I know this makes me sound old school..or maybe just old.
I began my retail career 40 years ago, about the same time I was finishing up a Business Degree at USM. Everyone else wore t’s shirts and jeans to class. I was wearing the latest in men’s suits.(Johnny Carson or Yves St Laurent) .
In 1983, Annette and I got the chance to open Randy Price and Company, thanks to her 1976 Light Blue Buick Cutlass with crushed velvet seats, for collateral..I digress!
In 1978 just about every small town across the South, was home to great manufacturing plants. They would be making everything from clothes, to TV’s, to indoor outdoor carpet. These facilities were always easy to spot when you drove thru small town America, cause that’s where all the cars were.
Then came change. Ross Perot, who was running for President, told the Politician’s of the day, if they were to pass the North America Free Trade Agreement, there would be” a giant sucking sound” of manufacturing leaving our country. Seriously, they did and it was no time before plants were shutting down. American Companies began moving their production lines to cheaper foreign labor. While Small town America took a beating, Our Politics were the toast of every other country. Even the Mexican drug dealers benefited (See NARCOS, season 3). So Long Mom and Pop, Hello Wall Street!
However, My Dad used to say ” What goes around, comes around!”.
I have a friend who could be described as a Venture Capitalist. He invested in an American Made company that was having some issues in Columbia ( MS not SA) He and his folks got it pointed in a new direction, moved it to a larger facility in Tylertown MS.
They are “Ginning”. “Mississippi Made-Just like it used to be” Proudly waving the “Made in America” Flag and producing some of our best Southern brands, some featured right here in Randy Price and Company in beautiful Hattiesburg MS.
Check this out. In Cleveland Tennessee, just east of Shiloh, there is Hardwick Clothing Company. They are making a huge comeback. Suits, Sport coats and Trousers.
The South is a place, North, East and West are just directions.
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