What Are the Arguments for and Against the Idea That the World Has Become Flat in Recent Years?

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The world is ever changing and has been that way even before humans dominated Earth. However, what we are interested in for this topic is in the last few decades where globalization has had an impact in the early 21st century, making the world “flat”. The phrase that the world has become flat is a metaphor for viewing the world level in terms of commerce and competition, meaning a level playing field where everyone has an equal opportunity. However, opinions are divided on how much globalization has actually impacted the world as a whole. Critics argue that Friedman’s term “flat” is grossly exaggerated as his view is from an American perspective. This paper investigates major arguments for both sides.

Arguments supporting the “flat world theory” come mainly from Friedman. His argument rests on the assumption of ten flatteners and a triple convergence. Friedman says that the power of new information technology has helped bring the world closer together and has made it more interconnected and interdependent (Friedman, 2005). More people now have access to this technological platform for education, innovation and entrepreneurship (Friedman, 2005). However, Florida (2005, p.51) argues that this flat playing field mainly affects the advanced countries, which see not only manufacturing work but also higher-end jobs. Other developing or undeveloped countries simply do not have the luxury of this connection and are left out of this technological platform. Florida (2005, p.51) contends that “...there are more insidious tensions among the world’s growing peaks, sinking valleys, and shifting hills”. This inequality is growing across the world and within countries.

Friedman also talks about the ten flatteners such as workflow software, open sourcing, outsourcing, offshoring and supply chaining. Friedman (2005, p.35) claims that “these flatteners created the platform for collaboration that flattened the world even more”. This global collaboration boasts the increase...
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