When you read the DOD restructuring policies and look at where the military budget cuts went-------the DOD eliminated the construct of army and marines-------these branches were heavily reduced with the idea that asymmetric drone warfare would kill the need for what was our US army and marine forces. What American citizens are not being told is what a global corporate tribunal sees as its military force and it looks just as described below-------THE AMERICAN FOREIGN LEGION. This is why we are seeing so many immigrant recruits coming into the US military ------they are ending the traditional US public army and marines and creating that model overseas globally. They have already built the US International Economic Zone corporate military security system all over the world-----now they are dismantling our sovereign forces and sending all DOD funding to building a global American Foreign Legion. Think American parents shouting books not bombs to get funding for public schools will win over funding for a global military force? Of course not, that is why they say public funding for K-12 will end and why Obama and Clinton neo-liberals passed policies making higher education funding simply vocational job training as a degree.
Guest Column: An American Foreign Legion
This article is provided courtesy of DefenseWatch, the official magazine for Soldiers For The Truth (SFTT), a grass-roots educational organization started by a small group of concerned veterans and citizens to inform the public, the Congress, and the media on the decline in readiness of our armed forces. Inspired by the outspoken idealism of retired Colonel David Hackworth, SFTT aims to give our service people, veterans, and retirees a clear voice with the media, Congress, the public and their services.
By Wayne Hommer
Since the launch of the global war against terrorism following the 9/11 attacks, many federal agencies involved in defense and homeland security have been pushed to their limits. The U.S. Army has, in fact, been stretched beyond its capacity, with eight of its 10 divisions this year either preparing for combat operations, conducting combat operations, or recovering from combat operations.
The U.S. Army cannot maintain the current tempo of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas. It is easy to suggest that the U.S. Army should withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan in a year, but history does not support that assertion. Our forces have been in Bosnia for a decade, and there's still work to do there.
One solution that can be quickly implemented would be to create an American Foreign Legion that could assume a number of duties currently handled by the Army and Marine Corps. Here is my concept for such an organization:
The American Foreign Legion would consist of three 8,000-man mechanized infantry divisions whose members would be non-U.S. citizens serving under a cadre of regular Army officers.
Each enlistee would agree to serve in uniform for a minimum of ten years, after which he and his immediate family would be naturalized as American citizens. While serving, each AFL soldier would receive a salary and benefits similar to those received by the active-duty military.
Initial training would consist of an intense, six-week English-language course for those unable to communicate effectively in English. Following that, the recruit would attend a 12-week Army basic training program. The training focus would be on basic mechanized infantry tactics and security operations. Every graduate would be qualified as a rifleman with specialized training conducted within the AFL division as required.
The American Foreign Legion would have split responsibilities similar to that of the U.S. Coast Guard for peacetime and wartime conditions.
During peacetime, the AFL would fall under the control of the Department of Homeland Security with a primary mission of augmenting the U.S. Border Patrol in border security operations. Daily operations would include conducting extensive patrols of the border, freeing the U.S. Border Patrol to concentrate its efforts on operating fixed border checkpoints.
When directed by the president, command of the AFL would shift to the Department of Defense. While trained and equipped to carry out high-intensity combat operations, the primary role of the AFL under the DoD would be to serve as a designated peacekeeping force. This would allow regular Army units to concentrate on high-intensity conflict scenarios, and would dramatically increase the overall readiness of the U.S. armed forces.
The Army can equip the AFL divisions with M113A3 armored personnel carriers currently in storage in the War Reserve Stock, making the units rapidly deployable. In addition, the tracked vehicles will protect the troops from the small-arms, RPG and improvised explosive threats common to low-intensity conflicts. Each AFL division would require roughly 500 M113A3 series vehicles, in addition to a limited number of Humvees, fuelers, LMTV's, and HMMT wreckers.
Aside from the core mechanized infantry units, each AFL division should include an engineer construction battalion. While the AFL should have no need for combat engineers, construction engineers are in constant demand, particularly in training deployments to Third World nations. The ability to build schools, roads and irrigation systems would contribute significantly to the success of any peacekeeping operation.
Construction engineers would also be very useful on the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada. For example, a battalion of engineers could build a substantial secure border fence from the Gulf of Mexico, to the Pacific Ocean in a year, and dramatically improve the security of the border.
The logical bases for the AFL divisions would be at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., and Fort Bliss, Tex. Infrastructure would be required for the 8,000 troops and estimated 2,000 training cadre for each AFL division.
It would not be difficult for the Pentagon to establish three AFL divisions very quickly. Each AFL division would be manned by roughly 8,000 personnel.
The personnel who would serve in the AFL are already on hand: They are part of the population of illegal immigrants already in the United States.
The Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) estimates that 700,000 illegal immigrants enter the United States each year, joining an estimated 8 million other illegals already here. Many of them would be glad for a chance to enter and live in the country legally, and serving in the American Foreign Legion with its programmed citizenship reward could provide such an option.
Creating the American Foreign Legion would not come without significant startup costs, but the U.S. Treasury would meanwhile realize additional millions of dollars from tax payments by AFL members rising out of the underground economy of the illegal alien population.
The units would significantly help the regular Army and its troops carry out their primary missions as soldiers and not policemen. The AFL would also provide the Department of Homeland Defense the teeth it needs to be effective.
It is critical to our national security for the Pentagon to ease the strains that the Army is suffering. It is also critical for our national security to have positive control over our borders.
The American Foreign Legion could satisfy both needs.
It is the American Foreign Legion that drives this new political category of NEW AMERICANS. Of course this is simply the new brand for Clinton Wall Street global corporate neo-liberals but this brings the idea of global foreign legion with the idea that you don't have to live in America to be a citizen. Are people from developing nations likely to be Democratic or Republican in American terminology?
This Shadow force grew in wars in Middle-East and in creating US security systems connected to US International Economic Zones around the world especially in Asia. The next step on Wall Street's list is growing International Economic Zones in Africa as are in Asia-----and we will see this American Foreign Legion build across Africa.
