the early 90s, then all the Ruling Elites got China treated effectively as a country that Borders us...and under globalization, the Mexican Maaquiladoras were decimated and jobs fled no stinking unions, no tax, no regs, no bennies zones for cheap labor China..

Which, BTW, helped trigger the mass illegal immigration movement as unemployed Maquiladora workers tried fleeing Norte! enmass by 1 year after we (the Clinton Free Traders and Globalists) got China a free pass to virtually all the domestic American market.

Ralph L said...

One of my fabric suppliers raised the prices on stuff he had already made!
That's so he can afford to buy more materials when the price is rising. I work for a small fertilizer blender & grain dealer (we screw the local farmers in both ends). The wild price fluctuations for fertilizer, grain, and diesel of the last 8 years reek havoc with everyone's cash flow, and our margins are tiny.

holdfast said...

Didn't the glorious M'Chelle Obama (PBUH) wear ugly $500+ sneakers to a homeless shelter?

Why, yes she did. Even the HuffPo seems disgusted.

http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-05-01/entertainment/17922541_1_lanvin-fancy-footwear-first-lady-michelle-obama

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/29/michelle-obama-wears-silv_n_193138.html

Anyway, even $3,000 jeans could not tame her butt.

Eric said...

Suprislingly it is not the labor cost to stich them up that is the problem. It is the fabric cost.

That might account for some of the rise in price over the last few years, but the Chinese manufacturers are going to have to pay comparable prices, so it doesn't account for the US/China price gap.

I'm very suspicious of this $300 number.

Skyler said...

Good grief, Cedarford spews more infantile insults. It seems that this creature has some level of mastery of language and grammar, yet lacks the manners or the sense normally present in grapefruit.

Jose_K said...

Some jean were sold at 200 and are made in China. they went to SCOTUS trying to use Tiffanys as precedent to violate antitrust laws . They want a ban on directs import of their brand
and Alex is right

Jose_K said...

nevadabob , until 2007 there was full emloyment in the USA. And it began in 1982. Greeenspan hiked the interest rates because there was dangers in overemployment. Desregulation and low taxes and all will be equal again.
BTW:illegal inmigrants made goods chepaers making real wages higher for americans.Two days ago , someone quoted Julien Simon, read him

Cedarford said...

Lets see, the person calling me a racist and a not 100% in love with every Jew's actions (which makes one an anti-Semite in a way critics of Arabs, Russians, Chinese, Mexicans are never called on...) - whines I insulted her.

No,just calling you on having your head up your ass on claiming that "taxes on the poor wealthy owners" are the main reason Chinese goods are cheaper.

Sigivald said...

More accurately, because they're "luxury jeans" and sewn by hand rather than by machine, in a segment that will tolerate a 500% markup between production cost and retail.

Non-luxury jeans made in the US by machines and without precious hand-embroidering and not sold in expensive boutique stores would not need to cost nearly as much.

(That said, I'm all for foreign-made jeans, myself. Comparative advantage for the win!)

Sigivald said...

Skyler said: So that several hundred dollar computer you buy from Dell Computer costs them less than a dollar to build using US labor (non-union, of course).

While that's (plausibly) true in the context he said it (which was - not including component costs), we also have to remember that component costs are huge, and Dell's margin is tiny.

(Who owns the PC market's profit-share? Apple, because Apple owns the high-end market, where all the margin is.)

SunnyJ said...

Cotton has been limit up, along with other commodities, for nearly 2 1/2 yrs. Think now, what other amazing transformation of fundamentals (besides the markets) happened about 2 1/2 yrs ago?

There are no coincidences. The shadow government and its teeking of regulatory codes has been at work for 2 1/2 years, and some in place before that thanks to the nap GW Bush took during his last term.

Understand this: the goal has been to reduce the living standard in USA and raise in 3rd world. The regulatory costs are a hidden tax on all businesses.

The more the administrative rule makers tweek the codes, the more cost goes into jumping through the hoops. The hoops get smaller, higher and finally ringed with fire.

End result: $300 jeans and the debt, street chaos, unemployment and end to USA and capitalism.

Craig said...

