E. Dean Butler, founder of Lens Crafters, said he recently visited factories in China where many glasses for the U.S. market are manufactured. Improved technology has made prices lower.
“You can get amazingly good frames, with a Warby Parker level of quality, for $4 to $8,” Butler said. “For $15, you can get designer-quality frames, like what you’d get from Prada.”
And lenses? “You can buy absolutely first-quality lenses for $1.25 apiece,” Butler said.
Yet those same frames and lenses might sell in the United States for $800.
Butler laughed. “I know,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s a complete rip-off.”
… the obsession with nation-states does not fit the reality of today’s highly-clustered knowledge economy, centered in and around global cities. And, it’s not just individual cities and metropolitan areas that power the world economy. Increasingly, the real driving force is larger combinations of cities and metro areas called mega-regions.
- Bos-Wash, which extends from Boston through New York and Philadelphia down to Washington, D.C., is the world’s largest mega-region of nearly 50 million people, generating almost $4 trillion in economic output. If this mega-region were its own country, the economy would be equivalent to the world’s seventh largest, bigger than the United Kingdom’s or Brazil’s.