Thomas Friedman, contemporary American author, is the owner of Pulitzer Prize. For a long time Friedman was an experienced journalist and columnist and successful reporter, but one moment he felt a strength and desire to write a book. His book “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century” published in 2005 became a bestseller and must-have for every modern individual who is concerned with problems of globalization, nowadays economy, and business.
The book is worth its attention and popularity, as it indeed is very useful and interesting. In “The World Is Flat” the author shares his experience of observing and investigating contemporary world from the standpoint of economy, politics, business, and other significant fields. The theory of Thomas Friedman is based on the statement that the world in the beginning of twenty-first century became flat. He means that such important obstacles for business and economy development as geographical location, distance, language, or cultural barriers no longer exist. More and more barriers for international commerce disappear during globalization process, and many companies and individuals must be changed in order to adapt to new flattened world. Friedman describes ten flatteners that condition the state of modern economy.
In the book “The World is Flat” the author describes many various theories and facts relating modern world. However in the current paper I would like to pay attention to the Chapter Eight, where Thomas Friedman talks about so-called The Quiet Crisis. This term expresses the state of contemporary economy in the United States of America. According to Friedman, American society is facing rather serious challenge caused by three so-called dirty little secrets. By these dirty secrets the author implies three factors that determine the position of American people on the global market within contemporary flat world.
According to Thomas Friedman’s thoughts the United States are in the middle of crisis now. Indeed, the role that American economy and subsequently Americans played in globalization process not so long ago has changed significantly. First dirty little secret (the numbers gap) lies in the fact that the citizens of USA, unlike few decades ago, stopped being the best employees to work for the global market. Such countries like India or China produce much more potential workers, especially in our era of flattened world, when distance is no longer an obstacle. Second dirty little secret tells about motivation gap, which means that American people do not sometimes match some certain kinds of jobs. The workers from Pakistan, for example, may appear more skillful than American workers in some jobs, and of course much cheaper. Third dirty little secret describes the lack of proper education for American residents. To perform successfully onto the global market in the new flattened world (and as a result on newly appeared jobs) workers must be appropriately educated to satisfy new requirements and demand. Therefore, the situation for the United States of America from the standpoint of employment in new globalization era truly became difficult. It appears that American workers lose in quantity as workers from many countries become more preferable demographically. Their work is much cheaper, as they do the same job for one third of the American worker’s salary. Of course it is more interesting for any employer. Moreover, today’s flat world surprises with another fact – cheaper workers from other countries become more educated, qualified, and skillful than American ones! Indeed, the situation that Thomas Friedman draws in eighth chapter of his book looks rather unpleasant for USA and is not too far from crisis.
To my mind, Friedman is an experienced author and his thoughts are very reasonable. I agree with most of his theories described in his book “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century”, particularly in the eighth chapter “The Quiet Crisis”. To my mind globalization was too fast and it has brought numerous causes for changes. We are not used to such fast changes yet, hence some critical situations. However the flattened world not only brings challenges and problems, but a great number of new ideas and opportunities never seen before. And American people will certainly find their place in this flat world very soon.
1. Friedman, Thomas. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Farrar Straus Giroux Press. 2005.
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