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The World is Flat

In his book The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman argues that various global events have accumulated to create a much more level playing field then we've ever seen before.  He goes on to discuss the causes and implications of this shift.

If you watch this talk and/or read the Wikipedia article, you should have a pretty good idea of the things he's talking about.

Do you agree with his claims?


Side Score: 1


Side Score: 1

After reading The World is Flat, which has been quite some time, Thomas Friedman's notion of the 10 reasons why the world has been flatten is a fair and accurate description of leveling the playing field because one key reason; November 9th 1989 was the day that the Berlin Wall Fell. This event sent shock waves around the world suggesting that communist policies have failed and capitalism has prevailed due to free market enterprise.

The World is Flat is idealistic because although outsourcing and off-shoring has killed many American jobs, it has created millions of jobs for the Chinese, Indians and other countries and sent them out of poverty while for the most part, due to Americans ingenuity, America is adopting to the global labor force despite China's emergence.

China is progressively transferring from a agrarian to an industrial economy not because of communist policies, but the move to private property ownership in 1970's.

It is unfair to compare the equality between developed and developing countries because standard of living isn't determined by government laws and regulations, it is the demand of the labor market selected by skills, talent and productivity.

It will ultimately be difficult for Haiti to become a rich country because of the lack of infrastructure and institutions in order to gain the required skills, talent and productivity, in which the world demands. A major key element in economic development for a country is foreign direct investment. WHY? The US and China are one and three in the word with highest FDI. For now, China is still considered a developing country with Inflow: $108.31 billion Outflow: $52.15 billion, net $56 billion while the US still dominates at Inflow: $316.11 billion, Outflow: $311.79 billion but net of only $5 billion

Lastly, Thomas Friedman did a excellent job in explaining the changes of the world by globalization.

Supporting Evidence: FDI (
Side: agree

Friedman's description of the world as flat is desirable, but maybe still idealistic. Globalization has not leveled the playing field for everyone, in fact it has made the gaps between rich and poor wider. Countries without infrastructure were launched into a global market race and found themselves unable to compete (the playing field being highly unequal).

To suppose that every player in the globe has equal access to opportunities is to assume that everyone had the same original position at the beginning. The opportunities might be out there, but the access is limited to those who have more power.

In the market place, developing countries that want to see the market as being completely fair adopt the strategy of implementing lower tariffs, lower export/import taxes, and try to let the market magically guide them to those opportunities. These countries find that their inequalities increase.

The countries that correctly perceive the inequality of opportunity will choose to protect themselves and increase protective market barriers. These countries have a higher chance of guiding investment in a way that benefits the population instead of just letting the market decide.

Another example that we have to show us that the world isn't "flat" is migration policies. In Friedman's ideal flat world, I believe we would have complete freedom of movement in order to seek and find opportunities in different geographic areas. Instead, we are restricted to our own little "patch" and if we were born in a place with good educational opportunities and availability of jobs, then we are lucky. But if we are born in a place where there is no infrastructure, the world is still not flat enough to allow us to consider ourselves "citizens of the world" but have to bear the consequences of being born in places with less opportunities than others.

Side: Disagree