Is the world really flat?
In view of Thomas Friedman’s work “It’s a flat world, after all”, the entire planet is turning into a global village due to a rapid growth of information technology. There are 10 major contributors, which were also named “flateners” by Friedman, that made the playing field level. Undoubtedly, current sophistication in technology has provided us great access to internet, a virtual platform where people are capable of communicating, sharing knowledge, or performing online activities. Globalization appears to have collapsed the concerns of space and time by outsourcing cheap labor from another continent to undertake the same task but with equal or better performance. To some extent, Friedman has brought about an assumption of “flat world”. However, such hypotheses have been debated by a number of scholars. This essay will focus on the weaknesses existing in this article. As a matter of fact, the “flat world” theory is based upon a viewpoint from developed countries. In this regard, it would be too subjective to be applicable in every corner of the world. First of all, the article misinterprets the concept between flatness and fairness. Telecommunication, one of the typical drivers of globalization, has improvedproximity by connecting individuals from different places thus a video conference can be hosted. In a long term, Friedman believed such facility will be widespread so that the playing field is being leveled attributed to knowledge sharing. Yet, Leamer (2007, p97) argued, in the last 30 years, the worldwide competition has never been leveled even though internet has a wide array of knowledge. From 1980 to 2000, the challenge from the third world, such as China and India, caused no threat to Americans’ leading position. The inequality in global income distribution has implied a non-existence of fairness in playing field. Leamer elaborated the logic of “playing field” is centered on “fairness”. Compared to the developing nations, the...
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