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...