NONE OF THIS IS NECESSARY-----IT IS THIS GLOBAL ECONOMIC MODEL THAT KILLED OUR US DOMESTIC ECONOMY AND HAS OUR CITY ECONOMIES COMPLETELY STAGNANT----
We simply need to get rid of global pols----reversing all of our Federal funding to expanding overseas----we are now seeing all state funding being sent to global markets and it is very few people that will keep any financial gains from any of this. Meanwhile, unemployment will continue to soar for US citizens no matter race or class. This last week looked at VETS and their plight in all these global restructuring of our US military-----next week we will look at employment/unemployment policies as a whole.
An American Foreign Legion
06/27/2012 11:13 am ET | Updated Aug 27, 2012
- David Isenberg Author, 'Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq'
America, of course, has had somewhat similar things in the past such as the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force in 1941-1942, famously nicknamed the Flying Tigers, for example, but we've never had our own Legion. Doubtlessly some would object to the imperialist connotations it would arouse, shades of the Roman Empire, although considering the Pax Americana the world has seen since WWII some might wonder if it is such a big difference.
Still, rather ironically, some see an American Foreign legion as the solution to the perennial issue of control and accountability over contemporary private military and security companies (PMSC).
This, at least, is the solution offered by Blake F. Nichols, a third year law student at Michigan State University College of Law and is the Executive Editor of the International Law Review. He wrote an article "Legitimizing A De Facto U.S. Foreign Legion In Afghanistan: Transfer Of Mission Critical Security Operations From Private Contractors To U.S. Military Personnel" published in the Michigan State University Journal of International Law earlier this year.
Like many others writing on this issue Nichols believes there is too little accountability stemming from a lack of oversight and that some fairly substantial changes will be required to correct the situation. But, unlike others, he proposes the adoption of a U.S. Foreign Legion as one possible solution to the overreliance on PMC personnel in Afghanistan.
Of course, he does not claim that a Legion would resolve all issues associated with the use of PMCs. But what he does do is "examine the implementation of a formalized, structured, U.S. Foreign Legion, which would build on current U.S. laws, borrow from other formalized foreign military institutions, and would reduce some of the problems currently associated with reliance on PMC personnel by incorporating these same individuals into the existing U.S. military command structure."
Here are a few of the problems he sees with PMSC use. First, PMC personnel are essentially temp workers who can be hired or fired as the contract dictates. While this may be good for the free market system it is bad for mission-critical functions; especially, when PMC personnel are also free to walk away from a job any time they want. Contractors just do not face the same punishment for defecting from service that regular soldiers do.
Second, there is a significant financial cost.
With such heavy reliance on contractors, it is no wonder that "[f]or federal fiscal years 2002-2010 . . . . the reported value of funds obligated for contingency contracts for equipment, supplies, and support services is at least $ 154 billion for the DoD, $ 11 billion for the Department of State, and [*464] $ 7 billion for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)." When one adds the "$ 5 billion in grants and cooperative agreements awarded by State and USAID" the total value becomes $ 177 billion. To put these figures in more comprehensible, concrete terms, the average cost per U.S. household for contractor support of contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal years 2002-2010 was $ 1,505.
Third, even if you accept that PMCs are the most "cost-effective for performing certain support functions," a claim that Nichols believes is "certainly open for debate", and assuming that the military could properly oversee the awarding and implementation of contracts while still tending to their other, core objectives, there still remains the policy concern of whether or not the U.S. wants to continue to rely on PMCs.
U.S. policy has historically evinced a preference for the citizen-soldier who, rather than being a professional soldier for hire, would be called upon when needed to resolve a conflict on behalf of his or her country and then return to civilian life after completing military service and take back up a life in business, agriculture, etc. In this way, the citizen-soldier represented the most effective compromise between an effective fighting force and a military that is least likely to interfere in the internal affairs of the nation. While this note does not suggest that the United States is in any immediate danger of PMCs staging a coup d'etat, there is concern within the U.S. military that traditional military principles are being eroded by the increasing use of PMCs, even those comprised largely of former U.S. soldiers; the argument put forward by some of our own military officers has essentially been that associating the U.S. armed forces with commercial enterprises could compromise their professionalism. U.S. Army Colonel Bruce Grant is quoted as saying, "When former officers sell their skills on the international market for profit, the entire profession loses its moral high ground with the American people." Legitimizing the security functions these contractor personnel perform by incorporating their tasks into the current military command structure, as this note suggests below, would arguably help to alleviate some of these concerns.
Fourth, the American public does not have an accurate sense of the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because contractor injuries and fatalities are not well reported or even considered.
Fifth, the decisions of PMC personnel can adversely impact U.S. military operations, but PMSC personnel are can make and execute plans wholly outside of the existing military command structure.
Andy Melville, Project Director for Erinys, Iraq, when asked who his company was accountable to, said that Erinys is accountable to coalition forces and insisted that Erinys is a "very professional and disciplined company." However, Lawrence Peter, formerly in charge of regulating private security in Iraq for the U.S. government, and now a Private Security Association Representative (note the irony), admits that typically, any reprimand of private contractor personnel that does make its way back to the military would be handled between the contracts officer who hired that private security company and the private security company itself and not necessarily between the individual PMC employee and the military. Again, difficulties arise here in that the military must rely on cooperation from the PMC in order to even begin to determine which PMC employees may be responsible; the system simply does not provide the same checks and balances for PMC actions as it does for more traditional, public military forces.
Nichols sees other problems with PMSC use but you get the idea.
In light of the projected need for continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan through at least 2014 he suggests a U.S. Foreign Legion as one possible method to bring about fundamental change that the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan suggests "must be made."
Nichols believes that an American legion would legitimize the U.S. use of force in Afghanistan. Until Afghanistan is capable of handling security internally, utilizing a Legion would meet the practical needs of securing a nation while avoiding some of the harshest criticisms about the accountability of PMC personnel. U.S. Legionnaires would be held to the same high standards as other U.S. military personnel and would likely avoid some of the criticisms of "heavy-handedness." If problems arose, they could be dealt with under the Uniform Code of Military Justice in the same way disciplinary actions are handled for U.S. military personnel.
Another benefit would be to increase accountability through the military chain of command.
When asked about U.S. actions in Fallujah, Iraq following the death of four Blackwater PMC personnel, Marine Col. John Toolan suggested that the military's original plans for working with local leaders in Fallujah to minimize violence were thrown to the wayside when those contractors drove through the city without communicating their intent or location to the military. This was a highly publicized example of what can go wrong in the interplay between PMC and military actions through a lack of communication.
