The World Is Flat: Book Review

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  • Topic: The World Is Flat, Globalization, Outsourcing
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  • Published : February 16, 2011
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The World is Flat: Critical Book Review

The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman gives examples from the past and present to help determine how our world is becoming closer through different technological advances. With his awards in writing, not only received for this book but for his other writings in the New York Times, it can be assumed that Friedman is somewhat qualified in writing this book. The World is Flat, a book about the advancements made in the twenty-first century that will effect how business is done around the world in the future has also received awards from reputable sources such as Goldman Sachs and the Financial Times. It is with this knowledge that the idea of the world flattening “horizontally” does exist and will help humans as a whole in the future, but will also create problems for the American people.

The World is Flat gives the arguments that the world as we know it in terms of business, and economies is growing closer. With advancements in technologies and new ideas and innovations of the future, the world is becoming smaller in a sense. The knowledge of the world is at the tip of a persons finger at all times, with personal computers and cell phones with Internet capabilities that allow people to search and download information from anywhere on the globe. Friedman sums up all of this at the beginning of his book with the Ten Forces That Flattened The World. These ten forces explain in detail how the world is becoming “flat” and everything is growing closer.

The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the beginning of when the world began to flatten. Not only in Germany, but also across the world there was, in a sense, many walls falling, which meant they were opening up to other countries and new ideas. Countries opened up their economies allowing more money to flow in. This created new jobs and opportunities in which people were able to build upon for the future. This was followed u with the creation of the World Wide Web. People were able to connect all their information in one place for the world to see.

With all this information able to be obtained people were able to do more things pertaining to education, business, science and work in general. The work could be done at any time, anywhere in the world, and it comes down to how much money it will cost to get it done. This leads to the major points of outsourcing, insourcing, supply chaining, and off shoring. Business want to get more work done and make more money for the company, while spending less money to get the job done right.

According to Friedman, “outsourcing is sending specific parts of jobs to another country, then taking the result and incorporating it back into the overall operation of the company (Pg 137).” With this many companies in America have begun sending certain parts of a job to places like India and China where they will do the work for a fraction of the cost. The American companies will then take this work and insert it back into their completed projects. This as explained by Friedman is different from off shoring, which is, “when a company takes one or more of it’s factories and relocates the entire factory in another country (Pg 137).” This too like outsourcing would save much money for the company, however at what cost? Many people in America are losing their jobs due to outsourcing and off shoring to people in countries such as China and India. Friedman gives an example of how this occurs in America and Free Trade on pages 266 – 268, where he explains the problem with China and America as the only two countries, and how the economy changed when it went from just America having a free market to both countries having a free market. The American people then have to compete with the Chinese for their jobs. Supply chaining is a company’s ability to receive a product at its warehouse, then package and send the product to one of its retail stores. At that store the consumer is able to...
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