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His aim in The World Is Flat, as in his earlier, influential Lexus and the Olive Tree, is not The world isn't going to be flat, it is flat, which gives Friedman's breathless and the Flat World; FIVE: America and Free Trade; SIX: The Untouchables. Editorial Reviews. Review. "Captivating an enthralling read. To his great credit, Friedman Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like eBook features: Highlight, take notes .. 2) Free trade and capitalism is the best solution to all the problems of the world. 3) America. Jun 18, Oh, yes - and you can download them for free. No kidding. Gratis. So forget Thomas Friedman's "The Earth is Flat." Ignore Malcolm Gladwell's.

Maybe you're a rising business executive who's getting ready for your summer vacation, and you're looking for something interesting to read. Maybe you're just heading to Seattle for a sales conference, and you need something to peruse on the plane. Or maybe you're starting an MBA in the fall. Yes, I know. You feel you ought to read one of the latest business books.

But the employee in us wants a little fat left on the bone, the way Costco does it, so that it can offer health care to almost all its employee, rather than just less than half of them, as Wal-Mart does.

Governments are not being toppled. Political revolutions are not exploding. But the power is shifting, it is shifting the people. With the rapid rise of consumer technology, more people are connected than ever before. The world has become much smaller, or as Thomas L. No longer do we have to drive from car lot to car lot to find a great deal on a used car.

And no longer do you have to throw on a suit and walk up and down an office building looking for a job. The information has come to the people and the people have changed the game.

Now small companies with little or no capital can become a global player over night.

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Established companies have learned to adapt and quickly. The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman is a very interesting read on the changing times. This book is good but a little long. Friedman includes a lot of interviews and anecdotes, however his stories do not have the power or sharpness of Malcolm Gladwell or the Freakonomics authors.

Paperback Verified Purchase. When this book came out in , it provided many Americans with their first exposure to globalization. It is ironic that the USA has been the dominant player in world affairs since World War II -- political, economic, social, cultural -- but a large portion of the American population was unaware of the centrality of its global role until very recently. Friedman's work has helped them to get a stronger grasp of the forces of globalization, first in his book The Lexus and the Olive Tree, then in The World Is Flat.

The idea of a world-beyond-nation-state was articulated ten years before Friedman by Kenichi Ohmae in his best-selling book, The Borderless World. In a sense, Friedman's work can be viewed as an update of Ohmae's because of its focus on recent technological advances in telecommunications, the Internet, computers, and transportation -- technologies that were relatively underdeveloped in One problem with Friedman's book is captured in its subtitle: It implies a measure of omniscience in Friedman's outlook.

He is predicting how the world will work in the twenty-first century. It turns out that his predictions are largely wrong, because even as the first edition of The World is Flat was coming off the press, the groundwork was being laid for the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression. The economic crisis of demonstrated that as soon as societies face economic downturns, they circle the wagons and reject the openness that Friedman portrays as inevitable.

It is interesting that since writing The World Is Flat, Friedman has turned his attention to other arenas: He isn't preaching the virtues of globalization. He is NOT a sociologist or economist. While he supplies an abundance of advice on how to run a business or government in our brave new world, he himself has never been a businessman or policy maker. As a journalist, he has stood on the sidelines, picked the brains of the real players, then made a fantastic living by offering expert insights and advice.

Having been pretty strong in my criticism of Friedman, I still give his book a score of 3,because in his work -- as a journalist -- he has opened the eyes of thousands of people to important forces that extend beyond what average citizens are aware of.

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Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Through Jerry, we learn about the process of information exchange online and the effect it has on businesses to perform various duties from remote locations with everything from tax preparation to hair appointment scheduling to hospital bookings cited as examples of outsourcing. As Friedman travels through Japan, China and back to America, we study various examples of the business outsourcing phenomenon and its impact, positive and negative, on the players involved.

Homesourcing and military outsourcing are explored as Friedman explains the sheer prevalence of outsourcing in our society.

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A second flattener is identified as our ability to not only author our own content, but to send it worldwide with the launch of the Internet. Subsequently, free workflow software was developed, allowing people from around the world to collaborate and work together on projects using a shared medium.

As Apache and Wikipedia came into play, we became able to develop and upload web content and community collaboration became another flattening force. Preparations for Y2K required resources beyond those available in the United States and as a result, we see that India became responsible for a huge portion of these preparations.

Offshoring, using the Chinese manufacturing sector as a prime example, has forced other developing countries to try to keep up with their low cost solutions, resulting in better quality and cheaper products being produced worldwide. The seventh flattening factor is our introduction to supply chaining, which is discussed in much greater detail later in Chapter Fourteen.

Acknowledging that the ten factors he discussed in Chapter Two could not have flattened the world all on their own, Friedman explains that as each of the factors came together, they had to spread and take root to create the environment rich for flattening.

