We recently covered Thomas Friedman column on Indians racing to the top. David Kirkpatrick writing on the same theme says, The EU nations cannot in today's technological world, insulate themselves from competition. Trying to control the forces of globalization is a losing battle. Forces opposing globalization may have lost the force the day that Marc Andreessen invented a usable web browser with his friends back in March 1993 and opened up the web to users around the world.With today's technology, no nation can any longer shut out the rest of the planet. For better or worse, technology will bring about more economic parity around the world in the years to come.
The Dutch & French rejected the new constitution for Europe recently. While people certainly voted “no” for many reasons, one of the biggest appears to have been anger about globalization. Europeans from wealthier countries worry that immigrants and workers from poorer nations will take away their jobs and threaten their financial security. No matter what the fate of the EU constitution, the transition to a more global economy will happen, whether orderly or not. The more you look at the world through the lens of technology, the more formidable the forces of globalization appear to be. The Internet, along with TV, radio, cellphones, and other ever-cheaper communication tools have fundamentally changed how the world’s economy works.
Technology makes outsourcing so easy that it is almost certain to happen in any industry where jobs can be done remotely. And indeed, a major issue in the debate over the constitution was the outsourcing of work to other countries, which opponents said would be more likely with ratification. There’s an even bigger and more overarching change being driven by technology. The most significant difference between today’s world and that of the past is that the poor can so clearly see the rich. Because of technology, which people who live in Mali or Minneapolis can use, the world’s less-privileged billions have a window into what the rich have. And they want what they see - a lifestyle more like the rich. That’s a big factor that leads to another major force of globalization - the increasingly free flow of people. The less fortunate are willing to move in order to have more. And either the rich nations help the poor come up, or they will pull the rich nations down - or both.