Finally, a Legion would remove the middleman from the equation. Instead of having prices set by a company looking to profit from conflict, the Legion would pay its members directly for their services and in this way reduce the chance that funds would be squandered in the process.
How much would a legion cost? Nichols roughed out some numbers. He wrote, "A very crude approximation could be made by taking the number of PMC personnel currently devoted to security functions and assuming a similar number of U.S. Foreign Legionnaires would be needed to replace the PMCs. To approximate this cost, the U.S. could look to its own internal pay scales, to pay scales of similar foreign military forces, and to current pay for PMC personnel in order to estimate the pay for U.S. Foreign Legionnaires." A low-end annual estimate for the salaries of a 150,000 strong" U.S. Foreign Legion would be anywhere from about $ 2.6 billion to $ 5.1 billion.
I tell the story of Johns Hopkins having as its graduation speaker in 2009 Timothy Geithner----the person most guilty of all the Wall Street frauds and ignoring of frauds outside of FED Greenspan----Geithner told the group of Hopkins grads-----PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY YOU ARE BAD, BUT IGNORE THEM AND MOVE FORWARD----move forward is the DAVOS Switzerland mantra Clinton/Obama neo-liberals use.
I do not believe young adults graduating from even Ivy League universities are sold on this empire for the 1%-----they know first hand that being an ex-pat for much of your life is not something most people want. So Timothy Geithner's plea to 'ignore all this policy as bad' will also be ignored by almost all of citizens in the US.
I have tied US International Economic Zone policies to Trans Pacific Trade Pact both of which seek to create these US zones where they think all that is US sovereignty disappears and the US simply becomes a bunch of International Economic Zones reporting to a global corporate tribunal-----basically the DAVOS Switzerland 1%. All of this week's talk on the state of the state of US military and our troops and VETs are simply the installation of these policies. It is also why Clinton/Bush/Obama created the conditions for US corporations moving overseas to soar----it is why they wanted unemployment and wealth stealth from US citizens to soar-----and allowing US Constitutional and Federal laws around anti-trust and monopoly drove that capture of our US and city economies.
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW ALL OF THIS IS ILLEGAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND THAT IS WHY THEY ARE MARCHING------PROTESTING-----GROWING ACTIVISM ON ALL ISSUES. WE CAN AND WILL REVERSE THIS.
Democrats have always approached foreign policy from a human rights and empowerment of citizens around the world-----Republicans and Clinton/Obama neo-liberals only see foreign policy as advancing the wealth and power of Wall Street and US corporations.
When you see candidates talk of SUSTAINABLE GROWTH----SUSTAINABLE CITY DEVELOPMENT----you can look around the world in International Economic Zones and see those same terms----it is all connected to global corporate tribunal rule and control of all real estate and government functions. Sustainable in Maryland or Baltimore means holding real estate aside until global corporate campuses can fill them. It has nothing to do with quality of life----environment-----efficiency----it is all building a global corporate plantation.
NEITHER REPUBLICANS NOR DEMOCRATS WANT THIS-----ONLY THE 1% GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AND THEIR POLS DO.
Thursday, 04 February 2016
With TPP Signed, Opposition Explodes Across Political Spectrum
Written by Alex Newman
With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signed today in New Zealand by officials from the 12 governments and dictatorships ensnared in the sovereignty-smashing “free trade” regime, opposition to the plot — dubbed “Obamatrade” by critics — is surging across the political spectrum and around the nation. In the presidential primaries, virtually nobody, not even known establishment candidates, dares to express support for the scheme. In Congress, members of both parties are up in arms, calling on their colleagues to crush the TPP before it crushes America. And among the grassroots, Americans of all political persuasions are outraged, ranging from labor unions and environmental groups to conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist forces. All 12 of the governments involved are facing their own homegrown opposition, too.
As usual, the Obama administration is calling on U.S. lawmakers to rubber-stamp the agreement as quickly as possible. Indeed, Obama administration Trade Representative Michael Froman, a member of the extremist global government-promoting Council on Foreign Relations, even threatened that America would face “costs” if Congress did not promptly submit to Obama's demands. Considering the reactions of lawmakers so far though — even among Republicans who stabbed voters in the back by campaigning on a platform of stopping Obama, then empowering him with “Fast Track” authority to ram TPP through Congress — the White House is likely to face major hurdles in getting TPP ratified before the November election, if ever. Even the most “progressive” members of Obama's party are fervently denouncing what Obama called the “most progressive trade agreement in history.”
On Obama's side of the aisle, for example, more than a few left-wing Democrats are urging their colleagues to stop Obamatrade. “Congress will have to vote straight up or down on TPP. We won’t have a chance to strip out any of the worst provisions, like [supranational kangaroo courts allowing mega-corporations to sue taxpayers for their decisions on how to govern themselves],” said far-left Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the most “progressive” lawmakers in Washington, in a speech on the Senate floor ahead of the February 4 TPP singing ceremony in New Zealand. “That’s why I oppose the TPP and hope Congress will use its constitutional authority to stop this deal before it makes things even worse — and more dangerous — for America’s hard-working families.”
On the Republican side, even the establishment “RINOs” (Republicans In Name Only) in charge of Congress at least pretended to have concerns, despite having already betrayed their base to support the Obamatrade agenda. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for example, said he had “some problems” with TPP, and that there were a “number of flaws” in it. He also suggested there may not be a vote until after the election, despite Obama's pleas. House Speaker Paul Ryan, meanwhile, said “a number of concerns” on TPP were raised by lawmakers that “must still be addressed.”
Thanks to the GOP unconstitutionally surrendering congressional power to Obama over trade policy, Congress can only vote up or down on the scheme at this point. That means there will be no “addressing” any alleged concerns Ryan claims to have. However, the White House said it would use crony capitalist outfits such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to pressure Republicans into submission.
Other Republicans, less establishment-minded perhaps, have been far more vocal in sounding the alarm on the major threat TPP poses to America. “The predictable and surely desired result of the TPP is to put greater distance between the governed and those who govern,” declared Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) after reviewing the text of the agreement. “It puts those who make the rules out of reach of those who live under them, empowering unelected regulators who cannot be recalled or voted out of office. In turn, it diminishes the power of the people’s bulwark: their constitutionally-formed Congress.”
