One of the newest figures to emerge on the world stage in recent years is the social entrepreneur. This is usually someone who burns with desire to make a positive social impact on the world, but believes that the best way of doing it is, as the saying goes, not by giving poor people a fish and feeding them for a day, but by teaching them to fish, in hopes of feeding them for a lifetime. I have come to know several social entrepreneurs in recent years, and most combine a business school brain with a social worker's heart. The triple convergence and the flattening of the world have been a godsend for them. Those who get it and are adapting to it have begun launching some very innovative projects.
-Thomas L. Friedman
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In my world, you don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and be against common-sense gun control - like banning public access to the kind of semiautomatic assault rifle, designed for warfare, that was used recently in a Colorado theater. You don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and want to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which ensures clean air and clean water, prevents childhood asthma, preserves biodiversity and combats climate change that could disrupt every life on the planet. You don't get to call yourself 'pro-life' and oppose programs like Head Start that provide basic education, health and nutrition for the most disadvantaged children... The term 'pro-life' should be a shorthand for respect for the sanctity of life. But I will not let that label apply to people for whom sanctity for life begins at conception and ends at birth. What about the rest of life? Respect for the sanctity of life, if you believe that it begins at conception, cannot end at birth.
Thomas L. Friedman
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It is so easy to demonize free-market and the freedom to outsource and offshore because it is so much easier to see people being laid off in big bunches, which makes headlines, than to see them being hired in fives and tens by small and medium-sized companies, which rarely makes news.
Thomas L. Friedman
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At the end of the day, no amount of investing, no amount of clean electrons, no amount of energy efficiency will save the natural world if we are not paying attention to it - if we are not paying attention to all the things that nature give us for free: clean air, clean water, breathtaking vistas, mountains for skiing, rivers for fishing, oceans for sailing, sunsets for poets, and landscapes for painters. What good is it to have wind-powered lights to brighten the night if you can't see anything green during the day? Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.
Thomas L. Friedman
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Excerpt from page 113 [On Malaysia's Prime Minster's anti-capitalism and anti-globalization policies in September 1997] "Ah, excuse me, Mahathir, but what planet are you living on? You talk about participating in globalization as if it were a choice you had. Globalization isn't a choice. It's a reality. There is just one global market today, and the only way you can grown at the speed your people want to grow is by tapping into the global stock and bond markets, by seeking out multinationals to invest in your country and by selling into the global trading systems what your factories produce. And the most basic truth about globalization is: No one is in charge. You keep looking for someone to complain to, someone to take the heat off your markets, someone to blame. Well, guess what, Mahathir, there's no one on the other end of the phone!" "The Electronic Heard cuts no one any slack... The herd is not infallible. It makes mistakes too. It overreacts and it overshoots. But if your fundamentals are basically sound, the herd will eventually recognize this and come back. They herd is never stupid for too long. In the end, it always responds to good governance and good economic management.
Thomas L. Friedman
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Goods are traded, but services are consumed and produced in the same place. And you cannot export a haircut. But we are coming close to exporting a haircut, the appointment part. What kind of haircut do you want? Which barber do you want? All those things can and will be done by a call center far away.
Thomas L. Friedman
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America is the greatest engine of innovation that has ever existed, and it can't be duplicated anytime soon, because it is the product of a multitude of factors: extreme freedom of thought, an emphasis on independent thinking, a steady immigration of new minds, a risk-taking culture with no stigma attached to trying and failing, a noncorrupt bureaucracy, and financial markets and a venture capital system that are unrivaled at taking new ideas and turning them into global products.
Thomas L. Friedman
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When Muslim radicals and fundamentalists look at the West, they see only the openness that makes us, in their eyes, decadent and promiscuous. They see only the openness that has produced Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. They do not see, and do not want to see, the openness - the freedom of thought and inquiry - that has made us powerful, the openness that has produced Bill Gates and Sally Ride. They deliberately define it all as decadence. Because if openness, women's empowerment, and freedom of thought and inquiry are the real sources of the West's economic strength, then the Arab-Muslim world would have to change. And the fundamentalists and extremists do not want to change.
Thomas L. Friedman
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