May 12, 2008
Preliminary Idiocy Continued

As night follows day, it was inevitable that the Commerce Department's preliminary finding of dumping in the market for hangers had disrupted dry cleaners and led to higher prices for consumers. From today's RN-T:

Food prices are rising. Rice is rationed. Politicians are pointing fingers. (OK, that’s not news).

What’s next, you wonder?

Have you looked in your closet?

Clothes hangers are costing more and are in diminishing supply, and Rome cleaners are asking customers to recycle.

The sudden shortage is a direct result of an “anti-dumping” tariff imposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce in March on hangers imported from China.

The tariff, according to Phenix Supply Co, a laundry and dry-cleaning supplier, was imposed “in order to allow United States manufacturing to return to an environment that will allow them to compete and return jobs to this country.”

Marie Sledge, co-owner of Rome Cleaners with husband Shayne, shared a letter from one of the business’s suppliers, Morris & Eckels. It states: “We strongly recommend that our customers implement an aggressive hanger recycling program to supplement the shortage of hangers.”

“Hangers last year at this time were $28 a box, where now they are $56,” Marie Sledge said.

There are 500 hangers per box, she said.

It will take a while for American manufacturers to step up production, Patel said, and there’s no guessing where the price of hangers will land.

Posted by E. Frank Stephenson at 08:39 AM in Economics

The statesman who should attempt to direct private people in what manner they ought to employ their capitals would not only load himself with a most unnecessary attention, but assume an authority which could safely be trusted, not only to no single person, but to no council or senate whatever, and which would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. -Adam Smith

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