I have currently been reading The World is Flat, by Thomas Friedman. It is based upon the theory that the world is ‘flattening’ due to outsourcing brought upon by technology. We all have experienced this when we phone in for support (Kyvon’s phone center is purely local) and speak with a very polite Indian (Eastern, not American) putting forth their best American accent.
In his book, he refers to a phenomenon called, “The Golden Arches Conflict Prevention”. It states, loosely, that two countries that have obtained the economic prosperity required to support a McDonald’s tend not war with each other! The theory is based upon the point that as countries enter the global trade arena and standards of living improved the cost of war for the two countries became detrimental to their supply chains.
Mr. Friedman revises this theory to: “Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention” in regards to the emerging global supply chains Michael Dell uses to build one of his computers. It is a fascinating chain involving both far off areas of the world, like Limerick, Ireland, Xiamen China, Eldorado do Sul, Brazil and Penang Malaysia to local areas, like Nashville Tennessee and Austin, Texas! But, I’ll leave the details in the book for you to read.
Both Theories (McDonald and Dell) state:
“No two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, like Dell [Computer], will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain. Because people embedded in major global supply chains don’t want to fight old-time wars anymore. They want to make just-in-time deliveries of goods and services – and enjoy the rising standards of living that come that…”
Could it be? The ferocious competition of Capitalism could lead us to peace? I hope he’s right! People sharing common interest do tend to work in harmony alongside one another. With emerging markets all over the world, countries working for both self-interest and the interest of vendors and consumers alike could bring about a change in world order…I hope the US is ready for this!
What does this mean for local US markets? I find it interesting that US Auto-dealers (Corporate; not labor), who have made BILLIONS off the free market system, are now whining to Congress about how world class competition is putting them out of business, and they need the assistance of the John-Q tax payer to bail them out in a Socialistic fashion the US industry has despised for decades.
Could it be, smaller individuals are doing more with less??? Can these giant Corporations see how ‘slimming down’ may be a financial must in these difficult economic times?
Thomas Friedman, and his “The World is Flat…or Flattening” theory is disputed by many. However, I think it interesting to watch the development of technology change the arenas we all find ourselves in. From sports, to business, to espionage and travel….’Times, they are a changin’….will you?
There are still issues like depleting resources and MAJOR political, and religious, differences that plague the world and jeopardize peace. But, a world being brought together thru technology and commerce could offer new avenues unheard-of before now. It is ironic, the equation E=MC² that brought about the destructive nature of the atomic bomb could also bring about new distribution lines aimed at diminishing the need for war…
Reporting from the frontlines, I’m Bart Beyers.