How Much Did Mega-Dem Donor Ralph Lauren Profit on Olympic Uniforms?

How Much Did Mega-Dem Donor Ralph Lauren Profit on Olympic Uniforms?

I’ll admit, when the news broke yesterday that the uniforms for the U.S. Olympic team were made in China, I wasn’t really agitated. I’m a capitalist with a capital “C” and strongly subscribe to David Ricardo’s idea of comparative advantage, i.e. goods should generally be made where it is most efficient to do so. I don’t have any nostalgic feelings that Americans should be employed in every industry, but rather we should gravitate to where we can add the most value to a product. If anything, I was annoyed that the US uniforms featured berets. Berets! But, then I saw how much Ralph Lauren was charging the Olympic Committee for the uniforms. 

From ABC News, take a moment to see how much Ralph Lauren charged the Olympic Committee for the Chinese-made uniforms:


Beret – $55
Tie – $125
Belt – $85
Shirt – $425
Blazer – $795
Trousers – $295
Shoes – $165


Beret – $55
Scarf – $58
Belt – $85
Shirt – $179
Skirt – $498
Blazer – $598

$425 for a shirt? I’m pretty certain I could go to Saville Row in London and get a shirt custom-made for less than that. These are not, “let’s go to China to keep our costs down” prices. These are “let’s go to China to see how much we can wring out of the Olympic Committee” prices. 

Again, I’m a confirmed capitalist, but we are talking about outfitting the US Olympic team. If Lauren is going to charge Neiman-Marcus prices for the uniforms, couldn’t he maybe take a bit less of a profit to have the work done in America? I can’t believe you can charge this much for the clothes and not make a profit with the work being done in America. This isn’t a profit-maximizing venture, its out-fitting the Olympic team. And, based on what I can see in the photo, did he really put his own logo–the polo player–on the uniforms? Shouldn’t HE have to pay for that kind of product placement? How much is Lauren pocketing on this “civic duty?”

Of course, Lauren is a major donor to Obama and has given tens of thousands of dollars to the Democrat party. Harry Reid said yesterday he thinks the uniforms should be burned. (Aesthetically, I agree with him.) Will he also burn campaign checks from Ralph Lauren?