Government changing the national programs

In this chapter: Friedman's exploration of the impact of globalization on the United States

Friedman, the author, explores how the United States is currently being impacted by the flatteners and the consequences globalization has had on the country. He suggests that Americans understand that adaptation is necessary in light of change. He makes the argument that people are seeking to pull down the barriers rather than help build them by contrasting the current status in the United States with what was felt after the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik. He further examines the political barriers that are being experienced in the United States and recommends that the politicians should act like engineers in drafting strategies for developing an active and energetic America rather than acting like conservative lawyers and restraining themselves to the laid out rules.

Friedman's analogy of muscles and changing national programs

Friedman uses the analogy of the muscles to explain the essence of the country and the government changing the national programs. On contrasting the perception of the current threat to the real terror and hype, he notes that though the threat may not have a face to match it with, it is still the most challenging threat to the economy of the United States. He recommends that people should focus on ensuring the continuity of employability and not to be focused on the idea that there can be a lifetime employment.

The importance of lifelong learning and competitiveness

The chapter also examines what happens in some of the successful companies which are always driven by the desire to inculcate lifelong learning. It is through the lifelong learning that people can acquire the necessary skills as one of the portable benefits. Moreover, the parents are being urged to encourage their children to be competitive and be driven by the desire to get and create more. As the chapter title says, it is not a test, rather the reality the people are living in where no one is entitled to anything and can only get what they want through competitive flattening.

Chapter 10: The Virgin of Guadalupe

The author examines the experiences of developing countries when competing with others at the same level. Through the narrative by the journalist, he notes that initially, the statutes were labeled as "Made in Mexico" and are now changing to "Made in China." Friedman says that China cannot be blamed rather the policies put in place by developing economies like Mexico should enable the entrepreneurs and companies to excel in the flat world. To illustrate the point on the essence of countries accepting their positions and being true to themselves, Friedman compares the states that have adopted the trade policies to those that have not opened their doors to the change. Such countries as Egypt that have embraced retail and wholesale reforms are succeeding in such sectors as education, governance, and infrastructure.

The importance of adopting change for economic success

The Egypt case shows that the country has managed to guarantee every graduate from the college a job which is boosting the country's economic success. Using China as an example, the author draws the conclusions on countries accepting the change like China did when joining WTO. The developing countries are being urged to emulate what China is doing by investing in more technology-based products like the IBM computers. The implication here is that for better economic performance, it is important for every country to go the extra mile in doing things differently as China moved from low-tech and labor-intensive products to high-tech goods.

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