I just bought some new clothes… just a few pieces, enough to help me stop wearing the 80 billion game T-shirts I have. Threw them in the laundry this evening and looked at the care tags… okay, cold water blah blah blah, nothing surprising there… “Northern Mariana Islands”? Where the hell is that??
So I looked through some of the other tags. “Moldova”??
Flipping through some of the other items I found that they were made in Thailand, El Salvador, Mexico, and the most interesting was made in Honduras “From Canadian Pieces”. Very impressive.
My clothes have travelled more than I have! Time to break the passport out.
Where the hell are the Northern Mariana Islands, anyway? Turns out they’re in the North Pacific Ocean, about 3/4 of the way from Hawaii to the Philippines. The indigenous labor force there is 6006! But there are over 28,000 foreign workers there. It must be a very strange place.
What about Moldova? It used to be part of the U.S.S.R., northeast of Romania. According to the CIA World Factbook, it is the poorest nation in Europe.
Hm. Globalization at work. I wonder how many cents these folks got for making my T-shirt? If they are getting a decent price, this could be evidence of globalization being the “rising tide that raises all boats”, though admittedly this is not what this phrase was coined for.
Unfortunately all we usually hear about globalization is how gigantic businesses are eating up the world’s resources, encouraging small countries to belch toxic substances into the air, and ripping off the local population by basically making them indentured servants.
It would be nice to get a clearer picture. Maybe in 100 years or so we’ll finally understand the impact of the globalization age we find ourselves in.