Ski T-shirts travel the globe |

Ski T-shirts travel the globe

Allen Best

SQUAW VALLEY, Calif. – Ever wonder where the T-shirts sold in your local neighborhood come from? Or where they go?Pietra Rivoli, an economist at Georgetown University, was in Florida in 1999 when she bought a T-shirt with a parrot on it. Investigating, she learned that the cotton for the T-shirt came from near Lubbock, Texas, where a couple in their mid-80s still farm 1,000 acres of cotton. Crucial to their efforts is a federal farm subsidy that assures them 73 cents a pound, while the international market for cotton is 50 cents a pound.Following the cotton to Florida, Rivoli found it was then shipped to China, where it is used to make the T-shirts. From China, the T-shirts are shipped to Florida, where they are screen-printed and shipped off to various tourist markets.But wait, T-shirts with parrots and ski-resort names have a life after being sold. Often, after a time, purchasers donate the shirts to Goodwill or other such organizations. In turn, these recycled T-shirts are often shipped to Africa, where there is a huge market for discarded clothing from developed countries. Others are shredded and turned into pillow stuffing, car seats and even caskets.At a Squaw Valley Institute talk on business globalization, Rivoli said she began her project without any convictions of whether globalization was good or bad, but her conclusion – contained in a book called “The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy” – is that globalization is more good than bad.What Rivoli dislikes are subsidies – such as those paid to cotton farmers in the U.S. – that interfere with the working of the free international market. One consequence is that farmers in Africa cannot afford to grow cotton themselves, because it costs them more than farmers in Texas, explained the Tahoe World, which reported Rivoli’s comments.Tahoe home among most expensiveINCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. – Sometimes it takes a village to make a home. That would seem to be the story of a $60 million estate in Incline Village that has been reported as the fourth most expensive property on the market in the United States.The property actually has three houses, including 13,000 feet of garage space. But what really seems to add panache to the property are the two piers and the 340 feet of frontage on Lake Tahoe, notes the Tahoe World.Vail, Colorado

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