This chapter is summed up by a single sentence, “The Lubbock [West Texas] area benefits from a highly symbiotic and virtuous circle relationship between farmers, private companies, universities and the US government.” (26) It’s fair to say that is a dream team to have on your side. In addition the farmer’s were an extremely tight-knit group which protected each other’s interests and expanded vertically so they would own all the levels of processing.
Even though I don’t have much more to say, this is a fantastic chapter – probably my favorite so far.
One final thought. I’ve heard a lot about corn subsidies. Mainly, how staggeringly high they are. So I was stunned by this passage: “On a per acre basis, subsidies paid to cotton farmers are 5 to 10 times as high as those for corn, soybeans, and wheat, and subsidies to cotton are also 3 to 6 times high relative to production than are subsidies to soybeans and corn.” (49) That’s a glimpse into the extent of domestic subsidies. Internationally, if subsidies were removed, world cotton prices would increase 3 to 15 percent. (51) Wow.
This is part of a chapter by chapter reaction to The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade.
- Introduction to the T-Shirt Travels Review
- Chapter 1: Cotton and T-Shirts
- Chapter 2: Cotton, T-Shirts and Technology
- Chapter 3: Tees and Dream Teams
- Chapter 4: T-shirts and Eskimos
- Chapter 5: Apparel and the Industrial Revolution
- Chapter 6: T-Shirt Globalization
- Chapter 7: The Snarling Army
- Chapter 8: Are T-shirts Actually Too Expensive?
- Chapter 9: T-Shirt Quotas
- Chapter 10: Lifecycle of a T-shirt
- Chapter 11: Final Chapter – Final Thoughts