Chapter One Case: The World Is FlatThomas Friedman In his book The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman describes the unpla
Chapter One Case: The World Is Flat—Thomas Friedman
In his book The World Is Flat, Thomas Friedman describes the unplanned cascade of technological and social shifts that effectively leveled the economic world and “accidentally made Beijing, Bangalore, and Bethesda next-door neighbors.” Chances are good that Bhavya in Bangalore will read your next X-ray, or as Friedman learned firsthand, “Grandma Betty in her bathrobe” will make your JetBlue plane reservation from her Salt Lake City home.
Friedman believes this is Globalization 3.0. “In Globalization 1.0, which began around 1492, the world went from size large to size medium. In Globalization 2.0, the era that introduced us to multinational companies, it went from size medium to size small. And then around 2000 came Globalization 3.0, in which the world went from being small to tiny. There is a difference between being able to make long-distance phone calls cheaper on the Internet and walking around Riyadh with a PDA where you can have all of Google in your pocket. It is a difference in degree that’s so enormous it becomes a difference in kind,” Friedman states. Below are Friedman’s list of “flatteners.”
Thomas Friedman’s 10 Forces That Flattened the World
Fall of the Berlin Wall – Opened the world to free markets.
Netscape IPO – Began the gigantic investments in connecting the world with fiber-optic cables.
Workflow software – Allowed employees to communicate and collaborate from all over the world.
Open-sourcing – Open source communities began creating free software.
Outsourcing – Using labor from third world countries allowed companies to grow while helping grow economies.
Offshoring – Using China to manufacture goods helped the world-wide global economy.
Supply-chaining – Businesses gained monumental efficiencies by connecting networks of suppliers, retailers, distributors, and customers.
Insourcing – Small business gained global momentum.
Informing – Search gave the intelligence to the masses.
Wireless – Business mobility gave the power of collaboration to the people.
Friedman says these flatteners converged around the year 2000 and “created a flat world: a global, Web-enabled platform for multiple forms of sharing knowledge and work, irrespective of time, distance, geography, and increasingly, language.” At the very moment this platform emerged, three huge economies materialized—those of India, China, and the former Soviet Union—“and 3 billion people who were out of the game, walked onto the playing field.” A final convergence may determine the fate of the United States in this chapter of globalization. A “political perfect storm,” as Friedman describes it—the dot-com bust, the attacks of 9/11, and the Enron scandal— “distract us completely as a country.” Just when we need to face the fact of globalization and the need to compete in a new world, “we’re looking totally elsewhere.”
Friedman believes that the next great breakthrough in bioscience could come from a 5-year-old who downloads the human genome in Egypt. Bill Gates’s view is similar: “Twenty years ago, would you rather have been a B-student in Poughkeepsie or a genius in Shanghai? Twenty years ago, you’d rather be a B-student in Poughkeepsie. Today, it is not even close. You’d much prefer to be the genius in Shanghai because you can now export your talents anywhere in the world.”
After reading the case study, answer the following questions in at least 250 words (total):
Do you agree or disagree with Friedman’s assessment that the world is flat? Be sure to justify your answer.
What are the potential impacts of a flat world for a student performing a job search?
Your original response should follow the seventh edition of the APA Style Guide, and should include at least one (1) properly cited reference.
After answering the question above, be sure to reply to two classmates. Each reply should be at least 100 words in length.
Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)
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