Thomas Friedman vs Richard Florida Essay

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Thomas Friedman’s lecture on his book “The World is Flat”, is not only humorous but insightfully clever. Friedman’s lecture breaks down the first three chapters of his book. I found this lecture interesting because studying the field of business you’re instantly introduced to what globalization is but never where it actually began and the advancements it has made over time. Robert Florida’s article “The World is Spiky” expanded and contrasted Friedman’s theory.

Robert Florida’s “The World is Spiky” article was written to refute Friedman’s claim that the world is flat and to insight his argument that the world is indeed spiky. Friedman argues that the global economic playing field has been leveled because people no longer have to emigrate in order to innovate. Florida argues that the global economic playing field is anything but leveled and that few regions truly matter in today’s global economy. Since I tend to agree that both men have valid points, it’s hard to say that I disagree with either theory.

I understand Florida’s argument that many places have become irrelevant in today’s economy because of the lack of technological advancements, population, and resources; yet the article to me didn’t really do a good job at contrasting Friedman’s point of view. I felt Friedman was looking at the world in the perspective of people being able to compete in a global economy due to a broader spectrum of connectivity, such as the internet, cell phones, and express services (FedEx); while Florida was looking at the world totally in a demographic perspective and only concentrated on one aspect of Friedman’s argument.

Florida felt that rural and underdeveloped areas would no longer be a factor in the growing global economy because the cities and regions that drive the world economy, are growing ever higher while the valleys, with little economic activity, recede still further. I do agree that this is a valid point because there is a sense that while the rich are getting richer the poor are getting poorer, and much of this may be contributed to demographics. Friedman’s lecture suggest that the global economy’s technological advancements have made it easier for people across the globe to connect.

Florida’s article counter argues that this may be true but underdeveloped regions are becoming irrelevant because they haven’t made the technological shift. Though both of these theories seem to contrast one another, I think they actually coincide with one another because they both are seem true. I realized how important both of these theories are because it made me knowledgeable of the fact that I need to be innovative and aware at all times in order to a part of the global playing field in today’s world economy.

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