The idea was that we could simply let someone else do all the hard, dirty work, for peanuts; while we enjoyed cheaper goods.
However, in the brave new world of the low cost, low wage economy, there were some things no one pointed out to them about the triangle of employment, cost and wages that they would have to square.
As cheaper goods would feed in to a lower cost of living and subsequent inflation figures, then any wage increase would reflect that low headline rate.
For short term gain, having subscribed to the notion that cheaper goods promised a higher standard of living, people are beginning to realize that it was a mirage.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Now that their wages would be pinned down it meant that not only could they not afford well built, luxury items from the likes of Germany which equalled Britain in both cost and quality, but they had also lost the very jobs in manufacturing that previously kept them employed.
Germany wisely kept their manufacturing base and basically said if you want it, you've got to pay for it.
Sure, their cost of living is high and their goods are expensive, but their levels of pay are relative and they're doing very well, thank you very much.
The only winners, as usual, were the wealthy; for them it was win, win.
They could exploit cheap, foreign labour by outsourcing their manufacturing to save money and thus simply increase profits and dividends.
But they saved again in any British wage bill they might have, since having linked the rate of any pay rise to the rate of inflation which was held down partly by cheaper goods, they also saved a fortune by awarding miniscule, if indeed any, increases in pay.
Except for the boardroom directors, of course.
And of course, not only could they afford the more expensive, quality goods if they chose so, but they could also save more money by buying cheaper machinery etc. from abroad whereas previously this option was limited; until that is the closing down of the manufacturing base in Britain and the subsequent exportation of the work.
Add in to this, the obvious, sheer lunacy of unlimited immigration which business lobbied for and is now rewarding the likes of Tony Bliar with vast sums of money for and the swizz is nearly complete.
The final nail in the coffin of working people which in fact, rather ironically is actually the only way out (see Blog, Only one way to get a pay rise 30/11/16), is the decline of organized labour.
This has been accomplished through various means, including part time workers, more women in the workplace, employment agencies and the aforementioned immigration.
Together with the repeated brainwashing of the masses by the political class to portray trade unions as a bad thing, somehow something from the past and subsequently irrelevant; a doctrine which has successfully penetrated the consciousness of people and obscured their foresight, is the final part of the plan which makes the difficulty of squaring the circle, absolute.