Monday, May 02, 2005

'The World Is Flat': The Wealth of Yet More Nations

The New York Times > Books > Sunday Book Review > 'The World Is Flat': The Wealth of Yet More Nations

I got to see much of Friedman's 3 hour interview on C-Span. It was very interesting! I Highly recommend it!

A few of the highlights from Today's NY Times Book Review by Fareed Zakaria:

*"The metaphor of a flat world, used by Friedman to describe the next phase of globalization, is ingenious. It came to him after hearing an Indian software executive explain how the world's economic playing field was being leveled. For a variety of reasons, what economists call ''barriers to entry'' are being destroyed; today an individual or company anywhere can collaborate or compete globally. Bill Gates explains the meaning of this transformation best. Thirty years ago, he tells Friedman, if you had to choose between being born a genius in Mumbai or Shanghai and an average person in Poughkeepsie, you would have chosen Poughkeepsie because your chances of living a prosperous and fulfilled life were much greater there. ''Now,'' Gates says, ''I would rather be a genius born in China than an average guy born in Poughkeepsie.''"

*"What created the flat world? Friedman stresses technological forces. Paradoxically, the dot-com bubble played a crucial role. Telecommunications companies like Global Crossing had hundreds of millions of dollars of cash -- given to them by gullible investors -- and they used it to pursue incredibly ambitious plans to ''wire the world,'' laying fiber-optic cable across the ocean floors, connecting Bangalore, Bangkok and Beijing to the advanced industrial countries. This excess supply of connectivity meant that the costs of phone calls, Internet connections and data transmission declined dramatically -- so dramatically that many of the companies that laid these cables went bankrupt. But the deed was done, the world was wired. Today it costs about as much to connect to Guangdong as it does New Jersey."

*"People in advanced countries have to find ways to move up the value chain, to have special skills that create superior products for which they can charge extra."

*"points to the dramatic erosion of America's science and technology base, which has been masked in recent decades by another aspect of globalization. America now imports foreigners to do the scientific work that its citizens no longer want to do or even know how to do. Nearly one in five scientists and engineers in the United States is an immigrant, and 51 percent of doctorates in engineering go to foreigners. America's soaring health care costs are increasingly a burden in a global race, particularly since American industry is especially disadvantaged on this issue. An American carmaker pays about $6,000 per worker for health care."

READ IT! Or better yet Risten to it :)

A few other sources of info on this book:
ThomasLFriedman.com

2 comments:

amber said...

Your blog is great! It's hard to find blogs with good content and people talking about internet connections these days! I have a secret internet connections blog if you want to come check it out!

Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system as we are in a major crisis and health insurance is a major aspect to many.