or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Fashion and morality
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fashion and morality - Page 2

post #16 of 50
I never thought that I'd write this, but anti-West rants aside, I agree completely with Joe G. Just one more comment on 1)
Quote:
a) switching the pants on a suit/pant combo so they'll fit you. or, switching shoes so you'll get 2 diff sized shoes for your feet so they'll fit you.
Without consent of the store, and you can rationalize it however you want, this is outright theft.
post #17 of 50
I agree that America has a stain on it, with regards to labor relations. Nobody is denying that. But, just because it was wrong and happened once, that doesn't mean we should let it happen someplace else. First, it's not just America, it's the UK, it's Germany, it's France, it's Japan, it's South Korea, it's Taiwan, it's Singapore. Every rich country went through a period such as we're seeing in the Cambodias and Chinas of the world today, and with luck that we'll be seeing in the Nigerias and Kenyas and Zimbabwes of tomorrow. Frankly, many African countries WISH they could have the problems of Cambodia or Indonesia. Besides, Look at it another way, and what you're demanding is to dictate to others what their standards will be. That only breeds resentment. Workers in developed countries need to fight their own fight, not have others' mores shoved down their throats. In that era, there wasn't this mass of affluent people who could demand change with their pocketbooks. And there aren't now. Then as now, the number of people willing to pay more for the same product but made by workers under better conditions is minute. Moreover, I'm entirely unconvinced that working against market forces is a good thing. As Kristof noted regarding clothing standards -- and this is important because there are two types of goods that have started every rich country on the path to modernity, textiles and war materiel -- what that means is that factories won't get built in a lot of places, instead going to more mature developing countries such as Malaysia. I don't want to sound like a protectionist, JoeG. I'm willing to pay more for my clothes, if it means that workers overseas have better working conditions.Sometimes, I think the money companies save with their lower labor costs, they use it to give bigger bonuses to management. This is true, and management pay in America is completely insane. (One of your better presidential candidates, General Wes Clark, recently said that as a 4-star general he earned about 12x more than the lowest-paid private, and that pay scale was a good model for the corporate world. That said, it's safe to say that the robber barons were never hurting for bonuses, either. Also, I'm not entirely against protectionism, for good reasons and limited amount of times. If anyone thinks that Dr. Mathahir's short-term capital controls didn't greatly limit the impact of the Asian crisis on Malaysia, s/he has probably not seen the data. Over the long term, those controls would have been ruinous, but employed for a short time and revoked when the danger passed they worked wonders to shield his country from the worst of the Asian flu. I'm sorry but how can the UN really regulate multinational corporations. If you disagree or agree with the Iraq war, we must all admit that the UN was powerless to stop this war. It's a tough point, I agree, especially with the relentless and puerile demagoguery coming out of one particular rich country about any form of international cooperation. However, a broad global consensus is starting to emerge for the notion that if companies an ignore borders, regulation must, too. Also, remember that thanks to your wanker-in-chief the world is increasingly holding America by the balls. (Who do you think finances your now seven trillion dollar national debt?) America may soon be in the position of having the most bombs and having its economic policy dictated to it by its creditors, the same way the IMF dictates to other countries with unsustainable debt loads. And, all the economic books say what JoeG is saying. But, I wonder if that's still true with globalism today. Functionally, the world is little different now than it was pre-WWI. If workers even begin to demand better treatment, these companies can ship their manufacturing to a even more cheaper country. There is now a unlimited supply of cheap labor. I believe that's what WalMart is doing. Truth be told, I welcome that move. Let's get jobs out of East Asia and into Africa. Bring it on. But realistically, workers are going to realize that many of those threats are empty. Moving production assets, et. al. is often quite expensive, and the costs of better treatment for workers is lower. The path to higher standards for workers around the world is going to be messy, it's going to be bloody in parts, it's going to be too damn slow, but fortunately it's also going to be inevitable. Also, for conditions to improve in the