January 30, 2008
THE WORLD IS FLAT
The world we live in today is going through enormous changes in economics, technology, culture, politics, etc. The effects of the changes are not so clear, since it is hard to predict how each sector would affect the other and how society will be affected. However, analyzing past and present occurrences provides some information for experts to interpret society’s reaction in the future to different transformations. Globalization can be seen as a process in which societies around the world come together and expand through the combination of different forces. This paper will explore the effects of globalization on US companies, US society and economy, and the implications for other countries in the post-industrial world.
How it All Started
As Thomas Friedman explains in his book “The World is Flat”, globalization started “when Columbus set sail, opening trade between the Old World and the New World.” Afterwards, “multinational companies went global for markets and labor,” and around the year 2000, individuals were the ones who got into the global world. Today, individuals and small groups easily enter the global market, collaborate, and compete - a process described by Friedman as “the flattening of the world.”
According to Friedman, the fall of the Soviet Union and the Berlin Wall has shaped the face of the world tremendously. The US was the only “super power” left in the world, gaining a new status, which gave it political freedom, and helped it push towards a free global market. US multinational companies began entering European markets, and many US companies started investing on Research and Development (R&D) in countries like China and Japan.
The Flattener Forces
When Friedman talks about some of the forces that “flattened the world,” he mentions uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, insourcing, and in-forming. These forces are the direct result of advanced technology. Moreover, the forces...
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