In a statement calling for a revocation of Fast Track authority given to Obama by establishment Republicans in Congress, Sessions also highlighted the “global governance” danger from TPP. “Among the TPP’s endless pages are rules for labor, environment, immigration and every aspect of global commerce — and a new international regulatory structure to promulgate, implement, and enforce these rules,” he explained. “This new structure is known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Commission — a Pacific Union — which meets, appoints unelected bureaucrats, adopts rules, and changes the agreement after adoption.”
On the campaign trail, meanwhile, virtually no candidate has been willing to associate themselves with Obamatrade — a sign of just how unpopular the scheme is becoming among Americans of all political persuasions.
Seizing on bipartisan hostility to the “Obamatrade” TPP regime, leading Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump vowed to crush it if elected president. “Our leaders have negotiated terrible deals that are bleeding this country dry,” Trump told Breitbart News in a statement. “The TPP is another terrible one-sided deal that rewards offshoring and enriches other countries at our expense.” If elected, he vowed to “stop Hillary’s Obamatrade in its tracks, bringing millions of new voters into the Republican Party.” He also promised to move manufacturing jobs back to the United States and “Make American Great Again.”
In the statement, the Trump campaign said that the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and Canada had “exploded” from less than $20 billion to more than $200 billion following the imposition of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA. Similarly, the campaign said, the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea ballooned by $12 billion since the 2012 U.S.-Korea free-trade regime was imposed. “The loss of manufacturing has been soul-crushing for American families: these are not just lost jobs, but a lost way of life,” the campaign said, lashing out at some Republican politicians who support “this awful deal.”
The statement also said TPP would allow other TPP member governments and dictatorships to manipulate currency, “hammer” American manufacturing, and crush U.S. jobs. “And it surrenders U.S. power to foreign bureaucrats and transnational corporations,” the statement said, echoing a frequent criticism of the TPP heard all across the political spectrum. Finally, the statement said, other candidates in the race, on both sides of the aisle, have in the past supported the TPP, and some Republican candidates had even voted in favor of handing “Fast Track” power to Obama so he could “ram it through Congress.”
Senator Ted Cruz, who won the recent Iowa GOP caucuses, initially supported Obamatrade, but he has since then reversed his position, vowing last year in Iowa to vote against it. Senator Marco Rubio, the third-place finisher in Iowa, also originally supported the Obamatrade agenda, though his current stance remains unclear. On the Democrat side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a fervent supporter of the TPP, calling it the “Gold Standard,” though at this point, both Democrat candidates — Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Clinton — claim to oppose the deal.
Sanders has been opposed all along. After the signing, he lashed out again, saying that, if elected, he would do everything possible to kill it. He also linked TPP to other disastrous “free trade” deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Communist China. If he wins the presidency, he vowed to “fundamentally rewrite our trade policies to benefit working families, not just the CEOs of large, multinational corporations,” the Huffington Post reported. While trade is a “good thing,” it must be “fair, and the TPP is anything but fair,” Sanders added.
Outside the beltway, forces from across the political spectrum are gearing up for a fight on TPP and Obamatrade. On the “right,” grassroots conservative, libertarian, and constitutionalist groups will be working hard to stop TPP ratification, even as establishment, neo-conservative, and crony capitalist groups prepare to lobby Congress to surrender to Obama.
Among the right-leaning groups working against TPP is The John Birch Society, a constitutionalist organization with chapters in all 50 states. It vowed to make defeating the TPP a top priority. “Today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in New Zealand means the Obama administration is one step closer to presenting this national sovereignty-destroying agreement to Congress,” said JBS Director of Missions Larry Greenley in a statement. “Since the continued security of our personal rights and freedoms depends on the continued national independence of our nation, preventing congressional approval of TPP is one of the top goals of The John Birch Society in 2016.” The JBS, an affiliate of this magazine, is the same group that was blasted by the late architect of the sought-after “North American Community,” CFR operative Robert Pastor, for its role in stopping deeper European Union-style “integration” among North American countries.
On the Left, opposition to TPP, whether real or for show, continues to grow by leaps and bounds as forces from Big Labor to Big Green line up in opposition. “We’ve been down this road before. The Wall Street and Washington elite always tell us that this time will be different,” said AFL-CIO Richard Trumka, blasting the TPP as a “new low” and slamming the “crony capitalism” throughout the scheme. “The truth is these trade deals have ripped apart the fabric of our nation. We see the shuttered factories. We visit towns that look like they are stuck in the past.… From NAFTA to CAFTA to Korea and now the TPP, these agreements have continually put profits over people. By driving down our wages, they make our economy weaker, not stronger.”
As more is learned about the TPP regime, which was negotiated in strict secrecy behind closed doors until being released recently, the more opposition grows. That is probably why, as The New American reported earlier today, the Obama administration and the establishment are urging Congress to make haste and rubber-stamp the scheme. However, with Americans across the political spectrum largely united against Obamatrade, ratifying the sovereignty-destroying TPP regime may be tougher than the establishment would have hoped — assuming it is possible. Americans should educate themselves about the dangers the TPP poses to U.S. liberty, self-government, independence, and prosperity, and then use that knowledge to educate their elected representatives. More information is available in the articles linked below.
With enough public pressure, the establishment's "Obamatrade" agenda to undermine America can still be stopped in its tracks.
Below you see the global corporate rule DAVOS Switzerland crowd envisioning a return to Victorian England with the super-rich and aristocracy that existed while the US was colonial America......THIS WAS WHAT THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION WAS FOUGHT TO REMOVE FROM AMERICAN POLITICS.
Well, just as Clinton neo-liberals fooled all groups in the US into electing more and more neo-liberals-----he fooled Republican voters thinking it was about getting rid of New Deal and Equal Protection----he fooled labor thinking it was about spreading union control overseas as US corporations created International Economic Zones-----he fooled citizens that once supported Equal Rights into supporting a NEW CIVIL RIGHTS that says an individual has the right to be really rich by ignoring Equal Rights----and now all are losing all the wealth they were allowed to attain. All this time US neo-liberal economists were sending headlines in major newspapers like NY Times that expanding overseas and building global corporate FOXCONN campuses and factories were LIFTING THE CONDITION OF DEVELOPING NATIONS. Now we all see it simply enslaved 99% of citizens and created a 1% in those developing nations......IT WAS NEVER ABOUT FLAT WORLD.
