How To Flatten A Penney

By: ethosadvisory
My son slipped a penny in the slot, cranked the machine, and turned his (or was it mine?) penny flat. He can't spend it now, but who uses pennies these days? We have drawers full of them. Watching him made me think of Thomas Friedman's book, The World Is Flat: A Brief History Of The Twenty-First Century (an easy recollection since I was reading the book).

Friedman writes for the New York Times editorial department. He has written Longitudes and Attitudes and The Lexus and the Olive Tree. The World is Flat completes a trilogy that validates Marshall McLuan's maxim, "We now live in a global village...a simultaneous happening."

Friedman makes global observations with wise criticism and keen understanding. For example, listen here to Friedman talk about the Iraq War, "If you don't visit a bad neighborhood in a flat world, it will visit you, " and it did.

11/9 and 9/11

I won't give away the entire content of Friedman's book. I couldn't do it justice, and it is too long (471 pages). I will tell you that two events hinge the world for Friedman. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of Windows95, and the fall of Windows on the World. Oddly, the first happened 11/9/1989 and the last 9/11/2001.

Finding Flat Pennies

The world is flat because nothing is proprietary. What can be made, learned, constructed, and used in America can be made, learned, constructed, and used almost anywhere. Information and innovation are not constrained; the Internet, the cell-phone, and imagination have global instincts. Almost anyone can flatten a penny.

What a flat world means to your investment choices

Friedman does not address foreign investing. He emphasizes collaboration between scientist, analysts, researchers, academics, and corporations. I encourage you to read the many examples of outsourcing, insourcing, and infosourcing articulated by Thomas Friedman. If we are to maintain a viable international presence, we must involve ourselves with other nations, their betterment, and our mutual benefits.

We can make one keen observation. Investments are not ethnocentric. Intelligence is not either. Every investor must accept a future that involves opportunities in China, India, and Singapore (oriental not occidental). American companies scramble for this opportunity; the Congress and the President should avoid quasi-protectionist acts.

My Son Must Do More Than Flatten Pennies

Fortunately, he does! While doing homework, he types messages to his classmates (discovered girls recently). I told him, "When you spend time sending
messages, a young man your age in China or India is working on his next math problem. He is your competition." Americans are not entitled. Encourage and warn your children and grandchildren.

"The flattening of the world is moving ahead...nothing is going to stop it. But what can happen is a decline in our standard of living, if more Americans are not empowered and educated to participate.... This is not a test. This is a crisis, and as Paul Romer has so perceptively warned, 'A crisis is a terrible thing to waste'" (The World Is Flat, page 305f).

Check your local library for Friedman's book. If you want to own it, consider Amazon used (save some $).
Top Searches on
Investment
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Investment
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles