Although most of the comments about Team USA’s uniforms for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games being made in China are of the angry sort, such as “Those uniforms should be made right here in the USA!” or “Why can’t USA companies reap the benefit of such a large contract?” or “Shouldn’t the women’s skirts be a lot shorter?”
Now, as you might expect, I have some thoughts on this matter. My first thought, yes, those skirts should be shorter, except for the shot putters, discus throwers and weightlifters. They should be wearing pants, even when they compete.
My second thought? Let the women’s beach volleyball team wear the bikinis they compete in. Okay, I’m going to take this in a different direction. The Mistress of the Manor is not pleased.
Let us get to the real problem – the uniforms being made in China. Although this has been condemned by most everybody, including the eight-year-olds in Indonesia making four cents a day working for Ralph Lauren, a few publications have defended the action. One of the first was The Wall Street Journal, that great defender of outsourcing. Now, I’m not going to present the Journal’s arguments in detail because I disagree with them, and think whatever big-business shill wrote the article should be outsourced to the tiny island of Biteyourbuttoff, where the natives still practice cannibalism.
I, personally, think it is wrong that our athletes, who will be competing for the USA, for its honor, for its pride, for all the endorsements that gold medals can buy, should have to wear uniforms made in China, or any other outsourcing haven of greed. I think, and rightly so, that our Olympic uniforms should be made right here in the good old USA, by good old USA workers.
The Frustrated Council of American Textile Workers has confirmed that American companies have the capacity to supply uniforms for the Team USA.
“We can do that in a New York minute,” said Bob “Three-Fingers” Manelli. “Heck, I’ve only got three fingers and I can whip out a blazer in a couple of hours. Just imagine what my fellows workers, most of whom have all their fingers, can do if given the chance. Sure, we expect a little more than four cents a day, but we’re Americans, damn it.”
Although Bob has a problem with the USA Olympic Committee, he has an even bigger problem with Lauren, whose uniforms cost almost $2,000 apiece. That’s right 2,000 smackeroos, simoleans, dollars, whatever you want to call them. And, of course, there’s a polo insignia on each blazer that stands out like a sore thumb. Lauren has said he is proud to have designed and made the uniforms (well, actually the eight-year-olds made them), that he is full of American spirit. Personally, I think he is full of something else, and so does, Bob.
“Lauren’s blazers, alone, cost $795 apiece. What in the name Levi Strauss is that man thinking? He’s only paying the Asian kids four cents a day, why do those outfits cost so much?, asked Bob. “ I talked it over with my right-hand man, ‘Rooster’ Edwards, and we figure we can make that blazer for only $39.95, and there won’t be one of them fruity polo players on it. Heck, we can probably whip out that whole outfit for less than $200, and it will be made by real Americans, not some Nancy Boy from Nantucket.”
Bob didn’t stop there, however.
“Plus, have you seen those uniforms. They look like they’re going to have tea with the Queen, not compete in the Olympics. I guess Ralph Lauren and his friends dress like that, but everyday Americans don’t. ‘Rooster’ is the only guy I know who wears white leather shoes.”
Bob figures, if Lauren is so proud to make the Olympic uniforms, which he has said he is, he could at least give them a break on the costs.
“I know that Lauren guy is rolling in the money,” said Bob. “Take that damn polo guy off the clothes and charge the Olympic Committee a decent price, or, better yet, donate the uniforms. Heck, I’m a small business guy, struggling to get by, but I would knock 10 percent off each outfit just because I’m rooting for Olympic team.”
“I used to make a good living before all this outsourcing started. Now, it’s hard to get by. If we don’t do something soon, everything we buy is going to be made in China. Well, everything except ‘Rooster’s’ white leather shoes. ‘Rooster’ is not a fancy man, except when it comes to his shoes. He gets those from Italy.”