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Random fashion thoughts - Part II (A New Hope)

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by LA Guy, May 15, 2015.

  1. oulipien

    oulipien Well-Known Member

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    You and I may have different assessments of FDR (and of the depths of poverty involved in the Great Depression) but I don't think of the New Deal and the war spending as the US entered WWII as semi-dictatorial. (Certainly, the latter was state-led, but not, I think, export-led, as that's normally understood.)

    If the export-led growth is semi-dictatorial, why can't the labor standards be baked in from the beginning? Because it would increase costs? (It would also increase employment, if instead of having one worker work 16 hours you have two working 8.) Then the semi-dictators can pronounce that they'll subsidize businesses (or indeed, they can be nationalized businesses, with implicit subsidies). (Bonus: the imposition of extra requirements is a great driver of innovation!) I've not seen a case (here or elsewhere) for why industrialization really does have to be ugly, why ontogeny has to recapitulate phylogeny—what seems far more likely to me is that in fact no one really cares a lot about worker protections, and workers start out weak, so they get screwed. If the people in charge actually *wanted* protections then they could mandate them.
     
  2. oulipien

    oulipien Well-Known Member

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    Has any economic thinker been more oversimplified than Adam Smith? Even The Wealth of Nations is a lot more complex than people give it credit for, and his ethical writing seems mostly ignored (he was very big on empathy, & I recommend checking out the entries on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). At any rate, it should be pretty common knowledge by now that trusting to individuals to look after their own self-interest is a pretty terrible way to get even the outcomes the individuals themselves would most desire. (And if you want an extremely readable intro to why not, Tom Slee's _No One Makes You Shop At Wal-Mart_ is excellent.)
     
  3. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    I'm left-leaning and believe in regulations, so I think FDR is great, but you're talking about post-industrial politics, which is a completely different thing than talking about how to develop pre-industrial societies.

    My point is that, if you look at economic development throughout history, it's always been at the hands of non-democratic governments, usually because it requires a bit of heavy coordination and (often) results in unequal distributions. Which have to be put up for a while until things get moving, then all the liberal reforms everyone loves (including me) can not only be put into place, but actually enforced. It's hard to enforce labor laws when the legal system is corrupt. Or the government doesn't have enough manpower to reach into small provinces (or, at times, even big provinces).

    You can have all the labor laws you want, but they're often not enforced because 1) capitalists will be capitalists and 2) weak governments can't govern. To get good governance, you need growth. Growth drives liberalism.


    This entirely misses how politics works. It's not about wanting something, it's about power. You're taking governance for granted because you live in an advanced industrial economy, where things are working. Go to a poor country and see how often government officials even show up on time to work. Or how easy it is to bribe someone to look the other way when something goes wrong. Or how laws are continually flouted and things rely on culture and soft norms.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    2 people like this.
  4. oulipien

    oulipien Well-Known Member

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    Also I've only been reading StyleForum around a year and it seems like this exact discussion has taken place three times. Not-so-random fashion thoughts.
     
  5. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I would disagree with all of this except for the part about it not being 1850.

    One should not have a minimal expectation of any behavior that is not mandated by law or otherwise regulated, and where such laws and regulations are enforced. Even commonly accepted practices can easily be overturned. As @dieworkwear already stated, a strong government is needed to enforce laws and regulations. And a strong government with the resources to enforce laws beyond those that keep them in power typically exist only in the presence of wealth. I've heard people glibly say that "The greatest virtue is wealth", but it's not that far from the truth. Trivialities aside, wealth and metrics of wellbeing and good civic behavior seem to be strongly correlated with the wealth of a community.

    Beyond that, opinions on what constitutes "socially responsible" is highly variable within a society, much less between societies.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, I think it was hard for me to appreciate this until I went to non-Western countries.

    I think it's fine to think that companies should be more socially responsible. I don't think anyone wants to see socially irresponsible behavior. I'm saying: when people bring this stuff up, in terms of actions, it always goes back to "buy local," "buy from rich countries," "buy less altogether," or "eschew capitalism."

    At which point, if you originally cared about the welfare of people in poor countries, you're doing worse for them than if you just bought the thing from the sweatshop. Better working conditions are always better, but no working conditions is worse than bad working conditions. And at the end of the day, all these views seem like they're just about protecting Western jobs. Or ideas about injecting meaning into the lives of rich Western people, who can enjoy all the benefits of post-industrial society (peace, law and order, liberal norms, etc) while everyone else is just trying to sell their cheap, crappy things so they can survive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    8 people like this.
  7. g transistor

    g transistor Well-Known Member

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    I love this discussion. Excellent work, y'all.
     
    2 people like this.
  8. g transistor

    g transistor Well-Known Member

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    On another note, someone I work with called my Guidi hikers Danners. She said, "Nice, I like your Danners." This ain't fuckin' Wild, this is fashunz
     
    9 people like this.
  9. Gruff

    Gruff Well-Known Member

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    I tend to disagree on the values. I know you know this, but capitalism is just the private ownership of the means of production for profit. Within that definition there's a vast latitude for how to structure capitalism in actual practice. There's really no reason why American capitalism couldn't include higher standards of protection for labor, higher minimum wage, increased environmental protections, etc, other than the particular culture of capitalism in America (which is rather predicated on exploitation of a variety of factors, IMO).

