Cheap clothes and the marvels of globalization
By Alberto Mingardi
Jeffrey Tucker, the founder of Liberty.me and a distinguished fellow at FEE, writes beautifully. A scholar of Henry Hazlitt (“The People’s Austrian“, to quote the title of an old essay of his), Tucker is one of the few people that are able to make you fully grasp the marvels of a modern free market economy.
I highly recommend this Tucker piece on “How we benefit from clothing chaos“. Think of the public debate on clothes and markets (China, big chain sales, the role of the Internet, et cetera).
If you followed all the policy debates and business-page headlines, you would swear that nothing good was happening.
And yet look at the results. Go out shopping this weekend and you see how clothing is a wonderfully vibrant market, with luxury shops thriving alongside discount shops, online retailers competing with brick-and-mortar shops, franchises booming even as local stores and mission thrifts do well too.
Brand names still sell at top dollar, even as knock-off products with similar names at a fraction of the price are doing well too. In the end, the clothing sector is a model of how markets should work. The seeming chaos, the unpredictable and spontaneous changes that are global in scope, have ended up producing a glorious result, with no coordination coming from the top.