Now the plan is for the world's new 'middle-class' to have its wealth taken and for those left as the world's 1% to fight it out for even more wealth and control. It is only a small percentage of the world's population and they are all sociopaths----they are simply criminals and without morals, ethics, or conscience. We do not want to follow their lead----we will reverse this.
Below you see neo-liberal takeoffs of this return to 1% and aristocracy----FLATLAND-----and the few decades of Les Miserable----all meant to rebuild this idea of extreme wealth for a few. You notice Les Mis is about the French Revolution that failed----and not about the two French Revolutions that succeeded in throwing these Ship of Fools out and moving WE THE PEOPLE into control of government and sharing of wealth and knowledge!
THERE WILL BE NO LOCAL ARISTOCRACY----NO STATE ARISTOCRACY----NO NATIONAL ARISTOCRACY----ONLY THE WORLD'S 1% CONTROLLING ALL NATIONS TIED TO GLOBAL ECONOMIC TREATIES LIKE TRANS PACIFIC AND TRANS ATLANTIC TRADE PACTS.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
at WikisourceFlatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott.
Written pseudonymously as "A Square", the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to comment on the hierarchy of Victorian culture, but the novella's more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.
Several films have been made from the story, including the feature film Flatland (2007). Other efforts have been short or experimental films, including one narrated by Dudley Moore and the short films Flatland: The Movie (2007) and Flatland 2: Sphereland (2012).
Illustration of a simple house in Flatland.
The story describes a two-dimensional world occupied by geometric figures, whereof women are simple line-segments, while men are polygons with various numbers of sides. The narrator is a square named A Square, a member of the caste of gentlemen and professionals, who guides the readers through some of the implications of life in two dimensions. The first half of the story goes through the practicalities of existing in a two-dimensional universe as well as a history leading up to the year 1999 on the eve of the 3rd Millennium.
NO MR FRIEDMAN----IT IS NOT A FLAT WORLD AFTER ALL!
This is a long article------please glance through----they are selling the idea of innovation and competition still after everyone in the world has seen it simply builds wealth and corporate power for a few on the backs of everyone else. Most people understand that all of this global internet infrastructure will be taken by global corporations and most global corporations are not Indian or Chinese----they are operated by a global corporate tribunal of 1% of the world's rich......this does not reach the 99% in any nation.
It's a Flat World, After All
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMANAPRIL 3, 2005
In 1492 Christopher Columbus set sail for India, going west. He had the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. He never did find India, but he called the people he met "Indians" and came home and reported to his king and queen: "The world is round." I set off for India 512 years later. I knew just which direction I was going. I went east. I had Lufthansa business class, and I came home and reported only to my wife and only in a whisper: "The world is flat."
And therein lies a tale of technology and geoeconomics that is fundamentally reshaping our lives -- much, much more quickly than many people realize. It all happened while we were sleeping, or rather while we were focused on 9/11, the dot-com bust and Enron -- which even prompted some to wonder whether globalization was over. Actually, just the opposite was true, which is why it's time to wake up and prepare ourselves for this flat world, because others already are, and there is no time to waste.
I wish I could say I saw it all coming. Alas, I encountered the flattening of the world quite by accident. It was in late February of last year, and I was visiting the Indian high-tech capital, Bangalore,
working on a documentary for the Discovery Times channel about outsourcing. In short order, I interviewed Indian entrepreneurs who wanted to prepare my taxes from Bangalore, read my X-rays from Bangalore, trace my lost luggage from Bangalore and write my new software from Bangalore. The longer I was there, the more upset I became -- upset at the realization that while I had been off covering the 9/11 wars, globalization had entered a whole new phase, and I had missed it. I guess the eureka moment came on a visit to the campus of Infosys Technologies, one of the crown jewels of the Indian outsourcing and software industry. Nandan Nilekani, the Infosys C.E.O., was showing me his global video-conference room, pointing with pride to a wall-size flat-screen TV, which he said was the biggest in Asia. Infosys, he explained, could hold a virtual meeting of the key players from its entire global supply chain for any project at any time on that supersize screen. So its American designers could be on the screen speaking with their Indian software writers and their Asian manufacturers all at once. That's what globalization is all about today, Nilekani said. Above the screen there were eight clocks that pretty well summed up the Infosys workday: 24/7/365. The clocks were labeled U.S. West, U.S. East, G.M.T., India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia.
"Outsourcing is just one dimension of a much more fundamental thing happening today in the world," Nilekani explained. "What happened over the last years is that there was a massive investment in technology, especially in the bubble era, when hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in putting broadband connectivity around the world, undersea cables, all those things." At the same time, he added, computers became cheaper and dispersed all over the world, and there was an explosion of e-mail software, search engines like Google and proprietary software that can chop up any piece of work and send one part to Boston, one part to Bangalore and one part to Beijing, making it easy for anyone to do remote development. When all of these things suddenly came together around 2000, Nilekani said, they "created a platform where intellectual work, intellectual capital, could be delivered from anywhere. It could be disaggregated, delivered, distributed, produced and put back together again -- and this gave a whole new degree of freedom to the way we do work, especially work of an intellectual nature. And what you are seeing in Bangalore today is really the culmination of all these things coming together."
At one point, summing up the implications of all this, Nilekani uttered a phrase that rang in my ear. He said to me, "Tom, the playing field is being leveled." He meant that countries like India were now able to compete equally for global knowledge work as never before -- and that America had better get ready for this. As I left the Infosys campus that evening and bounced along the potholed road back to Bangalore, I kept chewing on that phrase: "The playing field is being leveled."
"What Nandan is saying," I thought, "is that the playing field is being flattened. Flattened? Flattened? My God, he's telling me the world is flat!"
Here I was in Bangalore -- more than 500 years after Columbus sailed over the horizon, looking for a shorter route to India using the rudimentary navigational technologies of his day, and returned safely to prove definitively that the world was round -- and one of India's smartest engineers, trained at his country's top technical institute and backed by the most modern technologies of his day, was telling me that the world was flat, as flat as that screen on which he can host a meeting of his whole global supply chain. Even more interesting, he was citing this development as a new milestone in human progress and a great opportunity for India and the world -- the fact that we had made our world flat!