    My point is, the system is what you make it. Capitalism could focus on the long term health of a society, with the trade-off being less emphasis on economic efficiency and less profit maximization, or it could be the current American system which is predicated on ruthless efficiency while heading towards neo-Feudalism.

    I do agree that in the real world, capitalist systems are way messier than the pure ideal, and involve a variety of state interventions at different levels. The real world is rarely black and white.

    I think what people are really railing against is corporatism, however.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
    3 people like this.
  10. Coldsnap

    Coldsnap Well-Known Member

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    Need some advice being a bit more economical with my money as I'm starting grad school soon. Clothes is probably my fourth big expense. This sale season has been pretty crazy, hard to resist as my wardrobe is small and stuff has been nearing 80-90% off. Paypal credit has been a huge enabler as they do 6 month free financing on anything over $100, so i figure it's a free "let's try it out, if I don't like I'll return". But this has resulted in me keeping a running paypal credit tab of about $1,000+. I was possibly thinking of opening another barclays dream account (you can have three, easy to manage) and just set aside $30-40 a month to clothes, if I can't cover it with what's in my barclays then I can't have it. Anyone else try to get a handle on purchases for a bit?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017
  11. Zassiliss

    Zassiliss Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, most effective way is to stop visiting this website and constantly reading about other people buying stuff and wanting to buy stuff, honestly.
     
    5 people like this.
  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I have a strict limit, and don't go over it, not by $0.01, no exceptions. If there is something that I want, and it's over the budget, I'll wait until the next month, or whenever I have enough for that thing. If it's gone by then, it simply was not meant to be. I also find that it helps to know what you want, and be driven by that primarily, and not by secondary concerns like discounts, which are false economy. I'm looking at what I've gotten since Christmas, and of the 2 things, only 2 were on sale. One was a pair of Vespa low tops to replace the 5 year old Wings+Horns lowtops that I wear all the time. And the other is a guidi belt at only 20% off that I'd been looking for a good deal on (under $200) for while as well. The other two things are a vest (full price, minus a 10% kicker as a first time buyer), and a custom leather bag (still waiting on it, no discount, obviously.)

    Only the sneakers were anything approaching an impulse purchase, and that was to replace something that I'd been using for a looooog time.

    Not in 2017, unless you simply don't have an electronic devices and live off the grid.
     
    3 people like this.
  13. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Well-Known Member

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    I'll be the unpopular one and say that if you don't have the money, don't spend it... As my wife says, if a $700 dress is on sale for $400 and you buy it, you didn't save $300... you just spent $400.

    I might be crazy, but grad school is probably a shitty time to have exercise interest in designer fashion. I don't think the actual dollar amount matters so much as your ability to actually afford whatever that number is.
     
  14. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Well-Known Member

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    Social media like Instagram is the worst for FOMO. Everyone has everything and you're a broke motherfucker.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. 1969

    1969 Well-Known Member

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    Yep...cash only. If you don't learn how to live without credit while your poor the cycles and stakes once your making real money will keep you up at night. It took me till my 30's to learn it the hard way so do as I say and not as I did.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Well-Known Member

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    Warning: "Real Money" to most is still only like $60,000.
     
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  17. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    I don't think that that is unpopular.

    My personal play budget, and that is what it is, comes after everything else, including savings, and frankly, I'm constantly inundated with product, product, product. I have found an appreciation for things as objects rather than purely as acquisitions. There is a ton of clothing and accessories that I think are super cool, but that I am unlikely to ever buy, for any reason, at any price.

    grad shool is a great time to exercise interest in designer fashion, especially if you are single and young. It's probably the last time in your life when you are truly financially free. If you are in a STEM field, you are being paid to get a really great credential and learn both a subject and probably a few life lessons. You probably don't have a mortgage, your car is probably secondhand and paid for, and all you have to worry about financially is paying your rent, paying for groceries, and making sure your electric and gas are not turned off. You are not going to be saving much, if anything, because your stipend is not meant for that anyway. You have great, relatively inexpensive, health insurance, through your university. The world is your oyster. Just don't spend more than you have, (i.e. next month's money is not money you can spend now) and you are good.
     
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  18. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Which, frankly. is typically enough to indulge occasionally in designer fashion, which really is one of the more affordable hobbies.

    Of course, that depends on where you live. But barring your living in San Francisco or New York, or have 5 kids, you are good.
     
  19. Coldsnap

    Coldsnap Well-Known Member

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    Yea, i hear ya. I'm pretty good with money. I had a budget first year of college because I was dead broke. Been managing my money well ever since. I'm gone a wear Levis 501 and uniqlo Ts through grad school haha.
     
  20. CBrown85

    CBrown85 Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough- having no dependents or commitments other than what's probably a really high tuition is helpful.

    The cost of living in our city is astronomical and the pay is relatively low so I've put my interest in MC on the backburner for a few years. That said, being debt free (beyond a stupid-high mortgage) is a good feeling. Second-hand market and Tres-Bien sales make life bearable.
     

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