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Friedman is a strong advocate of those changes, calling himself a "free-trader" and a "compassionate flatist", and he criticizes societies that resist the changes.
Friedman's work history has been mostly with The New York Times, and that may have influenced the way the book was written – some would have preferred a book written in a more "inclusive voice".
Friedman is right that there have been dramatic changes in the global economy, in the global landscape; in some directions, the world is much flatter than it has ever been, with those in various parts of the world being more connected than they have ever been, but the world is not flat ...
Friedman defines ten "flatteners" that he sees as leveling the global playing field: Friedman believes that to fight the quiet crisis of a flattening world, the US workforce should keep updating its work skills.
Making the workforce more adaptable, Friedman argues, will keep it more employable.
Friedman repeatedly uses lists as organizational devices to communicate key concepts, usually numbered and often with provocative labels.
Two example lists are the ten forces that flattened the world, and three points of convergence.The World Is Flat received generally positive popular and critical reception as well as some negative criticism, peppered with doubt.The Washington Post called the book an "engrossing tour" and an "enthralling read".That is, as long as corporations have major supply chain operations in countries other than that corporation's home country, those countries will never engage in armed conflicts.This is because of the economic interdependence between nations that arises when a large corporation (such as Dell) has supply chain operations in multiple global locations and when developing nations (in which supply chain operations commonly take place) are reluctant to give up their newfound wealth.He also suggests that the government make it easier for people to switch jobs by making retirement benefits and health insurance less dependent on one's employer and by providing insurance that would partly cover a possible drop in income when changing jobs.Friedman also believes there should be more inspiration for youth to become scientists, engineers, and mathematicians because of a decrease in the percentage of those professionals who are American.The title is a metaphor for viewing the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce, wherein all competitors have an equal opportunity.As the first edition cover illustration indicates, the title also alludes to the perceptual shift required for countries, companies, and individuals to remain competitive in a global market in which historical and geographic divisions are becoming increasingly irrelevant.That is, developing nations do not want to risk the trust of the multinational companies that venture into their markets and include them in the global supply chain.Thomas Friedman also warns that the Dell theory should not be interpreted as a guarantee that nations that are deeply involved in global supply chains will not go to war with each other.