third world, they need capital. But, it seems that the capital the elites accumulate, they never reinvest in their own country. Instead, they go off to Europe to live a ghetto-fabulous lifestyle. As a Nigerian living in Brussels and fairly decently at that, I say ouch. However, it's not entirely true. In my case, while I'm working in Europe (for the news division of a Nigerian television station), I'm also building contacts, especially with European hybrid seed companies. (First, we have to raise our agricultural yield.) Still, it's also something with which my wife (an Austrian) and I have been struggling. Amazingly, I think she wants to move back more than I do. As a future doctor, she feels she can do much more good there than she can in Europe (the thought of moving to an America without universal health care repulses her, so we'd never move back to the country in which we first met). I think chances are very high that we will move in that direction within the next four or five years. Africa might be the richest continent in terms of natural resources, yet its level of poverty is beyond the grasp of most Americans. Which is true. The American standard for total destitution is less than US$5000 in total assets. A Senegalese with US$5000 in assets would feel quite comfortable. It is also true that Africa would be much, much, much better off if it were dotted with sweatshops rather than subsistence farms. Peace, JG
post #18 of 50
Quote:
I don't believe Asian countries such as Hong Kong, South Korea, or Taiwan, exploit workers although they may be paid far less than what Americans consider a minimum wage.
This is an interesting thread, with some interesting views as well on our world. I'm not sure how much workers make in Hong-Kong or Taiwan, but in South Korea, factory workers are generally reasonably well paid. A good example I can give is the company of an acquaintance of mine located in Incheon: the company manufactures inflatable boats. In order to reduce costs, it hired employees from other countries (some russian, some chinese, others from south-east asia). They are paid 1.2 million wons (1000$US) a month with free accomodation. All the employees are of foreign origin as korean citizens apparently won't accept to do labour-intensive work for this income. 12,000$US a year is not so bad afterall, and is similar to the minimal wage in Canada or western Europe. However, as Alias mentioned, there are some illegal immigrants working for a much lower wage in South Korea.  It's estimated that there is around 20,000 to 30,000 working illegally in the peninsula. But, one thing to keep in mind is that this is an isolated problem which does not affect most goods manufactured in korea: the number of illegal workers is less than 0.1% of the total population in the country. In Canada, we had a similar problem several years ago, as many farms were hiring people from Mexico and paying them much less than the minimal wage. Even though the government knew about the situation and tried to put a stop to it, it proved to be hard to do in practice. The main problem was, the Mexicans were quite happy with the money they were making, as it was much more than what they were making in their country of origin. I guess it's a similar situation in South Korea, where the illegal workers consider themselves lucky eventhough they make much less than what they would if they were korean citizens. Another interesting fact: many of the goods with the labels "made-in-japan" and "made-in-korea" which are designed in those countries are actually manufactured in part in China where the income is orders of magnitude lower. While this might be legal, companies that do this are not in my opinion any better than the companies who underpay illegally their workers. They make it seem like their product is made in Japan or in Korea, while in reality, it is not. When buying a product, I find it's better not to worry about where it is made.. In the end, it doesn't seem to matter: to remain competitive, many companies will prefer to use cheap labour at one point or another, either legally or illegally. Personally, I don't find this to be a problem, as this helps in a way to distribute the wealth of the richer nations to the citizens in poorer nations. bern
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Moreover, I'm entirely unconvinced that working against market forces is a good thing.
I agree, However, as has been pointed out to me, a free market does not necessarily mean a capitalist free market, in which capital trumps all. The Chinese, for example, are experimenting with a socialist free market, in which the government continues to exert influence and draw benefits for its constituests by controlling land use and the infrastructure. Similarly, a system could be envisioned in which labour shared in the profits - a system that may be more tenable than communism, which disastrously proposed to solve the problems of distribution by putting control of capital into the hands of labour.
