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edmund_the_destroyer wrote

I think you're only partly right. Walmart conquered the US with cheap Asian goods made by child labor and slave labor, and American shoppers didn't care because of the prices and shopping convenience. So people won't always pay more just to support better working conditions.

That said, I think we were in a bit of self-perpetuating cycle. Worker inflation-adjusted earnings were in a free fall so people flat out couldn't budget American market products, so they bought cheaper foreign products, which depressed American wages further, and so forth.