Rivoli Chapter 3 and 4

1. Identify the collection of resources available to farmers in the Lubbock area with which cotton growers in poor countries must compete.


2. What happened to the importance of mules as cotton producers moved to West Texas?  How did this actually worsen the labor problem for a cotton grower?


3. What factors led to the Bracero program?  How did the program meet growers’ 3 labor requirements? Why were West Texas cotton growers willing to let the program end in the 1960s?


4. White laborers were “lazy and draggy-like”?


4. What was the AAA?  How did it lead to the demise of sharecropping?


5. How did differences in farm size lead to differences in the adoption of mechanical cotton harvesters?


6. How did Texas growers artificially create a killing freeze?  Why did they need to do that?


7. Rivoli characterizes the Reinsches’ farm history as “a narrative of discovery after discovery”.  List several of these discoveries.  What institutions, working in concert, made this possible?


Chapter 4 

8. How have the number and ownership of cotton gins changed during the past century?  How did this affect the Reinsches?


9. List 6 products that the non-lint portion of harvested cotton is used in.


10. What are 3 ways that growers have pooled resources to profit from production?


11. Why did buyers from domestic mills consider West Texas cotton to be of low quality?  What did West Texas growers do with most of their cotton?


12. How does Nelson Reinsch avoid the risks of price fluctuations?


13. With all of the subsidies how much more was the price the US cotton growers received than that of the rest of the world’s farmers?  How do subsidies cotton farmers receive compare with other farms sectors in the US?


14. Compare the US cotton subsidies with the GNP of the world’s poorest cotton producing countries.  Do the West African countries have a basis for their complaints about lack of fair competition in global cotton markets?


15. Compare the number of US cotton growers and West African cotton growers


15. What do US cotton subsidies do to the incomes of foreign cotton growers?  How?


16. Write one example of how US cotton growers are “gazelles” and “lions”.


17. Use the terms literacy, property rights, commercial infrastructure, and scientific progress to explain Rivoli’s hesitancy to immediately do away with US subsidies.


19. Who was Ned Cobb?  Where do farmers like him grow cotton currently?