Saturday, April 09, 2005

The New York Times > Magazine > It's a Flat World, After All

*Classic Thomas Friedman*

For anyone who has read The Lexus and The Olive Tree, you would find this article to be an extension of his book, tone, style and all. Chock full of examples and anedoctal evidence, once again he comes up with a broad daring thesis: The World is Flat i.e. the playing field has been levered by Globalisation. And of course, out-sourcing comes into play here. What is good about the 'analysis' (and I fear this is using it a bit loosely) is that he identifies the 10 trends that basically allowed this to happen as well as the particular situation/scenario that allowed this covergence (the rise fo China and India, I'm not entirely sure about Russia)

What is truely gusty of this piece is his argument that America should stop whinging and put its mental powers into maintaining its lead in innovation. =P

I would strongly recommend that anyone and everyone should read it because it's emminently readable and not only simply to economist or pseudo-economists (*ahem* students who go in other fields when they know they want to do econs). Just a cautionary note: as I mentioned on my tag board, Milton Friedman is considered to be the most extremist and rabid of pro-globalist. And he underestimates the power of local politics and politics in general and its capacity to hamper globalisation.

In particular, countries are still and can still do their darnest to stiffle globalisation in particular the free movement of goods (Free trade) and of people (Immigration). I think an essay on protectionism at this point is not going to be of much relevance. So here's some examples you might want to think about:

1. Trade. CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), Steel Tariffs, apparal war between China and US and anti-dumping laws are some contemporary area of clash.

2. Immigration: I've done a blog on this with regards to human smuggling. Just note the rise of the far-right anti-immigration parties in Europe and consider the current policies of Bush and Howard somewhat to the opposite and the political fight they are facing. See in particular, the politics of out-sourcing and Kerry's reply to Bush.

Similar, I've done a blog on the Golden Straitsjacket and the Washington Consensus previously and nothing much has changed since then. Just go search my blog. If you can't find it, leave me a note and I'll blog it.



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