This has been building for a long time. Globalization 1.0 (1492 to 1800) shrank the world from a size large to a size medium, and the dynamic force in that era was countries globalizing for resources and imperial conquest. Globalization 2.0 (1800 to 2000) shrank the world from a size medium to a size small, and it was spearheaded by companies globalizing for markets and labor. Globalization 3.0 (which started around 2000) is shrinking the world from a size small to a size tiny and flattening the playing field at the same time. And while the dynamic force in Globalization 1.0 was countries globalizing and the dynamic force in Globalization 2.0 was companies globalizing, the dynamic force in Globalization 3.0 -- the thing that gives it its unique character -- is individuals and small groups globalizing. Individuals must, and can, now ask: where do I fit into the global competition and opportunities of the day, and how can I, on my own, collaborate with others globally? But Globalization 3.0 not only differs from the previous eras in how it is shrinking and flattening the world and in how it is empowering individuals. It is also different in that Globalization 1.0 and 2.0 were driven primarily by European and American companies and countries. But going forward, this will be less and less true. Globalization 3.0 is not only going to be driven more by individuals but also by a much more diverse -- non-Western, nonwhite -- group of individuals. In Globalization 3.0, you are going to see every color of the human rainbow take part.
"Today, the most profound thing to me is the fact that a 14-year-old in Romania or Bangalore or the Soviet Union or Vietnam has all the information, all the tools, all the software easily available to apply knowledge however they want," said Marc Andreessen, a co-founder of Netscape and creator of the first commercial Internet browser. "That is why I am sure the next Napster is going to come out of left field. As bioscience becomes more computational and less about wet labs and as all the genomic data becomes easily available on the Internet, at some point you will be able to design vaccines on your laptop."
Andreessen is touching on the most exciting part of Globalization 3.0 and the flattening of the world: the fact that we are now in the process of connecting all the knowledge pools in the world together. We've tasted some of the downsides of that in the way that Osama bin Laden has connected terrorist knowledge pools together through his Qaeda network, not to mention the work of teenage hackers spinning off more and more lethal computer viruses that affect us all. But the upside is that by connecting all these knowledge pools we are on the cusp of an incredible new era of innovation, an era that will be driven from left field and right field, from West and East and from North and South. Only 30 years ago, if you had a choice of being born a B student in Boston or a genius in Bangalore or Beijing, you probably would have chosen Boston, because a genius in Beijing or Bangalore could not really take advantage of his or her talent. They could not plug and play globally. Not anymore. Not when the world is flat, and anyone with smarts, access to Google and a cheap wireless laptop can join the innovation fray.
When the world is flat, you can innovate without having to emigrate. This is going to get interesting. We are about to see creative destruction on steroids. How did the world get flattened, and how did it happen so fast?
It was a result of 10 events and forces that all came together during the 1990's and converged right around the year 2000. Let me go through them briefly. The first event was 11/9. That's right -- not 9/11, but 11/9. Nov. 9, 1989, is the day the Berlin Wall came down, which was critically important because it allowed us to think of the world as a single space. "The Berlin Wall was not only a symbol of keeping people inside Germany; it was a way of preventing a kind of global view of our future," the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen said. And the wall went down just as the windows went up -- the breakthrough Microsoft Windows 3.0 operating system, which helped to flatten the playing field even more by creating a global computer interface, shipped six months after the wall fell.
The second key date was 8/9. Aug. 9, 1995, is the day Netscape went public, which did two important things. First, it brought the Internet alive by giving us the browser to display images and data stored on Web sites. Second, the Netscape stock offering triggered the dot-com boom, which triggered the dot-com bubble, which triggered the massive overinvestment of billions of dollars in fiber-optic telecommunications cable. That overinvestment, by companies like Global Crossing, resulted in the willy-nilly creation of a global undersea-underground fiber network, which in turn drove down the cost of transmitting voices, data and images to practically zero, which in turn accidentally made Boston, Bangalore and Beijing next-door neighbors overnight. In sum, what the Netscape revolution did was bring people-to-people connectivity to a whole new level. Suddenly more people could connect with more other people from more different places in more different ways than ever before.
No country accidentally benefited more from the Netscape moment than India. "India had no resources and no infrastructure," said Dinakar Singh, one of the most respected hedge-fund managers on Wall Street, whose parents earned doctoral degrees in biochemistry from the University of Delhi before emigrating to America. "It produced people with quality and by quantity. But many of them rotted on the docks of India like vegetables. Only a relative few could get on ships and get out. Not anymore, because we built this ocean crosser, called fiber-optic cable. For decades you had to leave India to be a professional. Now you can plug into the world from India. You don't have to go to Yale and go to work for Goldman Sachs." India could never have afforded to pay for the bandwidth to connect brainy India with high-tech America, so American shareholders paid for it. Yes, crazy overinvestment can be good. The overinvestment in railroads turned out to be a great boon for the American economy. "But the railroad overinvestment was confined to your own country and so, too, were the benefits," Singh said. In the case of the digital railroads, "it was the foreigners who benefited." India got a free ride.
The first time this became apparent was when thousands of Indian engineers were enlisted to fix the Y2K -- the year 2000 -- computer bugs for companies from all over the world. (Y2K should be a national holiday in India. Call it "Indian Interdependence Day," says Michael Mandelbaum, a foreign-policy analyst at Johns Hopkins.) The fact that the Y2K work could be outsourced to Indians was made possible by the first two flatteners, along with a third, which I call "workflow." Workflow is shorthand for all the software applications, standards and electronic transmission pipes, like middleware, that connected all those computers and fiber-optic cable. To put it another way, if the Netscape moment connected people to people like never before, what the workflow revolution did was connect applications to applications so that people all over the world could work together in manipulating and shaping words, data and images on computers like never before.
