Sunday, October 15, 2006

Highly recommended

Four new sections of Economics 2 online start tomorrow. In honor of that event I’d like to make a big picture book recommendation that should provide plenty of material for Discussion Board posts. One of the main learning objectives of principles of macroeconomics course is to analyze globalization from an economics perspective. The book that I have in mind is called The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. The author of the book is one of our country's most influential foreign affairs writers, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. The argument in the book is that globalization is the most influential trend of our times. With a focus on India and China, Friedman details the changes that globalization has brought to their societies as well as to America.

In a flat world you don’t have to attend MIT or Yale to hear Thomas Friedman discuss the ideas in his book. Follow this link to hear the author lecture about his ideas at MIT: Click here to hear Friedman interviewed at Yale (scroll down). For yet another recent interview with Thomas Friedman on the public TV show Foreign Exchange go to this link. The World is Flat is at bookstores and libraries everywhere. It has been at the top of the national non-fiction best seller lists for two years.

Friedman raises a host of issues that would be great topics for the Discussion Board. Don't ignore the last couple of chapters of the book, especially Friedman’s policy ideas on energy. Click here for some Discussion Board questions that you are welcome to tackle. Economists believe that you can’t understand globalization unless you understand concepts like comparative advantage, the law of one price, and convergence, which are discussed in your text and illustrated in The World is Flat.

The World is Flat may be the most important book that you read in college if you have any interest in what is going on in the world. Sometimes we might like to make the world go away, but it won’t. Its getting flatter all the time.

Extra credit: If you are the first student to send me an e-mail ( identifying the name of the name of university that Friedman attended, you will be rewarded with two extra credit Discussion Board points. Only two points extra credit can be earned in any given week from the blog questions.


Javaman said...

I have read this book and I recommend this book too. I have lived in China and have seen the drive and willingness to work of an average Chinese student/worker. I have also seen the drive of an average student in U.S. and this book describes the situation accurately. The only bad point of this book is that it may lead to pessimism. However if you are willing to work hard there is no need to be pessimistic.

macromind said...

Good point, Javaman. I'm looking forward to talking some macro over some liquid refreshments on Friday.