That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can By Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum. In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, analyze. Stepping forward as “frustrated optimists,” Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum address the grim situation of a slumping American.
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Author: Thomas L. Friedman;Michael Mandelbaum That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back. Editorial Reviews. Review. “At once enlightened and enlightening [American society] could In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy. That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back [Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum] on.
Friedman Phase one lasted until , when the world was run by states. Then, between and , phase two saw the rise of multinational corporations. The third phase of globalization, in place since the year and continuing into the foreseeable future, is distinguished by individuals seeking to take control of their economic destiny. That, in a nutshell, is the thesis of The World Is Flat, first published in Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist, and New York Times op-ed contributor, claims that "When the world is flat, you can innovate without having to emigrate. Friedman believes the world is flat in the sense that the competitive playing field between industrial and emerging market countries is leveling; and that individual entrepreneurs as well as companies, both large and small, are becoming part of a large, complex, global supply chain extending across oceans, with competition spanning entire continents. The author suggest that the trigger events for this phenomenon were the collapse of communism, the dot-com bubble resulting in overinvestment in fiber-optic telecommunications , and the subsequent outsourcing of engineers enlisted to fix the perceived Y2K problem.
View all New York Times newsletters. That fate could overtake America too. Through the weltering confusion of their four points of this and five pillars of that, Friedman and Mandelbaum again and again return to one inspiring theme: Friedman and Mandelbaum at one point praise the beauty of solutions that rise from the bottom up as opposed to the top down.
This praise is not consciously insincere, but pretty plainly it does not accurately represent their operational plan. Friedman and Mandelbaum are men of the American elite, and they write to salute those members of the American elite who behave public-spiritedly and to scourge those who do not. They are winners, writing to urge other winners to have more of a care for their fellow citizens who are not winners.
And you know what? Societies inescapably generate elites.
An elite can have concern and care for the less advantaged or it can callously disregard them. American society has had a big serving of that ugly anti-elitist spirit in the recent past. It could use more of the generous responsible spirit Friedman and Mandelbaum recommend. But they have eloquently described what such an elite should want to do. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser. See next articles. Newsletter Sign Up Continue reading the main story Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.
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Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum pp. Opinion Times Topic Thomas L.
News World U. Politics N. Events Guide Television Theater Video: China's entrance into the World Trade Organization allowed for greater competition on the playing field.
Now such countries as Malaysia, Mexico, and Brazil must compete against China and one another to have businesses offshore to them. Supply-chaining : Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain to a river by pointing to Wal-Mart as the best example of a company that uses technology to streamline item sales, distribution, and shipping.
Insourcing : Friedman uses UPS as a prime example for insourcing, whereby the company's employees perform services — beyond shipping — for another company. Informing: Google and other search engines and Wikipedia are the prime examples. The growth of search engines is tremendous; for example, Friedman states, Google is "now processing roughly one billion searches per day, up from million just three years ago". Digital, mobile, personal, and virtual as well as all analog content and processes from entertainment to photography, to word processing can be digitized and therefore shaped, manipulated, and transmitted; and these processes can be done at high speed with total ease; mobile can be done anywhere and anytime by anyone; and can be done to anyone.
Proposed remedies[ edit ] 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. 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. According to Friedman: The Dell Theory stipulates: No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain.
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. In his previous book The Lexus and the Olive Tree , Friedman argued that no two nations with a McDonald's franchise had ever gone to war with one another; this was known as the Golden Arches theory.
Later, Friedman upgraded that theory into the "Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention" by saying that people or nations do not just want to have a better standard of living as symbolized by a McDonald's franchise in their downtown but also want to have that lump of the labor sector that is created by globalization.
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. It means, rather, that the governments of those nations and their citizens will have very heavy economic costs to consider as they contemplate the possibility of war.
Such costs include long-term loss of the country's profitable participation in the global supply chain. This theory relates with how conflict prevention occurred between India and Pakistan in their — nuclear standoff , wherein India was at risk of losing its global partners.
The relationship between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan was also cited as an example of that theory: both countries have strong supply relations with each other, and a war between the two seems very unlikely today.
The Washington Post called the book an "engrossing tour" and an "enthralling read". The review closed with, "We've no real idea how the 21st century's history will unfold, but this terrifically stimulating book will certainly inspire readers to start thinking it all through".
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". Not only is the world not flat: in many ways, it has been getting less flat.