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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 36, No 11 May 30th, 1973

The Economics of Shirt Packaging

The Economics of Shirt Packaging

Mr Turnovsky, the man who acknowledges the concern of manufacturers for the environment, started with a discussion of shirts and their packaging. Shirt packaging makes the shirt look nice, sell better and it also makes the shirt cheaper!!! He cited the case of a manufacturer who tried to sell his shirts without packaging, and who lost sales as a result. For as long as competition exists, the packaging and promotion of shirts is necessary. Packaging can only be eliminated if competition is abandoned: if the principle of production for profit is replaced by the principle of production for use.

Mr Turnovsky was then faced with a dilemma: it was suggested to him that if shirts were not packaged they would be cheaper, and that therefore people might buy more of them. To answer this charge, two lines of approach were necessary. Firstly, the removal of packaging from shirts would cause fewer shirts to be bought in total. Although Mr Turnovsky dislikes the inconvenience of shirt packaging, he buys more shirts because they are packaged! He must be some kind of masochist.

To help to try and make this argument seem rational, he tried to prove that un-packaged shirts would be more expensive! There were two reasons for this; one was that transportation costs would be higher for unpackaged shirts because they would not be in uniformly-sized boxes. Never mind the reduction in both size and weight because of the removal of packaging, pins, etc from the shirt! However, it was also claimed that packaging costs would be outweighed by "economics of sale". The implication being that unpackaged shirts would result in the loss of the benefits of large-scale production. This statement is a nonsensical lie: there is no relationship whatever between packaging and the achieving of economies of scale. Such bullshit arguments as these are the justification of forcing people to pay an extra dollar for their shirts.

We guarantee an effective smog device by the end of the next device! And have we ever lied to you!