Mr. Friedman needs to append this thoughtful and, for the most part, "right-on-the-money" offering. Since the election, he needs to add one more chapter. Let me take care of it for you Tom:
Chapter: "American Omega"
Page 1. - All that stuff you've just read....."never mind, it's too late".
As the world around us changes we’re not changing with it. The same tactics are being used today that were used decades ago with one big difference, ‘No child left behind’ Act! We need to start now reinvigorating our children and young adults to reach for the stars again. Not coddling them by telling them no one can defeat us. Really? Look at the last Iraq War and the War on Terrorism!
We need to do what we did it in the past with education designed to get our children ahead, discipline and removal of laws limiting business. We have people arguing for copyright laws and that every country should obey them. Instead these countries are ignoring them, educating their people which is causing them to beat us at every turn. We need to wake up now and it will take a decade to reverse the trend and one more to get back on top and it’s worth it! Isn’t it?
Can't tell - put book down after three chapters
If you are interested in what the authors have to say you might like this book. I was not interested in all their personal opinions.
Tom and Micheal present an accurate portrayal of the US today. Are we as a country in decline, well we certainly embrace mediocrity as a way of life. The pictured portrayed is not pleasant but not unsolvable. We Americans can and will do the right thing but only when the pain becomes to great to not do it. Are we there yet, I suggest you answer that question when you have read That Used to Be Us.
A big picture view of America's current state of affairs with Friedman's traditional "the world is flat" perspective. There are some good insights here and it's worth the read. Overall Friedman does a good job addressing a number of issues that I believe Americans worry about. This includes jobs, immigration, healthcare, social security, our polarized political system, technology, education, taxes, global climate change, etc. I don't always agree with Freidman's conclusions or his proposed solutions but it is intellectually stimulating and a good medium for pointing out the hot spots America needs to address.
One bone of contention is that he is a bit fast and loose with the way he uses statistical data from other countries. Those numbers are typically self reported and almost never accurate. He uses them to make his points but take them with some healthy skepticism.
One piece of data that caught my attention was that: "50% of companies started in Silicon Valley are started by immigrants", which is the case, but not in the rouge solo entrepreneur fashion Friedman is portraying. Over half of silicon valley startups have someone who is an immigrant on their founding team with the caveat that immigrants comprise about 50% of the population in silicon valley. So his claim is accurate but not as strong a data point as he is portraying it to be.
I preferred the audio version of this book.
It is a good recap of history and what we need to do to get back to being a leader in the world!
Excellent! Great view of the world and the USA. Suggestions for change are workable and intelligent. I sent a copy to my Senators, my Representative, my Assemblyman and my son-in-law.
Thomas Friedman (The World is Flat) returns with Michael Mandelbaum to consider how America fell behind the rest of the world and to recommend how she might be able to get back on track. They consider education, the debt, denial of climate change and energy policy, and political failure in Washington. There is little new here for anyone who reads the newspapers and I wish Friedman and Mandelbaum had focused more on remedies and public policy than they did. The reading of Jason Culp is excellent.