Umbrella Repairman Losing Business; Blames Globalization

The Financial Times recently profiled Thierry Millet, a Paris-based umbrella repairman who "symbolizes France’s contempt for globalization" (I hope not!). Millet mends 8,000-10,000 umbrellas a year. His business is struggling because umbrellas are cheaper than ever (manufactured overseas) and people are choosing to throw them out and buy new ones instead of sending them in for repair. He’s quoted only once in the whole story. "That’s globalization," he says exasperatedly on his now-struggling business.

Precisely. How dare he have to deliver a product people need. Markets are so unfair. Who votes for a subsidy to keep this man in business?

2 comments on “Umbrella Repairman Losing Business; Blames Globalization
  • Ben, I’ve sat where you sat, trying to understand why this would be so. Some friends, who have lived in France and understand the culture there, tell me I can not comprehend this until I understand years and years of history that have created such a culture. Will the culture survive as it is? I think not…but there is need for some serious political change in France for them to become a player in a global market. Email me, if you are interested, and I’ll send you a Washinton Post article someone sent me related to this.

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