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Book Review-globalization

Book Review-globalization - The Lexus and the Olive Tree...

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The Lexus and the Olive Tree Understanding Globalization Financially, Citizens, and countries are no longer islands into themselves. With the advent of globalization, the computer, and in particular the internet, people can easily invest not only in foreign corporations but also in the bonds and other papers of the foreign countries themselves. As a result, what happens in the economies of foreign countries can rapidly affect the investors of countries halfway across the world. This has been the case for only ten years, and the reason why Friedman says its whole new ball game and that --- “the world is only ten years old”. The cold war no longer is a dominating system for understanding foreign affairs. We are now in a new international system Friedman calls “globalization”. The Cold war was characterized by division; now it’s characterized by integration, integration made possible by rapid-speed airplanes, cheap international telephone charges, satellite communication and more than ever, the computer and the internet. We now have an entirely new set of financial understandings to achieve. What used to be true is no longer necessarily true. As a result of information Arbitrage, we can no longer think like specialists, because what’s going on in this new world requires us to think rapidly and multi-dimensionally. We can no longer, for example, think only like financiers; we must understand policies, because what happens politically in one country can affect finances in another. How? Why? Because, we can invest in corporations and countries other than the U.S., for the same reason, we can no longer look at the weather patterns in just here in the U.S.; what happens with the weather in a foreign country might affect that country - markets in which we may have invested. Friedman uses the Lexus as a symbol of “the drive for sustenance, improvement, prosperity and modernization- as it is played out in today’s globalization system. The Lexus represents all the burgeoning global markets, financial institutions and computer technologies with which we pursue higher living standards today.” (32, 33) In addition, the author described the Olive tree as “Olive trees are important. They represent everything that roots us, anchors us, identifies us and locates us in this world— whether it be belonging to a family, a community , a tribe, a nation, a religion, or , most of all a place called home. Olive trees are what give us the warmth of a family, the joy of individuality, the intimacy of personal rituals, the depth of private relationships, as well as the confidence and security to reach out and encounter other. We fight so intensely at
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times over our olive trees because, at their best, they provide feelings of self –esteem and belonging that are essential for human survival as food in the belly. For that, you must be a part of, and rooted in an Olive grove.” (31) The Lexus exploiting the olive tree can doom the olive tree, doom the environment and traditions. But if one can focuses too much on the olive tree, thus dooming the country to
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