The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman is best described as an exposé of the realities of the present day business world and of the effects that certain advances in technology as well as political upheavals have had on capitalism during the past three decades. The “flattening” of the world is a metaphor used to describe an increasing interconnectivity among the citizens of the world. This increase in interconnectivity is ascribed to several events such as the fall of the Berlin wall, and most prominently, the advent of the internet. The point is stressed that for companies to survive in today’s environment, they must keep pace with the constant advances in technology that are making previous ways of doing business no longer competitive. It is also noted that it is becoming less important that a company be subservient to a particular nation state. Outsourcing to countries where labour is cheaper such as India, will save companies’ money, establish business practices in foreign countries, and, ironically, produce better results. As a result we are left with the same capitalism as before, but just a different (and ever changing), and much wider playing field.
It’s shocking to learn how backward the United States of America has become. To think that the country responsible for setting the pace of modern day capitalism has been able to educate its population so poorly is a troubling reflection of our value system. To quote the text, “In China today, Bill Gates is Britney Spears. In America today, Britney Spears is Britney Spears – and that is our problem.” America is no longer motivated. Our youth have become lazy underachievers who will certainly be left at the bottom of the food chain where the upper rungs will be occupied by today’s hardest workers who come from today’s poorest countries. That is of course unless Americans have a drastic change in mentality. Unfortunately, I believe what will happen is that as a nation we will end up underpaid (or...
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