Dennis, that is a good article! I have to agree with it. You could look at it another way too. A fly costing $0.65 retail has excise tax on it, which is 10% of the sale price. Even imported flies are subject to the excise tax when sold in the US. It's hard to tell the exact wholesale price, which may be 50% but let's say it's 60% of the retail price. that would be $.39 per fly, and 10% excise tax on that would be $.039. So with a 40% mark-up that $.65 fly has a cost of about $0.35. However, this includes the labor to tie that fly & there is also shipping costs in that price, so the actual wholesale price at the factory is much lower.
Granted the fly factories likely buy in bulk & get discounts on their wholesale materials, but still that only goes so far. Good materials & hooks at the best wholesale price will still cost more than flies like these. As that article stated, the only way to sell flies that cheap is to use poor quality hooks & materials, and very cheap labor.
Compare that to the cost of tying flies yourself. Good hooks can cost more than the price of that fly. It's highly doubtful that good hackle is being used in cheap imports. I would not expect Whiting for example to be selling their products extremely cheap, to an overseas fly factory just to sell in volume. They don't have to.
When I was tying commercially I often received mail or email from overseas fly factories. Even got samples a few times. Generally some were not too bad in quality, and appeared to be well tied but they were often inconsistent. Many were just junk, and it was obvious they were both constructed with poor quality materials & poorly tied. Prices were always cheap. The cheapest I recall was about $3 per dozen, and then the excise tax & shipping would have to be added to that.
Once, I even sent some sample flies to one of the factories in Kenya, who had sent me samples that appeared to be very good. They were simple 2/0 bucktail streamers for saltwater in 3 color combinations, chartreuse & white, blue & white, olive & white with about 6-8 strands of holographic flash on each side. They were not to have eyes on them, and no epoxy. I had intended to do that myself, wanting them to look like the flies I tied. I wanted consistency. Wrote out exactly what I wanted & requested samples.
What I got back did not even come close to the samples I sent. I received a dull yellow over a dirty white, a light faded blue over a dirty white, and something that looked like Kelly green over a dirty white, and each fly had two strands of holographic flash on each side. Plus, the heads had eyes painted on them, very poorly painted & what looked like epoxy, except it was very yellowed & sagging. It was obvious the dyeing was poor, as was the cleanliness of the hair, and the wrong colors anyway.
Needless to say, that ended my interest in imported flies.