Indeed, this breakthrough in people-to-people and application-to-application connectivity produced, in short order, six more flatteners -- six new ways in which individuals and companies could collaborate on work and share knowledge. One was "outsourcing." When my software applications could connect seamlessly with all of your applications, it meant that all kinds of work -- from accounting to software-writing -- could be digitized, disaggregated and shifted to any place in the world where it could be done better and cheaper. The second was "offshoring." I send my whole factory from Canton, Ohio, to Canton, China. The third was "open-sourcing." I write the next operating system, Linux, using engineers collaborating together online and working for free. The fourth was "insourcing." I let a company like UPS come inside my company and take over my whole logistics operation -- everything from filling my orders online to delivering my goods to repairing them for customers when they break. (People have no idea what UPS really does today. You'd be amazed!). The fifth was "supply-chaining." This is Wal-Mart's specialty. I create a global supply chain down to the last atom of efficiency so that if I sell an item in Arkansas, another is immediately made in China. (If Wal-Mart were a country, it would be China's eighth-largest trading partner.) The last new form of collaboration I call "informing" -- this is Google, Yahoo and MSN Search, which now allow anyone to collaborate with, and mine, unlimited data all by themselves.
So the first three flatteners created the new platform for collaboration, and the next six are the new forms of collaboration that flattened the world even more. The 10th flattener I call "the steroids," and these are wireless access and voice over Internet protocol (VoIP). What the steroids do is turbocharge all these new forms of collaboration, so you can now do any one of them, from anywhere, with any device.
The world got flat when all 10 of these flatteners converged around the year 2000. This created a global, Web-enabled playing field that allows for multiple forms of collaboration on research and work in real time, without regard to geography, distance or, in the near future, even language. "It is the creation of this platform, with these unique attributes, that is the truly important sustainable breakthrough that made what you call the flattening of the world possible," said Craig Mundie, the chief technical officer of Microsoft.
No, not everyone has access yet to this platform, but it is open now to more people in more places on more days in more ways than anything like it in history. Wherever you look today -- whether it is the world of journalism, with bloggers bringing down Dan Rather; the world of software, with the Linux code writers working in online forums for free to challenge Microsoft; or the world of business, where Indian and Chinese innovators are competing against and working with some of the most advanced Western multinationals -- hierarchies are being flattened and value is being created less and less within vertical silos and more and more through horizontal collaboration within companies, between companies and among individuals.
Do you recall "the IT revolution" that the business press has been pushing for the last 20 years? Sorry to tell you this, but that was just the prologue. The last 20 years were about forging, sharpening and distributing all the new tools to collaborate and connect. Now the real information revolution is about to begin as all the complementarities among these collaborative tools start to converge. One of those who first called this moment by its real name was Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O., who in 2004 began to declare in her public speeches that the dot-com boom and bust were just "the end of the beginning." The last 25 years in technology, Fiorina said, have just been "the warm-up act." Now we are going into the main event, she said, "and by the main event, I mean an era in which technology will truly transform every aspect of business, of government, of society, of life." As if this flattening wasn't enough, another convergence coincidentally occurred during the 1990's that was equally important. Some three billion people who were out of the game walked, and often ran, onto the playing field. I am talking about the people of China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Central Asia. Their economies and political systems all opened up during the course of the 1990's so that their people were increasingly free to join the free market. And when did these three billion people converge with the new playing field and the new business processes? Right when it was being flattened, right when millions of them could compete and collaborate more equally, more horizontally and with cheaper and more readily available tools. Indeed, thanks to the flattening of the world, many of these new entrants didn't even have to leave home to participate. Thanks to the 10 flatteners, the playing field came to them!
It is this convergence -- of new players, on a new playing field, developing new processes for horizontal collaboration -- that I believe is the most important force shaping global economics and politics in the early 21st century. Sure, not all three billion can collaborate and compete. In fact, for most people the world is not yet flat at all. But even if we're talking about only 10 percent, that's 300 million people -- about twice the size of the American work force. And be advised: the Indians and Chinese are not racing us to the bottom. They are racing us to the top. What China's leaders really want is that the next generation of underwear and airplane wings not just be "made in China" but also be "designed in China." And that is where things are heading. So in 30 years we will have gone from "sold in China" to "made in China" to "designed in China" to "dreamed up in China" -- or from China as collaborator with the worldwide manufacturers on nothing to China as a low-cost, high-quality, hyperefficient collaborator with worldwide manufacturers on everything. Ditto India. Said Craig Barrett, the C.E.O. of Intel, "You don't bring three billion people into the world economy overnight without huge consequences, especially from three societies" -- like India, China and Russia -- "with rich educational heritages."
That is why there is nothing that guarantees that Americans or Western Europeans will continue leading the way. These new players are stepping onto the playing field legacy free, meaning that many of them were so far behind that they can leap right into the new technologies without having to worry about all the sunken costs of old systems. It means that they can move very fast to adopt new, state-of-the-art technologies, which is why there are already more cellphones in use in China today than there are people in America.
If you want to appreciate the sort of challenge we are facing, let me share with you two conversations. One was with some of the Microsoft officials who were involved in setting up Microsoft's research center in Beijing, Microsoft Research Asia, which opened in 1998 -- after Microsoft sent teams to Chinese universities to administer I.Q. tests in order to recruit the best brains from China's 1.3 billion people. Out of the 2,000 top Chinese engineering and science students tested, Microsoft hired 20. They have a saying at Microsoft about their Asia center, which captures the intensity of competition it takes to win a job there and explains why it is already the most productive research team at Microsoft: "Remember, in China, when you are one in a million, there are 1,300 other people just like you."
The other is a conversation I had with Rajesh Rao, a young Indian entrepreneur who started an electronic-game company from Bangalore, which today owns the rights to Charlie Chaplin's image for mobile computer games. "We can't relax," Rao said. "I think in the case of the United States that is what happened a bit. Please look at me: I am from India. We have been at a very different level before in terms of technology and business. But once we saw we had an infrastructure that made the world a small place, we promptly tried to make the best use of it. We saw there were so many things we could do. We went ahead, and today what we are seeing is a result of that. There is no time to rest. That is gone. There are dozens of people who are doing the same thing you are doing, and they are trying to do it better. It is like water in a tray: you shake it, and it will find the path of least resistance. That is what is going to happen to so many jobs -- they will go to that corner of the world where there is the least resistance and the most opportunity. If there is a skilled person in Timbuktu, he will get work if he knows how to access the rest of the world, which is quite easy today. You can make a Web site and have an e-mail address and you are up and running. And if you are able to demonstrate your work, using the same infrastructure, and if people are comfortable giving work to you and if you are diligent and clean in your transactions, then you are in business."
