‘Buy American’ is an often used catch phrase to tap into consumers patriotism. Despite stoking those feelings, it seldom works.
They’ve released a chart detailing just how much it costs to make a denim shirt in the United States and compared that to the production costs in Bangladesh.
The total cost to produce one shirt here is $13.22. In Bangladesh it costs only $3.72. It’s the same shirt, with the same material. The major difference is labor costs. In Bangladesh each shirt’s labor is .22 cents. In America it’s $7.47.
Add in taxes, shipping and profit and it’s easy to see why the cost of the American T-shirt is more when you pick it up at the store. And that’s the bottom line.
Price matters. It matters to me. It matters to most Americans. Price dictates what I buy and what I don’t. I never stop and investigate which country the shirt I’m buying was produced in. I don’t look into what kind of labor laws or what the factory conditions are in that country. I buy what I think I get the most value out of.
Truly, I am saddened by the fact 500 workers were killed after the Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh. But, like it or not, economics and price always win. They always have. Always will.