post #20 of 50
Thread Starter 
LaGuy: Are you advocating a system similar to the Chinese then. And, how could such a system work in the West, where profits are shared with labor. Would it be something similar to the stock options they used to give to teckies. I think it would make more sense if labor had a sense of ownership. Instead, of just showing up and clocking in, labor would work much harder if they knew this was reflected in their pay. Also, sorry to hijack this thread, but can anyone explain why Asia has become more economicaly succesful than non-NATO countries. 50 yrs ago, the poverty in Asia was the same as South America and other regions. I know that America invested a lot of capital in Asia to stem the communism threat. But, then, America also invested capital in other countries too yet we're not seeing that same return.
post #21 of 50
Quote:
d) hiding something before a sale, so that you can come back later and purchase it for the sale price. We're assuming that the store doesn't have pre-sale. To me, that falls under "what goes around, comes around". Someone who pulls stunts like that is much more likely to get a crappy used car or something.
Or in the case of George Costanza, a missed job opportunity when you refuse to be a team player and eat a dessert prepared by the guy you screwed over.
post #22 of 50
Quote:
That's racist. Not INTENTIONALLY racist, in most cases, but in fact racist nonetheless.
Huh? How so? Race wasn't even mentioned in that part of the question. How can you know which race lives under a specific dictatorship when people have been migrating for thousands of years? Is not buying from Nike because they poorly pay their overseas workers racism?
post #23 of 50
Ok here is my question. Suppose you buy an expensive piece of designer clothing. Next month you open the newspaper and find out: 1. Your designer died in a car accident in his Ferrari. He was on coke (in essence bought with your very $$) 2. 1000 children in Africa died from hunger (desperately in need of $$). The question: how can you ever justify spending your money the way you did? My answer: ignore this question and keep buying stuff. Who gives a shit about them children when you need to impress people around you and hopefully make them green in the face from jealousy.
post #24 of 50
Quote:
My answer: ignore this question and keep buying stuff. Who gives a shit about them children when you need to impress people around you and hopefully make them green in the face from jealousy.
Yikes.
post #25 of 50
This is in response to the debate about child labor/low-wage labor in developing countries. I just have a few points in defense of this. 1. While child labor may seem unethical, many families need to rely on this. The money that the children make is crucial to the survival of many families. Also, these children will be working in an industry whether it is making clothing or electronics or industrial goods. 2. While it may seem like the workers making US$1/day is awful pay, its not bad for earning necessities. Many of these unskilled workers wouldn't have a job if it wasn't for manufacturing factories. The US$1 that they make can pay for food for a family for a week. It may not be much but it provides families with sustinance that they might not otherwise have.
post #26 of 50
Hope y'all don't mind if I redirect the way this thread is going for just a second and answer the original post...
Quote:
a) switching the pants on a suit/pant combo so they'll fit you. or, switching shoes so you'll get 2 diff sized shoes for your feet so they'll fit you.
- I've found that a lot of times, the pants and the jacket will be sold separately. If this is the case, absolutely nothing wrong with buying a jacket that (for the general public) doesn't go together size-wise with a pair of pants. If the store/designer sells them as a specified combination, one should buy them that way. So, for shoes: no, buy the pair that comes together in the box.
Quote:
b) switching tags on items, so that you can purchase something for a lower price
- NO. This is, in no way, justifiable. It's theft in a slightly altered form. Sure, you're paying for it, but you aren't paying the correct price; you're cheating the store of money that others will pay for later.
Quote:
c) using someone's employee discount, which you did not earn, to puchase something
- If the employee offers to get something for me using his/her discount, I consider it a nice gesture. I would never directly ask the person to do this, but if it were offered, I shouldn't have a problem using it. The company gives its workers the ability, and I imagine they give them the discretion to use it how they'd like.
Quote:
d) hiding something before a sale, so that you can come back later and purchase it for the sale price. We're assuming that the store doesn't have pre-sale.
- No, I wouldn't do this. The only thing similar I've done is when I was a little kid, I would put a toy at the back of the rack if I thought it was a rare find so I could come back later and buy it (at the same price as when I hid it).
