SIGNALS | Special Manufacturing Edition

Comments on “SIGNALS | Special Manufacturing Edition

    Ray Hull on April 30, 2012 6:42 PM:

    The only article I read above is the Bloomberg piece on apparel business. And I was confused, or at least uncertain of its quoted federal “NY” stats. Much seems to assume NY CITY, however, upstate there were plenty of small-town manufacturers that meant even more to local economies, as they faded in the 60s, 70s and even into the 80s.

    Just around the Albany/Upper Hudson Valley area, there were important high-grade clothing manufacturers: Troy Guild Shirts and McMullen Blouses in Glens Falls, huge Arrow Shirts (Cluett Peabody) in Troy, Brown Shirt Co in Washington County (Hudson Falls, I think), Van Raalte Mills (lingerie) in Ballston Spa, Ursala of Switzerland, in Waterford, Reis Underwear in Waterford, lots of small knitwear and shirt and children’s manufacturing operations in Cohoes, NY. Most of these faded in that time period, despite being suppliers to the likes of Saks, Neiman Marcus, Paul Stuart, Chipp, Lord and Taylor, etc. And the local landscape is now pockmarked with crumbling brick factories.

    We used to joke that nobody ever needed to go to a big NYC clothing store with so many factory stores around here. And then west, there were Learbury Clothes (for Brooks Bros) and Nettleton Shoes in Syracuse, Daniel Green slippers in Dolgeville, and of course, Hickey Freeman in Rochester).

    I mention this only because I think it is sloppy reporting–especially dealing with federal statistics–to not specify New York WHAT; when a factory of a couple hundred in a town of 7000 closed, it meant a lot more than one of hundreds tucked into midtown NYC lofts.

    Ray Hull on April 30, 2012 6:45 PM:

    Oh, and I forgot (nearly the entire US) glove industry located in Gloversville-Johnstown area of the Mohawk Valley. A couple survive, but virtually all production is offshore.

    enTrenched on April 30, 2012 9:48 PM:

    From the NYT article:

    “Yet a revolution in manufacturing employment seems far-fetched. Most of the factory jobs lost over the last three decades in this country are gone for good. In truth, they are not even very good jobs.”

    Wow. Can you believe that? I guess we should all go to college and become lawyers and bankers. Oh wait, we did that, and it didn’t work. The writer betrays himself as having some form of a modern economics education, hence the skepticism that we need such “low level” jobs like making things. What other things are we supposed to do? Where does wealth come from? Only now are we starting to question the veracity and morality of modern economics. Most people don’t know that economics is not an experimental science. It is not science at all! For a good summary of this, see

    The made in USA movement is huge part of the push back against the kind of statements made above. It completely contradicts modern economics by saying where you buy your goods matters, and that societies needs jobs of all types to function.

    Dylan on May 1, 2012 5:19 PM:

    Sorry enTrenched, once the article quoted Krugman and Soros, it lost me. Id call it a failure of Keynesian economics and moneterism for sure, but Austrian economics called the crisis well in advance and continues to diagnose the root issues – central bank intervention and a sort of crony capitalism (not true capitalism mind you) where corporations are so big as to bend legislative and regulatory bodies towards their own self interest.

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