Untouchables Critique

Posted: September 6th, 2013





Untouchables Critique


The Untouchables creates a clear view on the changing working society. It continues to accuse the Americans for placing a lot of workload on them. This is caused by replacing workers with new technology, job outsourcing, and lack of specialization. The advantage of this article, therefore, is its encouragement to the Americans to seek specialization in order to gain competitive advantage above all other nations. Friedman advices USA to not only compete nationally, but also globally. He believes the Americans should strive to gain more skills and become more competent in order to survive in the job market. This article therefore encourages the Americans to focus on gaining more skills, in order to have more demand in the job market (Benson, 15).

Friedman stresses on the need of globalizing the workforce. He advises individuals to practice globalization in their practical lives. He introduces the idea of the Earth being now “flat”, no longer round. The strength of this article is the advantage that comes with employment when globalization is practiced. Friedman tackles the issue of increasing job competition, which is a great concern to the Americans. Job competition continues to rise every day. Getting a job becomes hard and a person will have to start seeking for employment long before being actually employed. With this, Friedman answers the question of how the Americans should be prepared to dealing with the increasing competition on the job market. Friedman encourages the Americans to practice globalization when seeking employment, as this will increase their competitive and demand on the job market. The Americans will not spend a lot of time seeking employment if they practice globalization (Friedman, 9).

Friedman advises the Americans to become “the untouchables”. He gives an example of the types of untouchables. These are:

  • Special workers – These workers are highly skilled and talented. These traits enable them to have job security. Therefore, they are rarely replaced. They have high demand on the job market.
  • Specialized workers – These kinds of workers have specialized knowledge.
  • Anchored workers – These are workers whose physical location is of great importance.
  • Adaptable workers – These workers practice job rotation continually.

In addition, countries already practicing globalization have grown rich as a result of it. They have an advantage of stable economies and, due to this characteristic, they are able to cope with any crisis.

There are three globalization phases. The first one deals with the nation, the second one deals with the organization, and the third deals with the people. Simplifying and personalizing the telecommunication industry has developed individuals to become powerful entities. This enables them to achieve power without any help from other countries or companies. Nations are able to deal with everyday changes in the business environment. They are also able to deal well with the geopolitical and cultural factors. Measuring the dreams of a society against the memories portrays a society which is either willing to return to the future or one that is willing to stay in the past. It also enables discovery of a society that determines ways in which a nation will be able to deal with new changes. The U.S. leaders and dreamers are the ones to take the nation to the next competing level. They are going to innovate and motivate the future generation. This will enable the future generation to be more competitive than the current and have great competence in their works (Benson, 4).

The American workers have maintained their living standards through borrowing and consuming more than they can afford. Recession experienced in the United States of America wiped out all the available assets and credits that made overconsumption possible. This left most of the Americans in debt, unemployed and without skills that can make them competitive globally. This article encourages solving this problem by increasing workers competitiveness. This would be possible if U.S. create new jobs and educates capable workers. In this context, “the new untouchables” are the workers that cannot be laid off. The New Untouchables by Thomas Friedman certifies that improvement is required in all sectors of the society. Therefore, an improvement should also be made in the American public schools. Attention should not only be focused on the financial system of the U.S., since the improvement is not just a phase that is passed, but the future.


Friedman believes that through Americans becoming the untouchables, globalization will be positively influenced. However, the majority disagree with this. They believe that this article has some weaknesses and that globalization will not take a positive trend. They believe that certain global organizations will only target and take advantage of the cheap labor force from the nations overseas. Some critics believe that globalization has destroyed major industrialized nations. This is because of the great competition that globalization poses. This, in turn, has caused bankruptcy to firms and ruined communities. This article does not consider the effect of global capitalism on the composition of the developing world. It does not also consider the risks that may accrue to the world’s economy due to the international cartels and trusts (Friedman, 5).

Though these associations enjoy some major profits, they also suffer extreme losses on the stocks and bonds market. This article ignores the negative effects that have appeared as a result of the globalization. Some of the great industries have been abolished; old workers are not demanded on the job market, and some lost their jobs; pensioners also suffer, as they are paid low pensions. This article assumes that USA will continue to be a world leader, since it has been doing so in the past sixty years. There are doubts concerning this assumption. Friedman is, however, confident about this, basing on the terms of technology and skills in business. He believes that Americans should improve their education, so that they have great advantage in the job market. He forgets that the optimal education system in America can only be reached by the help of the federal government (Friedman, 16).

This article does not explain how the Americans can be able to deal with the “flat world”. Real wages of the USA citizens have reduced over the years; at the same time, taxes have increased, making survival tough. Housing costs increased, and so has the federal debt. Friedman ignores all these facts when he talks about the flat world. Weaknesses can also be found in Friedman’s opinion concerning stability in the global financial system. He does not consider the disparity in the microeconomic balance sheet. He hypothesizes external growth, but then ignores mentioning the possible financial crisis. Lastly, this article ignores the effect of the great US trade deficits, caused by the false exchange rates. This enables US to spend more than they can afford.

Friedman believes that “the new untouchables” are the ones who would invent smart ways of doing old jobs to increase efficiency and save time. They will also invent mechanisms of saving energy, new ways of gaining market for products, and new ways of combining the pre-existing technologies to succeed in the business world. “Americans require fixing their school system to prevent the country from going back to the old days,” says Friedman (4). Therefore, the schools should not only focus on providing knowledge, but also harness creativity, innovation, and encourage inclination to entrepreneurship (Friedman, 4).


Works cited

Friedman, Thomas. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. Picador, 2007.

Friedman, Thomas. The New Untouchables. New York Times. N.d. Web. 28 June 2012.

Friedman, Thomas. How Might Friedman’s Flat World Affect the Public Relations Industry? N.d. Web. 28 June 2012.

Benson, Mark. Thomas Friedman Suggests Level Economic Playing Field in ‘The World is Flat’. N.d. Web. 28 June 2012.

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