Skip to content

Travels Of A T-Shirt In The Global Economy Essay Papers

 

UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) — Digging Deeper CIX January 11,2010, 7:00 p.m.

Pietra Rivoli,

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade

(Hoboken, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

[

Thesis.

A deep exploration of the T-shirt industry shows that while theproclamations of anti-globalizationprotestors are often simplistic, there issubstance to many of their concerns anda great need for their continuedactivities. Subsidiary theme: Because of powerful divergent interests, "numbinglycomplex trade policy outcomes" (158)have characterized the textile andapparel industry.]

Preface.

Inspired by witnessing an anti-globalization campus protest, Rivoli'sinquiry into the story behind her T-shirtled her to a more nuanced view of globalization; she agrees with PeterDougherty that "markets depend for theirvery survival on various forms of thebacklash" to them (xv; xi-xvi).

Prologue.

"My T-shirt," bought for$5.99 in Fort Lauderdale, manufacturedby Sherry Manufacturing of Miami, from ashirt made by Shanghai Knitwear from Texas cotton (xvii-xxi).

PART I: KING COTTON: HOWAMERICA HAS DOMINATED THEGLOBAL COTTON INDUSTRY FOR 200 YEARSCh. 1: Reinsch Cotton Farm, Smyer,Texas.

While the U.S. dominance of thecotton industry cannot be entirelyexplained from government subsidies,"[f]or 200 years, U.S. farmers have had inplace an evolving set of public policiesthat allow them to mitigate the importantcompetitive risks inherent in the businessof growing and selling cotton" (7; 3-8).

Ch. 2: The History of AmericanCotton: Winning by Ducking theLabor Markets.

The first such policywas slavery (11-15). Eli Whitney's cottongin (15-17). Other countries lacked theproperty rights and incentive structuresneeded to respond to the spectaculargrowth in demand for cotton (17-19).When slavery ended, sharecroppingensured a labor supply (19-22). In Texasand Oklahoma, the company town servedthe same function (22-24).

Ch. 3: Back at the Reinsch Farm: AllGod's Dangers Ain't the Subsidies.

West Texas cotton embraced tractorsfrom the mid-1920s on (25-30). TheBracero program, the product of politicalinfluence, enabled cotton farmers toavoid competitive markets" (31; 30-32).In the early 1930s the New Deal'sAgricultural Adjustment Act introducedprice supports (32-34). Mechanicalcotton picking, and later defoliants,arrived, with the help of government-sponsored research, after WWII (34-38).USDA and university scientistsmechanized other jobs away (39-40).Gin co-ops (40-41). Byproducts (e.g.cottonseed oil) (41-46). Business modelsto market cotton (46-48). U.S. lawprovides protection against every"virtually every business risk," includingsubsidies (49-52). The American cottonfarmer "is embedded in a system thatprotects and enriches him, cottonfarmers in West Africa are embedded in asystem that exposes and impoverishesthem" (54; 52-57).

PART II: MADE IN CHINACh. 4: Cotton Comes to China.

Shanghai and Lubbock, so different, havebeen linked by cotton for over a century(61-64). State-owned Shanghai Number

The Travels Of A T Shirt In The Global Economy Critical Question Reflection

International trade and globalization were definitely key components that were addressed throughout the book. Rivoli does a great job in painting a macro scale picture for readers to analyze these ideals through her story. At the same time, she does a great job describing details about the political structures that each country represents and how it affects the travels of the T-shirt. She does not only emphasizes on economic growth and the advantages of the facility under which the T-shirt was developed and managed, but also focuses on relationships and essential cultural factors along the way.
Unfortunately, I tend to take a different approach and even disagree on the “greatness” of globalization and its components. Rivoli does not go in depth into the real repercussions or side effects of globalization. Many economists tend to focus on the increase on profit margins, the creation of jobs through outsourcing and overall the urge for seeking creative ways to maximize revenue overlooks social issues and problems that are caused in developing countries.
For example, Thomas Friedman and American journalist and economist explains in his book, The World Is Flat, that globalization has allowed all nations around the globe to compete on a now flat and leveled playing field. Just like Rivoli suggest in her book, competition and innovativeness are important, but what happens when globalization impacts the nations involved in a unfair way? Friedman uses ten different “flatteners” to describe what has made the concepts found on The Travels of a T-shirt in a Global Economy possible and argues that these factors are positive and beneficial. He would argue that all of those stops the T-shirt made along the way in different nations benefited that nation in one way or another. But I refuse to believe that these ideals are actually beneficial to everybody.
Many, when reading Friedman’s or Rivoli’s approach to globalization, forget that there is always a parallel effect to every single movement within the global economy. Yes, these globalization factors and the concepts that Rivoli talks about have impacted everyone globally, but my question is: have they impacted everyone in a positive and constructive manner? I do not pretend to know the answers on a country-by-country basis, but I do intent to use El Salvador as a representative of those countries of the third world, as an example of what really happens on the other side of the T-shirt making process.
El Salvador is a Central American country with a population of approximately 6.3 million. This country, as many other countries from the third world, has been constantly involved in many different movements that attempted to jump start the economy by a wise/ intelligent use of globalization. Similar to several countries in the developing world, El Salvador follows the U.S behavior closely, and constantly seeks the incorporation of good practices into their political and economic traditions. However, this small...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