Instead of complaining about outsourcing, Rao said, Americans and Western Europeans would "be better off thinking about how you can raise your bar and raise yourselves into doing something better. Americans have consistently led in innovation over the last century. Americans whining -- we have never seen that before." Rao is right. And it is time we got focused. As a person who grew up during the cold war, I'll always remember driving down the highway and listening to the radio, when suddenly the music would stop and a grim-voiced announcer would come on the air and say: "This is a test. This station is conducting a test of the Emergency Broadcast System." And then there would be a 20-second high-pitched siren sound. Fortunately, we never had to live through a moment in the cold war when the announcer came on and said, "This is a not a test."
That, however, is exactly what I want to say here: "This is not a test."
The long-term opportunities and challenges that the flattening of the world puts before the United States are profound. Therefore, our ability to get by doing things the way we've been doing them -- which is to say not always enriching our secret sauce -- will not suffice any more. "For a country as wealthy we are, it is amazing how little we are doing to enhance our natural competitiveness," says Dinakar Singh, the Indian-American hedge-fund manager. "We are in a world that has a system that now allows convergence among many billions of people, and we had better step back and figure out what it means. It would be a nice coincidence if all the things that were true before were still true now, but there are quite a few things you actually need to do differently. You need to have a much more thoughtful national discussion."
If this moment has any parallel in recent American history, it is the height of the cold war, around 1957, when the Soviet Union leapt ahead of America in the space race by putting up the Sputnik satellite. The main challenge then came from those who wanted to put up walls; the main challenge to America today comes from the fact that all the walls are being taken down and many other people can now compete and collaborate with us much more directly. The main challenge in that world was from those practicing extreme Communism, namely Russia, China and North Korea. The main challenge to America today is from those practicing extreme capitalism, namely China, India and South Korea. The main objective in that era was building a strong state, and the main objective in this era is building strong individuals.
Meeting the challenges of flatism requires as comprehensive, energetic and focused a response as did meeting the challenge of Communism. It requires a president who can summon the nation to work harder, get smarter, attract more young women and men to science and engineering and build the broadband infrastructure, portable pensions and health care that will help every American become more employable in an age in which no one can guarantee you lifetime employment.
We have been slow to rise to the challenge of flatism, in contrast to Communism, maybe because flatism doesn't involve ICBM missiles aimed at our cities. Indeed, the hot line, which used to connect the Kremlin with the White House, has been replaced by the help line, which connects everyone in America to call centers in Bangalore. While the other end of the hot line might have had Leonid Brezhnev threatening nuclear war, the other end of the help line just has a soft voice eager to help you sort out your AOL bill or collaborate with you on a new piece of software. No, that voice has none of the menace of Nikita Khrushchev pounding a shoe on the table at the United Nations, and it has none of the sinister snarl of the bad guys in "From Russia With Love." No, that voice on the help line just has a friendly Indian lilt that masks any sense of threat or challenge. It simply says: "Hello, my name is Rajiv. Can I help you?"
No, Rajiv, actually you can't. When it comes to responding to the challenges of the flat world, there is no help line we can call. We have to dig into ourselves. We in America have all the basic economic and educational tools to do that. But we have not been improving those tools as much as we should. That is why we are in what Shirley Ann Jackson, the 2004 president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, calls a "quiet crisis" -- one that is slowly eating away at America's scientific and engineering base.
"If left unchecked," said Jackson, the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics from M.I.T., "this could challenge our pre-eminence and capacity to innovate." And it is our ability to constantly innovate new products, services and companies that has been the source of America's horn of plenty and steadily widening middle class for the last two centuries. This quiet crisis is a product of three gaps now plaguing American society. The first is an "ambition gap." Compared with the young, energetic Indians and Chinese, too many Americans have gotten too lazy. As David Rothkopf, a former official in the Clinton Commerce Department, puts it, "The real entitlement we need to get rid of is our sense of entitlement." Second, we have a serious numbers gap building. We are not producing enough engineers and scientists. We used to make up for that by importing them from India and China, but in a flat world, where people can now stay home and compete with us, and in a post-9/11 world, where we are insanely keeping out many of the first-round intellectual draft choices in the world for exaggerated security reasons, we can no longer cover the gap. That's a key reason companies are looking abroad. The numbers are not here. And finally we are developing an education gap. Here is the dirty little secret that no C.E.O. wants to tell you: they are not just outsourcing to save on salary. They are doing it because they can often get better-skilled and more productive people than their American workers.
These are some of the reasons that Bill Gates, the Microsoft chairman, warned the governors' conference in a Feb. 26 speech that American high-school education is "obsolete." As Gates put it: "When I compare our high schools to what I see when I'm traveling abroad, I am terrified for our work force of tomorrow. In math and science, our fourth graders are among the top students in the world. By eighth grade, they're in the middle of the pack. By 12th grade, U.S. students are scoring near the bottom of all industrialized nations. . . . The percentage of a population with a college degree is important, but so are sheer numbers. In 2001, India graduated almost a million more students from college than the United States did. China graduates twice as many students with bachelor's degrees as the U.S., and they have six times as many graduates majoring in engineering. In the international competition to have the biggest and best supply of knowledge workers, America is falling behind."
We need to get going immediately. It takes 15 years to train a good engineer, because, ladies and gentlemen, this really is rocket science. So parents, throw away the Game Boy, turn off the television and get your kids to work. There is no sugar-coating this: in a flat world, every individual is going to have to run a little faster if he or she wants to advance his or her standard of living. When I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, "Tom, finish your dinner -- people in China are starving." But after sailing to the edges of the flat world for a year, I am now telling my own daughters, "Girls, finish your homework -- people in China and India are starving for your jobs."
I repeat, this is not a test. This is the beginning of a crisis that won't remain quiet for long. And as the Stanford economist Paul Romer so rightly says, "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste."
Thomas L. Friedman is the author of "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century," to be published this week by Farrar, Straus & Giroux and from which this article is adapted. His column appears on the Op-Ed page of The Times, and his television documentary "Does Europe Hate Us?" will be shown on the Discovery Channel on April 7 at 8 p.m.