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Discussions about the fashion industry thread

Zamb

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Overpopulated means that if we want to lift a great number of people in the world out of poverty, it will necessarily have a very taxing effect on natural resources and our environment. What is the "stable" population level, I don't know.

There's something called the Kuznets curve, which says that post-industrial economies can be relatively green, and that it's the industrializing economies that are polluting. And today, many people believe that you can skip through some parts of the industrialization process (in old econ theory, you pass through economic development in discrete stages, such that you go from agrarian to industrial to postindustrial). Some people feel that you don't have to go through those discrete stages anymore. A long time ago, I worked an overseas project where I helped some regional government in a low-income country try to develop a service-based green sector (I was part of a team). There are many developmental groups trying to work on things like that. The idea is to help an area get richer without having to rely on dirty factories.

But to get people out of poverty, you still mostly rely on trade, and that trade will necessarily be taxing on the environment in some ways. A fully closed off economy can't develop in the same way, especially if they have a small population (and even then, they often still need to trade).

Alexander Gerschenkron wrote a book called Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective. He noted that it's not only the gap between rich and poor countries that matters, but the speed of development. Poor countries can't afford to take 150-200 years to industrialize and catch up to where rich countries are today, as the gap grows at a much faster pace. Unequal relationships between poor and rich countries can have bad political consequences. But fast development also has its own environmental consequences.
if you wan to lift and great number of people out of world poverty,

you stop exploiting them
you give them education, skills and personal discipline that leads to wealth.

I am from a poor country (Jamaica) in the early stages, Singapore took many of its ideas from Jamaica in its early independence in the 1960's.
Now Singapore is a wealthy nation, Jamaica isnt. the difference?
Singapore has strict discipline about what kind of society its wants to have, what it wants to accomplish on The world stage and leaders who have the ability to execute such a vision.

I am proud that Jamaica has an impact on the world stage, far exceeding its size and population.

We gave the world Bob Marley, Rastafarianism, Reggae, great soccer players. The fastest Man and Woman out of over Seven Billion people on the planet. We have an abundance of talent and natural resources, but we are also a nation riddled with corrupt Politicians, broken family structures and crime that turns the stomach. all things that keeps a potentially wealthy nation riddled in Poverty
Instead of harnessing the talent available, our economy is based primarily on Tourism and Remittance - essentially living off the goodwill and benevolence of others.

I support first world efforts o lift people out of Poverty, but the other side of the deal is changing the mindset that causes people to be in poverty when they dont have to, or staying in it longer than they should with (collective) bad lifestyle choices
 

WhyUEarly

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There are a ton a resources allocated to labor, just there is less and less money created by those industries.
Sorry if i was being pedantic, but I was referring the traditional economics' idea of splitting economic output between capital and labor. I'm alluding to the idea that stockholders get richer, while wages (labor) have been stagnant by many measures.
 

Epaulet

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‘Shark Tank’ star Kevin O’Leary says AOC’s ‘Tax The Rich’ sweatshirt proves this about socialists

It's amazing how clueless people are about the real costs of production in the USA.

foxnews.com/entertainment/shark-tank-star-kevin-oleary-says-aocs-tax-the-rich-sweatshirt-proves-this-about-socialists

"I paid $67.22 for this. I’m gonna guess she lands this basically for, I don’t know, six bucks? … and five bucks for shipping. That’s 85% gross margin – That’s spectacular!"

Regardless of what he thinks of the message, he's incredibly wrong about the costing here. It's even more hilarious that he's using the phrase "lands" for a domestically made garment.

Retail is $58.

Base cost of a quality USA-made sweatshirt is going to be at least $15. Probably more like $18 to $20.

It says that it's "union printed." Not sure what a premium that commands, but something like $5 printing cost per unit is realistic.

A sweatshirt weighs about two pounds. Hard to ship that for less than $7.50 to most locations unless you've got huge scale.

At the end of the day, I bet that the gross margin is closer to 50%.

This is a small point, but I'm consistently surprised when people think she's being greedy or somehow cleaning up with a $58 domestically made sweatshirt.
 

ValidusLA

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For sake of completeness, the original price of the sweatshirt was $65. They lowered after initial reactions. FWIW.
 

