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The central theme in this book as portrayed by Friedman, is how globalization has changed some of the core economic areas. According to Friedman, the world has become flat through various transformations such as technological advancement and enhanced communication (Friedman, 2006).
In an attempt to explain how the world has become flat, Friedman discusses major steps under which globalization has taken place; in fact he defines these ten steps as ‘world flatteners’ (Friedman, 2006).
Friedman argues that around the year 2000, the world entered a new era; this is the era of globalization where accessibility of information has become easier which is what he describes as flattened world where there is equal playing field of economic achievements.
It is during this time that people have found new ways through which they can collaborate; these ways are referred in the book as the “world flatteners” (Friedman, 2006). For instance, the fifth flattener also known as outsourcing Friedman explains that the advancement in technology has enabled companies to delegate jobs in remote countries which reduce costs by way of internet communication.
Again due to occurrence of globalization, people are now able to connect and interact much faster through several communication channels more rapidly than before as stipulated in the steroids flattener that involves use of wireless sharing of information such as iPods and other personal devices.
Indeed, the world now has equal opportunity for all people and therefore competition in the business sector has just taken a new twist. As such, Friedman compares the modern business trends which he describes to be similar to a river, because of the way they have streamlined sale of products (Friedman, 2006).
With increased competition comes equal opportunities and equalized income which means that US is now under more pressure to remain competitive in many areas in order to remain relevant as a superpower since they will be facing a lot of challenges from other countries; notably, India and China which are becoming more advanced.
The concept found in book, World is flat, is a series of transformation described as “world flatteners” which are said to have occurred in the economic and business sectors which have significantly contributed to equalization of the world in many aspects (Friedman, 2006).
In comparison to the book, The American Dream by Jason DeParle, the book questions and investigates how America came to achieve so much dominance and power in the management in the world affairs.
In the book, The American dream, US is described to have undergone through a lot of transformation to become the greatest economical and political power in the world today (DeParle, 2005).
The book posits that this has not been an easy road to success and argues that there is so much that has contributed to America becoming successful. The solidarity that unites US for instance has contributed to the drive and energy that has facilitated innovations and creativity that has driven competition.
According DeParle, all that lies within the American great foundation, is a great culture that has been promoted over years, this has consequently contributed to social mobility and growth (2005). This as compared to the book The World is Flat is seen as being the key concepts of success.
Similarly, cultural changes have also occurred in the world just as argued in the book The World is flat. The world has become flat as different cultures including those that were previously threatened have become integrated. In this book, Friedman describes how the world, just like “The American dream” has accepted changes and embraced technology (2006).
Among the changes that have occurred in both cases includes new advancement in technology use of computers, use of fiber optic and the use of wireless communication such as mobile phones, iPods among others.
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Indeed, the world has flattened due to various innovations as shown in the book which are seen to have been embraced as described in the out-sourcing flattener where Friedman says that technology has allowed Companies to be able to distribute services and also subcontract some activities through technological advancement.
The impact of globalization in US
There is no doubt that US has benefited more than it has lost through globalization; this is because globalization has both benefits and adverse effects. The major ways that US has benefited through globalization include enjoying better terms of trade, outsourcing of jobs to other countries, less trade barriers, high cultural integration, improved democracy and enhanced communication through social networks (Nickmaceus, 2010).
Some specific ways in which this benefit has occurred in US is through technological advances that have enabled outsourcing of jobs in other countries at cheaper rates and in real time to become possible.
Globalization has also made US to be one of the most integrated cultural societies in the world (Bhagwati, 2004). This has major benefits such as skilled labor, promotion of tourism and advancement of neo-colonialism (Denhart, 2007).
On the other hand, globalization has its adverse effect; in US this adverse effects include loss of job to foreigners, threat of US internal security due to proliferation of foreigners and increased brand competition from other countries when it comes to trade.
Public Affairs Relevance
The main theme addressed in the book The World is flat, is globalization. Globalization is described as a situation whereby “regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a global network of political ideas through communication, transportation, and trade” (Friedman, 2005).
This is very similar to what the concept of public affairs entails; public affair is concerned with the relationship between government activities and other elements in the society. Because of globalization countries have been able to interact and do more trade with other countries globally much easier than before facilitated by the current technological advancement that we have.
This means that, factors of globalization are very much reflected in public affairs issues such as economic and social system. Indeed, in today’s world, economic integration has also enhanced cultural integration.
In fact, these two issues are the main factors of globalization. Other characteristic of globalization includes increased communication, shared cultures, electronic commerce, improved infrastructure, and democracy (Dunnigan, 2006).
These two are found intertwined in various public affairs such as good governance which is democracy, economic growth, increased job opportunities, promotion of international trade, international tourism, social equity and poverty eradication.
It is therefore clear that public affairs issues are directly correlated with globalization issues as discussed in the two books. It is by reading them that I have been able to realize this clear link between public affairs issues and globalization and its relevance in governance.
Bhagwati, A. (2004). In Defense of Globalization. New York: Oxford University Press.
Friedman, T (2005). “It’s a Flat World After All.” New York Times Magazine. Web.
Denhart, T. (2007). Theories of Public Organization, 5th edition. Stamford, CT: Wadsworth Publishing.
DeParle, J. (2005). American Dream. New York: Penguin Group.
Dunnigan, J. (2006). The Costs of the War on Terror. Web.
Friedman, T. (2006). The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Nickmaceus, K. (2010). Globalization and the United States: Positive and Negative Impacts on American Domestic Policies. Web.