The U.S. Dollar in a modern global economy

1156 words - 5 pages The U.S. Dollar - PAGE 1 - The U.S. Dollarin a Modern Global Economy(1)ECONYour UniversityThe 'Almighty Dollar'! Given the state of our current economy, that statement holds far less true than it did twenty, ten, or even five years ago. The dollar has slipped and slid and gradually fallen with consistency for the past five-plus years, save for a negligible stint of appreciation in 2005....

The Exploitation of Female Children in the Global Economy

1856 words - 7 pages The Exploitation of Female Children in the Global Economy The girl-child is one of, if not the most, exploitable segments of the world's population. Children in general because of their dependence upon adults and their natural naiveté due to lack of life experience. In the context of our new global economy, child labor issues are becoming very prevalent and their discussion very necessary. The tragedy of the child labor issues is that the...

Which Provides A More Accurate View of the Global Economy

2706 words - 11 pages According to dependency theory, governance of the global economy has been marked by asymmetry and skewed in favour of developed countries and multinational corporations while developing countries survive “at the margins”. This essay will seek to examine the basis for this point by extracting examples from the real world and comparing the theory with the neoliberal theory in providing a more accurate view of the global economy. In defining the...

COMMUNITIES OF PRACTICE in a Global Economy

7395 words - 30 pages Wenger (1998) says we are all part of communities of practice. Communities of practice are everywhere, at home, at work, and in our hobbies. They are constantly changing and evolving. As old communities leave our lives, new ones spring up to take their place. Families develop their own communities through their rituals, habits, and routines. They hate each other, they love each other, they agree, and they disagree, but they do whatever it...

A Critical Appraisal of the Determinants of Global Integration

1674 words - 7 pages IntroductionThe present nature of the world economy is one of expeditious change. National economies, previously secluded from other nations by trade barriers, physical distance, time zones, different languages and culture, differences in government policy, and business practices are now merging. Determinants include reductions in trade barriers, advances in transport and telecommunications technology, and a convergence of material...

Globalization: Disjuncture in the Global Cultural Economy

1359 words - 5 pages The idea of globalization includes a variety of different aspects of economic, political, and societal life. In order to question of whether or not globalization has a progressive or downbeat influence in our contemporary world, we should look at different perspectives of component of globalization. According to Marx and Engels, globalization can be raised from capitalism, which a class struggle between who own the means of production and those...

Textile Industry Trends in the Global Economy

3136 words - 13 pages Textile Industry Trends in the Global Economy I. Executive Summary The objective of this paper is to examine how the development of a textile industry contributes to economic growth in the global economy. Because textile manufacturing is a labor-intensive industry, developing countries are able to utilize their labor surplus to enter the market and begin the process of building an industrial economy. Emerging economies then look...

Raising capital in the global economy

1672 words - 7 pages 1. How is raising money in U.S. stock markets more difficult than in the rest of the world?Even if productivity growth has risen, in order to justify the higher dividend growth assumptions necessary to justify the current valuation of the US equity market, one has to assume that, for some reason, return on equity can remain sustainably so high.On Wall...

Redefining the Global Economy

1774 words - 7 pages Redefining the Global Economy 1914 marked a critical turning point in global affairs and the economy, as the Great War caused physical destruction in Europe, and destroyed the system of global capitalism of the Golden Age. During the interwar period, American isolationism from international trade and affairs left the major powers without the infrastructure or leadership to continue the international trade, investment, and currency stabilization...

The Global Economy

1728 words - 7 pages 13 pages, complete w/footnotes and bibliography -Advanced Composition Term Paper:Will the Global Economy help or hurtthe next generation of Americans?Will the global economy help or hurt the next generation of Americans? This is thequestion I am going to investigate in this paper. The global economy is the systempertaining...

GLOBALISATION & THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

1176 words - 5 pages •Globalisation the process of increased integration between different economies and the increased impact of intnl influences on economic activity and all areas of life•Global economy the situation where the economies of the world are increasing linked to each other, and changes in one economy have ripple effects on other economiesI) INDICATORS OF GLOBALISATION•Economic integration can be seen inoIntnl trade flows- growing at 2...