The middle class destroyed itself by demanding ever cheaper consumer goods.

No. The middle class saved itself by demanding ever cheaper consumer goods.

The inflationary policies of the American government over the last 60 years or so have made the U.S. too expensive to produce most consumer goods. It's insulting, but typical for many, to blame consumers who, after all, are trying to stretch their increasingly tight budgets.

IggyRules said...

Thanks Bagoh20,
I knew someone with real-world experience would call bullshit on that story.
Not sure what to make of chickenlittle - but the garment unions were as much to blame as the companies when the industry moved to Malaysia and India in the late 70s and 80s. Same story as always - hold a gun to someone’s head and they'll move. If they happen to employ you, your shit out of luck.

ddh said...

Jeans that cost $300 are a waste of money. Americans shouldn't make jeans unless they want to earn no more than $10-$12 a hour, tops. Back in the day Americans produced textiles, the mills in North Carolina preferred workers who had an eighth grade education or less because they were less likely to be bored and they had few alternatives for work, but even then, the mills had trouble competing with a work force that averaged $8 a hour. Americans should instead provide products and services that require more skilled labor than a textile mill.

ddh said...

The middle class destroyed itself by demanding ever cheaper consumer goods.

We produce so that we may earn the money to pay for our consumption. Consumers don't owe it to producers to buy their products, producers owe it to consumers to make products that consumers want to buy at a price consumers are willing to pay. Producers are not entitled to a job.

ampersand said...

Americans should instead provide products and services that require more skilled labor than a textile mill.

??????????????????????????????
Guess what? There are plenty of people worldwide that will undercut you for those product and services jobs.

If you ever get down to Brazil,say hello to my old job.

Cedarford said...

ampersand said...
Americans should instead provide products and services that require more skilled labor than a textile mill.
===============
That was the 80s mantra - let the Chinese make little paper umbrellas for our drings and all the no-skill sneaker assembly work while the Best in the World American worker would do the skilled and semi-skilled labor making "high tech personal computers, the amazing new cell phones coming soon, all the exciting products that China will crave and grow US industry and manufacturing..and since we get rid of low skill work, all our wages would soar here in America".

30 years later, some people are still gripped in that delusion. "We just need to put our brilliant inner city blacks and lower middle class whites to work on things that highly motivated Chinese and Indian HS or above graduates lack the brains and skill to make.

"Like what?"

"I dunno...maybe nanotech..but I'll put the work of an American Freedom-Lover over anyone, and more tax cuts at the top will create American jobs. The truth of all that, despite present events, was know as absolute Truth 30 years ago."

bagoh20 said...

Jeez Cederford, you are dense and a broken record.

We have to compete, or kill everyone else on the planet. Get over it.

Somehow I get the impression you don't feel too confident about competing against others in the world. I suspect it's because whining is pretty lame in competition, but that's your strong suit.

Gary Rosen said...

" not 100% in love with every Jew's actions"

This is the only thing C-fudd has said in this thread which bears any relation to reality at all:

Read #51

ddh said...

ampersand said:

Guess what? There are plenty of people worldwide that will undercut you for those product and services jobs.

Indeed they are. You still have to produce a product or a service that people want at a price they are willing to pay. If you don't, someone else gets your job.

And, oh, by the way, Cedarford, that's not a mantra from the 80s. These points were made by Adam Smith in pointing out the benefits of a division of labor in his The Wealth of Nations, published in 1776. David Ricardo elaborated the theory of comparative advantage in his Principles of Political Economy, published in 1817.

HT said...

Someone says a pair of wranglers they bought still look good after three years. Three years? That's infancy. I buy clothes to last, something that's getting harder and harder as most of it is made in China now and not made as well. (Neiman Marcus isn't shutting down though.) If my jeans do not last me at least ten years, I feel bad. I rescusitate and revive them whenever possible and never ever put them in the dryer where they'd shrink anyway.

Just purchased a new bicycle. I used to have the world's best bicycle ever. But it was wrecked (not while I was riding it) and it's gone. All the bikes are made in China now. I test rode a bunch. None of them were as good as my 20 plus year old bike.

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