Southwest Book Club Online Discussion - The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
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Discussion Questions: The World is Flat
1. What does Friedman mean by the book's title?
2. Friedman discusses the many occupations that can now be outsourced or offshored, including his own job as a journalist. Could your job be done by someone in another country? Could you do your job better from home, as the JetBlue telephone agents do? Would you feel comfortable knowing your taxes had been prepared by an overseas accountant, or your CAT scan read by an overseas radiologist? (Chapter One)
3. Discuss the "Indiana versus India" anecdote, recounted in the second section of Chapter Four. Which approach benefits Americans more: offshoring state projects and cutting taxpaper expenditures, or paying higher wages to maintain job security at home?
4. Chapter Seven, "The Quiet Crisis," outlines dirty secrets regarding American dominance: fewer young Americans pursuing careers in math, science, and engineering, and the demise of both ambition and brainpower among American youth. What accounts for this? What would it take to restore academic rigor and the enthusiasm enjoyed during the "man on the moon" days?
5. Friedman contemplates the cultural traits that drive a nation's success. He uses this to illustrate why Mexico, despite NAFTA, has become the tortoise while China has become the hare. Does America fit Friedman's cultural profile as a nation poised for prosperity? (Chapter Nine)
6. What would it take for you to become an "untouchable"? (Chapter Six)
Questions obtained or adapted from http://readinggroupguides.com