He credits this spread, the creation of complementary software and the internet, and political factors that caused several developing countries, including China, Russia, India and Latin America, to open their borders at this time with the creation of the perfect storm that led to the rapid-fire pace of globalization.

Through interviews with U. Embassy officials in Beijing, we explore the desperation of Chinese students to study and work in America. We follow the path of a Boeing jet as components of its manufacture are outsourced to Russia and then India, allowing for faster and cheaper development of more planes as Friedman demonstrates the need for individuals and businesses to be able to compete in a global marketplace.

Friedman works to dispel common myths about globalization as we explore the dot. Friedman calls for a reality check as we explore the manner in which countries and societies will cope with and adapt to the dramatic changes that globalization brings to the way we do business, as individuals and entities. His comparison of the Industrial Revolution to the current IT Revolution leads us to believe that the world flattening we see today could have been predicted by Karl Marx. Sandel discusses whether or not exploitation is globalization; are the outsourced people from India being exploited or given opportunity they would not otherwise have had?

We examine the blurring boundaries between companies and different groups of workers, as well as the relationships between communities and the businesses that operate within them. Friedman demonstrates that as little people begin to act big, so too are big people able to connect on the smallest level. Identities become harder to define, which will also need to be sorted out.

The traditional roles of consumer, employee, citizen, taxpayer and shareholder have all become blurred and intertwined. Friedman summarizes the chapter with an examination of intellectual property law and means that must be put in place to protect it, as well as the death of the human bond in the online world.

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Does free trade still exist in a flat world? He concludes that erecting borders and walls would be detrimental to our goals and that Americans must instead be prepared to compete on a global playing field.

Friedman encourages better education and training, as Americans now compete not only with other Americans, but with the most brilliant minds around the globe for positions. He identifies the workers that will suffer most, should they be unable to keep ahead of the globalization trend, and offers large-scale suggestions to remedy this problem. Using the history of the American agricultural industry as an indicator of future trends in various industries today, he stresses the importance of an ability to adapt and specialize where there is a need.

We learn that fear stimulates change and that this is a good thing. Friedman addresses a concern shared by many Americans: As the competition for jobs stiffens, how do we prepare them for the increased competition?

Synthesizers, explainers, leveragers, versatilists and more are identified and explained as viable career options, as well as strategies for preparing for these positions. He recommends building right-brain skills, or those that cannot be duplicated by a computer, and explores different vehicles to higher learning, including music.

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Friedman examines the factors necessary to create the right environment for this learning and contemplates methods of achieving this in modern day America. We begin by examining the U. An interview with Shirley Ann Jackson, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, demonstrates that a quiet crisis is happening slowly but surely as multiple and complex forces are at work creating the perfect storm; demographic, political, social, cultural, economic, etc.

We explore the dirty little secrets that no one is talking about — a lack of highly skilled scientists and engineers, disinterest in math and science by our younger population, lack of ambition as television and video games take over, an outdated basic education system, lack of funding for research, lack of infrastructure as we focus on war and other countries focus on developing sustainable and innovative business. He sums up the chapter with a call to action to kick-start the long process of preparing ourselves for the future into motion before we are literally left behind.

In a call to action, Friedman stresses that we simply cannot do things the same old way anymore and people must be willing to change and adapt. He compares our current crisis to that we faced in competing with the Soviet Union and the launch of Sputnik; the main challenge then came from those who wanted to put up walls while we now have to face those who want to tear them down.

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Now, as then, we must change our strategy to overcome these issues. He questions leadership and education; who will lead us into the forefront of this new globalized economy?

The necessity for lifelong learning and benefits to allow workers to remain mobile and adaptable is very real, though it seems to be at the bottom of our to-do list. Finally, Friedman examines how companies such as Capital One are working on the lifelong learning objective by providing training and upgrading to employees, increasing their own productivity and bottom line in the process, as he calls for social programs that encourage workers to be creative and hardworking.

We see the Chinese manufacture of statuettes of The Virgin of Guadalupe and their subsequent importation into Mexico as an example of the problem created when one developing country competes with another, as China replaced Mexico as the U.

Friedman discusses the need for developing countries to put policies in place to create the right environment for their companies and entrepreneurs to succeed in the flat world. He states that countries must be brutally honest with themselves in determining their place in the world market if they are to adapt and survive. A comparison of countries who have opened their borders and adopted free trade policies versus those who have not and been left behind illustrates his point.

The concept of reform retail and wholesale is introduced as we explore changes in education, infrastructure and governance. Ireland becomes a case study for financial success as their per capita GDP has risen to second highest in the European Union.

Friedman opines that companies willing to change and accept change are more likely to do things than have things done to them. We look into commoditization in a wide range of industries, where everything is the same and supply is plentiful.

Clients are flooded with options and everyone becomes the same.