Quote:
e) wearing fur. I know this isn't popular in men's fashion, but let's say those full length fur coats from the Harvard-Yale games became popular again.
- I would never wear fur, because I don't lease out girls for sex. But I wouldn't make a disgusted face at anyone wearing fur.
Quote:
f) buying clothes from a country that is repressive, so that this money helps to prop up a dictorship. Or, buying clothes from a region where you know that the working conditions are very exploitative and that workers get paid just a pittance. I think this is referring to probably to every non NATO country.
- I don't think buying clothes made in a repressive country aids the dictatorship. It aids the company that manufactured the clothes. If they choose to set up shop in another country that offers cheaper work, that's their business. Honestly, I don't look at the tag that says "Made in ..." I check the tag that tells me whether or not I can afford the garment.
Quote:
h) how about buying products from companies that use child labor. Didn't nike have that problem. All i remember is that Air Jordan said that it wasn't his problem. Imagine if Kathy Lee Gifford had said that.
- How do you know if the company uses child labor? Again, I don't research it. But if I knew that a particular company exploited children, I'd stop myself from investing in their business.
Quote:
i) Selling, buying 2nd hand items like on EBay. Before downloading, weren't singers complaining about how they weren't getting paid for their CDs sold by stores for used CDS. I think Garth Brooks made a fuss about this when he was the King. Can you use that same argument for when we buy clothes on Ebay.
- Nothing wrong with this. You buy something, you own it. If you choose to sell it once it wears out its welcome in your closet, that's fine. After all, you bought it.
post #27 of 50
Quote:
Ok here is my question. Suppose you buy an expensive piece of designer clothing. Next month you open the newspaper and find out: 1. Your designer died in a car accident in his Ferrari.  He was on coke (in essence bought with your very $$) 2. 1000 children in Africa died from hunger (desperately in need of $$). The question: how can you ever justify spending your money the way you did? My answer: ignore this question and keep buying stuff. Who gives a shit about them children when you need to impress people around you and hopefully make them green in the face from jealousy.
So when you die can I piss on your grave?
post #28 of 50
Quote:
My answer: ignore this question and keep buying stuff. Who gives a shit about them children when you need to impress people around you and hopefully make them green in the face from jealousy.
You might want to rearrange your priorities.  If your main goal is to impress people around you, you're in it for the wrong reason.  And you will not impress anyone with the ideology that you expressed in your post.  Maybe you don't think about the consequences your purchases have on the lives of children, but their deaths are nothing to take lightly.  Maybe you can't "justify" spending your money in that scenario, but you can contribute money or time to charities. You can make a difference in other ways; though, it doesn't seem you're interested in doing that.
post #29 of 50
Thread Starter 
The reason I even used switching tags as an option is because I was reading a survey on honesty in Reader's Digest a couple of months ago. It said that 1 out of 8 people had done this. Someone, who obviously remained anonymous, justified it by saying it that the prices were too high anyways. After talking to someone else in the retail business, I don't agree with that statement at all. But, I'll just throw out these facts anyways: The mark-up for clothing in the men's section ranges from 50- 55%. The mark-up for merchandise such as computers or electronics is much lower. Depending on the item sold, their mark-up can range from 10% to 25% for other items. Clothing has one of the highest mark-ups.
post #30 of 50
Quote:
The reason I even used switching tags as an option is because I was reading a survey on honesty in Reader's Digest a couple of months ago. It said that 1 out of 8 people had done this. Someone, who obviously remained anonymous, justified it by saying it that the prices were too high anyways. After talking to someone else in the retail business, I don't agree with that statement at all. But, I'll just throw out these facts anyways: The mark-up for clothing in the men's section ranges from 50- 55%. The mark-up for merchandise such as computers or electronics is much lower. Depending on the item sold, their mark-up can range from 10% to 25% for other items. Clothing has one of the highest mark-ups.
... and pulling stunts like this will only make those mark-ups higher. There's a reason why people go to sales.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Fashion and morality