Epaulet

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zxcvbn

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There's something called the Kuznets curve, which says that post-industrial economies can be relatively green, and that it's the industrializing economies that are polluting.
I can see how if you believed in an environmental Kuznet's curve degrowth makes no sense, but on the basis of the evidence it seems pretty hard to claim that there's an environmental Kuznet's curve. 'post-industrial' economies aren't really post-industrial, they just move their industry elsewhere, as Kevin O'Leary makes clear!


DMC = Domestic Material Consumption ; MF = material footprint accounting for trade (i.e. offshoring of production by rich countries)
 

dieworkwear

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I can see how if you believed in an environmental Kuznet's curve degrowth makes no sense, but on the basis of the evidence it seems pretty hard to claim that there's an environmental Kuznet's curve. 'post-industrial' economies aren't really post-industrial, they just move their industry elsewhere, as Kevin O'Leary makes clear!


DMC = Domestic Material Consumption ; MF = material footprint accounting for trade (i.e. offshoring of production by rich countries)
My point about the Kuznets curve was about the environmental impact of manufacturing vs services, not about the imports in postindustrial economies.
 

zxcvbn

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ok, maybe we're talking past each other, because from the perspective of earth systems it's irrelevant what rich countries are doing in terms of manufacturing vs services, or even what the global economy is doing in terms of manufacturing vs services - the bottom line is that adjusting the sliders on either hasn't demonstrated an association with any change in the way that we're churning through materials at an ever increasing and unsustainable rate
 

dieworkwear

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ok, maybe we're talking past each other, because from the perspective of earth systems it's irrelevant what rich countries are doing in terms of manufacturing vs services, or even what the global economy is doing in terms of manufacturing vs services - you have a global economy that is growing and churning through materials at an ever increasing and unsustainable rate
I was not talking about what rich countries are doing. I was talking about what poor countries are doing. Someone asked me what do I mean when I say the world is overpopulated. I said that if we were to lift a great number of people out of poverty, it would have a big effect on natural resources. I brought the Kuznets curve to discuss the impact of manufacturing vs services, and said that some low income countries are also trying to get into services, but it will still have an impact on resources.
 

zxcvbn

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I was not talking about what rich countries are doing. I was talking about what poor countries are doing. Someone asked me what do I mean when I say the world is overpopulated. I said that if we were to lift a great number of people out of poverty, it would have a big effect on natural resources. I brought the Kuznets curve to discuss the impact of manufacturing vs services, and said that some low income countries are also trying to get into services, but it will still have an impact on resources.
i agree that there's no way out of increasing envtl impacts with increasing living standards in the global majority - that's the whole point of degrowth, which seeks to decrease energy and material throughput in rich countries, knowing there's a lot of slack between the amount of energy and material we use in our day to day lives (aggregated per capita, recognizing that there are poor people in the US too) and the amount that would yield a decent life.
 

dieworkwear

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i agree that there's no way out of increasing envtl impacts with increasing living standards in the global majority - that's the whole point of degrowth, which seeks to decrease energy and material throughput in rich countries, knowing there's a lot of slack between the amount of energy and material we use in our day to day lives (aggregated per capita, recognizing that there are poor people in the US too) and the amount that would yield a decent life.
How do you think those low-income countries can grow without exporting things to rich countries?
 

zxcvbn

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I didn't say anything about low income countries not exporting anything to rich countries, but I also don't think that trade = growth.

as you said,

Poor countries can't afford to take 150-200 years to industrialize and catch up to where rich countries are today, as the gap grows at a much faster pace
this growing gap seems to be related to trade?



In 2015, there was a net flow from South to North of:
-10.1 billion tons of raw materials (equivalent to the mass of 20 300 000 000 000 AOC sweatshirts)
-379 billion hours of human labour
-22.7 EJ of energy
-800 million hectares of land

this is consistent with a 25-year history of net flows of energy, labour, materials, and land use to high income countries.

high income countries (and China) have also had a trade surplus over the last 25 years

so the trade you're proposing would have to look different from the trade of the last 25 years if we expect low income countries to be able to catch up via trade
 

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