Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog #2 “Why U.S. Taxpayers Are Paying Brazilian Cotton Growers,”

March 21st, 2011 · 4 Comments

This had been the first time I listened to any sort of audio clip online without a visual and it was really interesting. First off I would have never thought that people could carry a discussion on something so simple; cotton. Cotton has been one of the most important aspects of trade in America during it’s early years. Agriculture too has played a large role in keeping this country on it’s feet. Regardless of the increase of technology and the less use of actual farming, it truly is something we shouldn’t forget about. The main speaker discusses the issue of cotton growing between America and Brazil. I also would have never thought that there could be such intense issues surround cotton subsidies. All this talk about retaliation towards one of the most popular crops in the world. U.S. offered 150 million dollars for Brazilian farmers and subsidies too. Pedro had been just a regular farmer who got a high end seat in an Agriculture based business. He fought America constantly for 10 years. There had been specific laws made between the two countries in regards to cotton growing, and Brazil claimed that America was not following the rules. Perhaps this was a bribe for Brazil or it was an honest settlement, who knows but maybe this will make farmers worldwide happy. In regards to cotton, the simple seed that counts for countless American retail is something we don’t take lightly. Although I happened to open my draws and take a quick look at some of my basic pieces of clothing, and not ONE thing I could find was made in America. American cotton is useless to me. My clothes are made up of worldwide cotton; pretty cool actually. This talk about cotton growers reminded me of an episode of How to Make it in America. The two main characters go well out of there way to find authentic 50/50 cotton that is often found in thrift shops with a high price. This made me think about how important cotton really is. I understand the argument coming from both sides. By now who knows where our taxes least now we know it goes to Brazilian Cotton Growers.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1    sharonak // Mar 21, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    I also heard this audio, crazy to see how different it is to hear it rather than see it. It was definitely much harder to pay attention but interesting to hear. I agree that American cotton is useless and cotton is actually more important that i had previously thought

  • 2    temimahz // Mar 22, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    This audio was really enlightening in that it showed how corrupt the US can be. That may sound harsh, but the US broke the rules of the WTO and when Brazil retaliated, they simply “paid them off.” I agree that it was really interesting to learn how complicated the process was of buying/growing a simple product like cotton.

  • 3    ahsana // Mar 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I just think its absurd that our tax dollars are being used to pay of Brazil. $150 million a month is a lot of money and that money can be put into better use. Unemployment rate is veryhigh, and government could use that money to create recreational centers which will create more jobs. Also many public schools in New York has been shut down because of failure rates and instead of the gorvernment funding after school/weekend tutoring program in those schools with our tax money, theyre sending it to Brazil cotton workers. This audio clip was very informative and really eye opener on how government is spending our tax money.

  • 4    Prof. Hala // Mar 29, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I’m glad that others appreciated the way that radio pieces like this can present engaging “global” stories linking characters in various places, and also inform listeners about complex issues and problems of “globalization.” I think it’s true, like Sharona writes, that such audio pieces demand greater attention from their listeners, but attentive listening is rewarded with greater understanding.

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